MEDIA CENTRE

Blog
Oct 2021

The Cyber Security Threat

It seems like every day there is news of another major cyber security incident in the press, followed by the latest statistics on the rise in ransomware attacks and extortion demands.Then every couple of months there is a new Cyber security or Privacy law passed by a government body requiring a new wave of compliance. Some governments are also beginning to debate whether they should outlaw the right to pay a ransom to a criminal at all (see article), but cybercrime which is often perpetrated by nation-state actors, will continue to flourish despite the regulatory and legal action taken against the malicious actors.And long gone are the days when only the big companies were the targets for their money or information. In today’s world, no business is immune to being the target of an attack as hackers seek the easiest and most economical means to earn quick cash. Although the ‘spray and pray’ techniques are perhaps not as successful as they once were (the level of company security is undoubtedly rising to counter such obvious cyber threats through the use of antivirus, firewalls, and Multi-Factor Authentication), the sophistication and frequency of cyber attacks and incidents have demonstrated clearly that no one is 100% safe.What was once considered an “IT issue” – now has the attention of the C-Suite and shareholders/board members – it is a companywide problem, from the most senior leader down to the most junior employee.Is there a solution for this dynamic security risk?Cyber risk management requires a broader and holistic focus; it is not solved with only the purchase of the latest and greatest technology, or only a cyber insurance policy. It requires investment in talent, education, training, and a review of internal processes and operations on a regular basis. Cyber risk management is ultimately accomplished through a combination of People, Processes, and Technology.People and Sensitive DataEmployees are the gatekeepers to our organisation. The responsibility for data security should be written into our employees’ job descriptions and understood as part of their duties. Furthermore, organisations should invest time and money into frequent and engaging training tools. Conducting phishing tests periodically can assess the efficacy of a training programme and identify users in need of a refresher course. Consider assigning an in-house cybersecurity director, responsible for the data security oversight of the organisation.ProcessA business should start with a self-assessment, going through the process of identifying what type of data and sensitive information you have, and who should vs. does have access to it. Developing solid processes around managing access, deploying patches, acting on alerts and notifications of a potential incident should be a consistent practice. Businesses should spend time developing cyber-specific incident response policies as a subset of their broader business continuity/disaster recovery planning, and these plans should be tested via tabletop exercises. Process should include supply chain/vendor management: taking a look at vendors and partners to question what type of access to or sensitive information they have about your organisation, and how it is managed. Ultimately, what is your ‘vendor management protocol’ – how do you choose them, and what due diligence do you do to ensure your reliance on their support is not crippled in the event of an incident which is indirectly going to affect your company’s integrity and operation? This is critically important if you are reliant on a managed-service provider for your IT infrastructure and support but still applies to non-IT/operational vendors.Computer Systems and TechnologyOf course – when we think of cyber we often think of technology. The technologies of today that a business should be considering include Intrusion Detection Systems, sophisticated spam filters and firewalls, next-generation antivirus software, Endpoint Detection, and Response systems. Multi-factor authentication has become a must-have tool in the eyes of insurance companies for them to consider offering coverage, which can be centralised through a password management software.But, to err is human. And as much as we invest in the prevention of a cyber attack, human error still leads to the majority of cyber incidents today. The goal of your cyber risk management programme is not to reach a state of being entirely cyber secure (because no such state exists). Instead, your goal is to reach a state of cyber resilience in which your organisation can sustain and recover from an attack.Cyber Security InsuranceOnce a luxury purchase, Cyber insurance has become a must-have for businesses everywhere to ensure the survival of your organisation after an attack. Insurance is a form of risk transfer and is meant to provide a backstop when the preventative controls of an organisation have failed or proven inadequate. Cyber insurance provides the key components of incident response, in the form of attorneys/lawyers, IT forensics, criminal negotiators, public relations, and compliance with the various privacy laws. Coverage is designed to respond to and provide the defense during a regulatory investigation, and cover fines and penalties assessed to you, as long as they are insurable by law.Cyber-crime coverage offers indemnification for insureds who have suffered social engineering, funds transfer fraud, and phishing attacks. With the explosion of ransomware during the global pandemic, the coverage for the extortion demands offered by standard cyber insurance policies proved critical to the recovery process.Coverage for revenue loss related to a cyber incident can be found in a comprehensive cyber insurance policy, both during the time your network is down, and/or after you are back up and operable but have then lost prospective revenue as a result of an adverse media event.As quickly as the cyber risk evolves and grows, cyber insurance carriers are constantly trying to keep up. With the increase in both frequency and severity of attacks, profitability on insurance premiums historically has waned and the insurance markets are being forced to increase rates in order to keep up with the increased losses. In order to minimise their exposures, insurance markets are modifying policy terms and conditions, restricting coverages that were once broadly written, like extortion, with sub-limits and coinsurance penalties. Ensuring you have a comprehensive cyber policy is just one issue – but obtaining coverage at all is becoming problematic for organisations that are falling behind the curve in their cybersecurity controls. Without multi-factor authentication on email access, administrator accounts, and remote access are becoming a prerequisite to obtaining coverage. Segregated backups, encryption, firewalls, incident response planning, employee training and more are becoming preferred controls securing a better premium rating.TakeawaysBusinesses should start the conversation now with their broker partner about what is needed to be insurable and to obtain optimal insurance terms. With cyber insurance continuing to serve as the lifeblood for organisations to recover from cyber-attacks, obtaining and retaining coverage is crucial as part of broader cyber risk management and resilience programming.
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Blog
Oct 2021

Doing Business in The Netherlands

Why the Netherlands? This is a very often asked question. That’s not so surprising, given that the Netherlands is an attractive country for foreign entrepreneurs due to its strategic location and good infrastructure.It is not for nothing that many non-European companies choose the Netherlands as their first choice of a European base. In the past, American companies often chose the UK as the starting point for their European operations. Now that the UK has left the EU, the Netherlands is a logical alternative.The Netherlands as a European baseThe Netherlands attracts many international companies as a European base. It is a country known for its open trade culture and its hospitality to foreign entrepreneurs. It lends itself as the perfect base for your European activities. It offers:a tax treaty with more than 80 countriesan attractive tax environment for foreign companiesperfect IT infrastructure (fibre optic network)local people who speak English to a good standarda stable economy and stable public financesa high level of education of residentsfew labour disputes and strikesCountry and GovernmentThe Netherlands has a total population of 17.5 million (June 2021). It is a parliamentary democracy with a monarch as head of state. Government ministers are the people’s representatives with respect to the actions of the government.The monarch has no political power and cannot therefore be held politically accountable by parliament. The Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces, each with its own local authorities.Tax environmentThe Netherlands is known for its favourable tax climate for foreign companies. The participation exemption – a measure that prevents double taxation of company profits — can be included in the corporate income tax assessment. Whilst the law does impose a number of conditions, the application of the participation exemption is still a plus point for the Dutch business climate.Corporate income tax is low with 15% over the first € 245 000 profit  and 25% over the additional profit. By splitting a concern into several limited companies the average tax rate can be reduced. There is also a VAT advantage for trading companies. A company established in the Netherlands can make use of the import licence referred to in Article 23 of the Dutch Turnover Tax Act. In concrete terms, this means no pre-financing of VAT when importing goods.ExpatsThe Netherlands is also an attractive country for expats. The country’s second language is English. The Netherlands is also seen internationally as an open and tolerant country, so that employees and employers alike feel at home here. There are many complimentary reports from expats about the Netherlands posted on YouTube. (Search: ‘expats — living in the Netherlands’.)Furthermore, expats benefit from the ‘30% ruling’. This helps compensate for the extra costs incurred by an expat working abroad, whereby 30% of their income is exempt from income tax. There are, of course, some conditions that must be met.Structuring profit streamsWhen doing business internationally, it is often (fiscally) interesting to look at how the profit streams of the Dutch and international activities are arranged. This limits the risks to your business. Furthermore, you can take advantage of various tax schemes and benefits in the different countries where you operate. Of course, it is necessary to comply with the EU regulations on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).
An advantage of the Netherlands is the ease and openness of communications with the tax authorities. It is possible to consult on this subject in advance and reach agreements (APAs). In other EU countries, this is often not possible and there can be long periods of uncertainty about, for example, applied intercompany prices.EmploymentIn the Netherlands, labour matters are regulated slightly differently than in other countries. In America, for example, Dutch labour law is regarded as being complex. Much has changed in recent years, although the complexity remains. However, the current system is good to work with and flexible if you manage it well.The Netherlands now has a labour potential of more than one million self-employed workers. This makes flexible business easy.The Netherlands as a distribution countryThe port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe; Amsterdam Airport is one of the larger European hubs for goods and people. The Netherlands is a strategic choice geographically. 95% of Europe’s most lucrative markets are just 24 hours’ drive away from Amsterdam or Rotterdam.The storage facilities for all kinds of goods are enormous. The Netherlands has few natural resources and is forced to earn its income by trading.Some factsThe Netherlands is ranked as the most competitive economy in Europe and fourth in the world according to the World Economic Forum, the fourth most competitive nation in the 2020 IMD rankings; and fifth in the 2020 Global Innovations Index.The EU Innovation Scoreboard 2020 ranked the Netherlands as the fourth-best nation for innovators. These are impressive figures for a small nation.Founding your own businessThe most common legal form is a private limited liability company (‘BV’). Incorporating a company is straightforward and can be done within one week if you have all the documents in place. Opening a bank account has become more difficult over the last few years, but this is a development occurring right across Europe.Interested in the Netherlands?For more information on doing business in The Netherlands, we have launched a new platform - Centuro Connect, that dives into blueprint specifics helping you do your research all in one place. It is the ultimate tool for understanding market entry options, HR, Immigration, Legal Requirements, Tax & Accounting, and much more.
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Oct 2021

Innovation and Leadership


We recently had the privilege of speaking with Executive Vice President and Group CEO of Verizon Consumer, Ronan Dunne. In this exclusive interview, Ronan provides key insights into how 5G is transforming our lives, and the impact it has had on Verizon.How is 5G transforming Verizon / our lives?Ronan Dunne: Whenever a new generation of technology comes out, we’re always prone to saying, “So what’s the new – new?” 5G has significantly enhanced existing capabilities, including:- The use of mobile edge computing: the ability to push a computer off an individual device and to be on the edge of the network and rely on the low latency of the 5G network – means that industrial robots, which usually cost around 100 000 dollars, can now be built for 25 000 dollars as there is less hardware which needs to be inserted.- The ability of the 5G network to support 10 times as many connected devices are actually the reality of AR / VR reality. Instead of a headset that typically requires you to be wired to it, we’re talking about a clip on the side of your designer sunglasses, which is giving you an augmented reality capability, and practically speaking we’re about 12-18 months away from those products being commercially available.- Across all of these considerations, there is much to be excited about with 5G aiding a lot of what we dreamt of real in a short period.Is 5G currently available globally or only in the US?Ronan Dunne: In all fairness, mobile edge computing is very much in its infancy in relation to 5G. 5G capability is being deployed across all the world currently. It is mostly deployed in the mid-band regions, where a capacity of 3.5 gigahertz can be the sweet spot. In the UK, you can already enjoy 5G on your handset. There is massive capacity, for example, a download speed of 10Gigs, not 10 megs on a mobile device. This is coming out everywhere, however requires some of the standards to be upgraded and “SA standalone core” to be uploaded to the 5G networks.We’re talking about a 12-18 month cycle to deliver commercial-grade capabilities in the US and maybe 18 months behind that in Europe.As the current market leader, how does Verizon stay ahead and lead its market share?Ronan Dunne: The trick as a leader is not to do what is expected and to do the unexpected. Essentially divorce the industry and rewrite the rules of the game. My big passion is that actually, we’re not in the technology business at all. In my experience most consumers don’t buy tech, they buy the experience that tech enables.I see us as an experienced company. So my focus over the last few years has been turning the network in the service of the experience and outcomes. Rather than perhaps how Verizon was previously seen, as an engineering-led and network organisation.This has allowed us to evolve to the situation now, where much of what we do is around quality, choice, and experience. We partner with Disney, Apple Music, Google, etc. to create a platform that allows the most creative people across a wide range of industries to have access to the best tech that creates outcomes for customers. We have a well-executed platform strategy.What tips do you have as to how entrepreneurs could differentiate themselves?Ronan Dunne: At Verizon, we’re actually a service company, a subscriptions business, not a product. Typically, many think of us as a product business but the product is actually an Apple or a Samsung handset or device. The service is the ability to use that to do multiple things.  Depending on whether you’re in a product or service organisation, will determine the approach you need to take.Within a service organisation, two things I would say is:1. The service industry isn’t a homogeneous market – we focus on detail segmentation – we use segmentation as an acquisition tool. On the other hand, there’s value-based marketing, which is used as a retention tool.Once a customer joins Verizon, we build a profile of that customer, based on their engagement with us and the services we offer. So we then attribute that to build a capability, meaning that with every touchpoint that customer has with us, whether it’s the network itself or a retail store or elsewhere, we show up how the customer expects.  We use that rich insight, to know and recognise our customers. That’s really the key, to deliver personalised service and experience.2. We want to ensure that we go from the synergy of scale to the beauty of a personal relationship. We are the largest telecommunications company on the planet; we have 100 million consumers every day and 130 million customers overall between consumer and business. But every one of them is an individual and our ability to personalise is an essential ingredient as to how we differentiate.I think in any business, whether it’s service or product if you at least have that mindset you will be focused on what the customer truly values, not what you believe is important.To discover more about this insightful interview, watch the full episode here:
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Event
Oct 2021

GLOBAL EXPANSION CONFERENCE 2022

BOOK TICKETS THE GLOBAL EXPANSION CONFERENCE IS MOVING!   Due to the ongoing uncertainty of which countries will be accepting travelers, Centuro Global has taken the decision to move the Global Expansion Conference in March 2022 to a country that holds less risk of border restrictions.   Barcelona, Spain is a natural choice due to its central location, beautiful climate, and world-class facilities.       WHAT TO EXPECT  The conference is not only the perfect excuse to finally get back to business travel. It is also the nexus of all things related to global expansion: Immigration, Tax, Legal, Accounting, Marketing, and Relocation.    The agenda is scheduled to host world-class thought leaders who will share their views on the new way of doing business. It's disrupt or be disrupted, and at the Global Expansion Conference, we will be exploring these thoughts and co-creating the future of the industry.       WHO WILL ATTEND   Networking has always been at the centre of Centuro Global's success, and the conference will be the perfect event for such networking to take place. Besides the Centuro Global Partners, CEOs, HR Directors, and Global Expansion Managers from leading multi-national companies will also attend, allowing for a sharing of ideas, but also providing the opportunity to firm up relationships that can be expanded after the conference.       CANCELLATION   The idea of an in-person conference was only a dream a few months ago, but with the steady rollout of vaccines around the globe, international travel is back on the agenda. Full COVID-19 protocols will be in place, and a refund of the conference ticket will be available should the conference be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions in Spain.    With a delegation of approximately 200 people, and tickets selling fast, we believe that it is the perfect time to book your refundable ticket now and be part of this amazing occasion. JOIN US Join the Global expansion ecosystem and network with: CEOs and Founders of expanding businesses, Investors, Heads of Global Mobility for multinational organisations, HR Directors, Immigration specialists, Lawyers, Tax professionals, and Accountants as well as Marketing professionals. REGISTER HERE 
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Sep 2021

The third edition of our magazine: Centuro Connect is here

We are delighted to share with you our third edition of the Centuro Connect magazine. Things over at Centuro Global have been so busy, with many new milestones being achieved and our team growing in size and capabilities.We hope that the content in this magazine helps to reflects our appetite for risk and trendsetting. Our goal is to change the status quo of traditional tested methods of business and push ourselves beyond the normal boundaries.  Some of the key topics include in this edition will cover:-Latest update and summary of Centuro Connect -Insights and dedicated features related to Legal, Insurance, Marketing, Immigration and Tax -Events -Quick ReadsAs we head into the Autumn, we are excited about our upcoming plans, growing our community, and increasing the deal flow in the network. This issue provides updates and insights into the last quarter, and we hope you enjoy reading the content.To access the full magazine, please click HERE.  
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Event
Sep 2021

PATHWAYS FOR EXPANDING YOUR BUSINESS INTO CANADA SUCCESSFULLY

Centuro Global together with Canadian Partners Trowbridge and Allied Lawyers are excited to present an exclusive in-person networking event discussing the pathways for expanding your business into Canada.   This event is the perfect opportunity for European and UK-based companies, start-ups, or entrepreneurs who are looking to expand into Canada to discover the pathways that are available to them and how to action a successful Canadian expansion plan.  To understand the legal and tax requirements for entering Canada, some of the key topics will include:  Canadian Election Update – tax and legal considerations Canadian tax matters on businesses entering Canada and considerations from a corporate and globally mobile employee  Commercial legal considerations and opportunities  UK emigration challenges  Canadian partners and immigration experts will be on the ground to cover any questions or concerns you may have when considering your expansion into Canada. A broad range of UK-based experts in Tax, Legal, Accounting as well as Immigration will also be present should you wish to understand any complexities you may face.  Centuro Global has identified some of the top reasons as to why companies should set up a company in Canada. The following benefits include:  Setting up a company in Canada gives access to the USMCA, which is the agreement between US-Mexico-Canada for trade among the nations that account for 475 million population and combined GDP of US$ 24 trillion. Canada has signed 14 free trade agreements covering 60% of the world’s GDP. Setting up a business in Canada gives access to this enormous market that is not available in most countries. Canada has developed an excellent road, rail, and sea transportation network that provides companies with access to export-oriented business. Canada’s effective federal corporate tax rate is 9% after small business reduction and 15% after general tax reduction. This makes Canada extremely lucrative for establishing companies. Canada has 95 DTAAs with countries that are the world's biggest markets such as the US, China, India, Russia, etc., making it a very lucrative place to start a business for exports. Canada offers a lower cost of operations than the US, Australia, Germany, and the UK, making it one of the more cost-effective places to start a business. Forming a company in Canada for foreigners is easy since there is no restriction on the shareholders' nationality. To establish an LLC, only one shareholder and one director At least one director of a Canadian company should be a resident Canadian in most of the provinces. Date: 13th October 2021 Venue: Centuro Global HQ, 30 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf.  Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm BST SPEAKERS: Helena Turner - Director of Tax, Private Client Services, Trowbridge Professional Corporation Parineeta Chahal - Barrister & solicitor, Allied Lawyers Arun Nagratha  - Managing Director, Global Mobility Services, Trowbridge Professional Corporation Asma Bashir - Chairman, Centuro Global  To discover more about potential opportunities in Canada, understanding the business and market entry landscape as well as having an opportunity to connect to some key industry experts, we highly recommend you register to attend this exclusive event. 
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Sep 2021

GAMING AND BETTING IN BRAZIL

2021 saw the 75th anniversary of the general ban of games of chance in Brazil1. The last roulette spin was played in the casino of the iconic Copacabana Palace Hotel on the night of 30th April 1946, when President Dutra issued a Decree-Law confirming the prohibition. Ever since, such general ban has been embedded in the controversial article 50 of the Criminal Contraventions Law, which defines games of chance as those where the result of the games relies exclusively or predominantly on luck and does not authorize them to be conducted in public venues or those accessible by the public, whether an entry is required or not. In the context of the foregoing, considering the internet as a public venue or one accessible by the public has attracted a lot of discussions, especially since hundreds of foreign online gaming and betting operators currently access the Brazilian market and accept bets from Brazilian punters. A conservative interpretation of the Criminal Contraventions Law would indeed consider the internet as satisfying the requirements for being deemed a public venue or one accessible by the public, especially as from 4th August 2015, when Federal Law No. 13,155/2015 amended paragraph 2 of Article 50 of the Brazilian Criminal Contraventions Law to specify that players betting online are equally subject to the payment of a fine. Currently, the only legal forms of authorised gambling in Brazil are:State-run lottery (both at Federal and State level), including scratch cards;Horse race betting at authorised racetracks;Online or land-based fixed-odds sports betting (pending regulation to be issued in 2021, as promised by the Federal Government, subject to licensing). Horse race betting is allowed at authorised race tracks in Brazil It follows from the above that the deciding factor in ascertaining whether a game is considered to be one of chance in Brazil is the extent to which winning or losing depends on luck or skill. Whenever the outcome depends predominantly on skill (even if luck is a factor in the result), the game will not be considered gambling and, hence, will not be subject to the restrictions of the Criminal Contraventions Law.Recognition of the distinction between games of skill and games of chance is increasingly present in Brazil nowadays. Skill games are generally referred to as “mind sports” (esportes da mente, in Portuguese). In this regard, the Brazilian Federal Government recently approved the Brazilian Chess Association for the Visually Impaired, the Confederation of Texas Hold’em, and the Brazilian Bridge Federation, recognizing that such games are sports. The Brazilian Federal Government recognizes Chess as a sport.In the context of the above, there are two main bills seeking to legalize all forms of gambling in Brazil, one proposed in the Senate and the other in the House of Representatives. Neither bill has yet been approved by the house where they have been respectively proposed:House of Representatives Bill of Law No. 442/1991Seeks to legalize various forms of gambling, both online and land-based.Registry for gambling addicts will be put into place and an individual will be included either by choice or judicial order. Such persons cannot gamble.Licensed entities must be:Incorporated under Brazilian law, with headquarters and management in the country;Technically capable of conducting the activity; and Financially and economically credible.Shareholders/managers must also provide documents such as income tax returns and clearance certificates, have no criminal precedents, etc.Servers for online gaming operators must be located in Brazil.Land-based casinos: the number of establishments per state varies between one and three and is based on the number of inhabitants of each state. Based on the current population of each State:São Paulo could have up to 3 casinos.Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Bahia could have up to 2 casinos each.Other Brazilian states could have 1 casino each.This limit would not apply to hydro-mineral resorts where casinos have previously been operated (i.e., certain cities in the State of Minas Gerais).No group may be granted two licenses in the same state, nor more than 5 licenses in the country. Licenses will be granted for 30 years, renewable for another 30 years.Senate Bill of Law No. 186/2014Seeks to legalize various forms of gambling, both online and land-based.Providers must comply with Central Bank rules regarding:Identification of players.Communication of financial transactions.Keeping of records.The first concrete development towards the legalization of gaming and betting came at the end of 2018, with the enactment of Federal Law No. 13,756/2018, legalizing fixed-odds sports betting, both land-based and online. The law defines fixed-odds sports betting as a lottery modality consisting of a betting system related to real sports-themed events (and, therefore, in principle, not to electronic sporting events), in which how much the punter can win if his/her prediction is correct is defined at the time the bet is placed. At the end of 2020, the Brazilian regulator (SECAP – a division of the Ministry of the Economy) announced plans to roll out regulations for fixed-odds sports betting by July 2021, a promise which was not honoured.In its latest draft decree released last year, SECAP opted for the concession licensing model out of the three possible approaches (being the other two approaches: authorization licensing [which would entail an unlimited number of licenses] or monopoly licensing). Under the concession model, operators will have to bid competitively against each other to "win" one of the few licenses limited in number. Initially, it was expected that no more than 30 operators would be able to function in Brazil at any one time. However, the latest rumors indicate that the total of available licenses should be between 50 and 100. But considering that approximately 500 foreign sportsbooks are believed to be currently operating in Brazil's market, even this increased number of licenses may not be sufficient. However, there is still hope this wind may change direction. Sixty-six companies responded to a recent Request for Information issued by Brazil’s National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) and thirty-eight were selected to receive a Request for Proposal to select a company or consortium of companies to assist BNDES in structuring the industry for fixed-odds sports betting in Brazil, which would include working with SECAP in defining the most appropriate business model and legal framework. The news is that the qualifying applicants had not yet received such RFPs by mid-July and this is the reason why SECAP could not honor its promise to roll out the regulations. This may now happen in the months to come.Besides not defining the licensing model for fixed-odds sports betting in Brazil, Law No. 13,756/2018 was also greatly criticized by the industry for contemplating a turnover tax (3% for online operations and 6% for land-based operations), in addition to the taxes usually paid by companies operating in Brazil.Fortunately, this changed in July 2021 when Law No. 13,756/2018, by means of an Amendment to Provisional Measure No. 1,034/2021, which was converted into Law No. 14,183/2021, whereby Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR), rather than total revenue/turnover, became the basis for calculating the additional tax paid by licensed operators.As the law now stands, payout (without limitation) and the corresponding withholding income tax (levied at the rate of 30%) will be deducted from the operator’s total revenue to form the tax basis. The gaming tax now applicable can be broken down as follows:Allocation of proceeds Law No. 13,756/2018 Law No. 14,183/2021 (which amended Law No. 13,756/2018)   Land-based operators Online operators Land-based operators Online operators Social security, subject to the provisions of article 26 of Law No. 8,212 of 24th July 1991 0.5% 0.25% 0.10% 0.05% Entities and units of the public, elementary and high school units that have achieved the goals established for the results of the national basic education evaluations, as per the norms of the Ministry of Education 1% 0.75% 0.82% 0.82% National Public Security Fund 2.5% 1% 2.55% 2.55% Soccer entities that assign the rights of use of their names, trademarks, emblems, anthems,  symbols and other similar signs for advertising and conduction of the lottery 2% 1% 1.63% 1.63% Payout and withholding income tax Min. 80% Min. 89% 95% 95% Gross gaming revenue 
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Sep 2021

