European Business Investment in 2017 and Beyond

Oct 25, 2017 by

When a company gets to a certain point in its success, having broadened through perhaps local and national growth and development first, there then comes the time when the next step lends itself to thought of international expansion. However, expanding abroad can be a veritable minefield of rules and regulations. Your executives and stakeholders might be excited at the prospect, but opening regional offices or even relocating headquarters to a foreign country takes careful planning and consideration. It is temporally draining to make sure such a move doesn’t become financially draining, too. Expanding internationally might open your brand up to new markets and greater future possibilities, but you need to ensure you’re prepared to face the serious risks involved, as well, including external company appropriation.

A Question of Location

Emerging markets might seem attractive at first, but in reality pose too much danger as regards infrastructure when it comes to the novice brand seeking opportunity abroad. Instead, “established” and “thriving” are important words. The three largest economies in Europe are Germany, the UK, and France and connected to all three of these are the Netherlands. Many brands have decided to tap into that central link to over 500 million consumers for obvious reasons, but transport and interconnectedness also play an important part, too.

A key consideration is how a company gets its product or services to customers. Ranked #4 in the world for Global Logistics Performance, the Netherlands work on a 100% digital telecommunications network, proving it a wholly reliable country in which to branch out abroad. Indeed, Holland is “hot” right now, its inward investments having increased 10% this year alone.

However, one size does not fit all. Some might select Canada, for its 15% corporate income tax, but in general Europe offers plenty of choice and its corporate income tax rates start at 20%, rising only to 25% (in comparison to 35% here; one of the highest rates in the world), and that’s seriously attractive. The past decade was the most difficult for the economy in the post-war era in Europe, but the horizon is brightening, despite ongoing tensions between mainland Europe and the UK post the Brexit vote. Nonetheless, Sweden is set to benefit greatly from 2018, while Poland might a deceleration for a time.

Property and Taxation

Of course, once you’ve decided on the best country for expanding into, the next consideration is of address and tangible property. This is where a savvy company invests in property that can be sold wisely at a later date (for example, if its foreign endeavors don’t pay off), or opts to utilize Section 1031 of the Inland Revenue Code Sections (simplified by firms like 1031 Gateway for those not fluently versed in tax law) and swap domestic property for foreign, often directly. This can then lead to the contested subject of inversion and renounced US Citizenship of the company, thereby no longer being culpable for US corporate income tax. A win-win in theory, but vastly complicated in practice.

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What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing Credit Cards?

Aug 6, 2017 by

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing Credit Cards?

Credit cards are a double-edged sword. They are convenient, universally accepted, and relatively easy to acquire. However, not all credit cards are created equal. Credit cards for personal or business use confer many benefits on their owners. It is estimated that some 9 million US businesses alone accept credit card payments, and that number is growing all the time.

The importance of credit cards in international financing and transactions cannot be overstated. They make up the bulk of e-commerce transactions, retail operations, and remittances to utility companies, et al. However, there are fees and charges which need to be considered when evaluating credit cards.

Tips for Choosing Credit Cards

First things first: there are many types of credit cards that you can apply for. Since your options are virtually ‘unlimited’, it’s important to take your time. Experts advise clients to consider their personal and business requirements when picking one card over another. Another crucial factor is how payments will be made.

Ideally, you will want to pay off your card in full by the end of the month, but many folks spread their payments over a period of time. Remember, timely payments (in full) will avoid the interest-related charges. Interest is payable on cash that is borrowed against the card, and this typically comes at a higher cost. Here are some of the most important factors to look for when picking one credit card over another:

