International - Doing business overseas

PKF Francis Clark is committed to helping businesses make the most of their opportunities anywhere in the world.

Recent research from an international bank found that 38% of smaller businesses intend to start or increase their international trade effort within the next two years and we have committed additional resource to meet this increasing demand for international advice.

With our international links and connections gained through our membership of PKF International and our investment in a team of tax professionals with international experience and international tax qualifications, PKF Francis Clark can provide exactly the advice and support required to make any international venture a success.

We can also help your business arrange the optimal funding structure for their international ventures.

International Links


If you have business interests overseas or wish to expand internationally, we can provide specialist international knowledge and connections.

PKF Francis Clark, as is suggested by our name is a member of PKF International. Through this group we can introduce you to leading firms and professional advisers across the world.

The PKF Network is an international professional association of independently-owned accounting and consulting firms. It operates from over 400 offices in 150 countries and between them the member firms generate revenue of over $1billion.

Individual members are carefully chosen based upon their reputation and approachability to provide a personal service.

Working with clients and other advisers on cross border issues is always challenging. Dealing with two tax systems, overarching treaties, cultural differences, and of course the language barrier, makes any overseas engagement difficult.

Our membership of the PKF enables us to match our clients with the right partner firm overseas. The PKF has many members and we are able to build relationships with the firms that suit PKF Francis Clark and our clients the best. We are not forced to refer work to any one firm in a particular jurisdiction in the way the larger accountancy practices do, irrespective of quality of service standards. We build a short list of suitable firms, give our clients the choice and help them make the right appointment.

We work extremely hard to build long lasting relationships with our PKF partners. We get to know them, we meet regularly, we discuss technical issues, we share knowledge, we socialise and we make sure that they are the right people to advise our clients.

International Tax


As a result of an increasing need to deal with international issues, we have built and continue to invest in a team of tax professionals with international experience and international tax qualifications. We can help deal with a whole range of international tax matters, including:

  • Setting up a business overseas for the first time
  • Withholding taxes
  • Creation of permanent establishments
  • Payroll tax obligations
  • Structuring of operations including the foreign branch exemption
  • Controlled Foreign Companies legislation
  • Transfer of assets abroad and Capital Gains Tax anti-avoidance legislation
  • VAT issues, particularly in an EU context
  • Transfer pricing,  thin-capitalisation and the impact of the OECD BEPS programme
  • Intellectual property planning
  • Operation of the UK R&D and Patent Box tax regimes
  • Inbound business start-ups or acquisitions
  • Corporate tax residency
  • Double tax treaty issues

PKF Francis Clark has an increasing number of clients looking internationally to open up new markets; we have significant experience in the US and European jurisdictions but have also assisted in projects involving Hong Kong, Peru, Dubai, Australia and others.

Getting Started


Before embarking on your overseas journey, thorough strategic planning is a must to ensure your new venture is a success. There are a number of things that will need early consideration:

  • Staffing overseas – Have you recruited a local employee, or have you sent a UK person to the foreign jurisdiction to undertake foreign employment duties?
  • Personal tax for UK personnel – If you are sending UK personnel overseas they will need to consider whether they will remain UK tax resident or become resident overseas and what that means.
  • Foreign tax on your business’ presence – Where projects last for six months or more and are carried out in the local jurisdiction, advice should be taken on the possible creation of a Permanent establishment.
  • Choice of business entity – If the investment overseas is medium to long term will you set up a branch or subsidiary?
  • Registration for local tax – What do you need to do about VAT registration (or local equivalent), business taxes, employee tax and social security?
  • Repatriation of profits – How will profits be returned to the UK and to shareholders?
  • How might UK anti-avoidance rules affect your plans?
  • What will be your Foreign Currency/Banking requirements?
  • Have you maximised support from agencies such as UKTI?
  • Do you have the right professional advisers in place to help you succeed?

In our “First Steps Abroad” checklist we have addressed each of these questions in more detail to help you to get started. It is worth working through this checklist to ensure you have considered the basic issues in advance and that, where necessary, you have sought appropriate advice on any specific issues with which you need assistance.

How can PKF FC help?


“The UK economy is becoming more and more knowledge based and our businesses are selling their ideas and innovations not only in the UK, but right across the world.

We advise these businesses on suitable structures, UK tax implications, relevant commercial issues, and then we find good local advisers to help them in the jurisdictions where they are planning to do business.

Our specialist team of experienced international advisers are trained in international tax and international business to ensure we can deal effectively with SMEs that are increasing their overseas activity and with businesses new to operating in overseas environments.

A number of our tax consultancy team now hold or are taking the Advance Diploma of International Taxation, and the investment in and expansion of our international services team continues.

As a prominent member of PKF International, PKF Francis Clark has access to high quality business advice in all corners of the world and these growing relationships are something that we use every day of the week.  We spend time getting to know our international partners too, so when we refer clients to them we are dealing with people that we have met face to face and have got to know.

We have also grown our links with the other agencies that help UK businesses export and do business overseas. Amongst others, these include UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), foreign exchange brokers, card merchanting specialists, international lawyers and international trade finance specialists. Our network helps us ensure we add value for our clients beyond the traditional areas of accounting and taxation”.

The PKF Worldwide Tax Guide 2016-17 (WWTG) is an annual publication that provides an overview of the taxation and business regulation regimes of the world’s most significant trading countries. On a country-by-country basis, each summary addresses the major taxes applicable to business; how taxable income is determined; sundry other related taxation and business issues; and the country’s personal tax regime. The final section of each country summary sets out the Double Tax Treaty and Non-Treaty rates of tax withholding relating to the payment of dividends, interest, royalties and other related payments.

Use the publication as the first point of reference and then use the services of the local PKF member firm to provide specific information and advice

Download PKF International Worldwide Tax Guide 2016-17



    49,300 UK businesses were exporters in the year to March 2015. 

    UK Reg Trade Stats Q1 2015

    During 2013 UKTI supported 34,820 businesses which generated £51.8bn of additional sales. 

    UKTI Annual Report 2013/14

    Did you know that the Total Annual UK Exports to March 2015 were £283bn – a 4.7% decrease on last year? 

    UK Reg Trade Stats Q1 2015

    Exports from the South West in the year to March 2015 grew by 3.5% to £14.1bn. 

    UK Reg Trade Stats Q1 2015

    Did you know total UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports totalled £12.8bn in 2014? 

    Food & Drink Fed, Jul 2015

    58.6% of the South West’s exports are to the EU. 

    UKTI, March 2014

    Germany exports almost 15 times more to Central Europe than the UK, the Italians four times more and the French twice as much. 

    UKTI, March 2014

    Only 17% of UK mid-sized businesses generate revenues outside of the EU compared to 25% in Germany and 30% in Italy.  

    UKTI, Jan 2014

    Did you know that the Netherlands is our 4th largest export region, generating £12,296m or 5.9% of total exports in 2014?   

    UK Reg Trade Stats Q1 2015

    The UK's largest export product are cars, worth $41bn in 2014. 

    World Fact Book, March 2015

    Bristol and Somerset businesses are named amongst the UK’s fastest growing SME exporters. May 20
Leading Edge Alliance Awards 2013
Taxation Awards 2014
The British Accountancy Awards 2014
South West Insider Annual Dealmaker Awards 2015
South West Insider Annual Dealmaker Awards 2016
Payroll World Awards 2016
ICAEW Chartered Accountants