GAMING AND BETTING IN BRAZIL (CONTINUED)

GAMING AND BETTING IN BRAZIL CONTINUED...As far as enforcement actions are concerned, these have so far focused only on local operators and money laundering issues. Since Brazilian credit card companies are subject to controls established in the Brazilian Anti-Money Laundering Law (Law No. 9,613/1998, as subsequently amended), which deems money laundering to be a crime when the monies laundered derive from any illegal activities (therefore, not only from crimes but also from criminal contraventions), some of them do not authorize clients to use their credit cards on gaming and betting websites. Brazilian credit card companies are subject to controls.Once fixed-odds sports betting is regulated and licenses start being issued, it is likely that enforcement against offshore operators that are not licensed locally will increase significantly.  Besides the legislative front, gaming and betting in Brazil have also been impacted by judicial decisions, especially those emanating from the Supreme Court (STF). In this regard, the courts of the State of Rio Grande do Sul are generally of the opinion that the Federal Constitution, which was enacted after the Criminal Contravention Law (which prohibits games of chance), revoked such law. Accordingly, such courts have issued decisions allowing establishments that exploit games of chance to remain open in such States (with certain restrictions until this is definitively ruled upon). The matter has been taken to the STF and has been deemed to be of “general repercussion”, which means that the ruling will be binding on all Brazilian courts. All lower court cases are suspended until this leading case is ruled upon. If the STF rules that the restriction on gambling is indeed unconstitutional, all forms of gambling could, potentially, be legalized without regulation.  The STF case and the bills of law mentioned in this column have been under review for a long time and are deemed extremely controversial. A ruling by STF, which may lift all restrictions on games of chances in Brazil, was expected for 7th April 2021and was then postponed for an indefinite date. In the light of the disruptions caused by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is uncertain whether there will be major progress in these matters within the next months.  Another important STF decision issued towards the end of last year and which unanimously ruled the end of the Union's monopoly on the exploitation of lottery modalities has also had a great impact not only on the lottery industry but also on fixed-odds sports betting. In its decision the STF recognized the Federal Union’s authority, embedded in clause XX of article 22 of the Federal Constitution of 1988, to legislate on consortia and draws (including lotteries), but that such authority does not preclude the States’ authority to exploit and regulate lotteries. Following this decision, several Brazilian states have taken the necessary steps to launch their own lotteries. However, the federal government wants to limit bets in state lotteries. In this regard, it is expected that SECAP will publish in the near future an ordinance establishing rules for the creation of lotteries and sports betting systems at the state level. One of them is the adoption of mechanisms that prevent bets from other states of the Federation. One of SECAP's goals is to prevent the creation of state lotteries from emptying federal concessions for the sector, but the measure can be challenged and end up in court. Several Brazilian states have taken the necessary steps to launch their own lotteries.  Moreover, the STF decision, not only an important victory for Brazilian states which have been exploiting their own lotteries, but may also potentially impact the regulation and exploitation of fixed-odds sports betting in Brazil, since, as previously mentioned, they have been deemed by law as a lottery modality. This means that, at least in theory, while Brazilian states will be in a position, following the STF ruling, to exploit any form of lottery already in existence at the federal level, and given that fixed-odds sports betting is a form of lottery, Brazilian states may be able to impact the federal licensing program by granting licenses to operators at State level.  It follows from the above that gaming, betting, and lottery industries are gaining greater momentum in Brazil. This may be incremented now that Senator Ciro Nogueira, who has in recent years spearheaded the legalization of all forms of gambling in Brazil, has been appointed by President Jair Bolsonaro as his Chief of Staff (Ministro da Casa Civil). We will have to wait and see. For more information on Brazil and doing business in the LATAM region, we have launched a new platform - Centuro Connect, that dives into blueprint specifics helping you do your research all in one place. It is the ultimate tool for understanding market entry options, HR, Immigration, Legal Requirements, Tax & Accounting, and much more. TAKE A LOOK AT THE PLATFORM 
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Sep 2021

How Midsize Companies can compete in AI

The move towards AI-powered startups and mid-size businesses continues to grow rapidly, as companies leverage AI's capabilities. There seem to be two key streams of companies who appear well-positioned to explore AI and the impact on their business: startup ventures and multi-billion dollar giant corporations.  In a recent article by Harvard Business Review (HBR), they outline some of the ways in which AI ventures can help to support midsize companies.   If a midsize business wants to thrive in the AI era, it will need to evaluate the new ways in which it can become more competitive. This might include some options that have not yet been considered. Three examples HBR provides include:  1. Source cross pool data. By sourcing and organising data from multiple sources, mid-size companies are able to train and deploy machine learning (ML) algorithms for a variety of applications.   2. Source an in-house team of experts trained in AI to develop unique solutions. This is to help prevent putting long-term value creation.   3. Connect to an AI-focused CVC fund. This helps midsized firms to pool financial resources as well as technical and business expertise to scan and invest in the AI startup scene.  By offering access to an interconnected network of firms, rather than just a single firm, these joint ventures may also be more interesting partners for startups seeking financial and complementary resources.  READ THE FULL HBR ARTICLE ON HOW MID-SIZED COMPANIES CAN COMPETE IN AI HERE.
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Sep 2021

Selling in Russia

Russia remains one of the most interesting markets in Eastern Europe for foreign entrepreneurs because of its high market potential and low competition in many industries. On the other hand, speaking from the perspective of the Western world, Russia is a peculiar ecosystem in the economic and legal sense. Russia is not the EU, which means the rules for doing business are different.Saint Basil's Cathedral. Church in Red Square in Moscow, RussiaRussia exists under sanctions and pressure from the West. Russia has its own digital ecosystem - Google is not the main search engine, Facebook is not the main social network, and Amazon is not the main e-commerce platform. Despite this, we see that a significant number of global companies have expressed an interest in doing business both with Russia and with the entire Russian-speaking audience. And when you enter the Russian market (144 million people), your business automatically comes to the attention of 260 million Russian-speaking people around the world.Sales in Russia 2020The Economic Crisis and the consequences of the restrictions imposed in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on the development of trade in Russia:● Wholesale trade turnover increased by $3.6 billion in the Russian Federation in 2020 compared to 2019 and amounted to $1.1 trillion at the end of the year.● Retail turnover decreased by 4.1% in 2020 compared to 2019 and amounted to $454.8 billion. Retail sales of food products fell by 2.6% up to $222 billion, non - food products-by 5.2% up to $232.8 billion;● According to the Association of E-Commerce Companies, the volume of the Russian e-commerce market in 2020 increased by 58.5%, up to $43.3 billion, while its share in the total sales of the retail market amounted to 9.6%. Due to the pandemic, a drop of 25% was recorded in the cross-border model.Based on the results of 2020, e-commerce has become one of the most dynamic sectors in the Russian economy. It is worth mentioning that because of the pandemic and the imposition of restrictions in the Russian Federation, as well as around the world, different segments of the consumer market have been substantially transformed. In particular, the demand has dramatically transferred from physical stores to online merchants. The largest online hypermarkets and marketplaces have strengthened their leadership online, and many retailers have initiated active development within a multi-channel model of interaction with customers which were linked not only with the development of their own online stores and delivery, but also with the development of applications for mobile devices, cooperation with marketplaces, and development of joint projects with other retailers and service companies.E-commerce has become one of the most dynamic sectors in the Russian economy.Specificity of the Russian MarketRussia is ranked 28 in the Ease of Doing Business (The World Bank). The country holds a higher position in the following rating categories: Getting electricity (7), Registering property (12), Getting credit (25), Enforcing contracts (21), and Dealing with construction permits (26). Such conditions promote the development of entrepreneurship in Russia, including the influx of foreign trade operators.An important factor in the development of modern trade is the e-commerce segment. Russia holds the 25th position in The Inclusive Internet Index, having a positive impact on the e-commerce development in the country. In this regard, representatives of retail and wholesale sales should give special consideration to the company's presence on the Internet, in particular, to the adaptation of web resources into the Russian language.Hermitage, Palace Square, Saint Petersburg, RussiaRussia is a huge country, so logistics play a special role. Not only product delivery to the country should be considered, but also its transportation across Russia. In The Logistics Performance Index rating, Russia held only the 75th position, due to the low infrastructure quality assessment and complicated customs clearance, which is one of the barriers to foreign companies entering Russia. Another unfavorable factor is administrative barriers and complex legislation.Peculiarities of business promotion in RussiaThe first thing which should be considered to promote in the Russian market is the localization of advertising materials, web resources, and other content into the Russian language. It is not just the translation, but the processing of all materials in accordance with the Russian legislation, the peculiarities of the language, and the cultural characteristics of Russian consumers. For example, vulgarities, sex jokes, and the demonstration of losers in advertising are not relevant for a Russian consumer.Vulgarities, sex jokes, and the demonstration of losers in advertising are not relevant for a Russian consumer. Once I had a conversation with the Head of a New York representative office of a large network agency. He promoted Western FMCG products on the Russian market at the beginning of the ’90s. He noticed the high level of education of the Russian consumer. To increase sales of laundry powder in most developing countries, it is enough to show a funny dance and a happy family. The Russian consumer doesn’t believe such advertising messages. In Russia, commercials with tests and experiments, scientific facts proving the effectiveness of the product worked well.If you look at the whole world, you can distinguish four large digital ecosystems. The first one includes North and South America, Europe, and most of Asia: Google, Facebook, Apple, etc. Next, China, South Korea, and Russia stand apart with their own special ecosystems. The reasons for China are familiar to everyone - everything is blocked. The firewall simply keeps out Western media giants. There are no restrictions on Western services in Korea, but they are not popular there for political reasons. And only in Russia, there is real and fair competition between media giants. And, of course, this is because of the fundamental mathematical education (and as a result, a great many qualified programmers), that has been in Russia since the Soviet Union.Zhivopisnyy Most, Moscow, Russia In this connection, the second important factor to be taken into account when promoting is the Russian unique digital ecosystem, which includes Russian-language channels that are little known in foreign countries:● Yandex search engine and its services are the most popular in Russia (84.3 million users) and Google occupies the second position (82.4 million users in Russia, according to Mediascope research company for May 2021).● The most popular social network in Russia is VKontakte. More than 70 million Russian people use the social network every month. Another Russian social network, Odnoklassniki, with an audience of 42 million users is in the top three in Russia. Facebook ranks in only fifth position with an audience of 35.8 million users in Russia.Facebook ranks in only fifth position with an audience of 35.8 million users in Russia In the category of marketplaces in Russia, there are also players that are not represented in the world market. The top Russian trading platforms include AliExpress Russia, Yandex. Market, Ozon, Lamoda and Wildberries. The turnover of the largest companies on average increased by more than one and a half times over the year. Such growth has become a steady trend due to the increased competition and state policy aimed at business localization.For more information on doing business in Russia, we have launched a new platform - Centuro Connect, that dives into blueprint specifics helping you do your research all in one place. It is the ultimate tool for understanding market entry options, HR, Immigration, Legal Requirements, Tax & Accounting, and much more.EXPLORE THE PLATFORM
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Event
Aug 2021

Global Mobility Changemakers Roundtable

Would you like to make an impact in your organisation and transform the way global mobility is delivered?Join us for our roundtable event in partnership with Next Gen GM, where we will explore how the next generation of global mobility professionals can become key stakeholders in providing businesses with a competitive edge. We will discuss:➢ Fulfilling the duty of care as more and more people choose to WFH/remotely.➢ Tax implications and permanent establishment requirements for remote workers.➢ Immigration – getting the right people to the right place with minimal risk.➢ Using technology to transform business operations in a lean and sustainable way.The event will be hosted at the elegant Walbrook Club on Thursday, 16th September 2021 at 14:30 GMT. Click the link below to purchase a ticket for a great afternoon of Global Mobility discussion and innovation as we host our second in-person event in eighteen months.REGISTER FOR A TICKET
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Jul 2021

Top 3 European Countries For International Expansion From The UK

Are you considering expanding your UK business into Europe, but unsure of which best countries to start with? We’ve broken down three of the best countries you should be considering as part of your global expansion process - France, Germany, and Denmark. Our selection criteria based on a range of benefits includes key market information and quality of life.Which country is best for you will be dependent on your sector. If you’d like more information about expanding into over 150 international markets you can sign up to Centuro Connect FREE for detailed global expansion strategies.1. FranceIt can be easy to overlook the UK's closest neighbour for opportunities further afield, but France has one of the largest economies in the world. They also have world-leading electronics, manufacturing, health, education, and finance sectors, making it one of the best countries for business in those industries.The country has a population of  67 million and has access to the EU single market. There is a well-educated workforce, with 34% of 25-64-year-olds holding a degree making it a good job market as well."France is a top-ranked country in regards to its quality of roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure."In regards to residing in France, there are notable benefits to be had from both a corporate and social standpoint. For example, residents’ work/social-life balance is important. The Labour Code forbids work on a Sunday and overtime has an impressive 25% bonus. Whilst these are largely employee benefits, it gives business owners insight as to the approach to the balanced work-life in France. With a good balance of work and social life comes higher levels of productivity from your workforce.In addition to the above, government policy is favourable to entrepreneurs. President Emmanuel Macron once stated that he wanted to make France “the start-up nation”. As a result, there is considerably less red tape to fight through when setting up in France as you may encounter in other nations. For example, there is such a thing as a French Tech Visa. This acts as a fast-track way to residency for foreign tech talent.2. GermanyGermany is home to a highly educated and multinational workforce - a key factor to consider when expanding abroad and recruiting locals. In fact, business is the most studied degree in Germany, closely followed by social sciences and engineering. Additionally, The nation's second most spoken language is English, spoken by over 56% of residents. Communications are a big factor to consider when going global, particularly if you don’t speak the local language yourself."Germany's corporation tax is only 15%."Setting up in Germany also requires less backing than many other locations in Europe. One notable benefit is that only one director and one shareholder are required to set up a company in the country.In terms of the marketability of your services or products, Germany’s population is 82 million. This makes it the biggest market in all of Western Europe. Logistically, the country is also well situated in central Europe. This allows excellent access to surrounding countries and, in turn, their markets too.There is a growing belief that as the UK leaves the European Union business owners will choose Germany instead. Germany will likely take advantage of this and as a result, there could be good incentives to expand here. For this reason, we’d recommend keeping a close eye on Germany and what it can offer your business.3. DenmarkDenmark has not only a strong economy but has also been listed as one of the best countries in the world for cross-border trade. This makes it ideally suited to support international businesses. It is well connected to the other countries in this article, positioned north of Germany & France, and is also well connected for international supply due to its long coastline.In terms of relocating you, your family, and/or your employees, the country has some of the highest living standards in the world. It is also recognised as having the second-highest levels of gender equality in all of Europe, second only to Sweden."There is no need to immigrate or relocate to Denmark when setting up a business there. Local law allows business owners to do this remotely which can significantly simplify your international expansion strategy."Getting started here is quick, taking only 3.5 days to register a company. It is 3rd on the rankings of the easiest countries to do business in the world - which incidentally makes it the best in Europe.Whilst commonly overlooked, Denmark is one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to expanding your business overseas from the UK.If you would like to know more about any of the countries on this list, why not take a look at our new AI-powered Centuro Connect platform? It has detailed timelines and strategies for your global business expansion from our leading team of expansion experts.If you need help finding connections in the country you would like to expand into, the platform helps you liaise with approved partners in order to help you on your journey.Click here to find out more about the Centuro Connect platform and sign up completely free!
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Jul 2021

What to consider when expanding your UK business abroad post Brexit

Brexit has posed both opportunities and challenges for various industries since the UK finally left the EU on January 1st, 2021. Some businesses will thrive under the new trade deal agreement, while others will reminisce about the old days of closer links to Europe. For the latter, international expansion into new markets could be a realistic and lucrative option.Expanding or relocating your business will open up opportunities for new trading deals, resources, consumer markets, and infrastructure. Regardless of your industry or product, there’s likely to be a European destination well suited to your commercial needs.Knowing where to start can be a difficult process. Factors such as time, finance, logistics, and justification all need to be considered. Fortunately, Centuro Connect has created this five-step checklist to ensure you’re on the right track with your post-Brexit business expansion.Watch our webinar on Doing Business in a post-Brexit EuropeIncentives For Global Business ExpansionOne key consideration should be whether the international market you’re looking to expand into has financial incentives. Some European countries have low start-up fees, generous tax reductions, and grants. This can make your global expansion process quicker and more cost-effective. Some countries have capitalised on Brexit and offered additional incentives, partly with the view of attracting UK businesses into their market. An example of this would be France's recent initiative that invests in startup tech companies with a Tech Visa. This stated, some countries may seem perfect for your business and services, but in actual fact you’re coming up against a lot of red tapes. In the same way, be vigilant about deals that seem “too good to be true”, and look out for long or expensive processes. Use the following questions to narrow down your shortlist of countries for international expansion by evaluating what they can offer you, before considering what you will do for them:What is the funding process in my chosen market?Which markets can offer me the best incentives?Are there any specific visas relevant to my industry?ImmigrationImmigration laws will be a key factor in how you expand your business overseas. European countries will have differing immigration laws, meaning you’ll have to extensively research which market suits your needs.Some countries will allow you to set up remotely, allowing you to oversee operations from your current location. This is particularly useful if you’re not looking to relocate your entire business and will save on personal travel and accommodation expenses over the duration of your setup.If you are looking to move with your business, it’s essential that you research visa requirements. Some international markets allow easier entry for certain industries. Examples of this would be the EU Blue Card or a Tech Visa. Use this immigration checklist before moving forward with your expansion journey:I understand the visa requirements for my chosen countryI know whether or not I am entitled to some form of business visaI can set up my business remotelyI know whether I need a resident of the country to be involved in the business setupTax & AccountingKnowing exactly where to begin with tax and accounting can be a minefield for business owners when expanding overseas. As a minimum, businesses will use an end-of-year accountant to ensure the company’s books are in order and that they are adhering to taxation laws. It can be a stress-inducing task, but entirely manageable with the right help.There should be no assumption that tax laws operate the same in alternate markets. Below is a list of things you should be aware of and checking throughout your new tax setup:If outsourcing, find a trusted accountant to work alongside youDevelop a good relationship with your accountant through frequent communications and sharing business plansDevise a tax risk management plan for safetyHave a cash repatriation infrastructure readyEmploymentYou may be familiar with employment laws in the UK, but requirements across Europe vary significantly depending on where you expand into. One notable example which varies from country to country is weekly working hours. Some governments enforce strict limits on hours that can be worked by anyone employed in a week. This should be a consideration when hiring your workforce, as a team of eight in the UK may need to be a team of ten elsewhere.In addition, there are lots to consider when addressing factors such as payroll, annual leave, HR, and contract setup. Be sure to address these employment questions along your global expansion journey:Is a local payroll provider required?What will my employees be entitled to from me, the employer?Who/what is required to draw up an employment agreement?What are the options to terminate employment?What type of work permits are available for any non-local hires?What are the legal maximum working hours per week in my chosen country?Community, Culture & Global ExpansionWhen expanding your business abroad, you aren’t just relocating assets. Very often you will be moving with your business and, for that reason, you should be confident of the area - the culture and social aspects of your new life. You will already know to brand your business in a way that appeals to the culture of the new market. In the same way, you prepare to give your business the best head start, you should do it for yourself and your family. Familiarise yourself with local traditions, language and make an effort to integrate yourself into the community. Below is a list of things you could do to make this transition period as enjoyable as possible from a personal standpoint:Partner with other local businesses or figures in the communityFamiliarise yourself with the language - app stores are full of fun tools for thisLearn about the history of your new locationJoin a local not-for-profit, such as an improvement districtPutting it into practiceThe Centuro Connect platform allows you to track all of the above in one centralised process.The Centuro Connect platform has details on tax, immigration, market entry points, HR, marketing, and real estate for 150+ countries. Contactable and reliable experts are also on hand to help you ace your expansion. The entire platform and its contents are completely free to use and it’s been specifically designed to have a simple sign-up process and easy-to-use features.You can sign up for the Centuro Connect platform for FREE today! There’s no risk, no hidden costs, and no endless documentation to fill out. Just a wealth of information and like-minded experts to help you throughout your international business expansion.Find out more about global expansion benefits and Centuro Connect here.
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Jul 2021

