IT guys from Poland challenge the global market.
They started out in Poland but it soon turned out that the global market was within arm's reach. In the world of IT, imagination is the only border.
As I understand, you operate mainly on the Polish market?
Yes, our clients are mainly from Poland but the number of foreign clients is systematically growing. I expect that, in the future, most of our clients will be from abroad.
If you are operating in Poland, then why do you need a company registered in the United Kingdom?
There are three main reasons for this; taxes, legal issues, and prestige. When working for British, and other English-speaking, companies we operate, in a way, from the territory of Great Britain, so this part of our income can be taxed there and, as a result of a friendly tax law, this is financially better for us. Also, the companies we work for want to know that they are protected by British law and that all contracts are made according to local standards which are clear for all involved. However, company prestige is the most important reason. There is still a strong conviction among the management that cooperation with foreign companies bears such risks as problems with communication, data security, or with the legal protection that I already mentioned. For these reasons, it is good to have a Limited company in the United Kingdom, a Virtual Office, and a local telephone number.
So, this is mainly a trust issue?
The price of an IT company located in a prestigious London district is much higher than those of a similar company from Poland. What is funny is that Polish companies are often hidden subcontractors for such work. This is the matter of prestige that I mentioned before. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this; it is only the issue of company image, and those people gain a lot just by being where they are. Big business names that are willing to pay London prices come to the networking meetings with representatives of such companies.
Were you employed as such subcontractors?
We often still are but, on the other hand, with a Limited company of our own, we will be able to create our own brand without intermediaries and, currently, this is easier than ever.
Can you tell us about your beginnings on the English market?
As far as I remember, my first foreign clients were not from England but from the USA and, at that time, I worked alone delivering small projects. In that case, client service was a nightmare for me. I remember speaking on the phone in English, which was a challenge in itself as, at the same time, I was feeding my screaming baby. The couch in the living room served as my office back then. At the moment, I pay a small monthly amount so that a kind English lady that I never meet answers the company phone for me and passes basic information to me.
But a company in the UK is not only an English secretary and a co.uk website.
All formalities, starting with company registration, through accounting, to the local phone number and “call answering” services, are operated by Hanza Ltd. For a small monthly payment, we are rid of all the formalities. Transparent regulations and tax credit of £11,500 in 2017/18 encourage us to have a go at this market.
Can you operate in England without a physical headquarters there?
According to British law, I am a Non-Residential Director (NRD), but the income that my company achieves there is taxed in England. This has nothing to do with avoiding tax in Poland as all contracts signed in Poland are taxed there, while we are not subject to double taxation.
Do you ever have to call the British Revenue Department?
No. As I said before, Hanza Ltd deals with all the formalities. Actually, everything is taken care of electronically. I sometimes go to England for conferences or training, but I can stay well away from any authorities.