• Withdrawal of the UK and EU Rules on .eu Domains

    What is happening?

    It is important for businesses to be prepared for complications arising from the UK becoming a “third country” to the EU post-Brexit. One area of complexity relates to businesses based in the UK who hold .eu domain names. The European Commission (“EC”) have issued a Notice setting out the position with regards to .eu domain names, which will have effect as of 30 March 2019 (the “Withdrawal Date”).

  • Data Controllers and the GDPR

    Yet another company has recently been issued a substantial monetary penalty by the Information Commissioners Office (the “ICO”) for failing to ensure sufficient security of its personal data. This comes at a time where cyber attacks are on the rise and becoming more sophisticated. With the GDPR due to come into force in May next year, Data Controllers and Processors need to ensure that they are appropriately securing their personal data more than ever.

  • Pension Auto-Enrolment Exclusions

    One of the key duties for UK employers under the new regime under the Pensions Act 2008 (“PA 2008”) is auto-enrolment of its jobholders. Implementation of the auto-enrolment employer duties is being phased in over a period of more than five years that started on 1 October 2012 and runs until 01 February 2018. 

  • Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulation

    Who, what, when?

    Honda and Flybe are some of the most recent culprits to be hit with significant fines from the ICO for breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulation (“PECR”).

  • Removing defamatory posts on social media

    In today’s world, social media and blogs are widely used to communicate facts, opinions and opinions masquerading as facts. However, when people post content that is defamatory, it can be hard to get it removed. This post explains how.

  • Autumn Statement: startups & the Northern Powerhouse

    Phillip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has just delivered the Autumn Statement. The statement is by and large good news for the startup sector and excellent news for the Northern Powerhouse.

  • Fintech startups and passporting rights post Brexit

    There has been a lot of concern amongst fintech startups in respect of whether they will be able to access European markets under their existing UK regulatory permits. This article looks at the potential models for Brexit and what the status of financial services would be in each.

  • The model of Brexit

    The Prime Minister has declared that “Brexit means Brexit” and has promised that Article 50 Treaty on European Union will be triggered by the end of March 2017. This should mean that the UK will cease to be a member of the European Union by the spring of 2019. But what will the relationship of the UK with the EU actually look like?

  • What is next for the Northern Powerhouse?

    The oft-mentioned “Northern Powerhouse” was a key plank of George Osborne’s economic plans for the North. However, there are signs that the current administration may be less keen on the concept and that it may be diluted or dropped entirely. This briefing looks at what is in store for the Northern Powerhouse over the next few years.

  • Brexit for startups

    The U.K. has voted to leave the European Union (so called “Brexit”). This is likely to have a significant effect on the economy, policy and politics. This note addresses the impact on startups in the near term.

  • Changes to entrepreneurs relief

    In the Budget 2016, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced changes to taxes relevant to startups and investors in them. This note summarises the key changes announced to capital gains tax (entrepreneurs relief), corporation tax and employee shareholder status.

  • NEW – PSC Register

    From April 2016 all UK companies will be required by law to maintain a register of persons with significant control over the company. This is called the “PSC Register”. From June 2016 an additional return will have to be made at Companies House disclosing the contents of the PSC Register.

  • Company structures for startups

    The current economic climate in the UK has been referred to as a “Golden Age” for startups. It is anticipated that more than 600,000 new businesses will be launched in 2015. Getting the right company structure is of huge importance to ensure that the new business is structured for growth, investment and tax efficiency.

  • EIS: Investment by Existing Shareholders

    In the Queens Speech 2015, HM Government announced changes to the availability of EIS relief to investors who already hold shares in the capital of the investee company. These changes are of relevance both to investors who have already invested in a company and to new investors.

  • Knowledge Intensive Companies

    HM Government have announced a number of changes to the EIS and VCT schemes this year including the creation of special preferential terms for “knowledge intensive companies”.

    This note looks at what knowledge intensive companies are and how they are now treated.

  • Dilution: a brief explanation

    Dilution in the context of investment rounds often causes confusion. For SEIS/EIS investors, anti-dilution protections are prohibited; for other shareholders, anti-dilution provisions are viewed as very aggressive and problematic.

    This briefing is intended to clarify the position and explain why dilution is not necessarily a bad thing.

  • Incentivising Employees

    Startups and more established SMEs have in recent years become ever more able to access a plethora of ways to incentivise key employees.

    This article sets out the main points both startups and SMEs should consider when deciding which type of scheme to set up.

  • Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme

    SEIS is one of the most generous (and widely used) tax incentive schemes for investors in startups in the world. Every entrepreneur needs to know about it and (where possible) take advantage of it.

    This note explains the basics of SEIS.

  • EMI (Enterprise Management Incentive)

    Enterprise Management Incentive (“EMI”) options are tax efficient options for employees in smaller, high risk companies. The intention behind the EMI  legislation was to help companies recruit and retain the highest standard of individuals.

  • VAT treatment of online businesses

    The VAT treatment for online businesses is changing from 1 January 2015.  Services provided by a UK business via a website or app will be liable for VAT in the country where the service is purchased and not (as now) in the UK.