An International Expansion Case Study

Scaling your business from your local market abroad provides a wealth of opportunities. Perhaps most notably is the new market entry advantage. Just because your organisation is operating well in its local market doesn’t mean there isn’t a new opportunity out there that will prove even more successful. Just Eat is one of the most globally recognised takeaway services, with it successfully operating in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, China, and Spain, to name a few. What many aren’t aware of is that Just Eat's home country is in fact Denmark. One of the key reasons this is little-known is because the company didn’t truly take off as a service until it relocated to the UK in 2006. So, why is it that? This case study explores Just Eat’s global expansion strategy, why it was successful, and how effective business planning turned them into a global household name.New Market Opportunity One of the most notable areas that Just Eat succeeded in during its international expansion was defining and serving the market most relevant to them. Whilst Denmark was providing the company opportunity, Just Eat noted the demand of the UK takeaway market. They were bought out by Bo Bendtsen in 2005, who decided to launch the Just Eat Headquarters in London.To provide context to just how much the UK market could offer, over 50% of Europe’s food delivery industry is based in Britain. Adapting and expanding to serve a well-suited market proved a smart move for the takeaway business. As of 2017, over 70% of the company’s revenue came from the UK alone, despite being located in over a dozen countries worldwide by this time.Connect’s Tip:If you’re looking to expand your business abroad, first try to define "why and where". You may have a dream of moving to a specific country, but if that new country and its market don’t serve your business framework then you should continue to research other alternatives. The perfect opportunity is out there, so be open to all options for you and your business!Further Expansion & Buying PowerWhilst international expansion is a step-by-step process, with success comes the opportunity to further expand your business. This is exactly what Just Eat did, with the Netherlands and Ireland being the next locations for expansion in 2007 and 2008 respectively. By this point, the company was growing rapidly, as well as acquiring multi-million-pound investments with the view of buying out competitors further afield. Within the next 10 years, the company had either expanded to or bought out their market competition in Australia, Canada, and the UK. At the time of writing this article, they are operating in some capacity across 23 different countries.Just Eat is also a partner to other existing businesses in Brazil and Columbia, proving a versatile approach to their international expansion method.Connect’s Tip: Like with Just Eat, a versatile approach to international growth often means more opportunities come your way.Whilst their journey was far from an overnight process, Just Eat assessed every market competitor and approached each new venture with a different expansion strategy. Whether it came down to expanding as their own brand or buying out/partnering with their competition, Just Eat’s varied strategy is what has ultimately helped them become a global market leader. Branding & SponsorshipBranding is something that can easily be lost in the wider picture when expanding your business globally.Whilst your business will already have a brand identity, it’s important to consider what may potentially work even better in other markets. Just Eat has done a great job at not only changing branding, messaging, and logos to keep up with the times, but also tailoring it to their various markets.For example, when acquiring existing takeaway competitors in Australia and Canada, Just Eat chose to maintain the already familiar names of the companies and simply rebranded the logos to the trademark ‘Just Eat logo style’. This means that in Australia Just Eat is known as Menulog and in Canada, Skip The Dishes. Maintaining the corporate identities of companies that the new markets are already familiar with gave Just Eat a valuable head-start when relocating to new countries. You’ll see below the examples of each brand and how they compare.In terms of international sponsorship, this is yet another area in which Just Eat has succeeded. Previously shirt sponsors of English football club Derby and Belgian side Oud-Heverlee Leuven, the company ensured that their brand identity was visible to their target market across various countries. In a similar sponsorship deal, Just Eat also sponsored the 14th and 15th series of the UK X-Factor. Connect’s Tip:If you’re expanding into new markets, it’s important your strategy assesses how your brand will likely be perceived in your new location. Ensure that translations are appropriate and coherent to foreign audiences or clients and that you are appealing to the correct target market from the start.The Just Eat expansion journey has been going for over 14 years now. Relocating and expanding your business is a long process but, as you will have seen, one that provides a great wealth of opportunity when done correctly.Start your expansion journey with your own free downloadable resources! Define your goals, set a timeline, and check them off as you go. See this as the starting point as you get your business expansion underway.For further assistance in your own global expansion journey, the Free Centuro Connect platform is here for you...Centuro Connect - The best New Market Entry PlatformThe Centuro Connect platform has been created as a centralised cluster of resources for entities looking to enter new markets. The Centuro Connect platform has details on tax, immigration, market entry points, HR, marketing, and real estate for 100+ countries. Contactable and reliable experts are also on hand to help you ace your expansion. The entire platform and its contents are completely free to use and have been specifically designed to have a simple sign-up process and easy-to-use features, all whilst does not cost businesses a penny!You can sign up for the Centuro Connect platform for FREE today! There’s no risk, no single hidden cost, and no endless documentation to fill out. Just a wealth of information and like-minded experts to help you in launching your business overseas.
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Jul 2021

Foreign Investment in the US

Global expansion into foreign markets is the key growth strategy for most companies around the world. Since the start of the pandemic, understanding the factors that influence where and how to invest in a foreign market has never been more critical.   Where to invest for foreign investors According to the 2021 Kearney FDI Confidence Index (Index), global investors remain cautious following the changes to the world economy in 2020, even as vaccines bring some predictions of global economic growth in 2021.   Caution by investors is reinforced by the continuing high rankings of developed countries with established economies in which foreign investors plan to invest.    For the ninth consecutive year, the US market continues to rank #1 on the Index as the market in which foreign investors surveyed and would expect to invest in the next three years. Canada has ranked #2 in 2020 and 2021, and together with the US, the North American market dominates as the top destination for foreign direct investment FDI.    What are foreign investors seeking in established markets with the lingering uncertainty of the pandemic?    While tax rates remain ranked as the most influential factor in deciding where to make a foreign investment, technology, innovation, and research & development (R&D) follow closely behind. These capabilities are common in most developed countries with established economies. And with the steep acceleration of the digital economy because of the pandemic, they are critical to global expansion for most companies.   The  Index also reflects the caution of foreign investors considering a location for foreign investment. Factors highly ranked or making a significant move up in the 2021 rankings include efficiency of legal processes, a transparent justice system, transparency of regulations, lack of corruption, strong investor protection rights, government incentives, and a business environment of security.   The high-ranking regulatory factors reinforce the desire for safety and stability to accompany the high-tech capabilities. The abundance of both in the U.S. market supports its #1 ranking as the top market to invest in, the world's leading economic power, the largest international financial centre, and the third-largest country in the world in terms of population.   The United States' strong points also include it being the world's largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) with the US government's policies on taxation and regulation offer foreign investors wide freedom.  How to invest for foreign companies When considering foreign investments in the United States of America, government organizations at the federal and state levels have programmes to assist investors in the process of planning and executing an expansion.  These programmes provide a wealth of information, introductions to customers and suppliers, incentives, and other services to foreign companies expanding in their area.   At the federal level, SelectUSA is a US Department of Commerce programme to facilitate foreign investments into the US.  The SelectUSA Investment Summit held annually offers a full agenda and an impressive matchmaking platform for foreign companies to connect with economic developers, government officials, service providers, and each other.  SelectUSA also offers many events and services throughout the year, making it a great place to investigate a foreign investment in the US.   Beyond economic development assistance, foreign investors need access to information about the requirements and costs of doing business in the US. Working together with a network of advisors experienced in early-stage expansion is key to a successful expansion.    There are specific steps for certain foreign investments in the US, for example, establishing a US legal entity and setting it up for operation; working with US advisors in the legal, accounting and tax areas is crucial to starting off right and avoiding costly mistakes or missed opportunities. In country comparison, a US payroll will always be different from an investor’s home country, it’s important to work with a US accountant and payroll provider. They will help you learn and execute the required and customary practices to attract the talent you need, understand the HR-related costs for your business plan and avoid penalties from compliance mistakes.  Other important advisors include those in the immigration, banking, insurance, and talent acquisition space. Ultimately,  it should be a US accountant and tax advisor who will consult on the results from all operational decisions as seen in the books and tax filings for the new US operation. Therefore, be sure to put a US  accountant experienced in foreign direct investment at the top of the list to assist with your US expansion plans. Gather detailed information for your global expansion We have launched a new market entry platform - Centuro Connect, that dives into specifics for each country helping you do your research all in one place.It is completely FREE - no hidden costs - just the ultimate tool for understanding market entry options, HR, Immigration, Legal Requirements, Tax & Accounting for any country, access to our global business network and much more …. with 100 + countries it has the specific information you need from global expansion experts. To learn more about Foreign Direct Investment in the US Our team is made up of business leaders, lawyers, and advisors ready to help you go global with bespoke solutions. Our experience and expertise enable you to establish, connect and scale your business effectively in international markets. With our complete suite of integrated services and a global support network, experience how opportunities turn into possibilities. Get in touch with us today! 
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Jul 2021

SIMPLIFY YOUR GLOBAL BUSINESS EXPANSION WITH CENTURO CONNECT

When we think of business expansion, we often associate this type of growth with employing more staff or upgrading to a larger office space. For some, true growth comes from testing your business in new cities, countries, and continents. But how easy is it to expand your business abroad, and where do you even start?Fortunately, Centuro Global has engineered a brand-new and unique platform designed specifically for those looking to expand internationally. It acts as a centralised online resource where you can research, plan and learn more about your expansion journey. It’s a simple setup process, and it's completely FREE!Here are just a few of the benefits the Centuro Connect platform provides aspiring businesses:- A tailored approach to your business expansion needs;- A detailed bank of key facts and statistics for 100+ countries around the world;- Business and industry insights that are location-specific;- Insights into the economy, legal, banking, property, immigration, and more;- A timeline feature that details and tracks each step of your business expansion;- Professional support and industry specialists on hand to aid your journey.WHAT IS CENTURO CONNECT?As with any business that’s scaling up, taking your company abroad isn’t without its challenges. Being able to streamline and visualise the process is invaluable when taking on such a task. Below, we’ve detailed the key areas in which our ‘Centuro Connect’ platform is designed to make your business expansion journey as simple, streamlined, and stress-free as possible.Bespoke & Tailored To Your BusinessNo matter your business size, type, or industry, the Centuro Connect platform facilitates global expansion to a wealth of countries.When setting up your free login with Centuro Connect, the process begins with answering several easy questions about your company. You don’t need any specific documentation to complete this process, just a good idea of where your company is at currently and what direction you’re looking to take next.With this information, we’re then able to quickly suggest the best course of action. It may be that you’re at a point where one of our expert team members can reach out to you straight away and start discussing your options. If you’re a little earlier on in your global expansion journey, then it will be beneficial to gain some further insight from our online resources.Expanding your business abroad is never a ‘one size fits all' solution. Because of this, we’re always sure to tailor your ongoing plan in a way that suits you. If your circumstances change at any point, you can easily go back and resubmit your information for a more accurate experience.Extensive Country-Specific InsightsThe Centuro Connect platform allows you to choose from over 100 countries. If you already have an idea of what region or specific country you want to relocate or expand to, you can easily choose one from our interactive world map. If you want to browse your options, you can do so in the same way. Simply hover over and select the countries that appeal to you the most to find out more. If you change your mind, simply go back to the map and choose another option.For every country that’s applicable, comes a wealth of information. This ranges from general facts about the location you’ve selected, as far as legal requirements and office solutions. All of this information is accessible on an easy-to-use webpage, with each option coming with a dropdown option, making it extremely easy to navigate.Accurate Time FramingExpanding your business overseas is far from an overnight process. With every detail that goes into successfully setting up abroad, it can be daunting, and even off-putting, when it comes to defining a timescale.Centuro Connect’s extensive insights mean that we can provide you with an estimated timeline for each aspect of your global expansion. In visualising your expansion journey, you can better understand the process from start to finish. You can also define internal deadlines for specific processes and plan your businesses’ future with a much higher degree of certainty.A time frame will appear in a timeline format, which is broken down into months. Each aspect of your businesses’ global expansion will have its own place on the timeline, showing at which stage of your journey it should be completed.Expert SupportGlobal expansion shouldn’t be a lonely process. When working with the Centuro Connect platform, you’re actually working alongside a big team of experts that are contactable at the click of a button.Each country has its own bank of local experts with its own relevant specialisms. These industry specialists have been handpicked and can help you on your journey. You can access the profiles of these experts and contact them easily when you need a helping hand. Specialist areas include immigration, tax, market entry points, HR, and marketing support, just to name a few.The level of depth that the platform goes into means that users have virtually everything they need to know on one page. If you’re looking for an opinion or advice, however, this might be the time to contact a specialist.WHO ARE CENTURO GLOBALCenturo Global are the founders of the Centuro Connect platform, a revolutionary new global expansion software that empowers companies with the knowledge and expertise to trade in any jurisdiction. We assist businesses with growing globally  We assist businesses in entering and scaling into new markets through compliant solutions. Our in-depth experience gives us valuable insights into the key challenges of understanding local markets. Our Centuro Global services take care of every step of the expansion journey from tax, legal, immigration to HR and Payroll allowing our clients to trade in any jurisdiction with ease and efficiency.The Global Connect platform has been created as a centralised resource for businesses looking to branch out overseas. The platform and its contents are completely free to use. Centuro Connect was specifically designed to have a simple sign-up process and easy-to-use features, all whilst not costing businesses a penny!International expansion is a challenging process, but we have the technology to make it a streamlined and much simpler journey. You can sign up for the Centuro Connect platform for FREE today! There’s no risk, no hidden costs, and no endless documentation to fill out. Just a wealth of information and like-minded experts to help you throughout your international business expansion.
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Blog
Jun 2021

Tech Visa in Portugal: Here’s What You Need to Know

The technological and innovative sector has been experiencing rapid growth in Portugal. In response to this growth, and in consideration of the need for hiring new and qualified workers, oftentimes nationals of third countries, the Portuguese Government has taken steps to allow greater agility in the granting of residency / authorised residence permit visas for these professionals. These measures have been put in place within the scope of the Tech Visa Programme. Tech Visa has also been adopted in different countries such as France, Greece, Chile, and the United Kingdom. The Tech visa programme, in place since January 1st, 2019, is aimed at companies present in the global market, which have their head office or permanent establishment in Portuguese territory, and who wish to attract professionals to Portugal, from non-EU countries, highly qualified to work in Portugal, through granting, in a more simplified way, visas and residence permits. These professionals are recruited by companies that develop activity in the area of technology and innovation. An important requirement to access this incentive is that these companies are properly certified so that interested parties can obtain the Tech visa. The Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (IAPMEI) has certified 332 1 companies since the beginning of Tech Visa, a programme integrated into the National Entrepreneurship Strategy — StartUP Portugal. Among the more than 300 certified companies, a few names stand out, such as Bosch Car Multimedia Portugal SA; Huawei Tech. Portugal; Mercedes-Benz.IO Portugal; Nestlé Portugal and Siemens, S.A. According to data released by IAPMEI in 2020, certified companies had already issued 1 265 terms of responsibility for highly skilled workers, of which 93% were trained in computer science. These workers, with an average age of 31 years, come mainly from Brazil (1 027), India (86), and, to a lesser degree, from the United States (19). As for geographical distribution, certified companies are concentrated with greater expression in the Lisbon region (158), followed by the North (71) and Centre (25) regions. How to be a certified company To obtain certification, the following requirements must be met:• Be legally incorporated,• Have a head office or permanent establishment in the Portuguese territory,• Have no debts to the Tax Administration or the Social Security,• Have no overdue wages,• Not be a restructuring company,• If the company is more than three years old, own a positive equity,• Develop international tradeable goods or services activity,• Have a positive assessment in respect of business potential,• Be orientated towards foreign markets,• Have identified the technical qualifications in need. For which professionals is it intended? Regarding the target audience of this measure, all professionals who meet the following mandatory requirements for inclusion in the programme are covered:• Be a third-country national and not residing in the EU,• Be fully up to date with fiscal and social obligations (if applicable),• Have no criminal record,• Be 18 years of age or older,• Be proficient in Portuguese, English, French, or Spanish according to the job specifications,• Engage in highly qualified activity demonstrated by meeting one of the following requirements:• Have a minimum level 6 qualification (university degree) according to the ISCED2 — 2011, or• Have the qualification level 5 (technical course) according to ISCED – 2011, plus five years of experience.• Employment contract or promise with a minimum duration of 12 months,• Have a minimum monthly wage equivalent to 2,5 times the social support index3. The process is straightforward. Companies register on the Tech visa platform and submit their application. A decision on the application is communicated within 20 working days. If favourable, they will be included in the list of certified companies available for consultation. This certification is valid for a period of two years and maybe renewed if the company so wishes. Certified companies may then issue electronic terms of responsibility valid for six months. This whole process is done online at the www.iapmei.pt/techvisa. Upon receiving the term of responsibility issued by the company, the workers present it to the consular services or the foreign and borders service to facilitate and speed up the process of obtaining the visa or residence permit. Should you require more information or need help with applications for the Tech Visa, don’t hesitate and send us an e-mail. We can help you Incorporate, Move and Fund your business in Portugal!1 Data released by IAPMEI on 04/12/2021 2 ISCED - International Standard Classification of Education 3 Social support index in 2021 = 438.81€Minimum monthly salary in 2021 = 438.81 * 2.5 = 1,097€
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Jun 2021

The European Union wishes to attract foreign talent with the EU Blue Card Directive

Most countries wish to attract highly qualified workers able to satisfy the demands of companies within their borders. The European Union is not an exception to this rule and wishes to appeal to workers from third-party countries (including the United Kingdom) by creating the EU Blue Card permit.Moreover, travel restrictions due to the COVID pandemic do not seem to affect this type of visa holder from entering the EU, as long as the sanitary measures have been respected.Requirements for the EU Blue CardThe European Council Directive of 25 May 2009, aimed to facilitate the rights of highly qualified migrants to entry, stay, and employment lists the following requirements:Proof that the employee has a high level of education or professional qualifications, either            in the form of a university degree or pertinent professional experience;  Benefits from an employment contract for one year or more with the host            country, member of the European Union; andBenefits from a minimum annual gross salary stipulated by the host country.This type of permit is designed to “simplify” immigration processes, for both the professionals and their family members (the spouse is usually also permitted to be employed in the host country). Although this permit is mostly adapted to stable employment over a long-term, workers may change companies if the above requirements are still met. Long stay or even permanent employment is possible for EU Blue Card permit holders.Mobility implications for EU Blue Card Holders It should be noted that certain European countries have not transposed this permit into their internal legal systems, Britain being one of them before leaving the EU.Mobility between EU member states for holders of the EU Blue CardThe aforementioned European Blue Card Directive provides that holders of the EU Blue Card and their families can transfer to other member states to take up employment of a similarly high-skilled position, but only after having worked for 18 months in their initial host country. The Blue Card Directive decree states that workers should apply for a new European Blue Card in their new host country within one month of arrival. This has the advantage that no new visa application is most of the time necessary to enter the new host country.As the EU is not one nation, EU  member states are free to stipulate certain criteria, in particular the salary threshold for obtaining an EU Blue Card.The discrepancies between countries are great (i.e. 71 946 Euro in Luxembourg,  53 836 Euro in France, 53600 Euro in Germany, 33 808 Euro in Spain, 24 789 Euro in Italy, etc.).Source:  https://ec.europa.eu/immigration/blue-card_en#tab-comparisonIssues that may arise from EU Blue Card eligibilityEven when the salary amounts are respected, other difficulties may arise when an EU Blue Card holder transfers to a new host country within the European Union. For example, they may only have temporary accommodation during their first month, which may not be accepted by the authorities delivering the new EU Blue Card or the blue card application may take several months to produce, during which the applicants have no documentation authorising them to work in the new country, which is incompatible with judicial security.ConclusionIt is clear that some effort is still needed to streamline inter-member state mobility for EU Blue Card holders within the EU. Companies have a role to play in lobbying for more flexibility in the field so that the idea behind the EU Blue Card Directive becomes easier to apply.For more information on the EU Blue Card and all types of work permits and visas, contact us to speak to a member of our immigration team directly.
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Press Release
Jun 2021

Centuro Global Presents: The Network Effect

The old fable goes that “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. Whilst we don’t consider this to be entirely accurate, it is impossible to ignore that one of the biggest assets in anyone’s life is the people in it. The bigger and stronger your network, the more success you are likely to have.    So why are Networks so valuable?   They have a host of benefits including:Creating new opportunities (business or career) Enabling you to access new information or knowledge Providing fresh ideas and perspectivesAnd ultimately, the human race thrives on connections and so developing long-lasting personal relationships come with their own rewards.   What is The Network Effect?   At the heart of Centuro Global’s ethos is helping businesses grow and scale globally. In order to succeed on a global scale, having access to the right knowledge, skills, and local expertise across the globe is imperative. A truly powerful network is one where everyone shares. The more everyone gives, the more everyone will receive.    We wanted to find another way to help not just those in our immediate network grow, but to reach out wider and share the amazing knowledge, insight, and experiences of our highly esteemed network with the wider world.   We are therefore extremely excited to announce the launch of our new show, The Network Effect!    We will dive into the latest global news, expansion best practices, and bring on a range of fantastic guests from the world of venture capital, private equity, and across the business world. Tune in to hear from successful founders, executives, and directors who have successfully taken their businesses global. What were their main challenges and struggles? Where did they fail? And ultimately, what really led to their success?    We will open up our black book of key experts across all continents to share their top tips and advice so this is truly a show not to be missed! Where, When, and How? The Network Effect will be live on LinkedIn every Wednesday at 2 pm BST and on YouTube and all podcast platforms every Thursday.CATCH UP ON ALL EPISODES OF THE NETWORK EFFECT HERE.
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Event
Jun 2021

Networking Drinks with World leaders in Global Mobility and Expansion

We are delighted to invite you to our inaugural Networking Drinks with World Leaders in Global Mobility and Expansion hosted by IPM Global Mobility and Centuro Global.This exclusive event is being held in association with the Danish UK Association, as well as a leading Global Mobility tax consultancy and medical assistance provider. We will bring together experts, clients, and leading figures from the world of international business, movement, and expansion.After a long hiatus from in-person events, we hope you are as excited as us to reconnect and network with industry peers in a social setting and further develop business relations.This exclusive event will be taking place at Ekte Nordic Kitchen, a contemporary dining experience with fine Nordic cuisine in the City of London.                        _______________________________________________________________ Date: Thursday 29th July 2021Time: 16:00-18:00Location: Ekte Nordic Kitchen, 2 -8 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR We have a limited number of available spaces so register your interest now and we will confirm your attendance.                  Please note that by signing up to this event, your contact details will be shared with IPM Global Mobility and Centuro Global who may contact you for marketing purposes.
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Press Release
Jun 2021

The second edition of our magazine: Centuro Connect is here

Welcome to the second issue of the CENTURO CONNECT MAGAZINE for 2021, the free digital magazine covering the latest topics in international business.  We bring together thought-leadership from business leaders, entrepreneurs, and global experts, delve deeper in getting to know the Centuro Global network, and discuss how to scale businesses effectively in international markets. You’ll even see some special offers from our sponsors, including from the likes of Maserati!   In this issue, we celebrate the latest in business and tech news. You can read up on the latest developments in Fintech, including why the Baltics is the place to be.  Discover why the US is the top foreign investment destination in the world again and discover who are the top 4 unlikely entrepreneurs we can all learn lessons from.  You can also read about and sign up for our most recent and upcoming events such as our Doing Business in the USA webinar and our in-person Annual Global Conference.   Discover more about our AI-powered global expansion platform, Centuro Connect, and learn more about our Centuro Global partners and team.   So, grab a cup of tea, sit back, and enjoy reading through your second edition of the CENTURO CONNECT MAGAZINE.   For any questions, suggestions, or feedback, please send us an email.    Stay up to date with our latest issue HERE.    For subscriptions to future issues, please sign up HERE.
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Blog
Jun 2021

