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British businesses that export to the continent are being encouraged by government trade advisers to set up separate companies inside the EU in order to get around extra charges, paperwork and taxes resulting from Brexit. UK small businesses are being told by advisers at the Department for International Trade that the best way to circumvent border issues and VAT problems that have been piling up, is to register new firms within the EU single market, from where they can distribute their goods far more freely. VAT issues, new charges on moving goods and more bureaucracy are all adding up to a heightened administrative burden.

By moving operations into the EU and shipping out large consignments from the UK to their new European operations, the businesses can not only avoid cross-border delays and costs on every single small consignment they send, but can also defuse VAT problems that are currently hitting them and their European customers hard.

We know that jurisdictions such as the Netherlands have attracted a significant interest, however, we believe that Malta offers an attractive alternative. Malta is a good operational and legal base, where key items such as corporate tax rates, VAT rates and the costs of running a business are all governed by country legislation structured towards attracting foreign investment in the country.

At BUSINESSLABS we manage a serviced office space in Malta providing shared office services, substance office, co-working space and business incubation solutions. The clients for our shared office spaces would be mainly companies seeking new markets or a new operational location, start-up companies, companies with overflow requirements, interim or project-based, companies requiring additional management services, substance office, co-working arrangements or business incubation. The clients for our shared office spaces would fall into the following categories:

  1. New Market / Locational: Businesses which are typically headquartered abroad or in another area of the country which require a business presence in the area of operation of the business centre.
  2. Start-up Companies / Entrepreneurial: Small to medium businesses or enterprises which don’t want to make a financial commitment to a longer term lease. This class of client likely also benefits from not having to add administrative and support personnel to payroll, with all the pursuant HR costs (benefits, insurance, recruitment).
  3. Overflow: Typically a large company experiencing growth, with traditional leased space in the area which it has outgrown. These can be short-term requirements (3–6 months) for large number of users (as many as 40-50).
  4. Interim: Clients that are in the process of moving from one space to another, and may be facing delays in the completion of the new space.
  5. Project-based: Clients that have a specific need for office space, based on a specific contract or project. Examples include film production teams or attorneys in the discovery process.
  6. Additional Services using the Shared Office Space: Shared office services: Professional address, Mailing address, Open envelope scanning, Reception courtesies, Business meeting space, Casual workspace, Executive spaces, Training spaces, on-site amenities, virtual office solution, live virtual receptionist.
  7. Substance Office: Remote receptionist, Virtual assistant, Answering services/call centres, Voicemail, Office space, Phone answering service
  8. Co-working space: Connections, Shared costs, Productivity, Environment, Amenities, Flexibility
  9. Incubation: Assistance with business basics, Networking, Marketing assistance, High-speed Internet access, help with local accounting/financial management, access to bank accounts and loans, loan funds and guarantee programs, help with presentation/ pitching skills, Links to higher education resources, Links to strategic partners, Access to angel investors or venture capital, business training programs, Advisory boards and mentors, Management team identification, Help with regulatory compliance.

With the increment in requests for our services in the past months from UK businesses looking to overcome the Brexit pressures amidst the unavoidable COVID-19 strains put on their operations, we have been meeting all prospective clients to look to utilize our capabilities and provide a service that helps alleviate the administrative strain on such operations. In part, we are engaging in collaborative relationships with commercial lawyers in the UK to offer a more comprehensive and straightforward solution for companies that need to mitigate the disadvantages originating from Brexit.

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