  • Application Fees and Annual Fees – £0 application fees, and £0 annual fees are preferred.
  • Rewards such as Loyalty Points (LPs) – certain credit cards are known to reward their account holders with points for pounds spent. Provided these points can be redeemed somewhere useful, this can be a major enticement for credit card holders.
  • The Annual Percentage Rate – compare credit cards based on their APRs and choose a card with the lowest APR. It’s not always just the APR that needs to be factored in – it’s also charges, benefits, and associated fees.
  • Fees for Exceeding Your Credit Balance – these can quickly rise out of control if you do not stay within your credit limit. Much the same is true if you are late in paying your credit card bill.
  • Making Minimum Monthly Repayments – this is important, since the lower your repayments the higher your interest -related charges.
  • Cashback Offers – credit cards offering the highest cashback percentages are preferred by businesses and individuals. Look around for cards offering a minimum of 1% – 3% in cashback. This money will be refunded back to your credit card.
  • Balance Transfer Fees with Credit Cards – if you have an existing credit card account, your new credit card provider may encourage you to transfer your existing balance over to your new accounts. Check the fees associated with making the transfer before you rush into the transaction. Fees are typically a percentage of the transferred amount or a fixed figure.

Ways to Maximize your Credit Card Utilization

For starters, it’s always a good idea to pay down high-interest credit card debt first before you pay down low-interest credit card debt. If possible, try and use a credit card with 0% interest to pay off your other cards with higher interest. The 0% interest credit cards can be available for up to 18 months. Take advantage of these if your credit score is good.

You can transfer your credit balance from high-interest credit cards to the 0% interest credit card and take advantage of the interest-free holiday. This makes it much more affordable for you to pay off your balance, without paying interest on your interest. You will typically encounter a fee when transferring a balance, and this could be as high as 3%. If your outstanding credit card balance is high, this option will certainly help you.

It’s also a good idea to utilize different credit cards for in-person transactions and recurring monthly transactions. If a card goes missing for any reason, it will have a limited impact on your recurring monthly charges or your in-person credit card transactions. In all cases, it’s important to use credit aggregator services to evaluate the merits of one credit card against another. Cashback, rewards points, 0% APR, and other offers are important considerations when choosing credit cards.

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Call in the Experts and create the Space your Business needs

Apr 20, 2015 by

Call in the Experts and create the Space your Business needs

If the economy is about to start booming once again – and there are a number of so-called experts who are claiming that it will – the effects on the world of commerce are likely to be instant. The construction industry traditionally shows the first signs of both good and bad economic times, so many are watching it with bated breath now.

Should things definitely be improving, there will be a great many companies which will feel the need to expand their working operations. This will include retail outlets that suddenly find they don’t have enough of a sales area, offices that have to house more employees and workshops that require more room for heavy machinery.

The owners and operators of these businesses will have to make some important decisions in the coming months and years, and the outcome of their deliberations will have a major impact on the success or failure of their companies. We all like to think we can handle pressure in our lives, of course, but pressure in business is intense.

Can your company justify the cost of moving to a new location?

Should an organisation decide to move into larger premises, there will be a great deal of cost involved, of course. The potential benefits will have to justify the price of the move, not to mention the upheaval that will be involved. Taking such a decision will be a big step, and it is one that could be fraught with problems along the way.

Every single plus and minus point of such a decision needs to be taken into account, and in truth the owners, CEOs and directors need to think about alternatives before taking the plunge. In some cases, their existing workplace locations will already be large enough for their needs, as long as they use a little imagination to make it so.

In many sites, things can be made easier with a mezzanine floor construction, a process that will create more space in the workplace with very little in the way of upheaval. The business can carry on working as normal while the experts install a new floor in very little time. This is a solution that will work very well in many places.

If you have a company and you never seem to have enough room in which to work, this could be the answer to all of your problems. We all need to make sure our firms are able to expand at the right time and for the right price, so if we are able to do so without having to pay a small fortune, the chances of success will be greater.

Making the decision to expand any operation is never an easy one, even when the economy is as strong as it could be, but it may be that the future of the business will depend upon expansion. This is why it is imperative for every owner and director to consider all the issues before say yes to either a new mezzanine or new premises.

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