Germany: Options for British nationals post-Brexit

What are the options for British nationals post-Brexit in Germany? As per the Withdrawal Agreement aka Brexit Deal, all British citizens after January 1st, 2021 who are not in possession of a Residence Permit in Germany can enter Germany only for a maximum of 90 days within the 180-day period. These short stays are meant only for a purpose of travel or business trips. No other economic activities are permitted. If however British citizens are willing to relocate to Germany for work purposes or residency, they are in need of a residence permit that might be applied for directly from Germany or through a German consulate abroad. In case the latter option is preferred, a D-type visa for long-term residency is required. Demand for entry visas is high post-Brexit and pre-approval must usually be obtained from the Employment Agency in Germany prior to applying for the entry visa at the Embassy. Candidates must meet various criteria and provide substantiating documents. The rules outlined by the Federal Republic of Germany state that acceptance for foreign nationals in general employment depends on Germany’s economic needs. Both a vocational qualification and a detailed offer of employment are required. British citizens can also make the most of the Skilled Immigration Act, which came into force in March 2020 and simplifies the immigration procedure for specialists that are in short supply in Germany. These include mathematicians, scientists, engineers, doctors, as well as many other vocations where demand exceeds supply. Are there any compliance risks that companies need to consider? It is of key importance that companies are well informed of various compliance issues and keep them in mind at all times. One common issue results from the fact that UK and US citizens amongst several other nationalities that are considered best friends to Germany are allowed to enter Germany and then apply for a residence or work permit from within Germany. While this is the case, these citizens are not permitted to commence work until the permit has been issued. Some companies may not be aware that it is not permissible to start work immediately after application. The employer has to wait until the employee actually receives their respective permit or visa before starting work. Intra-company transfers can also present compliance risks for companies. For one thing, it is critical that the visa is applied for before the transferee moves to Germany. This even applies to those countries that are usually given preferential treatment, such as the UK and the US amongst others. For intra-company transfers, it is also important that the branch in Germany belongs to the same company or group of companies as the branch where the employee is coming from. Additionally, the employee needs to be employed by the entity abroad at least six months prior to the assignment to Germany. Are you aware of any legal changes to immigration rules and policies that might benefit people? On March 1st, 2020, a new immigration law came into force in Germany, simplifying the procedure for people coming from outside the EU to work in Germany. This Skilled Immigration Act evolved as a result of a lack of qualified candidates such as engineers and nurses, and opened the labour market, meaning that visas that were previously reserved for EU members are now available for employees from outside the EU with recognised vocational training. It has also made searching for employment easier, as potential applicants can live in Germany for up to six months while searching, as long as they have the necessary professional qualifications, basic knowledge of German, and a secure livelihood.  The visa procedure has also been simplified, with easy communication between local immigration authorities and employers, considerably speeding up the entire process. This new immigration law ensures that persons who have obtained a German university degree or vocational training in Germany have the possibility of permanent residence after two years as well as the possibility of residence after four years for qualified workers with a foreign degree. Furthermore, there are some special deals for British citizens. For one, there are special arrangements that make it easier for British citizens to live in Germany post Brexit. The United Kingdom is also given special privileges along with some other countries including the United States, Israel, South Korea, Canada, and Japan. These privileges include the option of moving to Germany for residence purposes without having to obtain an entry immigrant visa. Citizens from these countries also profit from the fact that priority is no longer given to EU member countries when it comes to approving positions. Each of these rules can benefit people in the immigration process. How does the EU card benefit people - can they work in other countries if they have a German EU card? “Labour migration into Europe boosts our competitiveness and therefore our economic growth. It also helps tackle demographic problems resulting from our aging population.” José Manuel Barroso, who served as European Commission President between 2004 and 2014, explains the motivation behind the EU Blue Card scheme. The EU Blue Card enables highly qualified residents of non-EU countries to work in Germany. It must be applied for before entering Germany and requires both a high level of education or professional experience and an employment contract or a binding offer of employment. There is a minimum earning threshold, which is lowered for jobs for which there is a shortage of workers, such as doctors, scientists, and mathematicians. The EU Blue Card not only provides a path towards permanent residence and EU citizenship, its benefits also include working and salary conditions equal to nationals, access to certain rights such as unemployment benefits, good prospects for family reunifications, and free movement within the Schengen area (unless issued in Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus or Croatia). Those who hold an EU Blue Card have the right to move to another EU country after having lived in Germany for 18 months. This is almost always possible without having to apply for an additional visa. However, in order to be able to work, you still need to apply for a work permit in this country. The difference is that this can be applied directly from the new country rather than through an embassy or a consulate. In some cases, the path to the work permit is also easier, but it is still necessary to get this permit!For more information on incorporating into Germany, we have launched a new platform - Centuro Connect, that dives into blueprint specifics helping you do your research all in one place! It is completely FREE - no hidden costs - just the ultimate tool for understanding market entry options, HR, Immigration, Legal Requirements, Tax & Accounting, and much more.Take a look at the platform here! 
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Event
Jun 2021

Barriers to entering the US market and pathways to success

The new Biden administration recently signed into law a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill to boost the US economy. With an emphasis on growing businesses, increasing jobs and attracting foreign talent, this is a fantastic time to launch in the US. Join us on 23 June 2021 at 2pm BST / 9am EDT to discover some excellent tips on launching into the region. Asma Bashir, Chairwoman of Centuro Global will be joined by an expert panel of renowned US lawyers and accountants to take you through some practical steps on doing business in the United States. We will cover what you need to think about before expansion, launching in the US and then ensuring long term success. Topics to be discussed will include:1. The pros and cons of entering the US market – should you go big or stay home?2. Is a Delaware company the best option for entity setup?3. How to handle contract negotiations with US parties4. Protecting your intellectual property5. Payroll and Employee considerations6. Immigration Options7. Global Transfer Pricing and Tax PlanningSPEAKERS:1. Teresa Gordon - Shareholder, Clayton & Mckervey2. Eric R. Fox - Managing Partner, Ivins, Philips & Barker3. Thomas Thorelli - Partner/Owner, Thorelli and AssociatesWATCH THE FULL WEBINAR RECORDING HERE.<iframe  src="https://lu.ma/embed-checkout/evt-ZODMKIeFFi22UNS"  width="600"  height="450"  frameborder="0"  style="border:1px solid #bfcbda88;border-radius:4px;"  allowfullscreen=""  aria-hidden="false"  tabindex="0" ></iframe><iframe  src="https://lu.ma/embed-checkout/evt-ZODMKIeFFi22UNS"  width="600"  height="450"  frameborder="0"  style="border:1px solid #bfcbda88;border-radius:4px;"  allowfullscreen=""  aria-hidden="false"  tabindex="0" ></iframe><iframe  src="https://lu.ma/embed-checkout/evt-ZODMKIeFFi22UNS"  width="600"  height="450"  frameborder="0"  style="border:1px solid #bfcbda88;border-radius:4px;"  allowfullscreen=""  aria-hidden="false"  tabindex="0" ></iframe>
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Press Release
May 2021

Centuro Connect: The World’s First All Encompassing Global Expansion Platform

The international expansion experts at Centuro Global have built the world’s first AI-powered intuitive, intelligent and interactive expansion platform - Centuro Connect. An easy-to-use self-service portal designed to empower companies with information and expertise to trade in any jurisdiction globally.By using its AI-powered project management software, companies can halve the time spent on creating their expansion strategies, and reduce their initial costs by around 30%, whilst gaining insights into local requirements, project risks, and access to key local personnel.Now, all it takes is a few clicks to search for crucial information on over 150 countries, compare global tax rates, view company incorporation procedures & banking solutions, compare entity structures & immigration rules, and much more!All information is neatly organised in a digestible format, with templates readily available and the Centuro Global team of experts are on call to support you through your entire global expansion process and deliver best-in-class services at localised rates.The company’s two London-based co-founders, Asma Bashir (Chairwoman) and Zain Ali (CEO) are both with a legal background in two of the most prominent international law firms, felt that the way professional services are currently consumed is in urgent need of disruption.“We built Centuro Connect to give power back to the client and to democratise access to traditionally complex information in a digestible format, whilst creating transparency of services and costs in different jurisdictions across the globe. Technology has made life simpler in so many ways, and it’s time that such innovation is brought to the legal and wider professional services industries,” comments Zain Ali.Indeed, users of the platform such as Richard Nicholl, the Vice President of Human Resources at SNC-Lavalin, have been immensely impressed.“Very intuitive platform with a vast amount of information on entity set up, tax rates, immigration process and much more. As the Head of a large Global HR team, this type of information is really useful and saves us time and expense when researching new markets around the world.”Now you don’t have to spend months researching local laws, visa requirements, and entity structures. You don’t have to waste time trying to find reliable, trusted local partners and wondering who the right person is to speak to. And you no longer have to juggle multiple moving parts in a fragmented manner with costs spiraling out of control.Centuro Connect empowers you with knowledge, helps you build your expansion strategy, and gives you access to on-the-ground experts at the click of a button.Sign up to Centuro Connect now – a one-stop-shop for all global expansion requirements.For additional information, visit CENTURO CONNECT or contact hello@centuroglobal.com
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Blog
May 2021

When is the right time to globally expand your business?

The generally accepted wisdom for founders with big home markets was to win your domestic market first before thinking about going international after that. However, the most aggressive founders are now thinking about growing sales globally from day one.Judging the right moment to go international is going to be a big moment for a leader and a daunting decision to make. You have to take all the different elements of your company into consideration but there are some general rules we can look to start that might help tell you, you are on track.The 25% RuleThis one is fairly straightforward. When 25 percent or more of your business is coming from international markets, it’s time to scale outside your home country.The Scale RuleThe Scale Rule can help founders to decide if they are ready or too early to scale by defining it. For this, we turn to Steven Carpenter, former Global Sales & Operations at Dropbox and exec at Accel.“I define scale as when your company has reached “product/market fit” in tandem with “business model fit.” It’s the moment when your customer acquisition growth rate is increasing while your acquisition costs are decreasing, AND the unit economics of the business are moving in your favour. You aren’t yet profitable but you understand your cost levers.”The Go-Fast RuleThe founders that follow the Go-fast rule know that they can sell internationally with minimal incremental cost and that if they were successful, they would increase their growth rate and demonstrate that their addressable market extends beyond their home country, the goal being to drive valuation.If your business can use its existing logistics or pass along new delivery costs to the customer to service in the new market then it can generally be a no-brainer to run an AdWords or Facebook campaign in your new market very early on and see what takes. You shouldn’t even need to localise your offering for these tests. If the proposition is going to fly internationally then some customers will convert even when the pricing isn’t a local currency. If you are in a position where you are going to need people on the ground to sell and deliver your product then you need to consider the scale rule.There is also an argument for expanding early that you can pre-empt copycats, American investors looking for ideas from European or Asian markets, etc., and vice versa.Thinking of going global? Here are some reasons why you definitely should!The model is working well enough ruleThere’s often no clear moment when your business model is ‘working’. So, you can ask yourself does it if feel like the management team has moved its focus from continually fighting fires to optimisation? If you are still fighting fires it might be too early but if you aren’t then your business model is probably working well enough that you can handle the fires of an international office.Some considerations:Start-ups from countries with a population of less than 50 million go international twice as fast as start-ups from countries with a population of more than 50 million: 1.4 years as opposed to 2.8 years.Smaller countries need to think internationally from an early stage. A founder in the U.S. or China can focus 100 percent on their home market and comfortably build a $billion business. That’s the upside for bigger countries. The downside is that they may only think about the international market at a late stage and may struggle to adapt their business accordingly. Whereas a founder in Sweden or Ireland knows from day one that their business needs to be international, if it is ever going to get really big, and builds accordingly.As a general rule, the return on investment (ROI) of expanding internationally is usually less than the ROI of expanding domestically. Typically, with a business that is going well in its home market, €1 invested in local growth will increase user and revenues more than €1 invested abroad. Eventually, though, a company will reach saturation point in its home market and need to expand elsewhere, at which point this equation might switch around. But usually, it is cheaper to expand at home than abroad.While the advice may be to go international as early as you can - If possible, start by selling internationally from your home base.CENTURO GLOBALExpanding a business to a new international market is a big challenge to tackle for any company. Depending on which market your start-up wants to enter, you will not only face new business challenges but also cultural differences that can lead to further hurdles. The endeavor requires a lot of commitment and many dedicated resources. The good news is, that you’re not the first one starting this undertakingAt Centuro Global, we strive to assist companies of all sizes at every stage of their journey and growth. We simplify the scaling process for businesses by offering a clear strategy and roadmap for new market entry and business growth. We then connect clients with the right local resources and experts furthering efficiency in scale, within the strategy.DOWNLOAD OUR FREE BUSINESS EXPANSION GUIDEOur FREE business expansion guide will help you:- Define your reasons for international expansion- Determine an expansion strategy- Confidently navigate foreign laws- Understand your expansion funding options- Discover the free resources readily availableDownload your guide below and start your international expansion journey, one simple step at a time! 
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Blog
May 2021

How to get started expanding your UK business abroad

So you’re ready to expand your business abroad. You’ve done your due diligence and carefully selected your country of choice, you’ve identified an opportunity and a favourable environment to expand your business to. So now what? How do you get the ball rolling? A recent survey found that nearly six out of ten UK SME’s are considering establishing their business overseas to drive growth, so you're not alone! To help you on your journey here are 5 areas to get right when you expand your business abroad, whatever country that might be.Define your goals and develop a strategy for your global expansion Like any big, overwhelming goal it's always best to break it down and set clear objectives. First of all, what are you trying to achieve with this expansion - access to better infrastructure or business environment? Increasing your customer base? Diversifying your risk? - There are many reasons to expand internationally, having a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve will help you make better decisions along the way regarding your strategy. Second of all, review the assets you have in-house and identify what’s missing. Where do you lack in-house expertise? Can you find a mentor or a partner to help with this? How are you going to finance the expansion - do you need to go out and seek funds? And finally, information - what do you know and what do you need to find out about to embark on this expansion. A simple way to approach this is to start with a list of questions, some you have the answer to, some you will need to research.Tip: Download our global expansion checklist here to give yourself a structure to your global expansion and pose questions you may not have thought about. Get to know the legal systemIn a recent survey, legal advice was identified as the most useful form of guidance when it comes to setting up overseas by 46% of respondents. This comes as no surprise as the impact of getting this wrong can come with terrible repercussions. There are normally 3 main considerations - company and employment law, intellectual property and data protection. Understanding these three areas will help you identify the disparities from your current location and will affect decisions such as who or how many people you employ, what company set-up you choose, what intellectual property protection you will need in place and how to set up your data handling systems. Tip: Do your desk research first to flag any imminent obstacles that will affect your entrance strategy - it will give you a basis when you seek specific legal help further through your journey. Decide what method of global expansion is the best fit for your businessConsider your market entry options, you may want to set up an overseas office, franchise, direct export, license or even buy a local company. This is where knowing your business's expansion goal is key and understanding the local environment is crucial to see what the implications of this decision might be.You will also need to decide what entity you want to set up in the new country, what company set-ups are available to foreigners - and what the tax or legal implications are of those company structures might be. This is country by country specific.Tip:  Specific details on company set-ups for each country can be found on our free platform - Centuro Connect, with detailed information on over 100 countries. Explore here! Get your business finances global expansion readyWith a new country comes new requirements for tax & accounting, as many companies already do in the UK, outsourcing taxation, payroll and business accounting is a smart move. However with something as delicate as your finances you want partners you can trust. It is also wise to see what financial incentives may be available to companies looking to set up in the new territory. Some countries offer incentives to encourage entrepreneurs and businesses to expand to their region. With the total cost of expansion often unclear, it is important not to miss out on extra funding if available! Tip: International global expansion often costs more than expected. Make sure you have a contingency fund to ensure you can complete the expansion. Establish a team - global expansion HRDepending on the market entry method you have decided to pursue you will have to create an employee strategy. Local employee’s come with an invaluable understanding of the local culture, methods of doing business and potential connections in the industry. However, with this comes the challenge of employing the right people, staying on the right side of local employment law and trying to ensure the new venture is carried out in line with your existing businesses strategy. Which if you aim to disrupt may be highly important. Using existing employees involves managing the visa process to ensure that they can legally work in the country you are expanding too whether that's temporary or long term. Plus ensuring they have applicable skills to succeed in the new country. Tip: Whatever your employment strategy, make sure you have a clear idea of what decisions or actions need to be made locally and what decisions will be made centrally - then make sure you have the right people in the right locations to facilitate success. Gather detailed information for your global expansion This is just an initial look at some of the considerations when expanding your UK company abroad! To help with this mammoth task we have launched a new platform - Centuro Connect, that dives into specifics for each country helping you do your research all in one place.It is completely FREE - no hidden costs - just the ultimate tool for understanding market entry options, HR, Immigration, Legal Requirements, Tax & Accounting, access to our global business network and much more …. with 100 + countries it has the specific information you need from global expansion experts. Take a look at the platform here!  
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Apr 2021

Expanding Your Business from the UK to Germany

Expanding your business in any capacity is a challenge that takes knowledge, willing and time. Successful global expansion will provide you with a new economy to work within, a wealth of industry resources that may not be available to you in the UK, and other new profitable opportunities.Germany’s economy is currently ranked as the 4th healthiest country in the world. The UK is currently ranked 1 place behind in 5th. Because of its steadily growing and healthy economy, Germany is a fantastic option for those looking to expand their own business overseas. Whilst all the signs point towards Germany being a great place to expand your business, that doesn’t mean it’s a simple process. There is time, planning, and red tape to overcome before this dream becomes reality. That is why we created Centuro Connect to help streamline the entire global expansion process.Explore Centuro Connect, a FREE platform tailored to businesses and industries of all types, with a bank of valuable information and guidance all on expanding your business to a choice of 100+ countries.Below, we’ve detailed some of the key factors and reasons why setting up a company in Germany is a fantastic idea. All of the country-specific data and information used in this blog comes from the Centuro Connect platform, giving you an idea of just how in-depth this resource really is. Life in GermanyBusiness aside, relocating yourself and/or your assets to another country can be a daunting prospect. It’s important to understand from the beginning whether or not Germany suits you personally, and not just your company.There is considered to be a much more compartmentalised approach to life in Germany than we’re used to in the UK. There are stricter rules on hours worked, with the official limit being set at 40 hours a week - five days a week. In the UK the limit is 48 hours, but employees can opt to work more than that.This ‘hours per week limit’ means more leisure time for those living in Germany, with a general attitude that distances socialising hours from working life. Living in central Europe means that, naturally, you’re central to many other countries. Whilst very beneficial from a commercial point of view, this is also a personal benefit to many that would otherwise not experience this in the UK. There’s the option for plenty of traveling in your additional leisure time!Germany is also considered a particularly metropolitan country. If you don’t quite have the dialect fine-tuned yet, know that over 70% of the population also speak an additional language as well as German!Notable Benefits of Expanding to GermanyThis is the part that is perhaps most crucial in determining the next steps for your business. You want to ensure that expanding makes financial sense first and foremost and that Germany is providing you with something different from the UK.We’ve already touched upon the economic strength in Germany, but what else is there to know? The 4 focus industries in the country are Automotive, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical, and Electrical. The governmental support for SMEs is much higher than other countries in the EU. Benefits include;Low-interest business loans of up to 10 million eurosRecruitment and training supportWage subsidies for entrepreneurs that register a German company.Doing business in Germany requires less backing than many other locations. Only one director and one shareholder (from anywhere in the world) are required to set up a company in the country. In terms of the marketability of your services or products, Germany has a population of 82 million people. This makes it the biggest market in all of Eastern Europe, with only Russia having a higher population on the continent. This continues to be one of the key drawing points for those looking to expand their company from the UK, where the market is a much lesser 68 million residents. Germany also has a highly educated population, with 81% having a recognised professional qualification or entitled to register at university. With a highly educated population comes a highly educated workforce.How to Get the International Expansion Ball RollingCreating a German startup is actually much simpler than many realise. Expanding internationally is a challenge, but when done correctly, it can be a streamlined process that enhances your business hugely. Want to learn more about how to expand your business to Germany? You can sign up for the FREE Centuro Connect platform today and start your global expansion journey to Germany. If you would like to learn more about expanding your business to Germany, or 100+ other countries the Centuro Connect platform has details on tax, immigration, market entry points, HR, marketing, and real estate - plus contactable reliable experts to help you ace your expansion. This means that no matter what stage of the expansion journey you’re at, support is there if you face a challenge. There’s no risk, no hidden costs, and no endless documentation to fill out. Just a wealth of guidance and support, here to aid you and your business throughout your international business expansion.Sign up today by clicking here. 
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Apr 2021

