Marc Jarrett

Marc Jarrett

Friday, 6 October 2017

Deal or No Deal? The suspense is killing me – and my clients

I quite used to enjoy occasionally watching Deal or No Deal on television.  Being a risk taker myself, it appealed to the gambler in me.  A gambler who spent far too much time of his misprint youth playing fruit machines.  Way back then, the stake was 5p and the jackpot was £2.  Now the former can be up to £100 a spin.

The Gambling Act 2005 acted as the catalyst and ushered in a new era which not only allowed online gambling, but also the promoting thereof.  Nightclubs became Casinos.  Some high streets now have two William Hill’s so that they can operate eight fixed odd’s betting terminals (FOBT’s) in that area, and not just four.  These after often referred to as the crack cocaine of gambling, which is why I am delighted that my propensity to play such machines has receded.

Against this explosion of both on and offline gambling, a plethora of TV franchises were devised to appeal to the gambler within most of us, with 'Who wants to be a Millionaire?' and 'Deal or no Deal' being just two examples.

During this period, I was helping US eCommerce companies reach out to and better serve their European customers by encouraging them to hold inventory in a Glasgow warehouse.  It was an easy sell – given the global architecture of the World Wide Web, they already had European customers.  The ease of doing business, same language, and one-time zone nearer to Uncle Sam than our European neighbours, and of course open access to some 500 million European consumers. Business was booming.

Then came 23 June 2016. 

Understandably, my clients wanted to know what implications Brexit would have for them.  At first, I focussed on the only tangible positive – the fact that they were now getting significantly more pounds for their buck, thanks to the relegation of sterling to one of the world’s worst-performing currencies.

However, knowing that tariffs for sending a sound blanket from Scotland to Italy might soon become a reality, I found it increasingly difficult to sell a destination I no longer believed in.   After all, if I were a US Businessman or woman selling tangibles looking to expand into Europe, would l want to locate my business in a country that has elected to remove itself from the world’s largest trading bloc? No. In short, the UK is no longer such an attractive destination for overseas companies who have historically seen it as a gateway to Europe.  On the contrary, it is arguably 28th on the list.  A sizeable client had Glasgow and Amsterdam on his short-list for a new warehouse.  The Netherlands won.

Being half German, I decided to turn my attention to helping UK (&US) SME’s remain not only inside the single market but to base themselves inside Europe’s beating heart.  Doing so will give them a distinct advantage over their competitors, who are simply retreating behind the drawbridge and waiting to see what happens next. 

And the stakes could hardly be higher.  The top prize of £250,000 offered in TV’s ‘Deal or No Deal’ fades into insignificance when compared to the economic well-being of an entire country.  Given the slow progress of talks, it is looking increasingly likely that we could be heading for a hard, or ‘cliff edge’, Brexit.  A countdown clock on my website informs me that at the time of writing we have 539 days left.

The best-case scenario would be no change in the status quo – frictionless trade with the remaining 27 members of our largest export market.

 The worst-case scenario does not bear worth thinking about: additional costs, bureaucracy, and disruption to the supply chain.  The Dover port boss has already warned that the south east of England could come grinding to a halt if no deal can be agreed.

So, let’s hope for all our sakes that common sense will prevail and that a deal that suits us all can be reached.  The UK is, after all, Germany’s largest export market for all those wonderful motor cars.

But given that common sense has been sorely lacking in British Politics as of late, I’m not holding my breath and am prepared more any eventuality – Deal or No Deal.  

How Wales’ Businesses can Beat Brexit (and of course English & Scottish ones too)

(Published in

The uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU has created a major headache for businesses in Wales.
The countdown to Brexit is underway, but we still don’t know the terms of any trade deal with the 27 members of the EU. It’s difficult for businesses to plan for the future when they don’t know if they’ll be hit by tariffs.
So, an increasing number of UK companies are looking to create European subsidiaries to ensure they have a foothold in the EU whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
For many, the obvious choice for a European base is Germany – the powerhouse economy of the EU.
British/German dual national Marc Jarrett, Managing Director of Emjay Consultancy Ltd, has historically focused on helping US firms expand into the UK.
Now, his company is focusing on helping both US and UK businesses establish themselves in Europe’s largest market, Germany.
“Of course, establishing a subsidiary overseas is nothing new,” he said.
“However, with the countdown clock ticking and the terms of any deal with the EU27 still unknown, an increasing number of UK companies are proactively pursuing this option as a form of hedge or insurance policy.
“This way, they can continue to trade freely within the EU without worrying about the ‘unknown unknowns’ that Brexit has created.
“Brexit came as a shock to most Germans. Many are Anglophiles at heart and would welcome the opportunity to continue working with British companies that elected not to leave the European Union after all.
“Germany has a business-friendly tax and legal system and its central location within Europe makes it the natural choice for British companies looking to establish a subsidiary or branch office on the continental mainland.”
The most common legal company form is to establish a GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) which is German for “company with limited liability”.  The owners (Gesellschafter, also known as members) are not personally liable for the company’s debts. This is similar to a limited company in the UK.
A GmbH is formed in three stages:
  1. The founding association, which is regarded as a private partnership with full liability of the founding partners/members.
  2. The founded company (often styled as “GmbH I.G.”, with “I.G.” standing for in Gründung – literally “in the founding stages”, with the meaning of “registration pending”).
  3. The fully registered GmbH. Only the registration of the company in the Commercial Register (Handelsregister) provides the GmbH with its full legal status.
What do you Need?
Under German law, the GmbH must have a minimum founding capital, €12,500 of which must be raised before registering in the commercial register.
The company is run only by the managing directors (Geschäftsführer) who have an unrestricted proxy for the company and must be either a national of a European Union country or have a German work permit.
Shareholders, on the other hand, can be any UK entity, be it a person or a UK Limited company.
Other factors to bear in mind when establishing a presence in Germany include securing a business address, launching a German language website (local law dictates this must include an ‘impressum’ which outlines company details), appointing a good tax consultant, and hiring at least one German-speaking representative who can help during the formation period and possibly beyond.
Unlike in the UK, joining the local chambers of commerce is mandatory. However, doing so will allow members to grow their business contacts.
Social network XING is their LinkedIn, which is another useful way to engage with prospective customers or partners.
Emjay Consultancy Ltd helps with all the necessary aspects of establishing a presence in Germany including company formation, opening bank accounts, real and virtual offices, sourcing of staff, translation of website and marketing collateral into German.  It has access to a network of professionals on the ground in Germany that can help with all aspects.
“We look forward to helping UK companies so that they can continue to do business in the epicentre of the world’s largest trading bloc and give them the edge over their competitors.  We will be at their side to help them every step of the way,” Marc Jarrett said.