At Payhawk, we've had plenty of experience with fast growth and scaling up. For example, when we opened our first UK office in London. We wanted to grow our customer base in the UK, so it made sense to set up a base in the market and hire local personnel. But we knew we couldn't do it alone.
Working with the right partners
In our ebook, Scaling into the UK, in association with Mishcon de Reya, we've shared some of the best advice we picked up along the way. For us, scaling into the UK was actually easier than expanding into some of our other locations, but there was still a lot to figure out. We couldn't have opened our London office without the support of our legal advisors Mishcon de Reya.
"At Mishcon de Reya, we've supported so many exciting businesses as they look to scale and enter the UK market. The UK is an attractive place to set up shop, not least given the ease of setting up a company, the relatively light regulatory landscape, and potential tax breaks," explained Andrew Wolfin, Partner at Mishcon de Reya. "It makes sense to get yourself a good lawyer and accountant who can guide you through the process and paperwork and get you up and running as quickly as possible."
Once you have your partners in place, you need to think about the kind of setup you need for your UK entity and how to best manage the process.
Five things to consider when expanding to the UK
- What kind of business will you open, e.g., Ltd or LLP? A separate entity or a branch?
- How much of the process will you do solo vs. working with an accountant and law firm?
- How much of the setup can you manage remotely?
- What will your timeline be?
- How much will the process cost?
Next steps: How to make your UK entity official
As our CEO and co-founder, Hristo Borisov, explained in the ebook, even with the support of partners, opening in new entities involves some guesswork. There aren't that many materials out there to explain the process step by step. The lack of information is precisely why we created Scaling into the UK: to help other entrepreneurs break into the market more easily.
"I wish there’d been a guide available to serve as a checklist for every country to which we expanded. This wishful thinking is how the idea of building a set of guides on scaling into countries around Europe was born. It's our way to pay it forward to other entrepreneurs and business leaders who wish to break new grounds, reach new horizons, and create genuinely multinational organizations," Hristo Borisov, CEO at Payhawk, said.
In the UK, a few key places will require most of your effort when setting up. Companies House is the major one, as this is where you'll register your company, directors, office address, and more.
Find all the links and information you need to open in the UK in the guide, including:
- Company details
- Information for Companies House
- Corporate taxes
- Employing people
Finance for scaleups
Now you've figured out your company type, you've met your accountant, and you've chosen your UK business name, you need to consider how you'll manage your finances.
You'll need to think about your overall finance stack, including how you'll manage bookkeeping and payroll and which ERP system you'll use.
We have you covered when it comes to company cards and reimbursements (employee reimbursements and expense management software). At Payhawk, we offer the most efficient physical and virtual company cards, with 3% cashback on card payments capped at your subscription. With our support, you can grow into new locations without adding extra complications to your company's spending. Plus, using our cards and software, you have the opportunity to take your business cashless with zero currency fees on GBP and Euros, great spend control and visibility, and a positive user experience.
We can also help you manage your bill payments and invoices as each Payhawk account has a dedicated IBAN and BIC, meaning you can pay your vendors directly via our portal. And we support both Faster Payments (GBP) and SEPA Instant (EUR) bank transfers technology — allowing your transactions to be processed in seconds.
Growing won’t be painless, but it will be worth it. And with the help of our guide and the right partners, it can definitely feel easier. Learn more about opening an entity in the UK and scaling your finance stack; download the guide today.