A Guide to Business Opportunities in the UK

Companies are often looking for opportunities to develop their business further. In any business area it is important that you have the right human resources and the strategic backing of the people within the region you are moving into.

More than 330,000 new companies are registered in the UK every year, and they join over two million existing businesses of many different sizes. Every year hundreds of firms, from high-tech start-ups to global brand leading businesses, receive substantial advice and support in locating to the UK.

In the North East of England, a regional development company leads one of the biggest and most extensive partnerships in the country for supporting inward investors. Partners include UK Trade and Investment, the North East Chamber of Commerce, CBI North East and the region’s five universities which are Northumbria University, University of Newcastle, Sunderland University, University of Durham and Teesside University.

With five universities in the region it adds up to a lot of academic expertise as well as a lot of business based expertise. How do businesses go forward with all of this? First you will have to decide if the North east is somewhere your business could fit and how you could go about registering a business in the UK. We’ve done some research so that you can access all of this when looking for business opportunities in the UK [http://www.investnortheastengland.com/page/business.cfm].

Business Culture

The UK has an open and business-friendly culture that is highly tuned to the demands of international markets. UK businesses are responding to global changes and increasing worldwide competition by facing outwards and adapting new ideas and thinking quickly. This knowledge-driven approach, backed by huge public investments in education, training and business support, is a high priority in regions like North East England. This makes it an ideal place to relocate or find new business opportunities that are UK based [http://www.investnortheastengland.com/page/business/culture.cfm].

Forming a company

Companies House co-ordinates the administration of businesses in the UK. It is where new companies must be registered. Detailed guidance on the requirements for forming a company is available at the Companies House website. There are four types of registered company: private company limited by shares; private company limited by guarantee; private unlimited company; public company limited by shares. The overwhelming majority of overseas businesses are established in the UK as either private or public companies limited by shares.

Expertise and support organisations place North East England in a unique position to support companies in the commercialisation of research and getting new products to market through research and development expertise.

Is My Business Ready to Incorporate?

Most small business owners often face the dilemma of knowing that using a corporation or LLC can help their business but are not certain if their businesses are big enough to warrant the expense. There are a three key factors that can assist the business owner in making that determination so they can move ahead with confidence.

o First, how much cash is coming through the business? If the business is netting (after expenses) over $60,000 a year, it is wise to look at incorporating. This can cut your taxes substantially, even up to half ! This difference in your self-employment tax saved one of my real estate agent clients in Nevada more than $10,000 on her personal taxes last year. That money she then turned around and invested in additional rental property, creating additional income for her and her young family.

o Second factor is that of liability risk and asset protection. How much liability does your business have and how much do you stand to lose if there is a problem? I recently heard of a business owner in California who owned a 7-11. He did not want to spend the money incorporating since he was not making a big profit. Turns out a teenager got shot in his parking lot and was paralyzed. He ended up not only losing the 7-ll but also his two rental properties and his life savings.

So, if you have a lot of personal assets OR you have a high liability business, you might want to consider incorporating.

o Third is the protection of your personal credit. By setting up a corporation or LLC, it is possible to create a secondary credit source for your business expenses. This can free up your personal credit score, allowing for additional business expansion and investment. I am currently working with a Hispanic gentleman who is going great guns in a multi-level marketing company, and also has 6 real estate properties. So he has the $80,000 a year income from the multi-level and needs to protect the properties. All of this has been done in his personal credit. To take his professionalism to the next level and to make sure his family has long term protection, he is setting up a series of LLCs to protect his properties, a Living Trust to ensure his preschool children are provided for and beginning the process of having a new line of credit with having business or corporate credit. This opens up new avenues of loans and investment possibilities.

Global Investment Scenario

With rapidly changing economic equation, the emerging economies like China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Russia, Brazil et cetera are all set to steal the focus of investors from USA & Europe. No wonder that these new economic powers are growing very fast and tables will be shifted sooner than later. America used to “drive the bus” in global economic terms; now other areas of the world are getting more attention. USA is suffering from economic recession and Federal Reserve is confused on whether to increase the interest rates and keep inflation under check or to reduce the rates and help economy grow.

In spite of fears about the sub prime situation, the U.S.A. economy grew 3.8% during the third quarter, and the employment data appear to be holding up well. Though the impact of the sub-prime crisis and housings market slow-down on the US economic system may have been restrained up to now, economic indicators are indicating that the economy will slow down. Business and consumer confidence appear to be damping in both the US and Eurozone, and leading indicators are too in a negative trend. Till the credit situation clears up, investors will remain edgy allowing high risk credit assets still vulnerable to a further sell-off.

It is expected that sub-prime crisis will cause more troubles in 2008. So, there is not much hope left there and so, the big investors have already started investing money in developing countries like India. Hence it makes lot of sense in investing in these emerging economies.

Where to invest amongst these emerging economies is a tough call to take. One one side China has a history of delivering continuous 9%+ growth rate per year for past so many years but i snow trying to slow down to contain inflation. On the other side, India is much less trade- and export-oriented than China and has poor infrastructure which is being developed. As a result, India banks more on the domestic consumer for overall growth and job creation. That also makes it harder to attract productivity-enhancing foreign direct investment but this insulates India from recession in global markets.

In this situation, the safest way for a retail investor to benefit from this growth is by investing in Global Emerging Economy Funds offered by many mutual fund companies. However, if one wants to invest directly in stock markets then one need to be extra cautious because even though these countries are growing fast and will continue to grow, there are many stocks that will not give good returns and some may even result in complete loss of capital. And if you invest all of your money in one country, then you are putting your money at huge risk.

Also, any company or firm irrespective of its size, which aspires to be a global player cannot for long ignore India and china as they are to become high growth emerging economies. India has a vast potential for foreign investment and foreign players find it their next investment destination. India is an investment goldmine for long-term growth. While short term profits may be churned out from time to time but they are not of a penny worth in the longer run.

Investing in Gold is a also great option of saving your money in view of decreasing value of USD, whenever US investors get jittery about prospect of US economy they turn to gold as a safe haven. Hence gold might have room for higher levels from where they are today. You can invest money in gold by buying it physically or by buying gold funds offered by many financial institutes.