Expanding into Lithuania for developing FinTech companies

1. Lithuania’s regulatory adaptation and transparencySince early 2017, the Bank of Lithuania has instigated the rapid development of a FinTech-conducive regulatory and supervisory ecosystem, which continually fosters innovation in the financial sector. The two most notable events were:first, by opening a regulatory sandbox in late 2018 to allow startups and FinTechs to test their innovative products in a live environment under the guidance and supervision of the Bank of Lithuania.5Second, as a result of the UK’s EEA departure and in the absence of an agreement on financial services cooperation between the EU and the UK, some UK companies with licensed activities subsequently passported into the EEA not wanting to be locked into only one single market. Lithuania has led by example, by inviting financial service institutions under their roof with an appealing and easily understood regulatory regime, attractive marketing plan, convincing regulatory supervision, as well as rapidly adapting national regulations for FinTechs, InsurTechs, RegTech, and other startups.One of the most recent examples is Revolut, which transferred its EU customers from its UK-based company to a Lithuanian company. After setting up a Lithuanian company and acquiring a license for its activities, Revolut’s Lithuanian company has passported its licensed activities based on the provision of services without a branch in the other 29 EEA Member States, providing clients uninterrupted services. Revolut went even further by establishing and acquiring a Special Purpose Bank (“SPB”) license. The latter license permits Revolut to receive deposits and other repayable funds from its clients (Revolut currently provides this service in a total of 13 Member States).In terms of numbers, Lithuania edges ever closer each year to the level of the UK within The World Bank Ease of Doing Business rankings. While Lithuania continues to improve its regulatory regime, in some areas (ahead of the EU), the existing transparent regulator and ‘easy on the eye’ regulations, Lithuania is leaning towards becoming the dominant “Fintech Hub” in the EU.The most popular licenses in LithuaniaAlmost half of the FinTech companies in Lithuania hold an Electronic Money Institution (“EMI”), Payment Institution (“PI”), or SPB license. A majority of these companies can alsoissue prepaid cards and digital wallets for the benefit of their clients, in addition to making money transfers.E-money and payment licensesThe respective provisions of the Lithuanian Law on Electronic Money Institutions defines “electronic money” as a monetary value as represented by a claim on the issuer which is issued on receipt of monetary funds by the electronic money issuer from a natural or legal person and has the following characteristics: (i) stored electronically (incl. magnetically); (ii) is issued for the purpose of making payment transactions; and (iii) is received by persons other than electronic money issuers.For any FinTech company to be able to accept money from clients in the ‘electronic domain’ and to hold it in payment accounts for a relatively long time, issuing electronic money and then redeeming it, prior to being able to do, it is first necessary to become an electronic money issuer.The Bank of Lithuania supervises and authorizes electronic money and payment institutions within Lithuania. The authorization process usually includes: (i) submitting an application for an EMI license to the Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania; (ii) an assessment of the application for a license of an EMI and attached documents; and (iii) issuance of a license or refusal to issue a license.The entire authorization process, depending on the completeness of the documents submitted, usually takes around 6 to 12 months.If, however, a FinTech company already holds an EMI license and respective documentation in the UK it is considered to be an advantage in producing the necessary documents, as well as saving time during the authorization process.An SPB licenseA key feature of an SPB is the minimum capital requirement of EUR 1 million, while for traditional banks, it is EUR 5 million.In terms of timing, it is possible to acquire an SPB license within 9 to 12 months.An SPB differs from a traditional bank and comes with a number of restrictions attached to the services which an SPB can provide. An SPB is subject to limitations in investment and other financial services of a similar nature. The respective services an SPB can provide are the following:1) acceptance of deposits and other repayable funds;2) lending (including mortgage loans);3) financial lease (leasing);4) payment services;5) issuance and administration of travelers' checks, bills of exchange, and other means of payment, if these activities do not include payment services;6) provision of financial sureties and financial guarantees;7) financial intermediation (agent activities);8) money management;9) creditworthiness assessment services;10) rental of safe deposit boxes;11) currency exchange (in cash); and12) issuance of electronic money.One of the notable benefits of holding an SPB license is the deposits of any one individual may reach up to EUR 100,000 and are insured under the deposit insurance scheme. SPBs are participants of the deposit insurance system and are obligated to make regular (ex-ante) and special (ex-post) deposit insurance contributions to the Deposit Insurance Fund of Lithuania.Importantly, an SPB license is valid across the EEA and activities can be passported to the other Member States enabling access to the EEA financial services market. As previously mentioned, a good example is Revolut.CENTROlinkThe Bank of Lithuania operates a CENTROlink system designated for processing and executing payment orders between Single Euro Payments Area (“SEPA”) participants.The Bank of Lithuania provides technical access to SEPA schemes (credit transfers (“SCT”), direct debit (“SDD”) and instant payments (“SCT”)) for all types of payment service providers – banks, credit unions, e-money, or payment institutions – licensed in the EEA.Any EEA licensed payment service provider has an option to access CENTROlink, given there is no mandatory requirement to establish an entity in Lithuania to access CENTROlink.A recent example of a financial service institution accessing CENTROlink is TBI Bank EAD. The latter is registered in Bulgaria and has passported its activity to Lithuania and the Bank of Lithuania has approved its access to CENTROlink system.Employee Stock OptionsOn 1 February 2020, new tax-favorable legislation for the treatment of employee stock options came into effect in Lithuania.Employee stock options can be exercised at no cost or for lower than their fair market value price, but no earlier than three years of holding stock options, from the date they were granted, are treated as non-taxable income for personal income tax purposes.Access to capital markets and alternative sources of financingTo encourage the development of capital markets in Lithuania, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) can reimburse the costs incurred in acquiring third-party advisory services necessary exclusively for the listing of shares and/or bonds.In such a way, SMEs can access alternative sources of financing with initially lower cost, for example, by receiving advisory services on setting set up a compliant and viable structure and on the respective financial instruments to be provided in the marketplace.In recent years, the government has paid a lot of attention to the development of capital markets. Legislation has been adopted to develop alternative sources of financing: (i) a legal framework for crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending has been established; and (ii) private limited companies have been allowed to issue bonds publicly. Gather detailed information for your business expansion into LithuaniaThis is just an initial look at some of the considerations when expanding your company into Lithuania. To help with this mammoth task we have launched a new completely free platform - Centuro Connect, that dives into specifics for each country helping you do your research all in one place!It is completely FREE - no hidden costs - just the ultimate tool for understanding market entry options, HR, Immigration, Legal Requirements, Tax & Accounting, access to our global business network, and much more …. with 100 + countries (including Lithuania) it has the specific information you need from our team of business expansion consultants.Take a look at the platform here! 
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Apr 2021

Are the Baltics the ideal marketplace for developing FinTech companies?

As a result of the United Kingdom (“UK”) exiting the European Union (“EU”) on 1 January 2021, a number of financial institutions in the UK lost their “exclusive” right of access to utilize the European Economic Area (“EEA”) passporting rules. These changes have also been felt by financial institutions based in Gibraltar.Back in 2016, it was reported around 5,500 UK companies with licensed activities which have passported their authorization (i.e., a licensed activity) into the EEA are impacted as a result of the UK exiting the EEA bloc.While the UK certainly has a more favorable corporate tax regime when compared to the other Member States, wider access to a larger marketplace seems to be the more favorable option in the long run for most companies. It is also without a word of doubt, the UK’s focus on retaining its presence as a financial services leader is ever strong, for example, the recent relaxation of some of the eligibility requirements for companies seeking to IPO.3Following the recent memorandum of understanding agreed between the EU-UK, concerning financial services cooperation, no visible guarantee was given to hold UK rules as equivalent to EU rules.4 While this mist of uncertainty hovers above the UK financial services industry, institutions are gearing up for plans B and C.Seeking the necessary permissions and compliance via each individual Member State’s national regimes adds complexity and substantial costs for FinTech companies based in the UK. This is something that all FinTech companies would ideally like to avoid or circumvent. WATCH OUR WEBINAR ON DOING BUSINESS IN A POST-BREXIT EUROPE.In the last couple of years, the Baltic states (i.e., Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia) have geared up and responded by implementing favorable regulatory frameworks for all FinTech institutions. With this FinTech focus and benefits stemming from the passporting rules, the Baltic states are slowly driving the industry and attracting all the major market players, including Revolut.In this series of articles, we outline the important practical considerations one needs to consider for each of the Baltic states; their regulatory advancements, licensing benefits, stock options, capital markets, and alternative financing mechanisms. These tools provide a beneficial and attractive environment for financial service institutions to either start out in life or continue growing their business.LATVIALatvia’s regulatory regime supporting FinTechsIn terms of numbers, one in five new Latvian startups belong to the Financial Technology sector.15The Latvian Financial and Capital Market Commission (“FCMC”) has made available the Innovation Hub and Regulatory Sandbox to any market player for professional support and consultancy services in relation to existing and upcoming regulation.16A good example of highlighting the FCMC’s readiness and competence to supervise the financial services industry is in relation to the upcoming EU crowdfunding rules. The European Parliament has recently adopted the Regulation on European Crowdfunding Service Providers (“ECSP”) for businesses.17 The ECSP is already in force and is applicable from 10 November 2021. The ECSP is binding in its entirety across the EU and will provide a new and comprehensive set-up for crowdfunding platforms to operate under. In Latvia, the FCMC has already begun working and consulting with companies establishing or established to correspond with the upcoming rules in the ECSP.Several of the largest European peer-to-peer marketplace platforms have originated in Latvia, such as Mintos and Twino, which are currently adapting to the recently adopted regulatorychanges, by either acquiring an investment firm license and/or electronic money institutions license.18E-money and payment licensesIn order to obtain a license to operate an electronic money institution or for the operation of a payment institution, the company must submit a complete application to the FCMC.Depending on the licensed activities, the minimum capital requirement for an EMI is EUR 350,000 and for PIs starting from around EUR 20,000 up to EUR 125,000.The FCMC shall take a decision on the issuance of a license or refusal to issue a license and inform the applicant within three months after receipt of all the necessary documents, as well as detailing the reasons in the event of a refusal. If all relevant documents are not submitted or submitted incomplete, the FCMC can prolong the duration for an additional three months, and therefore the licensing process can take up to 6 months (and as we have seen in practice, sometimes even longer).In the event, a FinTech company already holds the respective documentation for a UK-issued EMI or PI license, it could save time in adapting the documents and reduce the assessment period before the FCMC.For FinTechs who intend to provide innovative payment services, FCF reduces state fees for the examination of documents submitted for the respectively chosen license of either electronic money institutions or payment institutions. Following the registration or authorization, the annual charge is also set lower than average for the first three years.19 In other words, these instruments assist with limiting the financial burden (i.e., licensing and maintenance costs) at the early stage.Attractive employee stock optionsThe main demand for employee stock options originates from FinTechs and other start-ups, which attract strong and high-level candidates for skyrocketing their ideas into a profitable company with promising equity.Employee stock options, if developed thoughtfully, can attract employees for the long-term and set the ownerships’ mindset. Especially within the startup community, stock options are also used in cases when a company is not able to afford the increases in employees’ salaries at the time.At the beginning of 2021, the Latvian Personal Income Tax Law and Commercial Law brought about favorable changes. These changes expanded the possibilities to grant stock options not only to joint-stock companies but also to limited liability companies’ employees, board and supervisory board members, and other related companies’ employees.The minimum holding period has been reduced from 36 months to 12 months and in addition, it is possible to exercise the option within 6 months after employment is terminated without losing the tax exemption.Access to capital markets and alternative sources of financingThe FCMC has undertaken (until 31 December 2021) to create a development and support model enabling enterprises to prepare for their participation in the capital market in case of the issuance of shares and/or bonds.20Similar to Lithuania, Latvian SMEs can apply to reimburse the costs incurred by acquiring third-party advisory services necessary exclusively for the listing of shares and/or bonds.  Expanding into Latvia or any other Baltic country can be a challenging process, but we have the technology to make it a streamlined and much simpler journey.Explore Centuro Connect, a FREE business expansion platform tailored to businesses and industries of all types, with a bank of valuable information and guidance all on expanding your business to a choice of 100+ countries. There’s no risk, no hidden costs, and no endless documentation to fill out. Just a wealth of information and like-minded experts to help you throughout your international business expansion. Sign up today by clicking HERE.
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Apr 2021

ESTONIA: A Global Expansion Hotspot for Developing Fintech Companies

Estonia’s e-government and embrace on digital platformsIn 2014, Estonia became the first country in the world to offer electronic residency to individuals from outside the country. The E-residency program equips e-residents with a digital identity and the status provides individuals access to Estonia’s transparent digital business environment.With the e-residency kit, an e-resident can sign documents and can establish a company online from anywhere in the world, access banking, payment processing, as well as settle tax-related obligations.21A great benefit that comes with e-residency is the network of already existing e-residency entrepreneurs ready to share their experiences with outside companies who are interested in joining the community.E-money and payment licensesIn order to obtain a license to operate an EMI or for the operation of a PI, the company must submit a relevant application to the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (“EFSA”).Depending on the licensed activities, the minimum capital requirement for an EMI is EUR 350,000 and for PIs starting from EUR 20,000 to EUR 125,000.The EFSA shall take a decision on the issuance of a license or refusal to issue a license and inform the applicant within three months after receipt of all the necessary documents, as well as detailing the reasons in the event of a refusal, but not later than within six months after receipt of the application.The seat and the principal place of business of a PI or EMI entered in the commercial register shall be located in Estonia.22Start-up status and visaOnce a startup has decided to relocate its founders and/or employees to Estonia, the first step would be to apply for the ‘Startup Status’.Once the startup holds the Startup Status, the company can hire global talent with ease and the founder can apply for a visa or a temporary resident permit.23Estonians are open to attract non-EU founders via the startup visa, which is also designed for start-ups to ease the process to hire non-EU talents.To be eligible for the startup visa a founder must have a technology-based, innovative and scalable business in mind, at least EUR 160 per month available for day-to-day needs and to receive approval from the Startup Committee.In light of recent amendments, if approved, as of 19 February 2021 the same visa will be granted to family members – spouses and children.24Stock optionsCurrently, Estonia does not hold any specific incentive scheme for start-ups, and issuance of employee share options is provided based on existing general regulations.Rules regarding the offerings of transferrable securities are used to facilitate the need and together with the tax regime currently in force (applicable to all private companies), there are favourable options.Tax exemptions for share options can be applied if an employee holds stock options for at least three years. Most of the terms and conditions attached to stock options are established within a stock option agreement between the company and the option holder.Access to capital markets and alternative sources of financingWhile the issuance of bonds and/or shares is a regulated market in Estonia (similarly as in Latvia and Lithuania), Estonians have taken a big leap and in late 2017 passed legislation with the aim to regulate cryptocurrency trading. The latter gained popularity in the amounts of initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) and token generation events (“TGEs”).25The structures of ICOs and TGEs vary and may be used to raise capital for different kinds of projects, for example, creating new coin, app or service launches. These structures provide for an alternative source of financing and are more frequently used for seed/early-stage financing, instead of the ‘traditional’ initial public offering (“IPO”) where the financing is company-based and usually is used as an exit after venture capital funding.Any ICO or TGE should be assessed on its substance to define whether they should be treated as an issuance of a security instrument or not and which corresponding regulation should be applied.26Where to go…?Well, it depends. There is no right or wrong answer.With certain limitations now visible for certain UK-based FinTech businesses trying to reach EU customers, detailed and clear thought needs to be given as to how to potentially widen the options in a fast-growing and developing industry.In the event the EU holds UK rules as equivalent to EU rules, as a result of further discussions, passporting considerations may not be necessary.Without access to the EU marketplace, it significantly reduces the actual or potential customer headcount and therefore limiting prospective growth opportunities.The Baltic States are leaning towards providing somewhat of a City ‘complement’ for FinTech businesses who wish to serve customers throughout the EEA.Regardless of the vision taken, it is important to carry out the necessary due diligence and preparations before engaging any of the regulators in either of the Baltic States.Right from pre-launch planning to initial setup and registration; Centuro Global will work with you, offering end-to-end assistance in navigating complexities by activating the local business ecosystem and offering a coherent roadmap of actionable solutions. Start on your global expansion journey with us today! Enquire today or feel free to send us an email. 
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Apr 2021

How technology enables global expansion

Expanding into new and foreign markets is a complex enough undertaking without worrying about your technological systems. Since many nations in developing and emerging markets are still relatively immature technologically, companies need to know that their ICT can be relied upon to support their business, no matter what the industryEighty-one percent of companies consider technological progress the main factor of change for the next 5 years, while 50 percent of the world’s leading manufacturing companies invest in IT applications and infrastructure to help them be more flexible and agile. Technological change reshaping business growth and expansion will only intensify as artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and cyber-physical systems take the digital revolution to another level. So it is to technology that companies must turn to help them overcome the challenges of expanding in new markets. Technology in its fullest understanding is the capability that leads to outcomes, whether tangible or intangible. For this to happen, typically, certain skills and procedures are required. Early advances in human history are closely associated with technological progress, specifically with the history of energy. Yet, it was the dawn of the printing press towards the end of the Middle Ages which spurred the Renaissance, and which eventually led to the first recognizable techno-economic revolution of the modern age. Better known as the Industrial Revolution, this era was characterized by the mechanization of the cotton industry and the construction of canals, waterways, waterwheels, and turnpike roads. Since then, certain key trends associated with technological progress became clear:The size and footprint of technologies continue to increase beyond imagination, proven by bigger container ships and airplanes, higher buildings and dam walls, and space-age scientific experiments like the International Space Station, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), and the Large Hadron Collider. Technology also becomes smaller and increasingly manifests at nanoscale. Think about gene sequencing and its applications in the medical and agricultural industries;Every technology epoch is characterized by a different principle of operation. A sequence of capabilities can be conceived of, starting with manual effort, followed in sequence by fire, speech and art, mechanics, steam, electricity, internal combustion, electronics, mechatronics, and lately characterized by the convergence of neurotech, biotech, infotech and nanotech;Technology becomes more accurate and efficient. From the crude capabilities of stone tools to the pinpoint accuracy of a laser, of GPS navigation and digital capabilities in general, there is steady progress in accuracy and efficiency;Technology becomes increasingly complex, and understanding thereof less accessible to the layperson; andDue to the conflation of these characteristics, technology also becomes more expensive, yet more omnipresent.HOW TECHNOLOGY ENABLES GLOBAL EXPANSIONFuture-focused leaders, in conclusion, strife to become technology-fluid. This means they attend to the following priorities:They realize that technology is all-pervasive and powerful and that the current transition to robotics, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing requires them to render technology a top priority on their governance and oversight agendas;They actively pursue strategies to ensure that their technology assets have been sourced responsibly, that the workings thereof respect the privacy and dignity of all living things inasmuch as environmental health, and that once retired these technologies are fed back into the recycling streams representative of their industries;They evaluate technology and technology innovation proposals for their relevance, appropriateness, and functionality, with relevance interrogating immediacy of need and of utility value, with appropriateness interrogating fitness for purpose, and with functionality interrogating outcomes with efficiency and sustainability gains; andThey pursue Integrated Reporting in order to inform all stakeholders of their attention to detail, inclusive of technology impacts, and they remain conscious of immediate technology priorities, such as the need for digital governance, focusing on social media strategies, thorough data and privacy protection principles and practices, and exploration of data monetization strategies.The global solutions offered by technology can be exactly what your company needs to expand internationally and by choosing the right technology tools to power your global expansion, you’ll soon find the world is at your fingertips.Discover how our 20 years of experience in global markets can help your organization seamlessly integrate new locations into your infrastructure HERE 
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Apr 2021

“Powerful” Investment opportunities in Japan

The energy market in Japan has some of the biggest investment market potentials in the Asia Pacific region. Their robust grid infrastructure, renewable goals, and significant capacity demonstrate that additional value already exists. The ability to invest in renewable energy assets in Japan—and thus to contribute to the country’s energy transition—also presents a significant opportunity for long-term capital from around the globe. Notably, a recent study has shown that Japan can create 67,000 new jobs by investing in domestic renewable energy projects by 2030. This would be a positive step as countries seek to rebuild their economies in the wake of COVID-19—and potentially catalyze a movement toward investment-led growth. In the aftermath of the devastating March 2011 East Japan Earthquake and resulting nuclear crisis, the Japanese government was forced to radically overhaul its long-term energy strategy. Following the crisis, Japan made the unavoidable decision to shut down all of its 54 nuclear power plants (which prior to the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns accounted for more than 30% of its power supply) and drag dozens of thermal plants out of mothballs to compensate. This sudden jump back to a dependence on fossil fuels may have been a big boost for “Big Energy” companies, but it represented a pronounced about-face from where Japan aspired to be in terms of clean energy. Fortunately, it also triggered a grassroots movement strongly in favor of safer, renewable energy technologies and vehemently opposed to any return to a reliance on nuclear power. It has taken nearly a decade for the government to come around, however it looks like 2021 could very well be the year that Japan truly earns its spot at number 12 on the 2019 “Environmental Performance Index,” right behind The Netherlands. While considered to be “on the greener side of green” when it comes to environmental policies, Japan’s long-term relationship with nuclear power has come with a considerable amount of risk, both from accidents and also considering the environmental impact of storing high-level radioactive waste in a country with very little space for storing anything. Enter the power of wind, which in parts of Europe has become one of the largest sources of clean energy. Wind power features none of the dangerous by-products of nuclear power, no flooding of villages or damming of rivers like needed for hydro, and better overall efficiency than solar. With the passing of the Marine Renewable Energy Utilization Act two years ago, Japan now has 120 offshore wind farm sites that are under development, with four locations in Akita, Aomori, Chiba, and Nagasaki prefectures fast-tracked for local approval and implementation.WHY EXPAND INTO JAPAN? At the vanguard of the wind projects are two Danish multinationals: Vestas and Orsted, each at the top of the charts globally in the production of wind turbines and offshore development. Leading the charge in Japan is the nacelle innovator Vestas, whose joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) on the Akita-Noshiro project is currently powering the delivery of a total of 33 Vestas V117 turbines to the project site off of the Japan Sea coast. The expected combined output of 139 MW will be enough to power 130,000 homes, putting the project well ahead of any other offshore wind farm in Japan. Yokohama-machi in neighboring Aomori The prefecture will soon be the host of a similar project, with nine V117 turbines and three of the less powerful V105 units on the delivery slate. But it is the massive Yurihonjo project (located just south of the Akita-Noshiro site) that is expected to dwarf all of the competition, with the installation of up to 90 turbines generating an output of more than 700 MW. And in the not-so-distant future is the rollout of a powerful new “supersized” turbine by MHI-Vestas. The next-gen turbine is said to be even more powerful than the V164/174, currently, the highest-capacity wind turbine ever made, and its deployment in the field is expected by the middle of this decade. It will be an uphill battle to make renewable energy in Japan a larger piece of the country’s power puzzle. Under current initiatives, the government expects to be able to source just 1.7% of its electricity from wind farms by 2030, and so any real impact must be linked to an equal or larger investment in hydro and solar and a much deeper look into the potential for harnessing geothermal energy sources in one of the most seismically active regions in the world. But clean energy proponents are hoping that the momentum generated by offshore wind projects will be the wind in Japan’s sails as the country charts a course for a new, non-nuclear energy future. As the world’s third-largest economy, Japan’s energy needs remain substantial. Nevertheless, the relative undersaturation of the market presents a clear long-term opportunity for private investors seeking to gain exposure not only to the growing capacity of domestic projects, but also to innovations across the cleantech, grid, and storage space. Building this exposure in Japan also enables foreign investors to potentially gain access to benefit from the lucrative links which Japanese corporate, financial, investment, government, and non-governmental bodies have cemented across the Asia-Pacific region. Keep checking back or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram to get notified about our latest posts. We’ll be adding more articles in the future relating to global expansion, energy, and relocation in Japan, so watch this space! Alternatively, get in touch to see how we can help you collaborate and do business in Japan.  
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Mar 2021

Local Expertise For Global Expansion

Whether it’s Steve Jobs stepping out of his garage or Mark Zuckerberg expanding beyond his Harvard dorm room, every successful company reaches a point where it’s too big for where it started. As you look to expand your business beyond your home country or territory, there are vital steps to take to ensure a relatively easy landing. Local laws and regulations have to be understood and evaluated. An innocent mistake – like, for example, hiring misclassified employees – could lead to costly legal action, fines and reputational damage, before your local team has even unpacked their suitcases. Before you enter a new country, make sure your team has familiarised itself with the basic entry – and exit – requirements of your target market. After you’ve completed your market assessment and weighed up your market entry options, you’ll need to start bringing in the necessary expertise. Who are those experts, and who needs a seat at your global expansion table? Cast your mind back to the earliest stages of your business, when you were first moving from an ambitious start-up (possibly even a one-person show) to growing concern. Your first new hire might have been ‘someone who could correctly advise you on the appropriate tax structures and on regulatory compliance.HERE'S WHY YOU NEED TO HIRE LOCAL EXPERTISE Global expansion would require the same expertise, but on a local country basis. This team would assist your own newly landed team with managing local tax regulations and providing bespoke accounting solutions. Legal advice would be a necessary extension of that, and another key early “hire”. From navigating local laws and employment laws (which might be very different from what you’re accustomed to in your home jurisdiction) to managing visas and work permits for staff who’re relocating to set up your new satellite office, trusted legal support is of course absolutely essential. Less obvious, but no less important, benefits of in-country legal support include conducting risk analysis and crisis management. Then, as the business establishes itself in its new territory, property – either renting or buying – would become the next problem to be solved. Recruitment, payroll, outsourcing… Global expansion support would also cover HR services, which can vary dramatically from country to country. Country-compliant HR processes would also have to be set up and implemented, as would the necessary cross-border banking solutions. Many companies make the mistake of entering a new market without hiring any local team members. Local people have unique, invaluable insights into local customs, cultural standards, and employee expectations, which can only come from having lived and worked in that particular market. The key driver behind global expansion is, of course, the potential to grow your company’s brand and profitability. It can also serve as protection against the risk of decline in your domestic markets. The trick lies in getting it right – and to do that, you’ll need to call on in-country expertise. The Centuro platform provided end-to-end assistance through the complexities of global expansion, activating the local business ecosystem to provide a clear roadmap of actionable solutions.
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Mar 2021

