Business Cards – Then and Now

Business cards can be termed as the most important entity for any modern day professional. It is not difficult to understand why. Business cards, after all divulge such important information about an individual like his name, the organisation he is working in, the post he holds, his contact numbers and his e-mail ID. In addition to all this, business cards also give information about the organization one works in and the type of product it churns out. Surely, anything that gives such important information about any person can be nothing, if not important.

No surprises then those business cards enjoy very important status amongst people. However, it would be interesting to know how this phenomenon of business cards started. Well, business cards came into existence in the 15th century in China. In those days, their use was confined to the people belonging to the upper strata of the society. They used these cards to announce their arrival in a house hold. With the passage of time, this practice was picked up by the others as well.

In Europe, business cards marked their arrival in the 17th century. And England is the country that holds the honour of using the business cards for the first time in Europe. The merchant community held its strangle hold over the use of business cards initially. These cards included the name of the stuff sold by the merchants. One unique thing about the business cards used in England in those days was the use of maps guiding people to the shop.

Today, however, business cards have undergone complete change and are available in a wide variety of colours, design and price range giving people ample option to choose from. Though its would not be out of place here to state that simple business cards with all the information would be a far better bet than a flashy one.

Use a UK Sole Representative Visa to Expand Your Business Into the UK

If you are thinking about expanding or relocating your business, London is arguably the most globalised and business friendly city in the World. Any seasoned businessman or investor will tell you then when it comes to starting a new venture, location really is key. Here are my top 10 reasons why you should think about moving your business to London.

1. Market Stability

Leading fiscal institutions predict that the combination of a thriving population, relatively low business taxes and independence from the Eurozone will allow the UK to surpass Germany and become the largest European economy by 2030. Nowhere is this market confidence demonstrated more than by the investment in tall buildings in London. There are over 250 tall buildings either under construction, with planning permission or awaiting permission set to accommodate the next generation of young professionals and the super wealthy in central London.

2. Supply Chain

Whether your business is a service provider or a manufacturer of goods, from centuries of successful experience, there aren’t many places as good as London for a business to find everything it needs at hand. Super fast connectivity or an unbeatable supply chain to design, plan, source, make and ship a product. Being in the heart of a heavily integrated global network puts you steps ahead of your competitors. The UK has established trade relationships and world-class supply networks giving domestic businesses access to every corner of the globe. The UK is currently the world’s 4th largest exporter of finished goods, commodities and services as well as the 4th largest importer.

3. Record low business Tax

From the introduction of the new Conservative UK Government and the release of the new pro business budget, Corporation Tax on UK Businesses is the lowest amongst G7 and G20 countries at just 20%, to be reduced to 18% by 2020. Furthermore, as a green light for innovation and to boost the UK’s knowledge economy there are further tax cuts for the development of Intellectual Property and those investing in research and development.

4. Access to Talent

Access to talent is the most important motivator for businesses to move and can be the biggest issues limiting a business’s growth. Small to medium-sized businesses are usually located where business owners happen to live and not where the optimal workforce may be found. Where talent is in short supply, labour costs will rise. With this in mind, the UK has the highest proportion of higher-education graduates in Western Europe. Businesses that come to the UK have access to one of the World’s most talented resident labour markets and brightest graduates.

5. Popular Culture

If you need to sense which way the wind is blowing, nowhere in the World has such a fresh breeze and I’m not referring to the prevailing weather system. If you and your business rely on being up to date with fashions or current affairs, to capture new trends and exploit opening markets and technologies, then the UK is the right place to be. And, with everything around you to quickly adjust to a dynamic business environment.

6. A guaranteed level playing field

Small or expanding businesses can be particularly vulnerable to subtle market obstacles created by more established competitors. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime regularly produce comparative global stats on crime and corruption and consistently place England, Wales and Scotland at the bottom of countries facing criminal activity such as fraud, bribery and corruption. In accordance with being a business friendly environment, the UK have set up multiple anti corruption bodies and legislative laws to minimise fraud, bribery and corruption through transparent reporting processes and working closing with those who suspect they have been unduly commercially disadvantaged.

7. Digital Telecommunications

The UK Government has committed to funding the further expansion of super fast broadband coverage beyond the major commercial programmes. From a recent independent survey by an independent body, London and nearly all of Britain has the best super-fast broadband in Europe, overtaking Germany and set to make the UK a leading competitor well into the digital information age.

