Top 20 Reasons to Do Business in the UKWhat makes the UK Europe’s leading investment destination for companies relocating and developing their global business? We look at 20 of the top reasons setting the UK apart from other countries.
1. The easiest place to set up and run a business in Europe: The World Bank found that it takes 13 days to set up a business in UK, compared to the European average of 32 days. It ranks the UK first in Europe and sixth in the world to operate a business. Source: World Bank
2. Low tax rate environment for foreign investors: The top corporate rate will be 28 per cent from April 2008, below most of the UK’s core competitors. The UK has reduced its corporate tax rate from over 50% in the early 1980s down to one of the lowest in the industrialised world. The UK’s highest personal tax band, at 40 per cent, is one of the lowest in the EU. Source: Forbes Tax Misery Index.
3. One of the most flexible labour markets in Europe: The World Bank ranks the UK the second best place in Europe to employ workers, just behind Denmark. Source World Bank
4. Least barriers to entrepreneurship in the world: The OECD noted that the UK is second in the world for Product Market Regulation behind Australia, has the least barriers to entrepreneurship in the world and has the third least barriers to trade and investment in the world. Source: OECD
5. World leader in innovation: The UK is one of the most productive places for innovation firms in the world, ranking second only to the USA for the quality of its research base.
6. One of the most stable political environments to do business: According to Transparency International, the UK is one of the most transparent (least corrupt) countries in the world. It has a higher rating than France, Germany, USA and Japan.
7. Booming economy: The UK has one of the highest GDP growth rates in Europe, well above the European and Eurozone averages. Source: OECD
8. One of the easiest countries to register a property: To register a property, the UK is ranked above France, Germany, Ireland and Italy. Source: Cushamn and Wakefield
9. Commitment to improving the planning regime. The recent Energy White Paper by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), and the Government-commissioned Barker 2 Review of Land-use Planning and Economic Development, outline speedier planning consents for businesses.
10. Speaking in the international language of business: operating in English gives firms in the UK a natural advantage when communicating globally.
11. Progressive communications network: The UK has the most extensive broadband market among the G7 countries and one of the strongest ICT infrastructures in the world.
12. Home to Europe’s number one city for business: London is the world's leading financial services centre on a number of key performance indicators and was voted top European city for business for the 17th year running in 2006 by the European Cities Monitor.
13. Top talent: According to the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES), the UK has the top six universities in Europe and two of the top three globally. Source: The Times.
14. Springboard to Europe: The UK is the number one gateway to Europe giving easy access to the 27 member states of the European Union, the world's largest single market, with its population of nearly 500 million.
15. Number one location for European headquarters: More overseas companies set up their European headquarters in the UK than anywhere else.
16. Olympic opportunities: London will host the Olympic Games in 2012. Procurement started in 2007. Contracts will be available for firms of all sizes and the total budget will run into billions.
17. Outstanding transport links: The UK offers a world-class transport network offering rapid links to mainland Europe and the rest of the world. Heathrow is Europe's largest air hub, with ongoing expansions improving its efficiency. London boasts one of the world's largest overground and underground rail networks.
18. High quality of living: UK residents enjoy a high standard of living, education and recreation. Personal taxes are low, publicly-funded health is free to all and there is a rich cultural heritage and abundance of leisure facilities.
19. Magnet for foreign investment: In 2006, the UK attracted and retained over one trillion US dollars of investment: the highest in Europe and the second largest in the world.
20. Productivity rapidly increasing: Historically, the UK had lower productivity than its main competitors, but this is changing and the UK has closed the gap with many countries and overtaken others.