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Setting up in the UK for Australian exporters

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Paul Beare

Paul Beare

UK Tax Expert

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Setting up in the UK for Australian exporters

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With the UK business culture being very similar to Australia, now has never been a more poignant time for Australian companies to export their products and services to the UK market.


With the UK is a member of the European Union (EU) and is subject to EU trade regulatory requirements. However on the 23 June 2016, the UK held a referendum to answer the question: “should the UK remain a member of the EU, or leave the EU?” By a margin of 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent, the UK voted to leave the EU (commonly referred to as ‘Brexit’).

What this looks like in reality is somewhat unknown.

A common language, just a different spelling

While most Australian tend to be fairly more relaxed – the UK culture is more formal – for example, a ‘smart casual’ business attire would generally consist of a suit or jacket with an open shirt. A formal ‘business attire’ would use of a necktie.

Generally the use of the word ‘mate’ in a professional environment would not be used however to individual or company familiar with the Australian territory, ‘mate’ would often be seen as a friendly greeting. It wouldn’t be seen as offensive.

Generally, the UK Rate of VAT (similar to GST) is 20%. 

Professional support

Expansion to an overseas territory can often be time-consuming and potentially very costly if thorough research and professional advice is not undertaken prior to market-entry.

There are a number of government based organisations that can assist – mostly without fee-paying.

There are a number of professional service providers who are actively working with Australian companies looking to export and those that are currently operating in the UK. 

You need to establish an auto-enrolment pension, similar to a super-annuation. Rates differ depending on the contribution basis. 

Government, business and trade organisations:

For further information regarding your Australian operation exporting and setting up a UK please do get in touch.

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