New Era of international assignments and relocating

As COVID-19 swept the globe, many countries adopted a shelter-in-place approach, hoping to contain the pandemic through local, regional or national lockdowns. Borders have closed, and the idea of immigration – let alone an overseas vacation – has been shelved indefinitely. Or has it? Life and business go on, and while remote working remains the default for some organisations, others are unable to wait for ‘normal’ travel patterns to fully return before relocating groups or individual employees. Relocation and immigration, which are high-stress but low-risk activities under normal circumstances, take on an added layer of complexity during a pandemic. This places added pressure on employers, whose duty of care to employees extends to their health and safety when relocating for work purposes, forcing HR specialists to consider rapidly changing regulations on top of existing transborder legislation. Non compliance of the rules could inevitably have a serious impact on the company as well as the individual. For example, when it comes to speed of deployment, companies may be forced to initially send someone into a new country with a business visa rather than a work permit for the sake of expediency, without realising the implications that a pandemic has imposed on travellers such as mandatory quarantine and negative Covid tests before they are permitted to enter. In such circumstances it would be the employer’s responsibility to ensure their assignee is briefed in advance without having to deal with the stress of added border checks being introduced globally. Regulations around immigration requirements as well as eligibility are changing rapidly, with entry restrictions often announced without notice. Individuals cannot be expected to keep track of the changes; instead, businesses should work closely with their internal legal teams, or external suppliers and develop internal policies and introduce regular communications keeping all stakeholders up to date. As vaccine rollouts began in early 2021 there was widespread concern about ‘vaccine passports’, which would either facilitate entry or enable immigrants to skip quarantine protocols when arriving in a new country. Several governments (and even some airlines) now require digital travel passes to help passengers manage their travel plans. None of that will be new to frequent travellers, who for years have had to provide ‘yellow cards’ as proof of vaccination against diseases like yellow fever and cholera. However, the rules will vary depending on the immigrant’s destination or country of origin, on their potential exposure to specific strains of the COVID-19 virus, and on the exact vaccine they have received. Again, it’s essential that those bases are covered to ensure a smooth process and business continuity. Many national governments have demonstrated a level of leniency and flexibility when dealing with the pandemic, but as the world heads towards a new normal it has become critical for companies to review their internal practices and introduce new measures that tackle the requirements for the future of international assignments. Given the significant overhaul of the requirements for travel, it would be prudent to review insurance and medical policies and introduce contingency planning to tackle the unforeseeable, thereby equipping your employees with the information and support they need for safer assignments. In addition to the safety requirements, employers will also be dealing with remote working locations and tax liability for both the individual and business. The earlier a company prepares and considers all the moving parts of a future assignment and factors in the cost implications to the business for Covid testing, health insurance and emergency measures, the more rewarding the experience for the employee in question. In short, HR departments need to undertake more strategic decision making with the buy in from senior management to ensure their assignment programs can run smoothly in the future. It will be interesting to see how assignments will be structured going forward with more options for employees to choose their desired location for remote working anywhere in the world.
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Mar 2021

Labour Pains

In some countries, cars drive on the left. In others, cars drive on the right. In some countries most people ride bikes or scooters; and in some parts of some major cities, cars aren’t allowed to drive at all. Employment law is no different. While some employment regulations are universal, others have local variations that create complexities for businesses looking to expand into new jurisdictions. The International Labour Organization (ILO) sets universal labour law standards, which individual countries ratify (sign up for) and enforce as part of their domestic laws. But there are nuances to many local laws which must be understood and accounted for, to ensure your business doesn’t miss out on recruiting the people it needs, and that it doesn’t waste money on avoidable fines or criminal sanctions. The recruitment process is often a puzzle for globally growing businesses. Some countries require a local entity to be set up to hire local employees, while in others the parent company can work directly with local hires. Many – but not all – countries require written employee contracts to be in place, setting out the employer’s and employee’s obligations. (In some jurisdictions, like Belgium and Saudi Arabia, those contracts are only enforceable if they’ve been translated into the local language accurately.) Likewise, many – but again not all – countries have a minimum wage and overtime requirements in place; and while this does not apply to white-collar hires, it may well apply to your blue-collar staff or independent contractors. Implementing country-compliant processes is absolutely essential. Take the Saudi Arabian example: there, all part-time workers must have a contract that states an official termination date, and part time-contracts can only be renewed once. Foreign workers must have a fixed-term contract and are ineligible for part-time work. Probation periods should be explicitly stated in contracts and normally run for three months, although they can be extended to six months by written agreement. The in-country specifics only get more complex from there. The maximum working time for employees working in Saudi Arabia is eight hours a day or 48 hours a week. This can vary in the event of shift work, but only if those limits are not breached over a three-week rolling average. Those limits are then reduced during Ramadan to six hours a day and 36 hours a week. Now compare that to Singapore, for example. According to the local Employment Act, every contract of service must include the designation title and job scope, hours of work, probation clause, remuneration package, employee benefits, code of conduct and termination. Companies that fail to comply with any aspect of this Employment Act can face severe fines and possible jail time. In Singapore, the maximum working hours are eight hours a day, 44 hours a week, and no more than six consecutive hours without a break. Employees cannot work more than 12 hours a day, including overtime. Some countries (like France, Italy and Brazil) require employees to “unionise”, or join in industry-specific collective bargaining agreements.; and almost every country on the planet requires employers to set up payroll and redirect the applicable income tax and employee benefits (healthcare, pensions, unemployment insurance, etc) to the relevant authorities. This can be a significant cost, which may be best outsourced to a specialist payroll provider, at least at the start. If hiring is a maze, then firing can be a minefield. The grounds for legally terminating employment vary dramatically from country to country, or even in different regions within a single country. Some countries (including, famously, the United States) have “at-will” employment, which allows employers to fire staff as and when they please. Try that in other most countries, and you’ll face a short and expensive trip to the labour courts. There, terminations must follow a fair process and must be based on reasonable grounds, like poor performance (which has to be documented), redundancy (which often requires firmer grounds than simply a desire to restructure that one role) or gross misconduct (which again has to be documented and proven). The rules get more complicated as your business grows. In Japan, for example, you’re required to document work rules in an employee handbook once you’ve grown to 10 employees; in France, that’s required at 20 employees, while in Belgium it’s mandatory for just one. As with so many aspects of global expansion, the secret to success lies in knowing the lay of the land and planning ahead. Your first engagement, then, might not be an in-country employee, but rather a local “fixer” who can help you navigate the intricacies of domestic labour law.
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Mar 2021

New Brazilian Tax law to benefit Expanding IT Companies

Introduction On 18th February 2021, the Brazilian Supreme Court (“STF”) ended a dispute of many years and ruled that Municipal Service Tax (“ISS”) is the correct tax to be levied on software transactions, especially in respect of software licensing and use assignment transactions. What does this mean? Such a decision changed the prevailing case law regarding the matter and impacts IT companies all over the country since they had been waiting for a final decision to be rendered to have legal certainty on how to conduct their activities. In short, Municipalities will only be authorized to charge retroactively the cases in which no tax has been collected. Additionally, taxpayers may only apply for a refund of the ICMS amount to States in the cases where the payment of both taxes has been effected. Conclusion Under this new scenario, IT companies will no longer need to enrol with the State Tax Authority at the time of their incorporation, a requirement that had been triggered automatically by the State Authority at that stage, and which also required the need for physical and segregated premises. Therefore, the judgment will not only produce a lower tax burden for the technology sector but will also bring less complexity to the company's operations.
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Mar 2021

Centuro Global: The New Frontier to Global Expansion

How can businesses grow beyond restrictions imposed by COVID-19? In a world where an enterprise is still held hostage by pandemic restraints, international growth might seem an impossible endeavour. Certainly, organic growth has been challenging in these times. The challenges posed by business internationalisation are more complex than ever, due to restrictions on travel, conducting due diligence and establishing operational collateral in foreign geographies. In tandem, the pandemic shook the foundations of every international market, upheaving long-founded supply chains and regulations for expanding businesses. Above all, the impact of the global health crisis exposed vulnerabilities in the way business mitigate social and economic threats; particularly those caused by conventional framings of development and global growth. According to a KPMG white paper, the companies that could not sustain operations throughout the pandemic were those that failed to ‘seize opportunities offered by digital or hybrid solutions. The KPMG analysts advise executives to look beyond conventional means of survival: ‘Companies need to shift their focus to new opportunities. Companies on the lookout for emerging opportunities early on may find opportunities to create added value’ COVID-19 proved the need for organisations to outgrow existing operational fragilities, and to go digital. Several long-standing organisations that failed to adopt next-generation capacities faltered under pandemic pressure. They faced barriers that could have otherwise been avoided by more interconnected approaches. In light of last year’s events, businesses need to pre-empt the success of newer approaches to internationalisation. Nominally, they need to consider the benefits of hybrid service offerings and product platforms that will ease the expansion progress for them. Zain Ali, CEO of global expansion company Centuro Global, believes that businesses will succeed by adhering to platform-based approaches to internationalisation. He identifies the trends and potential roadblocks that expanding organisations might face in the short and long-term, and how expansion solutions like Centuro Global’s ‘Go Global’ and ‘Centuro Connect’ offerings could remediate these bottlenecks. Read The Full Conversation Here.
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Mar 2021

Doing Business in The Middle East - Risk and Rewards

The Middle East is a complex region and not the easiest place to operate. If you wish to scale a business into the Middle East, it is undeniably advantageous to operate across multiple countries.However, as a region diverse in geography, ethnicity, religion, and culture, the heterogeneity of the Arab world means it is necessary to delve into the details of the economy and culture of each individual country.You may wish to launch your business in the UAE due to its friendly business practices, before seeking wider commercial opportunities in Saudia Arabia, whilst tapping into more cost-effective talent from nations such as Egypt will help you manage costs.Watch our webinar below, deciphering the secrets for success when scaling into the Middle East.HOST:Zain Ali is the CEO of Centuro Global and a solicitor by background. He has spent most of his career advising large multinational corporates and tech startups alike on protecting their IP, managing disputes, and implementing global expansion projects.Having worked both for an international law firm and in house, as well as living in 3 countries on 3 continents, Zain is well aware of the key challenges businesses face on the international stage.SPEAKERS:1. Sarah Hildersley, International Trade Advisor at the Department for International Trade, will be taking the stage for the keynote and will discuss opportunities in the region as well as security, risk and the female perspective in the Middle East.Sarah has served as a British diplomat in the Middle East and has extensive experience advising companies on their strategic approach to selling in complex markets. She now works with the UK's largest Chambers of Commerce and has had exceptional success in helping companies accelerate international sales2. Fiona Chamberlain, ITA and Commercial Attaché for UKDIT in Qatar, is bringing her experience and will offer some truly great insights on the keynote.Fiona Chamberlain spent three years as a Commercial Attaché in the UK’s Department for International Trade based in Qatar. She was responsible for identifying, supporting and developing opportunities for new and existent British companies seeking to enter or expand in the Qatari market. In her current role as an International Trade Advisor, she continues to promote international trade for UK companies.3. Nihal Othman is a UAE based market entry specialist for the MENA region. Her extensive career working for Nasdaq, CNBC Universal and Baker & Mckenzie before taking on a COO role at Abou Naja IP, equips her to tackle a wide array of client requirements.She has built up an extensive network of decision-makers within the region over the past decade and can advise on company setup, marketing, procurement, IP and overcoming cultural hurdles in the region.
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Mar 2021

France Immigration Update – March 2021

Despite the pandemic, France continues to make efforts to attract investors and qualified immigrants.Even though France has strict travel restrictions currently in place, most foreign persons considered as company representatives who have power of attorney to represent a French or foreign corporate entity are still welcome as newcomers.The above also applies to highly skilled professionals and to some employees covered by French intracompany immigration regulations.The above persons should have applied for long stay (greater than 3 months) “Talent Passport” visas which are still being processed by French consulates outside of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican.Accompanying married spouses and children under 18 years of age are also covered by the “Talent Passport” conditions and are thus permitted to enter France.It is important to emphasise that all nationalities are still subject to health controls.Centuro ConnectFor those looking to relocate to France, Centuro Connect is a free revolutionary new global expansion platform that empowers people and companies with the knowledge and expertise to relocate and trade in any jurisdiction globally.Our easy to use, self-service portal will grant access to a database of French expansion blueprints, a global network of experts & actionable support. Sign up for your free account and start your global expansion journey today. Sign up for free today to gain access!
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Mar 2021

HOW TO OBTAIN A BULGARIAN WORK AND RESIDENCE PERMIT TYPE BLUE CARD OF THE EU

In order to legally work in Bulgaria as a highly qualified professional via the so-called Blue Card of the EU work and residence permit, you must first obtain a work permit. In order to qualify for such, you must hold at least a 3 years bachelor degree from an officially recognized university and a job offer from a Bulgarian employer. Work permits in Bulgaria are processed through the Employment Agency (EA).Let’s say you receive a job offer you want to accept. Firstly, your potential employer should apply for your work permit for a highly qualified professional EA. This can be done only through the EA office in the capital of Bulgaria – Sofia. The documents are submitted only in hard copies. Only original or notary verified documents are accepted. The application can be done directly from the employer or through your Immigration provider. The employer submits various company documents together with translated and legalized education documents of the employee. The processing time officially is up to 15 days but in reality, it usually takes around 3 weeks.Then, once these documents have been approved, you can prepare your visa application documents, book an interview at the closest to your Bulgarian Embassy or consulate. The processing time for the visa is up to 45 calendar days.After receiving your visa you can now enter Bulgaria and continue with the application for your local residence permit type Blue Card. The application takes places at the Migration Office responsible for your Bulgarian residence address. You have up to 180 days to submit your residence permit application, however, you can’t start officially work until you have obtained your residency card so it is advisable that you apply as soon as you arrive in the country. The review of the application documents takes up to 7 days and another 3 to 30 days (depending on the type of service you pay for) for issuing your new ID card. As soon as you receive your Blue Card you can start your employmentThe validity of this type of work permits is up to 4 years and it is one of the most favourable ways to legally work in Bulgaria.Go Global by Centuro Global For those looking for more information regarding Bulgarian immigration (or other information including tax, accounting, legal, and more) Go Global is a free revolutionary new global expansion platform that empowers individuals and companies with the knowledge and expertise to trade in any jurisdiction globally.Our easy to use, self-service portal will grant access to a database of crucial information provided by local experts, expansion playbooks, a global network & actionable support. Sign up for your free account and start your global expansion journey today.
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Feb 2021

INCORPORATING IN MEXICO

General overview.Mexican General Law of Business Organizations (“Ley General de Sociedades Mercantiles” or “LGSM”) provides for six types of business entities, however, the most prevalent in Mexico are: (i) the “Sociedad Anónima” (“S.A.”) or stock corporation; and (ii) the “Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada” (“S. de R.L.”) or limited liability corporation. Both types of entities provide for limited liability of the shareholders (S.A.) or partners (S. de R.L.), which liability may not be assessed beyond the amount of their respective shareholdings or interest holdings. The S.A. is the most common entity used in Mexico for all types of business purposes, but certain foreign entities (particularly those residents in the United States) have adopted the S. de R.L. in order to opt for tax treatment abroad as a partnership. Considering that the commercial differences between the S.A. and the S. de R.L. are minor and that in Mexico both entities have the same tax treatment, our following comments are related to an S.A.Shareholders - In accordance with the LGSM, to incorporate an S.A. a minimum of two (2) shareholders are required. Such shareholders may be either individuals or corporate entities.Capital and Shares - There is no minimum capital for incorporating an S.A. The capital is represented by nominative shares which have equal economic and corporate rights. However, preferred shares with limited voting rights may also be issued if so established in the corporate by-laws. The company may issue different series of shares with specific rights per series (typically done in cases of joint ventures). At the time of incorporation or at any time thereafter, the company may adopt the modality of “variable capital”, in which case it becomes a “Sociedad Anónima de Capital Variable” or “S.A. de C.V.”. Under the variable capital modality, the company may increase or decrease the variable part of the corporate capital in an easier and less expensive process. Shares of an S.A. may be transferred freely; however, the corporate by-laws may provide that any proposed sale or transfer of shares must be authorized by the Board of Directors. Likewise, the by-laws can provide for preferential rights, drag along and tag along rights, among others.Shareholders’ Meetings - In accordance with the LGSM, the maximum authority of an S.A. is the General Shareholders’ Meeting. General Shareholders’ Meetings may be (i) Ordinary (dealing with basic, on-going corporate issues) and/or (ii) Extraordinary (usually dealing with special issues which may imply fundamental changes to the company). A General Annual Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting must be held within four months following the close of the company’s fiscal year (December 31). Special series of shares may hold Special Shareholders’ Meetings. Shareholders may personally attend the Meetings, or they may be represented by special attorneys-in-fact pursuant to simple proxy letters; however, members of the Board of Directors and Inspectors may not represent shareholders at such Meetings. Minutes of the meetings must be recorded in the Shareholders’ Meetings Minutes Book and signed at least by the President and Secretary of the Meeting.Management - Management of an S.A. may be conferred to a Sole Administrator or to a Board of Directors (two members or more), who are appointed (and/or ratified) by the General Shareholders’ Meeting. The Sole Administrator or the members of the Board may be or not shareholders of the Company, they may be Mexicans or foreigners and they do not need to reside in Mexican territory.Surveillance - The Company must appoint one or more Inspectors (“Comisarios”). Such Inspector is usually a certified public accountant in Mexico who oversees the actions of the Sole Administrator/Board of Directors and files an annual report with the General Shareholders’ Meeting regarding management’s compliance with all applicable Mexican legislation and the corporate by-laws, as well as regarding the veracity and accuracy of the annual financial statements.Incorporation process. Incorporation Permit - The incorporation procedure requires a permit from the Mexican Ministry of Economy (“Secretaría de Economía”), which essentially reserves a corporate name (not already in use or easily confused with others) for a particular type of business entity.Drafting of Charter of incorporation and By-Laws - In accordance with Mexican law, the charter of incorporation and the corporate by-laws are usually drafted and contained in one single document known as the “acta constitutiva”. Such document provides for all the basic structural aspects of the Company (i.e., name, domicile, duration, purpose, capital and shares, management, calls to shareholders’ and board of directors’ meetings, attendance and voting quorums, shareholders’ rights and obligations, dissolution, and liquidation).Formalization before Notary Public - The charter of incorporation and by-laws (“acta constitutiva”) must be formalized before a Mexican Notary Public. At the time of formalization, the initial shareholders appear either in person or represented by attorneys-in-fact appointed pursuant to special, limited powers of attorney and, essentially, hold the first Shareholders’ Meeting to subscribe and pay the corporate capital, appoint members of the Board and grant powers of attorney in favour of officers/representatives of the Company. In the event the shareholders are represented at the time of incorporation by attorneys in fact (usually members of this Law Firm), the respective powers of attorney that we will prepare and send to you shall be filed in by a representative of each shareholder, certified before local Notary Public and, depending on the jurisdiction, apostilled or legalized before the corresponding local authority (Secretary of State or Consulate).Public Registry of Commerce - Once the charter of incorporation/by-laws have been executed and protocolized before a Mexican Notary Public, the Notary shall record the first original of such public deed before the Public Registry of Commerce of the corporate domicile.National Registry of Foreign Investment - Given that the corporation’s corporate capital will be owned by foreign investors, it must be registered within the next forty (40) business days following the date of incorporation before the National Registry of Foreign Investment. Further information has to be provided to this agency on a quarterly and yearly basis.Tax Regime - At the time of incorporation, powers of attorney must be granted in favour of the person that will act as the legal representative of the Company before Mexican Tax Authorities. The legal representative may be or not Mexican national but must be a taxpayer with current tax identifications. Likewise, the Company must have a tax domicile, which is an existing address within Mexican territory. The Company must file monthly and annual tax returns; therefore, an external accounting firm must be appointed to carry out these obligations.Go Global by Centuro GlobalFor those looking to expand their business into Mexico, Go Global is a free revolutionary new global expansion platform that empowers companies with the knowledge and expertise to trade in any jurisdiction globally.Our easy to use, self-service portal will grant access to a database of Mexican expansion blueprints, a global network of experts & actionable support. Sign up for your free account and start your global expansion journey today.
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Feb 2021

