Expanding abroad - Step 2 Place of Business:

2011-04-02 00:00:00

This is the second part of a series on steps to take while planning, launching and executing your expansion abroad.

As mentioned in previous blog entries, I am sharing the experiences we gain at Hull Speed Associates as we assist our clients in expanding abroad. The experiences I share are real situations of how we encourage our clients, and the pragmatic steps we take to help them in this process. I urge you to share your comments by clicking the comments button below. Oh, and please subscribe to the blog if you have not done so already; -).

The second step is the beginning of the expansion phase, choosing a location(s) to establish the legal entity(s). I have chosen the UK as an example as a place to start.

The UK has several legal entity options but on average our clients choose one of the following three: a Place of Business ("Representative Office"), a Branch company, or a UK Limited. Here are a few highlights of a Representative Office.

A Place of Business (Representative Office) are premises where a physical or visible indication exists that the company may be contacted there, or a particular location where the company habitually does business from. Basically a US company "hangs a shingle" as the US company in the UK.

A few items to note:  

Pros:

 

 Cons:

Summary:

One question for me kind of sums it up: �When would this option make sense�? �Well, actually there are cases where it would make sense, especially over a Branch. For companies who want to expand into the UK but for reasons may not want to establish an incorporated entity there are cases where companies receive tax breaks and government development grants by continuing to be incorporated in their home country. Another argument, and for a lot of US companies this is a strong one, it gives them the opportunity to �test the waters� before jumping into the annual reporting requirements and related costs. For a lot of companies this is used as a �First Step� into Europe before making a commitment by establishing an incorporated company.

However, given the liability, lack of qualified talent and perception issues mentioned above, clients do not use this as a long-term option. Once they meet certain internal milestones they then establish a UK Limited company.

I would like to thank Paul W. from our UK service provider for contributing to this entry.

In the next entry I will address �UK Limited�.

Regards,

Bill Hite

 

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