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Common mistakes US businesses make when setting up in the UK

07 September 2020

For companies looking to set up in the UK, there are a myriad of issues that can occur. Read our content series to learn what some of these are and how they can be mitigated.

Gayle Davies (nee Woodman)

Partner

Gayle is an experienced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) specialist working predominantly with Northern American businesses looking to set up and grow in the UK and Europe.

Early stage enterprise

Our outsourced offering packages together all the services that a high growth, dynamic business would require to be successful, with one point of contact at RSM to bring them all together.

'If we send a US employee over to the UK, they won’t need a visa’

If you’re looking to sending an employee over to the UK to set up a new team, have you considered the immigration or income tax implications?

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‘We won’t need a local statutory audit of our financial statements’

Just because the parent company financials are being audited, does not mean the local financials do not need to be. While this area isn’t necessarily cut and dry, what should you be aware of?

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‘We’ll hire our first UK employee as a contractor and assume this won’t have any tax implications for our parent company’

If you hire your first UK employee as a contractor, what are the tax implications for an overseas parent entity?

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‘We can issue US-style 'at will' contracts to our new UK hires’

What are some of the differences between UK and US employment requirements? How can you ensure your contracts for UK employees adhere to UK law?

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‘Our US parent company will just sign the UK lease’

When expanding into the UK, what should the parent company should be wary of before signing an office lease in their name?

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‘If we send US employees to the UK, they can stay on the US payroll’

If you send a US employee to the UK, don’t assume you can avoid all UK fillings by just keeping them on the US payroll.

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‘We’ll offer stock options to our UK employees directly out of our US plan and assume the grants will qualify for favourable tax treatment’

As a US company expanding into the UK, the stock options offered to US colleagues typically won’t have the same tax benefits for UK colleagues. How can make granting options more tax efficient?

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