How UK SME’s Can Use Brexit As an Opportunity to Grow Their European Business

For the 48% of us that voted to remain inside the European Union, the referendum result came initially as an unwelcome shock to most of those who are in the business of doing business. But as Napoleon Hill once pointed out, every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.

Agile and forward thinking UK SME’s can mitigate the risks associated with leaving the EU by structuring their affairs in such a way that they do not actually leave it at all.

Creating an EU subsidiary will not only allow them to capitalise on the opportunities afforded by continuing to freely trade with the remaining 27 member states within the world’s largest trading bloc, but also it will give them a distinct advantage over their UK competitors who don’t seize the initiative and simply retreat behind the drawbridge and wait to see what happens next. Procrastination is not only the thief of time, it also does a pretty good job of ensuring that business is not as brisk as it should be.

Consequently, the post-Brexit period of widespread uncertainty in which we now find ourselves in is the perfect time for UK companies to secure their future by opening a branch office in Europe’s powerhouse economy, Germany.

Not only will so doing ensure that they can continue to trade and to provide services throughout the entire European Union but also it will alleviate any fears that customers or suppliers might have by demonstrating that they are fully committed to the European project, despite the Brexit outcome and all the uncertainties associated with it.

Securing a foothold in Europe’s key market, therefore, offers enormous advantages to SME’s already trading with Germany, but also to companies that have been considering establishing a presence in Europe anyway.

Only an hour or so flight from most UK airports, Germany has a business friendly tax and legal system and its central location within Europe makes it the natural choice for British companies looking to establish a subsidiary or branch office on the continental mainland.

The most common legal form is to establish a GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) which is German for “company with limited liability” – The name of the GmbH form emphasizes the fact that the owners (Gesellschafter, also known as members) of the entity are not personally liable for the company’s debts.

It is widely accepted that a GmbH is formed in three stages: the founding association, which is regarded as a private partnership with full liability of the founding partners/members; the founded company (often styled as “GmbH I.G.”, with “I.G.” standing for in Gründung – literally “in the founding stages”, with the meaning of “registration pending”); and finally the fully registered GmbH. Only the registration of the company in the Commercial Register (Handelsregister) provides the GmbH with its full legal status.

Under German law, the GmbH must have a minimum founding capital, from which €12,500 have to be raised before registering in the commercial register. The company is run only by the managing directors (Geschäftsführer) who have an unrestricted proxy for the company and must be either a national of a European Union country or have a German work permit. Shareholders, on the other hand, can be any UK entity, be it a person or a UK Limited company.

Other factors to bear in mind when establishing a presence in Germany includes securing a business address, launching a German language website – local law dictates this must include an ‘impressum’ which outlines company details, appointing a good tax consultant, and hiring at least one German speaking representative that can help during the formation period and possibly beyond.

Unlike in the UK, joining the local chambers of commerce is mandatory. However, doing so will allow members grow their business contacts. Social network XING is their LinkedIn, which is another useful way to engage with prospective customers or partners.

Brexit came as a shock to most Germans. Many are Anglophiles at heart and would welcome the opportunity to continue working with British companies that elected not to leave the European Union after all.

Top 9 Unbeatable Gold’s Realities and the Economic Impact on the United States of America

Based on available statistics and history, the gold boom of 1800s has significant economic impacts on the USA and of course brought magnificent human migration into America.

This yellow substance (gold) was discovered by John Sutter in Northern California about 1848 and 90% of gold mined were extracted from the ground according to human history.

However, with technological advancement in all areas, the exploration of gold has become a major and booming business with indelible mark in the growth of US economy and migration to America.

In view of the above, it becomes pertinent to made mention of the following realities about gold and how it brings a turn-around in US economy;

1. 1852 statistics of gold. About 92% of the major key players in the gold booming business of that time were male while the insignificant female was assigned to ancillary services such as servers and brothel employees.

2. John Sutter’s mill. This was originally known as inception-base of gold mill situated in California. Despite the significant, unbeatable and unforgettable discovery (gold) of John Sutter, prevalent records shows that he was not rich by this ancient landmark discovery. In fact, information revealed that his workers abandoned the mill in search for gold and this mill was later over-run by prospectors.

3. Boomtown merchants. These were fully in control of the booming business of that time and they even generated more revenue than those in the actual business of gold mining. Due to the success of these merchants and the available captive markets gave birth to major companies of today, to mention but few, Wells Fargo, Studebakers and Armour Foods.

4. Mass migration into USA. This great discovery and adventure resulted to the biggest human migration in American history, initial with about 100, 000 people in California Territory compared with the 7, 000 non-indigenes as at January 1848.

5. The North Carolina experience. History tells us that 17 pound gold nugget was discovered in Cabarrus County in 1798 with about 30, 000 people involved. Really, this was not an eye-opener until the John Sutter discovery of 1848.

To this end, the gold boom shaped the US economy in the highlighted ways;
6. Booming merchants and commercial businesses were established. Sutter’s discovery brought a real turn-around in US economic activities. It was during this period that some of the major businesses and household names that we know today were established.

