The UK is an interesting prospect for those currently deciding where to base their new business ventures. With the Brexit referendum last year, followed by the triggering of article 50 in March, it looked as though a hard Brexit was the course decided upon. With the UK on the verge of entering into trade negotiations that would define how UK based businesses would trade with Europe and the rest of the world, the UK could offer a rare prospect for businesses – a country with a solid economic reputation and business infrastructure, but which would be focusing on creating a good business environment in order to create a strong economy once separate from the EU.
Royalty free photo
Of course, things have been shaken up a little by the announcement of a snap general election, to be held on June 8th. While the general thought is that UK Prime Minister Theresa May called this election (three years before an election would be technically due) in order to cement her position and progress with her Brexit strategy with the perceived approval of the voters, there is no certainty that things will play out like this. While the Conservative Party appear to be the strong favourites to win, as we saw with the US presidential elections and the Brexit referendum itself, we are living in an age where votes are very hard to predict.
Currency Market Volatility
The announcement of the upcoming election saw the FTSE 100 take a nosedive. In financial terms, this doesn’t really mean that the market think the election is a bad idea, or a good one, but is a fairly normal response to anything that introduces extra uncertainty. Brexit had already created a sense of risk in the markets, however the pound has seen some improvements since the referendum – both where other currencies like the dollar also experienced volatility for their own reasons, and where things relating to Brexit became somewhat clearer – for example when the ‘hard Brexit’ plan was confirmed.
What does this mean for businesses based in Britain? Well, the run up to the election should be a very volatile time for the pound as well as the stock market, and this may continue after the results are in too, especially if there is a surprise result. If a party other than the Tories wins, Brexit plans may be changed and until an approach is clear, the markets will be reticent when it comes to the pound. UK businesses will need to pay a lot of attention to forex rates and perhaps come up with currency trading strategies using platforms like FXPro to avoid losing out while the pound may well be weak.
Imagine the following scenario: you’ve worked hard to come through on your promise for a client to deliver your product or service, only for them to not pay you – what do you do?
Firstly, you’ll probably feel acute frustration and annoyance at this and you may also feel at a loss as to what to do, particularly as a small business. Well, this need not be the case, there are ways and means for you to get the payment you deserve and in this post you can find some examples of what you can do.
Don’t go in all-guns blazing in the first instance, as the client may have made a genuine mistake. To check if this is the case, you should formally and politely get in touch to remind them that a payment is due and await to see what happens.
If they acknowledge this and then still refuse to pay you, you then need to look into legal proceedings.
Seek Professional Advice
Before you address them from a legal standpoint though, it’s worth getting on board some expert support to help you build your case. A specialist firm like Withers for instance would be able to assess the situation and support you with your endeavours, looking at everything from the contractual law, to what action to take. Such an approach is particularly useful for a smaller business which may not have the expertise needed for handling all this.
Take them to Court
Once you’ve built up a legal case – whether you use external support or not – you can then look to take them to the small claims court; details of which can be found for UK residents on this useful Government page. Depending on whether or not the client then pays, this may be taken a court hearing where the issue will be discussed further and then hopefully resolved.
What to do in the Future
It’s also worth putting in some steps before the payment deadline to help prevent this situation from happening. You may wish to:
- Send the client reminders of when the payment is due throughout the month
- Subtly, refer back to any contractual agreements when you first deliver your product/service
- Make a detailed record of every interaction and schedule you meet
So, work to make sure you get the money you’ve earned and don’t let customers take advantage of you by using some, or all of, the above advice with your small business.
Happy Chinese New Year, from the team at Startupr Hong Kong Limited!
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Holidays are a time of gratitude and giving. Warmest wishes for a joyful holiday season from the team at Startupr. We are grateful for your partnership and look forward to working together in the year to come!
Please note that our office in Hong Kong will be closed on Monday, December 26th and Tuesday, December 27th 2016. We will resume operation on Wednesday, December 28th, 2016.
The liabilities and responsibilities of company directors derive from the constitution of the company, statue law as well as case law.
Directors of Hong Kong companies are advised to follow the general principles. The Registrar in Hong Kong has issued a guide which is available on their website for free download (www.cr.gov.hk).
Banks around the world tightened requirement for new bank account openings earlier this year as a result of intense pressure from regulators particularly from the perspective of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.
After a flood of complaints from business owners and small and medium entities that were affected the most, Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority decided to take action and announces that it will roll out new guidelines to make Hong Kong, once again, one of the easiest and best places to bank. The guidelines should include simplified account opening procedure for foreigns, foreign business, and startups.
The requirements for a new bank account in Hong Kong should be appropriate with multiple factors and a small company should not be required to submit the same documentation as a big company with high revenue.
This approach will certainly strengthen Hong Kong as a world’s financial centre and will boost the SME business in Hong Kong.
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act, announced changes to the information that is to be provided to Companies House annually.
The most significant change is that from the 30th of June, 2016 the Annual Return will be replaced by the Confirmation Statement.
Confirmation Statement is a report of certain company information at the made-up date. Limited company incorporated in the UK must file the Confirmation Statement. The Confirmation statement should be filed 12 months after incorporation and each year after.
Confirmation Statement vs. Annual Return
– With the Confirmation Statement the company does not have to deliver information that have been provided previously
– Grace period has been reduced to 14 days
– No set date when the confirmation statement must be made. Although the period must not exceed 12 months between each confirmation statement
– The company can file more confirmation statements in one year and will be charged only once
The Confirmation Statement can be filed either by paper or electronically which is quick and easy.
Do you want to open a bank account out of Hong Kong? It only takes a few steps!
Every company incorporated in Singapore must appoint a secretary within 6 months of the date of its incorporation and the position must not be left vacant for more than 6 months. The company secretary must be residing locally in Singapore and he/she must not be the sole director of the company.
A Private Company is not required to appoint secretary who is professionally qualified. However, it is the responsibility of the director to appoint someone with the necessary knowledge and experience to perform the functions required of a Company Secretary.
The key roles of the Company Secretary are as follows:
• Maintain the company statutory registers and records
• Lodge and file in time all necessary documents required by law
• Ensure that the company meets all its legal obligations
• Stay updated on relevant developments and changes in statutory and regulatory obligations
• Communicate adequately with shareholder
More information on the appointment of a company secretary may be obtained via www.acra.gov.sg
Startupr’s clients can now enjoy free PayPal Business services!
Free Paypal business account setup and consultancy
The package includes:
– Dedicated Business Consultant to support before, during and after paypal business account opening
– Express Paypal Business account setup
– Bank Account linking
– Paypal merchant welcome kit
– Paypal integration consultancy
– Application of discounted rate for Paypal transaction fee
Don’t hesitate and contact us to find out more information.