London offers tremendous opportunities for a disruptive and game changing tech business expanding from the USA.

Buckingham palace

However, English law can be minefield!

Wragge & coRichard Goold (@gooldrichard), Corporate Partner and Co-Chair of the Tech team at Wragge and Co explains why.

In this four part blog, I’m going to look at the following areas that US companies need to take into account when coming to the UK:

–           Part 1: initial considerations
–           Part 2: subsidiary or “branch”?
–           Part 3: employment law issues
–           Part 4: data protection and IP

Part 1: Initial Considerations

In the last 12 months the UK has seen a notable uptick in the number of US headquartered corporations that are coming to the UK for the first time to access the European market (the world’s largest single market, with over 500 million consumers) in general but, specifically, to engage with the enormously dynamic Tech cluster around Silicon Roundabout and beyond.

The common language, similar cultures, relative lack of red tape and increasingly attractive tax regime are all factors that make the UK the most obvious choice for any US corporation coming to Europe for the first time.

Red tape is increasing throughout the world and Europe is no exception – the increased influence over time of the European Community on individual European states has led to an increase in red tape.  Thankfully, in the UK, with the exception of certain industries (finance and utilities being the two main examples), the regulatory environment is still relatively ‘light touch’.  And, efforts are being made by the UK Government to reduce the red tape burden on UK businesses.

Next week, I will look at whether it makes more sense for a US corporation to set up a new legal entity in the UK. However, tax is usually a key initial factor to take into account.

The tax regime here is an increasingly competitive one, with corporation tax due to reduce to just 20% by 2015.  There are also many other tax breaks.  Where companies are generating their own IP in the UK, for example, profits generated from that IP will be able to attract “patent box” treatment and will be taxed at 10%.  There is also a generous R&D credits scheme, which is generally accepted to reduce R&D costs by up to 25% (depending on the size of the company).  Some of these factors mean that more than just creating a European holding company friendly regime, the UK is increasingly being looked at in international organisations as an IP holding jurisdiction or for a top company in US pre-IPO re-organisations.

Thank you Richard.

To find out more about available office property in the Silicon Roundabout area contact Kushner here.

Artwork by award winning British Artist JJ Adams visit for details

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