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Routes to Market in Guernsey


Routes to Market in Guernsey

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Guernsey Routes to Market

So you've decided to expand your business in Guernsey and researched your market. Now it's time to decide how you will register and set up a business in Guernsey. What is the best, most viable option for your company, your products, and yourself? Which is the path of least resistance?

All overseas businesses require a registered Guernsey office, where notices affecting it can be sent. Before a business can be established, approval from the Royal Court is needed. A professional lawyer/advocate will be required to present the necessary documentation to the court on your behalf. Before registration can commence, details of the promoters and the aims of the business must be submitted to government officials for approval. This generally takes between seven and ten days.

Here are your typical options when expanding a business into Guernsey:

Limited Liability Company

A limited liability company is the most common company structure for foreign investors in Guernsey. There are two forms of liability; guarantee and limited by shares. Guarantee is where the members liability is limited to the figure they guarantee to contribute if the company is liquidated. Limited by shares is where the members are only liable to the amount they invest in the business.


A partnership is an agreement in writing, where the two people or more agree to set up a business. The agreement covers the structure of the business and the role of its members. Partners in the company are personally liable for any losses that the company may make and each partner has the same rights, liabilities and authorities, unless specified otherwise in the agreement.
Limited Partnership

For a limited partnership one person must be appointed as a General Partner. A general partner is responsible for the management of the business and is personally liable for any losses the business may make. The other members are limited partners, where their liability is only to the amount of their investment.
Branches Office

A foreign company can open a branch on Guernsey. The branch will accountable to local taxation and must submit a return to the local tax office. If the business is involved in banking, trustee investment or insurance, approval is required from the registrar.

Licensing in Guernsey is the permission for someone else to use your intellectual property rights: either a patent, trademark, trade secret, or copyright. Different types of license include:

Non-Exclusive License - A non-exclusive license implies that your intellectual property rights can be awarded to more than one licensee.

Exclusive License - A little more complex because, although the license may not be exclusive to one licensee, it may be exclusive to a geographic location, a certain product, or limited area of use. For instance, you may grant a licensee exclusive use of the rights in France, yet grant another licensee its use in Germany.
Patent License - The allowance of another party to use your patented product, design or process.
Trademark License - Trademark licensing means permission is awarded to a licensee to sell a product or service. However, the licensor retains more control in order to ensure that quality is maintained. Quality control is in place to uphold the image of the brand / product / service / licensor, and therefore sustain customer confidence and satisfaction.
Franchising In Guernsey

Franchising is the licensing out of a business name, product, technique, philosophy, trademark, etc, for a percentage of the income. Instead of setting up new outlets as part of your expansion, you license your existing business blueprint out to franchisees who then set up and manage it for you.
The benefits of franchising your business in Guernsey include: more freedom, as the franchisee takes on major responsibilities; minimal expense; lower cost and higher profits; potential for fast growth; brand building.
Disadvantages of franchising a business in Guernsey: although few, rely predominantly on your franchisees. They include: poor quality franchisees; franchisees not declaring all income; poor performance.
The doors are open for franchising in Guernsey. Led by brands such as Fiat, who have established a presence on the island, franchising in Guernsey is now becoming a popular route to market.


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Organisations that can assist with Routes to Market

  • > Business Consultancy Services.

    Do you need advice from an expert in your field, on the ground? Need help finding the best route to market for your product or service?

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