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How South Africans can relocate their businesses to London

by Alan Robbins | Sep 16, 2016
  • The UK, and particularly London, has always been a popular choice for South Africans looking to expand internationally or relocate themselves (and their families) along with their business. The large, wealthy local market, relatively low corporate tax and a business-friendly government make it an attractive option for expansion.
    tower bridge of london with neon lights on at night

    What makes London so special?

    In September this year, Pricewaterhouse Coopers released its Cities of Opportunity report, which measures a city’s ability to host an international business. For the second year in a row London remained at the top of the list, beating out cities like New York, Singapore, Amsterdam, Toronto and Paris.

    Of all the metrics, London scored particularly high on intellectual capital, innovation and overall economic clout. The capital’s universities were highly rated, with several world class institutions able to offer excellent training to young people. London also scored highly due to the strength of its local labour market – something that businesses are able to tap into.

    In addition to this, if you have a younger family, it’s good to know that the city of London was ranked as being particularly well-suited to people aged 16 – 29.

    Situate your business at the centre of the financial world

    London is arguably the hub of financial services in the world. Strong ties to the USA, the far East and Europe ensure that it is often at the centre of major economic activity. A business in London is ideally positioned to expand not just into Europe, but also to the rest of the world.

    But what about Brexit?

    Many analysts agree that businesses in London should not necessarily be worried about an impending Brexit. The truth is that London has an almost uncanny ability to adapt in difficult times and come out on top. It is this agility that has kept entrepreneurs and businesses sweet on the capital.

    The UK government will not sacrifice the capital’s status as an economic hub for political gains. Without London running at full-steam, the UK will suffer economically. In order to offset any possible negative economic repercussions from Brexit, the government is likely to make a raft of pro-business policies designed to entice new business and retain the pre-existing operations. Conditions will likely become more pro-business as the UK tries to ensure that it keeps hold of its foreign business assets.

    As far as Brexit goes for South Africans, the High Commissioner to South Africa, Dame Judith Macgregor, made it clear in a July Brexit debriefing that the UK was set on developing better trade relations with South Africa.

    The UK has always seen South Africa as a valued trading partner (South Africa is still the UK’s largest market in Africa) and Number 10 Downing Street appears to be willing to create mutually beneficial policies which will likely extend to bilateral agreements between the two countries. What form these agreements will take is unknowable for now, but what we do know is that the UK is very much open for business with South Africa, Europe and the rest of the world.

    Get your business into the UK

    We started off as a two-man operation in an office on Kensington High Street. Two decades on, we’ve grown into a multinational company with offices on four continents. Our founder and current CEO, Reg Bamford, is a South African who went to the UK in the ‘90s to start and grow his own business. His experience is encoded into our operation’s DNA, so we know what it takes to start up and expand a business in the UK.

    Our business relocation team have all the experience and expertise needed to help you not only relocate your business to the UK but also help you run the accounting and admin side of things after you’re set up.

    By letting our London office handle your payroll, human resources and accounting needs you’ll be able to focus on driving your business onwards and upwards. 

    If you’re interested in expanding your business to the UK give us a call on +44 (0) 20 7759 7553 or send our team an email today.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom


    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

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