We know small business.
February 28th 2024

How Scholes CA helps SMEs with their international advisory needs

Although our hearts are firmly rooted in Scotland, we’re very proud of our ability to handle tax and accounting projects that cross borders and extend far beyond the UK.

Recently, we’ve been working with some exciting clients on a range of issues, all of which have an international dimension.

As a member of MGI Worldwide, a global network of independent member firms with a presence in around 150 jurisdictions, our team has been exposed to several international ventures.

I thought it would be interesting to take a moment to discuss these with you and offer our services as an international firm for your business.

If you aspire to extend beyond your current UK capacities, or you are a business looking to expand into UK markets, we are here to help.

From the UK to the Netherlands

We recently worked with a British audio import and export business who were looking to establish a Dutch entity.

Through our network as part of MGI, we were able to assist the client in understanding the process for incorporating a company in the Netherlands, and the associated tax and legal considerations.

This included advising on the best corporate structure for their business – which in the Netherlands is much more complicated.

Our Dutch colleagues were able to provide our client with information on the sort of documentation that the business would need and the process of incorporating it within the Dutch system.

A lot of research went into this job, but it was highly rewarding for the Scholes CA team.

Connecting a client with our partner in Canada

Through the MGI network, we were able to put one of our clients in contact with a Canadian accounting firm that was able to advise on the Canadian Sales Tax.

In Canada, there are two types of Sales Tax levied on businesses:

  • Provincial Sales Tax: Levied by the provinces at between 10 per cent (in areas like New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, etc.) and zero per cent (in provinces like Yukon and Nunavut)
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST): Also known as Harmonised Sales Tax (HST) which acts as a federal tax levied at five per cent.

We connected a UK nautical engineer who was looking for advice, with a tax partner based in Canada who has expertise in this area.

It was great to see these connections develop and we’ve learned a lot about the Canadian system in the process.

Competitive bidding in the Caribbean

We recently worked with a British marine services company looking to tender for a contract in the Caribbean.

Partnering with another one of our MGI network colleagues in the local jurisdiction, we helped our client create a competitive bid.

The Caribbean is an interesting area to study when it comes to tax.

Most of the islands do not levy Capital Gains Tax or Inheritance Tax and some nations, like Antigua and Barbuda, and St Kitts and Nevis, do not have personal Income Tax.

Again, this was a great opportunity for us to dip our toes into the tax and accounting processes in a location a long way away from our homes in Orkney, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen.

Our international aspirations

We’ve been working with cross-border businesses for some years now and through our partners in the MGI network, despite being a relatively “small” firm we have been able to assist SMEs with all sorts of international aspects that one might commonly expect from a much larger firm.

Over and above our expertise in tax and accountancy processes within the UK and Scotland, our teams are more than capable to handle a range of cross-border issues, including:

  • International Inheritance Tax mitigation and cross-border planning.
  • Corporate structuring advice for business expansions.
  • Business tax reduction strategies – including taking advantage of DTAs.
  • Connecting you and your business with professionals based in foreign countries.

We are keen to utilise our MGI network to help your business with its international aspirations so if you require any assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our team.

Email me: ivan.houston@scholesca.co.uk or contact your nearest Scholes CA branch.


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