7. Massive population increase. Prior to Sutter’s gold discovery, records showed that about 150 people lived in Old Sacramento and California Territory having a population of few thousands. The 1848 gold search and business brings about exponential growth and geometric progression in the population of America.

8. 1850 financial union. That year, California was listed in the union of financial boom and the increased population made it a center of attraction to US politicians.

9. Massive growth in the agricultural and transportation sectors. During this period, more roads, bridges and railway lines were constructed and agricultural business and farming grew magnificently that California became self-sufficient in agricultural and food productions.

Now, intrinsically when we write about gold, we are not talking of fables but precious metals/bullion that can be trace back to human history. Furthermore, how you utilized this cogent information for your 401k and taxation planning will definitely have significant impact on your retirement, estate and old age. See you at the top.

Adewale Olofinnika has his primary calling in Risk Management, a chartered risk manager that have been operating in the financial market for over two decades; being fitted by knowledge, training and passion he became an internet marketer and expert writer who has made landmarks in various niches on the internet. Of paramount importance in all dealings are professionalism, ethics, attention to details, integrity, uprightness etc.

Gold Bullion is the Wisest Choice to Utilize Your 401k (USA)

Obviously, as citizens or residents of the United States of America, retirement planning/saving account is cogent issues towards maximizing your financial future/security to fullest. And investment in gold bullion is the safe haven through the mechanism of utilizing proceeds of the 401k.

This might be a strategic or challenging decision for young employees/graduates but a watchword for them is to keep their “credit life” (Credit Cards) very low and make provisions for the “rainy day” by signup to their employer’s 401K.

Bolts and Knots of 401K
401K is retirement savings/investment account whereby the employees set aside certain part of the monthly salary before tax. Majority of the employers have this package or corresponding equivalents for their employees for the purpose of enhancing long term savings.

Almost every contract have the pros and cons, 401K also is not exempted. The identifiable merits of 401K are highlighted below;
1. Deferred taxation. The contribution from your salary towards the 401K is deducted at source before taxation. Therefore, it is tax-free at the time of contribution but the tax applicability is deferred to later years when you are cashing out of the system.

2. Reduction in taxable income. Sequel to number one above, because your contribution is not taxable, the tax payable by you is based on the balance of your salary after the deduction for 401K. This has drastically reduced your taxable income and tax paid on weekly/monthly basis as the case may be.

3. Matching contribution. The 401K is a saving towards your retirement and your employer also supposed to be part of that contribution. Some employers that recognized the importance of retirement provisions for their employees offered a matching contribution, which is a specified percentage added to the contribution of the employees.

4. Long term savings/investment. This retirement savings can be for several years (long term), take for instance an employee that join the service of the employer at age 20 can have the opportunity of contributing until retirement age (60 years). That means his/her contribution is for a period of 40years, thus having a huge accumulation of fund at retirement.

5. Compounded ROI. The returns on investment is compounded and this will enhanced the speedy growth of the accumulated fund over years.

The opposite of the above are the drawbacks of 401K retirement planning as specified below.
i. Limited investment opportunities. You only have the option of choosing investment opportunity among those provided by scheme in-house or managed by advisory.

ii. High operational expenses. The professional fees and other expenses in managing the scheme is usually high compare with the individual retirement account (IRA).

iii. Pre-retirement cash-out penalties. Early cash-out from the scheme will merit a penalty being a specified percentage as stated by the terms and conditions of the investment portfolio.

Now, having discussed extensively about the advantages and disadvantages of 401K, the question is how do l utilized my 401K retirement savings.

Utilization of 401K retirement fund
Sincerely, you have various options at your disposal ranging from company stock to index fund, bond, “target date” retirement fund etc.

To this end, the simplest course of action is to pinpoint the lowest cost and most diversified investment fund that take cognizance of gold bullion as part of the investment combo.

You can also read other publications on this blog that specified the importance/reasons why gold bullion must be part of your investment portfolio.

Adewale Olofinnika has his primary calling in Risk Management, a chartered risk manager that have been operating in the financial market for over two decades; being fitted by knowledge, training and passion he became an internet marketer and expert writer who has made landmarks in various niches on the internet.

Why Do I Need an International Freight Forwarder?

An international freight forwarder uses their knowledge and their network of shippers and shipping agents to ensure your shipments arrive on time and in compliance of federal law. Additionally, their extensive knowledge of the trade routes, agents and shippers can result in significant savings versus doing it yourself. Freight forwarders are experts in shipping and coordinate daily with all types of goods and how to most effectively move them around the globe. Unless your company has a dedicated logistics person who also spend their time moving goods every day, your company will benefit from utilizing the services of a freight forwarder.

Save Time and Resources with a Freight Forwarder

Shipping and logistics can be extremely complicated and regulations governing international trade are changing rapidly. Air and ocean bookings can be handled by numerous carriers and there are tools available to international freight forwarders that expedite the process. Tracking and tracing, on-line bookings and years of relationships allow a professional freight forwarder to book freight on the most efficient and economical routes in a fraction of the time it would take someone who only occasionally books freight.