The Portuguese non-habitual resident (“NHR”) tax regime

“The NHR regime essentially grants qualifying individuals the possibility of becoming tax residents of a white-listed jurisdiction whilst legally avoiding or minimising income tax on certain categories of income and capital gains for a period of 10 years.”The non-habitual resident (“NHR”) tax regime came into force in Portugal in 2009 and is proving very successful at attracting individuals of independent means, pensioners and certain skilled professionals to establish residency in Portugal for tax purposes, while not being subject to minimum or maximum stay requirements.In addition to the non-existence in Portugal of wealth tax, or of inheritance/gift tax for close relatives, the NHR regime essentially grants qualifying individuals the possibility of becoming tax residents of a white-listed jurisdiction whilst legally avoiding or reduce the income tax on certain categories of non-Portugal sourced income and capital gains for a period of 10 years.A major feature of the NHR regime lies in its interaction with the double taxation agreements (DTAs) signed by Portugal, or with the OECD model tax convention in the absence of one. In effect, most DTAs (of which Portugal signed 79, grant the possibility to tax most categories of income to the country of source of such income, although in practice, so as to attract foreign investment, many countries will not make use of that possibility to tax non-residents. Since most such categories will not be taxed in Portugal in the hands of an NHR because they may be taxed abroad, in practice most foreign-source income types will be zero taxed in such hands.Taking the UK/Portugal DTA as an example, if you are a resident of Portugal but receive dividends from the UK, then the UK has the power to tax them under article 10, although it does not if the recipient is not a UK resident. On the other hand, Portugal will not tax such dividends in the hands of an NHR either, because the UK may tax them under the DTA. This way, the non-habitual resident of Portugal may receive dividends from UK sources completely free of tax.Under the NHR regime, the following categories of foreign-source income and capital gains (except if sourced from a blacklisted tax haven that does not have a double taxation agreement with Portugal, will be exempt from income tax in Portugal if they may be taxed in the source country, even though they will not often be taxed in the hands of non-residents in the latter country either:Dividends, interest and real estate incomeCapital gains from the disposal of real estateRoyalties and associated income (but please note that under some conventions the source country is prevented from taxing this income, in which case it will be taxed in Portugal); b• Profits derived from eligible occupations; Capital gains from the alienation of movable property (other than shares deriving more than 50% of their value from real estate, or ships/aircraft operated in international traffic) will be tax-exempt if the relevant double taxation agreement states that they may be taxed in the source country, but this is not the case with the OECD model or with the generality of the conventions, and therefore some tax advice may be required.It should be noted that several countries often deemed “offshore tax havens” do have double taxation agreements with Portugal and, strictly in accordance with the relevant legal provisions, are therefore white-listed for the purposes of the NHR regime. However, in practice, this is not always the case and blacklisted tax havens should preferably be avoided as income source countries by someone who wishes to avoid any confrontation with the tax authorities. In any case, all EU member states are white-listed, even though several such states may in many ways be used as “offshore tax havens”, especially by non-residents thereof.Pensions will be liable to a 10% flat tax rate in Portugal provided they are not deemed sourced from Portugal.Foreign-source income from employment (including fees of directors and entertainers or sportsmen) will not be taxed in Portugal if it is taxed (at whatever rate) in the source country in accordance with a double tax treaty.Portuguese-source income depends on whether it is derived from eligible occupationsEmployment income (including fees of directors and entertainers/sportsmen), business or self-employment profits and royalties (including payments for know-how), if derived from eligible occupations will be subject to a 20% flat rate;Other Portuguese-source income will be taxed at the normal rates applicable to regular resident taxpayers;A surcharge of 2.5% is imposed on the slice of total taxable income between €80,640 and €250,000; and a surcharge of 5% on the slice of income that exceeds €250,000.So as to maximise the advantages of the NHR regime, one has to take into account not only Portuguese tax law but also the tax law of the source country of the income, as well as the double taxation agreements (or the OECD model convention) applicable to the foreign-source income and gains one is to receive as an NHR.Main benefitsResidency of a white-listed, EU-member, country.No minimum stay requirements in Portugal (but care must be taken to avoid deemed tax residence in another country).Possibility of enjoying a tax-exemption on the following types of non-Portuguese source income for 10 years:Dividends;Interest;Real estate income;Capital gains from the disposal of real estate, of shares deriving more than 50% of their value from real estate, and of ships/aircraft operated in international traffic;Royalties and other income from know-how (with some exceptions);Business and self-employment profits derived from eligible occupations (but do check the relevant double taxation agreement in this respect).Possibility of paying tax at a flat rate of 20% during at least 10 years on Portuguese-source employment income, fees, profits and royalties if derived from eligible occupations.Possibility of paying tax at a flat rate of 10% during at least 10 years on pensions and similar remuneration obtained abroad.Ability to pass on wealth to a spouse, life partner, and direct descendants or ascendants, without payment of inheritance or gift taxes.Centuro ConnectFor those looking to expand their business into Portugal, Centuro Connect is a free revolutionary new global expansion platform that empowers companies with the knowledge and expertise to trade in any jurisdiction globally.Our easy to use, self-service portal will grant access to a database of Portuguese expansion blueprints, a global network of experts & actionable support. Sign up for your free account and start your global expansion journey today.
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Feb 2021

How to Get Mexican Citizenship

The process of obtaining Mexican citizenship or becoming naturalized is quite straightforward. You might consider this if you are a long-term resident, or you have family in the country. As usual, you must meet their requirements and present the correct documentation to the authorities (SRE – External Relations Secretariat). As a naturalized Mexican you will enjoy similar rights and privileges of your fellow citizens. These include voting and the right to own property near the borders. In this article, we outline what you need to do.Requirements for Mexican Citizenship ApplicationOriginal and one copy of the following, unless indicated otherwise:Completed application form DNN-3Resident card (two copies) – valid for 6+ months from the application date, and proving Mexican residency for two or five years previous to the application dateCURP – Clave Única de Registro de Población (Unique Population Registry Code) Legalized/apostilled foreign birth certificate – translated into Spanish by a court-certified translator (read more about apostillization here)Passport or alternative valid ID – two copies of all pages of the passportResident card. This document must demonstrate consecutive residency in the country for five/two years immediately prior to the date of application. This document must be valid for at least six months after filing the application. A letter under oath declaring the number of exits from and entries to Mexico for the two years preceding the application (two copies)Clean Criminal Record Certificate (Certificado de No Antecedentes Penales) issued by the national and local authority for your place of residency Proof of your knowledge of the Spanish language, the history of the country and your cultural integration in MexicoTwo passport-size photos: white background, no glasses, bare head Proof of payment of application feesApplicants must take a test to demonstrate their knowledge of the items in 9. Consult the government website for a study guide: https://sre.gob.mx/tramites-y-servicios/nacionalidad-y-naturalizacion (Over 60s and children are exempt from this requirement.)Why Become a Naturalized Mexican?To enjoy the same rights as other Mexican citizens, specifically:the right to buy property in restricted areas without the need for a trust (fideicomiso). the right to vote in Mexico. change residence and job without having to inform the immigration authority.to avoid renewing temporary residency. priority at airport immigration –  avoid the tourist lines.Things to Be Aware OfTo apply, you must be able to demonstrate legal residency in Mexico for at least five consecutive years prior to the application date. This requirement is only two years if you have a Mexican spouse or child. Similarly, it is two years if you are a Spanish or Latin American national. Furthermore, you cannot have been outside Mexico for more than a total of 180 days in the two years prior to your application. Finally, having applied for Mexican citizenship, you will no longer have the right to consular protection from your home country while you are in Mexico.Centuro ConnectFor those looking for more information regarding Mexican citizenship (or other information including immigration, tax, accounting, legal, and more), Centuro Connect is a free revolutionary new global expansion platform that empowers companies with the knowledge and expertise to trade in any jurisdiction globally.Our easy to use, self-service portal will grant access to a database of Mexican business expansion blueprints, a global network of experts & actionable support. Sign up for your free account and start your global expansion journey today.
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Feb 2021

UK-EU Trade Agreement: a remedy or a band-aid to a gun wound?

United Kingdom's exit from the EU, the world's largest trading market, landed a severe blow to UK businesses wishing to continue their operations within the single market. While the new Trade and Customs Agreement aims to soften that blow, it is becoming clear that its effects are severely limited. The biggest hallmark of the Agreement is that it has, on the part of the EU, achieved the unimaginable by omitting tariffs and quotas. While on its face a great success, this provision comes with an important caveat, namely the re-balancing mechanism which allows both parties to reintroduce tariffs in the form of countermeasures if they believe that the other party's subsidy policy is detrimental to them. This creates great uncertainty for businesses as they are left at the mercy of country leaders which often act on a whim. Additionally, the deal has not managed to ease the difficulties which will be brought in the areas of customs and rules of origins, which will prove to be highly difficult for businesses to navigate for the future. As the UK has ceased to oblige by the EU rules concerning the standards of imported products, UK businesses will face a mountain of paperwork to prove that their goods meet the high requirements set by the deal. In addition, businesses dealing with the export of animal products will face severe challenges and a restriction on the import of certain products due to the EU's stringent laws. Consequentially, businesses will undoubtedly experience delays and additional costs due to border checks and the incumbent paperwork. The new requirement of export licences will stall trade and dealing without a licence will result in criminal liability. Furthermore, UK businesses dealing within the financial services market are faced with the hurdle of regaining access to the EU market. The Agreement has been unsuccessful in dealing with this matter which resulted in a lot of uncertainty for the financial services businesses as they must await the individual decisions from the EU, as well as the prospect of having the licence revoked at any moment. Importantly, COVID-19 has significantly impacted the businesses possibility to prepare for the UK's formal exit from the EU. The pandemic has weighed heavily on the financial means of the businesses who are now faced with high costs of obtaining licences and filing paperwork. In light of the situation, London, as the largest financial and marketing hub of the EU, is being replaced by Amsterdam, with many businesses choosing to incorporate a branch in the Netherlands due to the low capital requirements and favourable tax legislation. Many of the world's largest names, including JPMorgan Chase, have opened branches in the EU.5 While the Agreement is a welcome aide to the future trade relationship between the EU and the UK, it can scarcely be said that it allows for what is deemed to be, in the purest form, free trade. Businesses are advised to, if they wish to benefit from the EU single market, consider establishing a presence within the EU.
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Feb 2021

SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES SUPPORT IN SOUTH AFRICA

The small and medium-sized enterprises sector is the lifeblood of successful economies and they should be supported in every manner possible. It is for this reason that amidst a heavy hand from the state, the tax and accounting practice Indevaldi has expanded its service offering to include a regulatory compliance unit. The new unit’s focus is on the entire statutory corpus, inclusive of constitutional principles, legislation, regulations, by-laws, policies, governance frameworks and guidelines, irrespective of jurisdiction, and it helps small to medium-sized businesses to properly understand their statutory environment, to effectively steer around pitfalls and negative consequences, whether financial or reputational and to maintain compliance once achieved. While the new unit is active from plant floor upwards to board level, its immediate focus in current South Africa is supporting clients towards compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act, with the window period for compliance closing on 30 June 2021. It is trite that small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) serve as the engine room of vibrant economies. Typically, these SME’s stimulate job creation, employment, innovation, and economic growth. The most important outcome of all of these is an improvement in the well-being of the citizens of those countries encouraging and supporting SME’s with clever policy measures and with capable government institutions. A widely used indicator of the extent to which countries succeed in welcoming SME’s is found in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business index. This index compares business regulations of 190 countries and serves as a valuable guide to both policymakers and investors. Interestingly, while increased regulatory activity obviously increases the costs of doing business, since 2003/04 the 20 best-performing economies on this index have carried out a total of 464 regulatory changes, but they have also pushed through 20 significant reforms during this period which helps to explain their top rankings. This suggests that regulatory reform albeit it expensive could encourage and sustain businesses. Not surprisingly, the Doing Business index finds that greater ease of doing business is associated with higher levels of entrepreneurship. Therefore, developing economies should want to strike a balance between control, however, justified, and encouraging entrepreneurs. Indeed, the latest index reports that the cost of starting a business has fallen over time in developing economies, suggesting a moderation of the regulatory environment. Yet, South Africa’s position on this index has weakened from 82 to 84 for 2020. Consider the following rankings of peers: Mauritius 13; Thailand 21; Turkey 33; Rwanda 38; Kenya 56; Chili 58; Zambia 85; Botswana 87; Namibia 104; Egypt 114; Ghana 118; Nigeria 131.   How should the SME sector in South Africa and elsewhere then be supported in navigating a smothering regulatory environment? One answer obviously lies in education and training. Yet another lie in offering a regulatory compliance service focusing on the SME sector like Indevaldi Regulatory Compliance Services does since January 2021.   Through pursuing an ethos of integrity, a pathos of understanding and a logos of underlying structure and organization, Indevaldi offers to SME’s everywhere the ability to assess and convey in understandable terms those pieces of legislation and associated regulations relevant for their specific industries, and the capacity to guide them systematically towards optimized compliance and maximum commercial benefit.   While South Africa takes the back seat with aspects such as contracting with government, ease of hiring and firing, and the ease of redundancy, it also has now promulgated data protection regulations, known for slowing business necessary though it may be. Leaning on best practices from jurisdictions such as the European Union, South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information legislation is particularly comprehensive, setting stiff penalties for non-compliance. At Indevaldi, therefore, the focus is on assessment to determine compliance gaps for its clients, implementing the specific steps necessary to remedy shortcomings, composing and implementing policy, inducting staff to operate and adapt to the new standard operating procedures, and regularly returning to help maintain a status quo of compliance.  
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Feb 2021

How to Obtain a Mexican Work Visa via a Job Offer or New Business

In order to legally work in Mexico, you must obtain a work visa in one of two ways: through a job offer from a Mexican employer, or by opening a business there. You then have your own company hire you as an employee. Work permits in Mexico are processed through the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM).Mexican Work Visa from a Job OfferLet’s say you receive a job offer you want to accept. Firstly, your potential employer should apply for your work visa at the INM. This can be done through the INM office directly or by using an immigration specialist. The employer submits various company documents proving its legal existence, that taxes are paid, and the identity of the representative.Then, once these documents have been approved, you book an interview at a Mexican consulate outside Mexico. At this interview, you get a Mexican Visa sticker in your passport. You have 180 days to return to Mexico from that date.Upon returning to Mexico, do not enter as a tourist. Ensure the INM agent sees your sticker and updates your Forma Migratoria Multiple (FFM) accordingly. They will then allow you 30 days to report to the INM.This part of the process is called the canje (exchange) and is handled by the immigration office in Mexico. Eventually, you exchange your 30-day visa for temporary residency with permission to work.Mexican Work Visa as a Business Owner If you own a business in Mexico, you also require permission to work. First, your company needs to register for Constancia de Empleador at the INM, allowing it to hire foreigners.The requirements are:Constitutive Act – original and copyPublic registry recordFee paymentsUp-to-date tax documentAnnual tax paymentOriginal I.D. of the legal representativeProof of residence – current and original electricity or water billPhotos of premises – 3 inside and 3 outsideGoogle maps location indicatorLetterheads on opaline paper with colour logo, RFC (Federal register of contributors number), address, telephone number, website, and emailIMSS (social security) list of Mexican and foreign employees, specifying positions and nationalityIMSS (social security) receiptGo Global by Centuro GlobalFor those looking to expand their business into Mexico, Go Global is a free revolutionary new global expansion platform that empowers companies with the knowledge and expertise to trade in any jurisdiction globally.Our easy to use, self-service portal will grant access to a database of Mexican expansion blueprints, a global network of experts & actionable support. Sign up for your free account and start your global expansion journey today.
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Press Release
Feb 2021

Asma Bashir named newest member of Leaders First

Leaders First is a global membership organisation supporting professionals to expand their business network and to learn new skills. With active hubs in the UK, Italy, Russia and the USA, their global network of members is spread over 20 different countries. The core belief of Leaders First is that leaders from different industries can learn from each other. The community of Leaders First includes top managers, business owners, emerging leaders, family business members, investors, family office representatives and entrepreneurs across different sectors.In a press release on LinkedIn, Leaders First announced our chairman Asma Bashir as their newest member. "We are very proud to welcome a new Premium Member - Asma Bashir - Investor, Speaker, Judge, Chairman at Centuro Global. Asma is a legal professional with over 20 years of experience having built a business in over 15 countries around the world.She sold her business in 2015 to an American private equity firm before embarking on a new journey to work with entrepreneurs and help companies go global. She is an investor, mentor and a speaker at many events with a focus on innovation and future leaders".Read the full press release here.
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Feb 2021

Global Talent Scheme and Independent Program

Global Talent Scheme The Global Talent Scheme (GTS) allows Australian companies including start-ups, a pathway to sponsor highly skilled and specialised workers not covered by the standard 482 programs. This program also caters for new and emerging STEM positions where the occupations will not already be approved for visa purposes. There are two visa streams in this program, these are: Employer-Sponsored Program Established Business Stream (GTES) Start-Up Stream Established employers who have an agreement in place with the Immigration Department can sponsor up to 20 applicants per year over 5 years. The business must be an accredited and current Standard Business Sponsor. There is a minimum annual earnings requirement which is set at the Fair Work High Income Threshold  which for FY 20/21 is $153,600. Start-up businesses can sponsor up to 5 applicants per year. This stream allows employers to sponsor start-ups operating in a technology or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related field. Start-ups must be endorsed by the independent GTS start-up advisory panel. In order to gain endorsement, the business will need to have received an investment of at least $50,000 from an investment fund registered as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership or received an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant. There is a minimum annual earnings requirement of no less than $80,000 which can be made up of partial equity and cash. Occupation Lists The GTS Agreement must specify the occupations that are to be filled over the 5 years. Unlike the standard sponsorship program, the occupations do not have to be listed in the approved list of occupations used in the 482 and 186 (Employer Nominated Scheme) programs and sponsors can apply to have their occupations approved by Immigration.  Age Requirement Applicants applying for permanent residence under visa subclass 186 will generally be eligible to apply up to the age of 55 years. An increase in the age limit can be negotiated Labour Market Testing The sponsor is required to test the local labour market which requires the business to advertise the position as per labour market testing requirements. Global Talent Independent Program The program offers a streamlined variety priority visa pathway for highly skilled individuals to work and live permanently in Australia and is designed to strengthen Australia’s ability to compete for the world’s best and brightest skilled migrants and grow Australian businesses of the future. The eligibility requirements for the program include that the candidate: is highly skilled and internationally recognized in one of seven target sectors (listed below); and  has the ability to earn the Fair Work High Income Threshold (currently $153,600). In assessing whether a candidate is likely to have the ability to meet this salary threshold, the Department will consider current salary or future job offers; as well as candidates who have recently graduated or are soon to graduate with PhDs or Masters qualifications in the target sectors. The following target sectors have been selected to foster growth in future-focused industries:  AgTech FinTech MedTech Cyber Security Space and Advanced Manufacturing Energy and Mining Technology Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT How to apply? Individuals who meet the requirements will be provided with a unique Global Talent Identifier, which provides priority processing for a Distinguished Talent Visa application. You must register with the immigrations Department to be provided with a unique identifier number. Candidates accepted into the program will receive streamlined, priority processing to meet the Distinguished Talent Visa regulatory criteria. All visa applicants need including health and character requirements before a visa can be granted.  
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Blog
Feb 2021

Egypt your Ideal destination for Investment

Egypt, situated in a strategic geopolitical location which gives it an ideal advantage of access to the markets through various trade agreements i.e. Pan Arab Free Trade Agreement/ Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement (GAFTA), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Egypt-MERCOSUR Free Trade Agreement etc. Being a party to such trade agreements gives Egypt access to 1.5 billion consumers of which 100 million consumers are in Egypt.  Further, the international reports indicate that Egypt continues to progress i.e. according to the World Bank Report, Egypt ranked 114th out of 190 countries instead of 120 in 2019. In facilitating start-ups, Egypt ranked 90 in 2020 instead of 109 in 2019; In Protecting Minority Investors, Egypt jumped 15 positions from 72 to 57 due to legislative reforms. The reports, also, expect the Egyptian economy to grow at 6% in 2021 instead of 5.8% in2020.  To have a Legal presence in Egypt, one of the following entities may be established: Limited Liability Company “LLC”; Joint Stock Company “JSC”; Sole Individual Limited Company; Branch; Representative Office;  We will concentrate on the most common two preferred types by investors:Limited Liability Company’s Characteristics: It should consist of, at least, two partners. Capital shall be divided into allocations. The partners may be individuals or legal entities. It will be managed by a Manager or group of Managers. There is no minimum capital requirement. In the past, the capital should be fully deposited before establishment however, this condition has been lifted to ease the establishment process. Except for certain activities i.e. importation  It may be fully owned by foreigners except for importation purposes. In past importations, the purpose was limited to only Egyptians however, the condition has been lifted to encourage investment in Egypt. Currently, foreigners may establish a company with the purpose of which is importation provided that the percentage of foreigners’ participation should not be more than 49%. There is no Egyptian Manager.  The liability of the partner vis-à-vis third parties will be limited to his/her allocation. Investors preferred this type to examine the market, first, before expanding.  Joint Stock Company “JSC” Characteristics:  It should consist of, at least, three shareholders; Capital shall be divided into shares; The shareholders may be individuals or legal entities;  It will be managed by a board of directors to be elected by the shareholders; The minimum capital is EGP 250.000 and for certain purposes, the capital should be raised to EGP 500.000. The capital will not fully be deposited upon the establishment. 10% will be added before establishment to be raised to 25% within three months of the establishment to be fully deposited within five years.  May be fully owned by foreigners except for importation purposes.  The liability of the partner vis-à-vis third parties will be limited to his/her shares. Tax Treatment: Both entities are subject to an annual tax of 22.5 % on the net profits. 
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Feb 2021

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to step down as CEO this summer

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced that he will be stepping down as CEO of the Seattle-based eCommerce giant this summer.   As part of a group of leading business and entrepreneurial figures in the UK, Our CEO, Zain Ali shares his opinion on this transition in an article for Business Leader Magazine.   “From starting as an online bookstore to becoming the world’s most valuable company, Jeff Bezos’ reign as founder and CEO of Amazon has been an overwhelming success. Whilst there are a number of question marks surrounding ethics relating to anti-trust and worker conditions, which should not be ignored, the most remarkable features of Amazon have to be its innovation.   Under Bezos’ management, Amazon has always been one step ahead, pioneering online retail when people did not know what the internet was, building up mass revenues from behind the scenes with cloud computing, and now dominating the AI smart device market with Alexa. The way Amazon has also tackled international expansion and adapted to local markets such as offering in-store credits for the unbanked to deposit cash in developing regions has always been striking. Bezos’ grit for problem-solving and focusing on the end consumer is a big contributor to the company’s success. The fact that Bezos is stepping down to focus on new ventures may actually mean there is even more innovation to come from Amazon, with time potentially freed up for more creative thinking. Having slogged for almost three decades, and achieved sales exceeding $386 billion in 2020, now is as good a time as any to take a step back, enjoy the success and focus on other passions. It will be interesting to see how Bezos manages to transition from out of a role of absolute control and power after so many years and how his successor will fare.” Read the full article here.
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Jan 2021

The Biggest News You Likely Missed

Covid infection rates and vaccine trials have dominated news headlines. Yet, our intense focus on the pandemic has overshadowed the progress being made in other areas. One important news item that may have an enormous impact on the world is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). RCEP is a free trade agreement between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members and six other regional countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea. Notably, RCEP is the first multilateral trade agreement in which China has participated. India had initially been in the negotiations but subsequently pulled back, although the members have indicated that India still has the potential to join in the future. The agreement was signed in November of 2020 and is the largest trade deal globally, outsizing the EU and the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement. RCEP signatories also represent one-third of the world population and almost 30% of global GDP, percentages that would increase significantly should India come on board. And while many of the member countries have existing bi-lateral trade agreements, under RCEP each country is treated equally across the trading block, breaking down barriers and complications. That in and of itself should make negotiations easier and help to lower costs. Additionally, by reducing complicated tariffs between members, RCEP has the potential to increase intra-Asian trade and investment. The favourable treatment of “Common Rules of Origin” written into the pact should also encourage foreign investors to enter the region. Overall, RCEP will make doing business within Asia easier and more beneficial to all parties involved. The true impact of RCEP will become clearer over time, although it is expected that the “big three” East Asian countries of China, Japan, and the ROK will benefit most in the short term, with a combined potential export gain of over USD 400 billion. Members will also wait to see if the new Biden administration can move quickly to assert more influence on the world stage. If the US does decide to join the pact at a later point, it would represent an effective counterbalance to China, however at the same time serve to dilute the overall regional impact of the agreement. For the time being, all eyes are on the ratification process expected to conclude later this year, with approval needed by six ASEAN countries and three non-ASEAN members.More information can be found here: https://rcepsec.org/    
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Jan 2021

