UK Self-employed: A Quarter May Move Overseas

UK Self-employed: A Quarter May Move Overseas

Almost a quarter of self-employed people are considering moving abroad in the next five years, research from currency broker Foreign Currency Direct has found.

The survey of 2,000 self-employed people revealed that for those weighing up leaving the UK, Australia and New Zealand were the most popular destinations, followed by North America and Asia.

The main reasons given for leaving the UK were a better work-life balance overseas, the prospect of further UK tax rises and other countries offering a greater chance of building a more profitable business.

Foreign Currency Direct director, Stephen Hughes said that given the state of the economy, it is hardly surprising that so many self-employed people are considering moving their businesses abroad.

“We’ve seen a significant jump in self-employed people transferring money abroad to set up their businesses, as well as paying for big-ticket items such as rental deposits and cars.”

Forum of Private Business (FPB) spokesman, Phil McCabe, urged entrepreneurs thinking about leaving the UK to stay and fight for an improved entrepreneurial culture.

“I can understand that some people might be frustrated enough to want to go, but I would say ‘stay to help us lobby to help restore the UK’s economy and create an environment where business can flourish’.”

McCabe added that the research seemed to bear out anecdotal evidence from FPB members.

“We have an entrepreneurial environment in the UK which isn’t conducive to starting and growing a business. It all comes down to what threatens cashflow.”

“Small businesses face high taxation in the UK, most obviously in the form of corporation tax and national insurance. A wealth of red tape and other issues, such as high rents, a culture of late payment and decreasing footfall on the high street, because of measures such as spiralling parking charges, are also making life increasingly difficult for small businesses.”

However, he said language barriers and different ways of conducting business could make things difficult for UK businesses setting up overseas.

“Business people do take risks, but they should be calculated risks. There are a lot of benefits to being in the UK ― for example, the degree of infrastructure and the fact that it’s a major finance capital.”

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