For foreign companies looking to establish a European base of operations, deciding on the best possible location should be one of the first considerations. Europe is home to many world-famous business centers. Frankfurt, Brussels, Barcelona, Munich, Amsterdam; the list goes on. However, when it comes to where to do business and at the same time enjoy a safe, exciting and even glamorous lifestyle, a city stands out from the crowd.
Served by three major airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, there are flights to all major world destinations, but more importantly, most destinations in Western Europe are less than two hours away, while Brussels and Paris can also be reached in the same number of times via the excellent Eurostar service.
London Mayor’s Economic Strategy Paper Says Over The Next 10 To 15 Years It Is Estimated Between 1,400 And 3,200 Chinese, Taiwanese, South Korean And Indian Businesses Could Consider Moving To Europe.
While these numbers are astounding, it is not surprising that companies are tempted to establish themselves in London because despite the recent recession, it still manages £ 52 billion of foreign direct investment, £ 22 billion coming from tourism and £ 1.5 billion from its 93,000 students.
A city capable of supporting this type of income during one of the worst economic downturns ever known is certainly something special and deserves serious consideration as a commercial base, especially among Latin American companies seeking to establish a a successful and profitable European presence coupled with a safe, pleasant and satisfying lifestyle for their families and employees.
In 2009, a cost of living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) revealed that for the first time since 2002, living in London is now cheaper than living in New York. Encouraged by this, and with the aim of attracting foreign companies to set up in the capital, the mayor of London deployed a “business incubator” service. In collaboration with a leading supplier of equipped offices, new businesses can currently benefit from free office space and facilities of up to twelve months, as well as solid support throughout the establishment process. of an operation in London.
The British tax system is also very favorable, with corporate tax now going from 30% to 28%. The highest tax rate is 50% and VAT is 17.5%. In addition, as there are fewer restrictions on the international property and business conduct than any other European country, newcomers will benefit from much faster start-up times.
Families will also find opportunities to enjoy and experience all that London has to offer as they settle into their new life, and for those who do not speak or have very little knowledge of the English language, there are courses available in all over the city who specialize in teaching English to foreign visitors. Continuing education for their children is of course a top priority for most parents, and London certainly has no shortage of schools for all ages, including international schools and colleges.
Entertainment And Lifestyle – It’s Not All Work And No Play!
From a lifestyle point of view, London is a city that can be hectic one minute and calm the next. It’s a lively, vibrant, cosmopolitan, multicultural and chic city, and teeming with iconic images, from Big Ben and red London buses to Nelson’s Column and the Tower of London Beefeaters: there’s never a shortage of things to see and do.
Absolutely full of history, London is also home to art galleries containing works by Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso and Constable to name a few. Ballet fans can attend world-class performances by members of the English National Ballet with performances like Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Giselle, while opera lovers can enjoy classics like Cosi Fan Tutte, La Boheme and La Traviata.
Theater and cinema
The West End is home to one of the oldest theater districts in the world, where many international movie stars and critically acclaimed stage actors play sold out almost every night of the week. The classic Les Misérables started racing in 1985 and continues to play 25 years later. Cinemas are also plentiful, including the Leicester Square cinema, where star-studded British premieres such as the ever-popular Harry Potter films are still a huge attraction.
Eating in London always involves making a choice in advance. In addition to the most famous restaurants like The Grill at The Dorchester, Mezzanine and La Gavroche, the city is full of thousands of small establishments serving excellent cuisine from around the world; the pleasure is to discover them all.
A cruise on the Thames is a great way to see places like Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, while Hyde Park is a great setting for picnics and leisurely walks. Open top sightseeing buses take you to Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street, the Royal Albert Hall and countless other attractions to explore.
In addition to well-known names like Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, London is also home to more exclusive stores such as Fortnum & Mason and of course Harrods. DeBeers on Old Bond Street is the perfect place to buy diamonds; a visit to Prada will delight female fashionistas, while dress-minded men can acquire handmade costumes from world-renowned tailors at Saville Row, such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Gieves & Hawkes and Hardy Amies.
Successful entry into the UK
Before being able to enjoy life in the capital, an extremely important issue must be addressed: that of obtaining visas. For the uninformed, this is an area that can often upset the most elaborate plans and, in many cases, ruin them completely, so it is not only recommended but essential to secure the services of an immigration expert to keep everything going smoothly.
Help where it is most needed
British immigration specialist Monika Jablecka of Migra & Co, based in London, is only too aware of the difficulties encountered by companies and individuals who are trying to navigate the visa application process.
She says. It is extremely important that foreign companies considering setting up in the UK seek professional and competent advice on immigration and visas. It will almost certainly be costly and time consuming for them not to do so. ”