There's never been a better time for business without borders

Dave Howell
Written by Dave Howell
on April 14, 2020

Dave Howell, a freelance journalist and writer, discusses how one person businesses in the UK are impacted by the uncertainty that follows Brexit, coronavirus outbreak and IR35 delay. 

IR35, COVID-19 and Brexit – all these factors impact on anyone starting their own business. The truth is there has never been a better time to take the leap and become a business owner. Dave Howell assesses how fast and easy it is to fulfil your dream, take control and, join the millions of people already running their own companies.

You could be forgiven if you think it's madness to start a new small business today. The reality is that if you have been nurturing a dream to take control of your working life, now is the perfect time to make this happen.

And you’re not alone, as millions of Brits also have ambitions to become their own boss. According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 5.8 million small businesses at the start of 2019, up from 5.7 million in 2018.

Research from SME Loans clearly shows a continuing trend with 64% of the UK workforce wanting to set up a business and, 83% of 18 - 24 year olds dreaming of self-employment.

What has changed over the last two years, in particular, is the environment new businesses would find themselves trading within. Brexit has continued to worry entrepreneurs. Add to this IR35 (even though its rollout to the private sector has been delayed for a year because of COVID-19) and how the Coronavirus itself is changing how businesses operate; startups need to approach their new enterprise very differently.

Research from And Co concluded: “Companies are becoming more global alongside this globalized workforce: global companies employ 39.3% of remote workers. Remote work knows no borders: Just over half (57%) of respondents came from the US, but others were spread across Kenya, Myanmar, Slovakia, Australia, India, The Philippines, Venezuela, Indonesia, Colombia, Romania, Dominican Republic, Canada, and many, many more countries.”

Going global

According to research from Holvi and YouGov, nearly half (47%) of the employees interviewed indicated they did want to start their own business.

Interestingly, one of the main barriers the research uncovered was a lack of confidence when handling the financial and operational sides of running a small business.

Commenting, Holvi’s CEO, Antti-Jussi Suominen, said: “It's clear that fear of financial processes is holding them back. When you consider that sole traders are also ignoring their banks when it comes to seeking advice, it's obvious that there's something wrong here."

Having a strong financial foundation to build your new business upon is critical to get right. One way to ensure your business is set-up correctly and has an international reach, is to use a virtual company.

Many have asked whether setting up a limited company in the UK post Brexit would still be a sensible move? There are no plans to make any radical changes to how companies are formed in the UK once the country entirely leaves the EU. Creating a company still offers many advantages such as some of the lowest business taxes in Europe and often better trading opportunities, as commercial partners are more likely to trust an incorporated business than a sole trader.

However, you can do much more than just form a new limited company. If you have ambitions to develop a global company, and also want to join the millions of business owners that have no fixed base to operate their businesses from, a virtual company is ideal. Indeed, if you're going to become a business nomad, a virtual company is the perfect way to make your dreams a reality.

What is a virtual company?

Setting up a virtual company is a great way to test your business idea without having to spend what could be substantial amounts of money on forming a company in the UK.

Using a service like Xolo Go, you can have your new business set-up in minutes. Often used by people that want to start a freelance business, or start a side hustle, Xolo Go is free to set up. What's more, you don't pay for the service until your business is paid. When your customers or clients pay your invoices and you withdraw the money to your personal bank account, Xolo takes just 5% of the invoice value as its fee for running your virtual company.

Many new business owners are turning to the flexibility that a virtual company offers them. They don't have the burden of red tape and that often goes with forming a business in the UK. Having a dedicated business account that can be used for all projects and transactions makes you and your virtual company genuinely agile and flexible.

Your new nomadic business

Making your new business country agnostic is a clear driver amongst digital nomads, who run their business while they travel. But a virtual business is also an excellent format for any new startup.

Virtual companies can be run with any device that has a connection to the Internet. This is the power of virtual Company ownership. You have the freedom to operate your business anywhere at any time that suits you. This is the perfect set up for side hustlers who want to maintain their employment while they run their new small businesses.

Becoming a location-independent business means embracing the new tools that have been developed as work has evolved. Slack has replaced email for real-time communication and collaboration. Challenger banks are offering new ways to manage money and payments. Add to this mix, a virtual company, and you have all the tools you need to start a new business with little restrictions because of national borders.

Not being tied to the country where your business is incorporated is a great way to remove any barriers to operating your new company on a global scale. Using a virtual company for your new enterprise offers ultimate flexibility. If you have an idea for a new business, want to become a digital nomad and embrace the agile flexible working millions of people are now using, start your virtual company today. What are you waiting for?

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