Save Money

By partnering with an international freight forwarder you are taking control of your shipment with an experienced advocate. Many companies leave the shipping to their overseas supplier, and in some cases this may be the most cost effective if; your supplier is a large volume shipper who has dedicated contracts at good rates and if your supplier is actually passing these saving on to you. However, you can only be sure if you take the time to comparison shop and explore what options are available to you. This is best done through an international freight forwarder who has the experience to understand what options are available. By partnering with a freight forwarder who understands your business needs you can design a shipping plan that meets both your time and cost needs.

Compliance Issues

It is important to have a strong understanding of the laws regarding imports and exports in every country that you deal with. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations can result in sanctions on your company. These sanctions can include fines, fees and a ban on doing business in a specific country. One of the most valuable benefits of hiring international shipping companies to help you with your shipping needs is their knowledge and experience with these issues. You can be assured that your freight will be transported in compliance with all rules and regulations, protecting you from any legal issues.

If you are looking to hire one of the many international freight forwarders to help you with your shipping needs, Bali Intercont Cargo can help. We have many years of experience in the global shipping trade, and can get your goods where they need to go according to your schedule and your budget. Our commitment to excellence makes us the best choice for shipping and logistics needs. Contact us today to learn more!

Global Business? Speak the Language and Content of Your Client

According to many sociologists, in the last decades we have been experiencing a “sea change” in several fields of humanity, from technology, science, economy to politics. This huge shift they talk about is called “Globalization” and it has deeply affected our lifestyle, our habits, the entire social structure and hence the way we deal with the contemporary world.

As a matter of fact, our world seems to have been experiencing a sort of time-space compression since 1972, as a famous anthropologist and geographer, namely David Harvey, affirmed in his famous book The condition of Postmodernity: An enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (HARVEY, David, The condition of Postmodernity: An enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change, Blackwell, 1992). Think out to the rapid flow of information triggered by the ICT revolution that nowadays enables us to send a message to the other side of the world in real time through “a click on the palm of our hand”. Think out to the increased flexibility of the means of transports thanks to the technological advancements that enable us to move throughout the world in a matter of hours. All these improvements have made the world get smaller and smaller in a metaphorical sense so that today in the business field organizations are no longer bounded by their geographical location.

All of a sudden, their markets have no limits at all and they can start looking at new opportunities overseas where they could not even imagine going only some years ago. In other words, what happens is that they become global and, as they achieve this new status, their new customer targets are no longer exclusively constituted of local clients. New global segments emerge that share more or less the same lifestyle thanks to globalization. For instance, the Chinese women of the emerging middle-class act like and identify themselves with the American women.

Companies willing to internationalize have a desperate need to start off from internationalizing their communication… but, wouldn’t it be enough to use English for their foreign communication?? Perhaps, the jury is still out on this issue but No! We definitely think No and we are going to show you why below.

Multilingual communication: fundamental for going global in business

In today’s global economy multilingual communication is an essential tool to succeed in business because:

  • buyers in every country are increasingly demanding products or services described in their own language
  • companies that realize the point above too late inevitably lose market shares and 33% reduction in long-term profitability of the product life cycle on average, according to McKinsey&Co
  • companies’ global brands decline in value if they speak a non-local language

Unfortunately, it seems that many organizations are failing to address their efforts towards localization and translations along with creating relevant and valuable multilingual digital content. If they do it, most of the time is just an accidental process without neither a carefully considered plan nor relying on a well-conceived strategy behind it.Redefining the value of content management: towards multilingual global content management

The user, potentially interested in a product or service just Googles it on the Internet and guess what? Among the Google’s list of results, he picks out and clicks only on those delivered in his own language. This action will be repeated in any touch point of its online journey before ending up purchasing the searched product or service.

Therefore, what a business would better do is to start redefining the value of its content management and upgrade it to a multilingual global content management. The latter drives the global customer experience, increases the customer satisfaction, promotes the brand awareness, its consistency and supports the time to market goals. Moreover, since the content is a significant corporate asset, it must be managed as any other corporate asset, hence it is imperative to turn it into a multilingual one and working relentlessly on its translation to the client/user’s idiom.

As the former German Chancellor Willy Brandt once said:

If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen.

(Then we must speak German)

Although one might be induced to think that simply embedding a Google Translator plugin into his business website would do the trick, it would soon find out how short sighted this choice is. Not only would translations turn out to be of poor quality but this would also heavily affect the reputation of its business and brand.

Furthermore, a global economy is more and more requiring not only a multilingual content but also a content which is appropriate to the targeted population. In other words, a business must meet the expectations in terms of localization and translation processes of a targeted country, otherwise even a perfectly translated message might sound weird for a native speaker.

For instance, a Spanish firm could use in its website an expression such as

llevar el gato al agua – to take the cat to the water

to highlight that they have fulfilled a very complex task in a particular job, a feat.

Clearly, the English translation does not convey the same meaning of the original Spanish one and a web user would feel puzzled when reading this expression. As a consequence, that business would not be perceived as professional and its reputation would soon break down into pieces. It goes without saying that the user/potential customer would dash off to another business website and, perhaps, buy a product or service from the competitor.