8. Transport Infrastructure

London is at the heart of a relatively large, heavily integrated transport system by road rail and air supported by the most established shipping facility in the World. London has an international hub airport and has the largest air transport system in Europe. London also has on going rail infrastructure investments interconnecting London to other parts of the UK and Europe with an emphasise on constantly improving efficiency and reducing time and cost.

9. Time and Place

London, or more accurately Greenwich, quite literally is at the centre of the known World. Britain’s geographic location makes is possible to trade with Asia over breakfast and the Americas by afternoon tea. Stirling, the currency of Britain, is the World’s oldest currency still in use and the English Language is the UK’s greatest and most enduring export, also the World’s main business language.

10. London and the UK’s Soft Power and Global Influence

The UK is ranked third globally for ‘soft power’ which is to says its ability to influence and persuade other inhabitants of planet Earth without the need for ‘hard power’ (bullets and aircraft carriers). The UK has far-reaching friendly influence based on reputation, culture, creativity, business and political prowess. This advantage also extends to businesses within the UK that can be empowered to shape outcomes and make deals beyond usual boundary limitations. The UK has more membership to international bodies than any other country on the planted, here are a few: the Commonwealth of Nations, the European Union, the G7, the G8, the G20 the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Ultimately if you want to punch above your weight, British companies are empowered to make deals that can free your business to expand globally.

Be part of London’s on-going growth into a new information era and bring your Business to London. There are a number of pro business initiatives that have been set up to aid businessmen, investors and entrepreneurs wishing to see what life is like in London and the UK.

Starting a Business in Europe – Tips for Non European Natives

If you are a non-European native, starting a business in Europe can at times seem very daunting. The regulations you must adhere to change from country to country within Europe, cultural specifics often come into play, and finding someone who actually speaks the language of your corporate destination may be hard to find. Even when you cross all of those bridges, how do you figure out which accountants or attorneys to use? Sure, you could spend hours, even days, scouring the internet, interviewing business formation experts and studying up on all the relevant business laws, but isn’t there a better, quicker, more reliable way of starting a business in Europe? The good news is, if you follow the 5 tips regarding European company formation for foreigners below, your incorporation will be as fast and painless as possible.

1 – Use only local business pros based in Europe

Laws and regulations can change right in the middle of your incorporation efforts, and if you are not employing locals that live and work in the country of your choosing on a daily basis, you can be sunk. Demand that the European company formation expert you choose use only locally trained and headquartered European lawyers and accountants to handle your corporate filing. They work with the bureaucrats who do the paperwork for foreign and overseas business incorporation on a daily basis, and can ensure you the fastest, most stress-free filing possible, at the lowest cost.

2 – Employ a seasoned European corporation firm

New players to the scene arrive all the time, offering ridiculously low price points for incorporation. But before you go with the low ball estimate, ask about the company. Have they been in business long? How many countries do they handle? How many companies have they formed in the past? You are a successful business man or woman because you understand that you get what you pay for. Don’t be misled by bargain basement prices where starting a business in Europe is concerned.

3 – Choose the right country in Europe

There are 27 countries in the European Union (EU), and each one has the freedom to set their own incorporation regulations. When starting a business in Europe, choose carefully, and find the right one to suit your business’ unique needs. Need tax freedom? Ireland offers 0% tax for the first three years if you qualify. Want cheap, skilled labor? Spain may be the country for you. A seasoned company formation expert will know exactly what each country has to offer within Europe.

4 – Pick the right corporate entity in Europe

A Sole Proprietorship is a vastly different animal from a Limited Partnership or Limited Liability Company. The vehicle you choose for your business, whether it is a new start-up, or you are purchasing a ready-made shelf company, is vital to the success of the business goals your company has. And different business formations have different rewards and requirements from country to country.

5 – Get a free consultation

Either through the internet, or by phone, only deal with experts that give you a free consultation before starting a business in Europe. Flat fee only companies with upfront payment schedules should be avoided at all costs. And on that call, make sure the European corporate expert answers each and every question to your satisfaction. Then and only then will you feel comfortable that you are in the hands of a respectable, trustworthy firm with your successful corporation goals in mind.