South Africa Immigration Update – January 2021

Concession for Visas Expired During Lockdown and Permanent ResidentsAs per an extended Ministerial exemption, no-one whose visa has expired during or shortly before the lockdown will be penalized. Persons with visas that have expired after 15 February are permitted to stay in the country, leave the country or make an application for a new visa, until 31 January 2021 without being declared illegal, undesirable or having to be legalized first. Short-term visitors (or “tourist”) visas that have expired during this time will not be extended again. Such tourist visa extensions are only granted to persons who arrived in the country after the re-opening of borders in September. Due to high volumes of applications and limited capacity under Covid-10 restrictions, securing appointments for applications or collections of outcomes has become increasingly difficult. You are welcome to contact us should you require assistance.Others affected by the travel restrictions and the health risks of travelling during the pandemic may also benefit from concessions. According to information received by Imcosa, permanent residents who have spent an extended time outside the country and were prevented from returning to South Africa during 2020 to avoid the lapsing of their permits (usually the case after an absence from the country of longer than 3 years), will not lose their status. Similarly, persons who have received their permanent residence, but not been able to take up residence in South Africa within the specified period, will not lose their status. Official confirmation of this concession is still being awaited.Visa Applications Open, Permanent Residence and Citizenship (Largely) NotThe Department of Home Affairs, its service provider VFS Global and most South African Embassies and Consulates abroad are open for short- and long-term visa applications, waivers and appeals. In fact, local visa applications are being processed comparatively fast. Permanent residence results are being issued and can be collected. However, due to the restrictions of Covid-19 regulations, offices can only work with a much-reduced staff contingent and thus at a lower capacity. Thus, applications for permanent residence and citizenship are not yet possible (with few exceptions which accept citizenship applications). Understandably, managing large numbers of people safe during this time is a challenge. Every Covid case on-premise leads to the closing of an office for 7-10 days, which further increases the pressure on the system. We, therefore, feel that the appeal for our patience is a reasonable one. We are hoping that further applications will open during the first term of 2021.Visa Concessions for Seconded WorkersTo promote economic growth and accommodate persons currently seconded to South Africa, holders of intra-company transfer visas may now apply to have their visas extended locally by another two years! This comes as a great relief to seconded experts and their families who can now avoid having to return to their home countries and awaiting an outcome there. The concession applies to those whose visas expired during a lockdown or will expire by the end of June 2021. For further information and assistance, you are welcome to contact our team. Go Global by Centuro GlobalFor those looking to expand their business into South Africa, Go Global is a free revolutionary new global expansion platform that empowers companies with the knowledge and expertise to trade in any jurisdiction globally.Our easy to use, self-service portal will grant access to a database of South African business expansion blueprints, a global network of experts & actionable support. Sign up for your free account and start your global expansion journey today.
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Jan 2021

TAXATION OF MALTA COMPANIES

Since joining the EU in May 2004 and the Eurozone in 2008, Malta has become an attractive financial services centre which serves as a base for international investors for their activities. Malta offers various benefits to companies that are either resident or registered in Malta including a skilled workforce, low operational costs, various tax incentives and a double tax treaty network with over seventy countries. Company Tax Rate In terms of Maltese income tax legislation, a company is a resident in Malta if it is incorporated in Malta. If the company is incorporated outside Malta, it is still resident in Malta, if its effective management and control are exercised in Malta. Companies are subject to tax in Malta at the standard corporate tax rate of 35%. Full Imputation System Malta adopts the full imputation system, which means that shareholders of a Malta company, will be entitled to a tax credit equivalent to the tax paid by the company upon a distribution of profits. The purpose of the imputation system is to eliminate any economic double taxation that might arise on the distribution of dividends, meaning that company profits will not be subject to tax twice, first at the corporate level, then at the shareholder level. The highest rate of tax applicable to individual shareholders is equivalent to the corporate rate of tax (35%), meaning that no further tax will be due on the distribution of profits. Tax Accounting for Companies Companies must allocate their profits to one of the following tax accounts: Foreign Income Account (FIA) - royalties, dividends, capital gains, interest and other passive income arising outside Malta are allocated to this account. Maltese Taxed Account (MTA) - profits of a company which are not allocated to the FIA and which have suffered Malta tax are allocated to this account. Immovable Property Account (IPA) - profits derived from transfers of immovable property situated in Malta and from other activities which are related directly or indirectly to immovable property situated in Malta are allocated to this account. Final Tax Account (FTA) - profits which are exempt from tax and which are also exempt in the hands of the shareholders upon distribution are allocated to this account. Untaxed Account (UA) – the difference between the company’s accounting profits (or losses) and the total amounts allocated to the above four tax accounts are allocated to this account. The proper allocation of profits to the correct tax accounts is of utmost importance in view of the refundable tax credit system explained below. Refunds of tax by shareholders can only be claimed in respect of dividends which are distributed from the FIA and MTA. Distributions from the FTA, IPA and UA do not entitle the shareholders to a tax refund. Tax refunds can only be claimed by shareholders who are registered to receive them and the number of refunds received will depend on the nature and source of income derived by the Malta distributing company. Refundable Tax Credit System Shareholders of companies registered in Malta are entitled to a tax refund upon the distribution of profits. In general, the tax refund amounts to 6/7ths of the tax paid by the company resulting in a maximum effective tax rate of 5% after-tax refunds. Where double taxation relief is claimed by the company in respect of foreign tax suffered, the effective tax rate can be reduced further to 0%. In the circumstances where the profits distributed are made up of passive interest or royalties, the tax refund is reduced to 5/7ths of the tax charge, resulting in a maximum net tax paid in Malta of 10% after-tax refunds. Passive interest and royalty income is income which has not been derived directly or indirectly from a trade or business and where such interest or royalty income has not suffered or suffered any foreign tax, directly, by way of withholding or otherwise, at a rate of tax which is less than 5%. Where the company has opted to claim relief from double taxation on its income which stands to be allocated to its foreign income account, refunds to shareholders will amount to 2/3rds of the total tax paid (including foreign tax). If the relief from double taxation claimed is the Flat Rate Foreign Tax Credit (refer to the section on Double Taxation Relief) the tax refund will amount to 2/3rds of the Malta tax paid. In general, the tax refunds are calculated on the total tax paid including foreign tax, subject to the tax refund not exceeding the Malta tax suffered. The only exception is where the FRFTC is claimed, as mentioned above.The following is an example illustrating the 6/7ths refund: Company Profit before tax                                                                                                               €1,000 Tax at 35%                                                                                                                            (€ 35 0)     Profit after tax                                                                                                                     €650 Shareholder Refund on the distribution (6/7ths tax refund)                                                      €300 Effective rate of tax on profit before tax                                                               5%           Double Tax Relief in Malta Under the Malta Tax regime, relief from double taxation is available under various mechanisms. Double Tax Agreements To date, Malta has concluded more than 72 double taxation agreements for the avoidance of double taxation with various countries.Malta’s double tax treaties are largely based on the OECD Model Convention and grants relief from double taxation using the credit method. Unilateral Relief Malta grants also relief from double taxation under unilateral relief whereby overseas tax incurred on income received from a country with which Malta does not have a tax treaty can be claimed as a credit against the tax due in Malta. The credit cannot exceed the total of Maltese tax payable. To claim the unilateral relief, the recipient of the income must prove the following to the satisfaction of the Commissioner: That the income arose from overseas; That the income was subject to tax outside of Malta; and Proof of tax paid abroad. Unilateral relief is only available in cases where there is no double taxation relief. Flat-rate foreign tax credit (FRFTC) The flat-rate foreign tax credit can be claimed by Maltese companies which receive income or capital gains from overseas and which income is allocated to the Foreign Income Account of the company. The FRFTC is calculated at 25% of the amount of the overseas income or gain received by the company, before allowable expenses. The income along with the credit less deductible expenses will be subject to full Maltese income tax with relief for the estimated credit (up to a maximum of 85% of the Malta tax payable). Participation Exemption Malta Holding companies that are in receipt of dividend income or capital gains from a ‘participating holding’ or from income arising from the disposal of that same holding may benefit from the participation exemption. Malta's participation exemption on capital gains is also extended to domestic holdings of shares, hence capital gains arising from the transfer of a participating holding in a Malta company are also eligible for the exemption. A participating holding arises when a company holds equity shares in a company or a qualifying body of persons which does not own immovable property and which give it any two of the right to vote, the right to receive a dividend and right over assets upon the liquidation of the company. Moreover, a participating holding must meet one of the following criteria: Has at least 5% of the equity shares in the other company; or Is an equity shareholder in a company and the equity shareholder company is entitled to the option to call for and acquire the entire balance of the equity shares of the non-resident company and is entitled to the Right to the first refusal to purchase such shares; or Is an equity shareholder in a company and is entitled to sit on the Board or appoint a person to sit on the Board of that company as a director; or Is an equity shareholder in a company which invests a minimum sum of €1,164,000 and such investment is held for an uninterrupted period of 183 days; or Holds the shares in the company for the continuance of its own business and the holding is not held as trading stock for the purpose of a trade. As per the Malta tax structure, Dividends resulting from a participating holding in an EU resident company is exempted from tax in Malta in all cases. Tax on dividends received from a participating holding in a non-EU resident company are exempt in Malta provided at least one of the following additional criteria is fulfilled: The said non-resident company is subject to a foreign tax of a minimum of 15%; or The said non-resident company does not derive more than 50% of its income from passive interest and royalties; or The shares in the non-resident company are not a portfolio investment and the non-resident company or its passive interest or royalties have been subject to tax at a rate which is not less than 5%. Two Tier Structures To take maximum advantage of the refundable tax credit system, it is very common for a Malta trading company to be owned by a Malta holding company. The Malta holding company will serve as a dividend feeder company, receiving dividends from the Maltese trading company and tax refunds from the Maltese tax authorities. This avoids the problem of classification of income in those foreign countries which consider the tax refund as a dividend or any other income. Any dividends and tax refunds received by the Malta holding company can be either distributed to the ultimate beneficial owners in the form of dividends or reinvested in the operating company. Malta does not impose any withholding tax on the distribution of dividends and due to its full imputation system of taxation, the tax suffered at the level of the Malta trading company will be granted as a credit against the tax due by the Malta holding company upon receipt of a dividend. Therefore the Malta holding company will not incur any further tax on the dividends received from the Malta trading company. Exemption from Stamp Duty Companies whose business activities are mainly carried out outside Malta are eligible for an exemption from stamp duty on the transfer of shares. This exemption from duty also applies where more than half of the ordinary share capital, voting rights and rights to profits are held by persons who are not resident in Malta. Stamp duty is paid by the person acquiring the shares. The above-mentioned exemption also applies to the transfer of shares by/to such companies. No Withholding Tax Malta does not impose any withholding tax on the outbound payment of dividends, interest and royalties.  
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Blog
Jan 2021

Cannabis Update

As mentioned in our last Cannabis Update dated November 20, 2020, finally on January 12, 2021, Mexico issued the Regulations to the General Health Law regarding the Sanitary Control for the Production, Research and Medical Use of Cannabis and its derivatives (the “Regulations”). The General Health Law was amended in June 2017 precisely to regulate the medical use of Cannabis but, so far, no secondary legislation was implemented despite the Supreme Court resolution issued in August 2019. The Regulations establish specific rules for the research; production; medical purposes; manufacture and destruction of raw material, pharmacology derivatives and Cannabis-based medicines. Quality and manufacture controls will be guaranteed as holders of a sanitary registry must have as well a quality control laboratory, duly authorized by the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (“Cofepris”). Raw material, pharmacology derivatives and Cannabis-based medicines can be imported into Mexico. Only pharmacology derivatives and Cannabis-based medicines may be exported to other countries. Sowing, cultivation and harvest of Cannabis must be done in restricted areas with special authorizations. Besides granting legal certainty to the medical cannabis industry, the Regulations will also clarify the current situation of those permits granted under the Guidelines issued by Cofepris on October 30, 2018, but revoked later by the current administration on March 27, 2019. The Regulations, in no manner whatsoever, interfere with the Federal Law for the Regulation of Cannabis which awaits approval by the Lower Chamber of the Mexican Congress and will regulate adult-use cannabis and hemp industry. For further information please contact: Juan Daniel Rodriguez drodriguez@rrsc.com.mx Ana Laura Gurria agurria@rrsc.com.mx
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Blog
Jan 2021

Immigration to Mexico: Who Does It and Why?

Immigration to Mexico from the US, Canada and other locations, such as Argentina, is increasing. Mexico’s immigrant population is diverse and everyone has their own reasons for doing it. For some, it’s more about leaving their old lives behind in their home country. For others, Mexico specifically, is an attractive land of opportunity. In this article, we explore who is likely to leave the US and Canada for Mexico and why.Who Immigrates to Mexico?RetireesMexico is a hot spot for retirees from the US and Canada who want their pension to go further. The cost of living in other North American countries compared to Mexico is significantly higher. Many pensioners are struggling to survive on their pensions and their quality of life is decreasing at home. In Mexico, that all changes. A US pension will generally allow for better value accommodation and utilities, regular socializing, quality healthcare, and some financial flexibility. Pensioners who relocate to Mexico find themselves in the company of many similarly aged and minded people. And with cheap flights back to the US and Canada, the family is never too far away.SnowbirdsAlthough many retirees fit into this category, snowbirds can be any age.  Snowbirds come from countries with cold climates that they escape from during the winter. Mexico’s warm coasts are popular destinations for snowbirds who leave the cold behind for up to six months of the year. If you hold temporary or permanent Mexican residency you can enter and exit the country unconditionally. The maximum stay for tourists is 180 days.FamiliesMore and more US and Canadian families with young children are also immigrating to Mexico. There are many private and international schools in popular ex-pat locations. They are often bilingual and fees are generally significantly less than in the rest of North America. Parents value the unique cultural experience their children gain by living in a foreign country. The lower cost of living also means many families enjoy a better quality of life and can spend more time together.EntrepreneursAccording to the World Bank, Mexico is the second-largest economy in Latin America. It is a strong worldwide player in the real estate, tourism and fintech industries, and a supporter of start-ups and innovation. Many entrepreneurs from the US and Canada see Mexico as a promising market for investment and development. Its low cost of living also makes it an attractive base for those starting out on a new venture. Quintana Roo specifically has been targeting the so-called digital nomad market. Popular initiatives that attract mobile, online workers are co-working spaces and ‘nomad’ events. Needless to say, there are many reasons to immigrate to Mexico; the food, warm, welcoming people, and outstanding nature are all attractions. We have listed a few more in our blog: 10 Simple Reasons to Move to Mexico. If you are also curious about immigration to Mexico or would like a personal consultation, email Adriana Vela at info@immigrationtomexico.mx.Go Global by Centuro GlobalFor those looking for more information regarding Mexican immigration (or other information including tax, accounting, legal, and more) Go Global is a free revolutionary new global expansion platform that empowers companies with the knowledge and expertise to trade in any jurisdiction globally.Our easy to use, self-service portal will grant access to a database of crucial information provided by local experts, expansion playbooks, a global network & actionable support. Sign up for your free account and start your global expansion journey today.
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Press Release
Jan 2021

Centuro Global Partners with Office Freedom

Office Freedom now representing the UK as part of the Centuro Global Network Office Freedom has been appointed as a key Global Partner providing flexible office space globally to our community.Centuro Global is committed to collaborating globally to empower world economic development and promoting innovative solutions for start-ups, SMEs and corporates around the world. With this new appointment, Office Freedom, will join a powerful network of global expansion experts and encourage further global growth. The inclusion of Office Freedom provides a wide range of opportunities and opens doors for economic development and greater involvement on the global business stage. Asma Bashir, Chairwoman of Centuro Global welcomes this appointment and states "Centuro Global supports startups, scaleups and high-growth businesses scale globally by providing access to valuable know-how and strategic partners around the world, saving businesses both time and money. We aim to help more companies successfully grow and in turn contribute to both the local UK economy and the world economy as a whole. We strongly believe that this will further be made possible through this appointment and look forward to working closely with Office Freedom".Richard Smith, CEO of Office Freedom commented, "We are exceptionally proud and excited by this exclusive appointment which means we can now help Centuro Global members worldwide find office space by accessing our One-Stop-Gateway to the Flexible, Serviced, Leased and Managed Office Industry".Learn more about Office Freedom and their services here.  
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Event
Jan 2021

Scaling Your Business to Latin America

Latin America presents a fantastic growth opportunity for scaling companies in their global expansion journey. The region is yet to be saturated with software like many other territories, it has one of the highest predicted GDP growth rates for 2021 in the world, and there is a high-skill talent pool to be tapped into. Infrastructure has also rapidly developed across the continent and the region has also become more politically stable in recent years. Nonetheless, doing business in Latin America also comes with a host of challenges. Access the webinar below.Our panel of local experts shared vital initial decision-making information to give you a competitive advantage in your expansion journey.They discussed everything you need to know around:• Conducting market assessments• Cultural Adaptations• Determining the best market entry options• Corporate & Employment law• Tax requirements• Managing your HR and payrollWebinar Host: Asma BashirAsma is a former founder of Newland Chase and current Chairman of Centuro Global. She is a mentor on the Mayor's International Business Programme as well as a Senator of the World Business Angel Forum.Speakers:Neil MontgomeryNeil is the Founding and Managing Partner of Montgomery & Associados. He is a lecturer on Doing Business in Brazil at the renowned Brazilian business school Fundação Getúlio Vargas – FGV) and author of several published articles on Brazilian aviation, corporate and international law, arbitration, labour and employment and gaming law.Juan Daniel Rodríguez CardosoJuan Daniel Rodriguez is a Managing Partner at Rodríguez Rueda, S.C., in Mexico City. With several degrees ranging from Law to telecommunications, Daniel is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, International Technology Law Association, International Bar Association and Barra Mexicana, Colegio De Abogados, A.C. Arnaud BleuezArnaud Bleuez is Partner & Director at BPC Partners in Brazil. He has worked with several large European companies including PWC and is currently the author of a book on Brazilian Taxes, intended for International Companies doing business in Brazil. "Brazilian taxes: what you need to know".Bjorn ReynoldsBjorn Reynolds is the Founder and CEO of Safeguard Global. Bjorn has been at the forefront of transitioning businesses and creating successful value propositions for customers, shareholders, and employees alike. He was recognized in 2016 as Payroll World’s “Top 50 Most Influential People in Payroll, ″ and as a “Game Changer” by Workforce Magazine.Jorge FerrariJorge is the Founder and CEO of Aurora International Education. With over 26 years of international experience, Jorge focuses on the education sector and most recently co-founded Galileo Global Education (GGE) in 2011. GGE is a company focused on higher education which now has over 100,000 students in 8 countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.   Go Global by Centuro GlobalFor those looking to expand their business into Latin America, Go Global is a FREE revolutionary new global expansion platform that empowers companies with the knowledge and expertise to trade in any jurisdiction globally.Our easy to use, self-service portal will grant access to a database of business expansion blueprints, a global network of experts & actionable support. Sign up for your free account and start your global expansion journey today.
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Event
Dec 2020

Doing Business in a Post Brexit Europe

As the transition period for the UK leaving the EU is drawing to a close, are you Brexit ready?Understanding the importance of effective Brexit planning will help UK & European companies avoid a challenging and costly post-Brexit transition.We brought together experts from around Europe for an interactive roundtable discussion with exclusive insights and advice into what business must consider when preparing for the end of the transition period.We will cover topics including the implications of Brexit on:Immigration, staff mobility and hiring between the UK and the EUEntity Setup and the need for a European presence to continue tradingSocial security and taxBusiness visitor requirementsIntellectual PropertyOur host: Asma Bashir is a legal professional with over 20 years’ experience in expanding businesses across the world. She has significant experience in law and policy across Europe having advised multinational companies on changing legislation. She is a mentor and board member of several businesses and Chairwoman at Centuro Global.Speakers:Tomáš PetyovskýTomáš is a co-founding Partner of Petyovský & Partners and Attorney-at-Law, specialising in immigration and legal services. He also participates on policy development of the Czech immigration legislation as a member of American Chamber of Commerce, Work Group for Economic Migration at the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the Czech Republic and is working on policy development directly with the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic. He lectures at various training and seminars for clients, students and universities.Michael Møller NielsenMichael heads the employment law department of Lund Elmer Sandager in Denmark. He advises on all types of employment law challenges including executive service agreements, collective bargaining agreement issues, anti-competitive agreements and individual employment matters. Michael has extensive experience within data protection law and M&A and has written several publications on employment law matters.Fiona Mougenot Fiona Mougenot is a British national who has lived and worked in France longer than in her native country. Her professional experiences, in the areas of marketing, tax and international human resources consulting, have been with multi-national companies such as IBM, TRW, Barclays, Europace, and KPMG LLP. She founded Expat Partners in 2003 to provide full immigration services to the Global Mobility Directors seeking assistance. Fiona is regularly invited as a guest speaker at Global Mobility functions, sharing her knowledge and insight on immigration matters.Greg YoungGreg Young is HR Manager at Manor Renewable Energy Ltd. Greg has worked for a number of multinational companies within the oil and gas industry and has specialist expertise with international assignment management. He holds a post-graduate diploma in personnel management and merit from the University of Portsmouth.
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Videos
Nov 2020

Why did Starbucks fail in Australia? (Coffee with Centuro Episode 13)

We start this week’s episode by case studying Starbucks' expansion into Australia and then delve into the US presidential elections 2020. Get our thoughts and opinions on the candidates, issues and battleground states.
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Press Release
Oct 2020

Zain Ali named as one of the Top 20 Dynamic CEOs in the UK 2020

The CEO Publication, a unique print & digital platform featuring the industry experts who have created ripples across various areas of expertise has acknowledged Zain Ali, CEO of Centuro Global—assisting businesses in entering and scaling into new markets—one among the “Top 20 Dynamic CEOs of 2020 in the UK″ who is transforming the industry with his unique solutions. The CEO Publication has been become pioneering magazine owing to their unique coverage of news, articles & industry leaders concentrating on transforming various arenas. Owing to the innovative approach adapted by Zain Ali, CEO of Centuro Global, he is being featured in the “Top 20 Dynamic CEOs of 2020 in the UK″ edition. The company takes care of every step of the international expansion journey from tax, legal, immigration to HR and Payroll allowing their clients to trade in any jurisdiction globally with ease and efficiency. Adam Patrick, Managing Editor of The CEO Publication says, “It is an honor to recognize Zain Ali, CEO of Centuro Global as one among the Top 20 Dynamic CEOs of 2020 in the UK who is a true inspiration. Centuro’s solutions come integrated in a fantastic online platform that democratise access to information and advisory services. Designed to help clients connect, communicate and collaborate with global experts remotely; it simplifies the complex global expansion process with a clear strategy, roadmap, tools and a trusted network; all at your fingertips.” Zain Ali, CEO of Centuro Global said, “Companies frequently struggle to make critical decisions during the global expansion process. Our platform equips you with the knowledge and power to make these decisions quickly and efficiently.” To read the full feature on Zain Ali and Centuro Global, follow the link: https://www.theceomag.com/transforming-the-delivery-of-professional-services-worldwide-zain-ali/
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Event
Oct 2020

Live, work, Study in the UK or Canada

REGISTERThere are a lot of questions you need to ask and find answers to when you are deciding to relocate, the first and most important question being which country. That is what we are here to help you decide.Our local partners the Canada and the UK will be on hand to run you through the pros, cons and difference of relocating to their respective countries.This event is for any one who wishes to set up a business or is highly skilled in their field and wishes to explore their options to relocate. It is also for those who may wish to study or start a new tech company so attractive for start or innovator visas.AGENDAOptions to live and work in the UK/CanadaTime to settlementRequirements and eligibilityProcessREGISTERABOUT CENTURO GLOBALCenturo Global is an exclusive business hub for high growth entrepreneurs, SMEs and multi-national companies to access global market entry strategies and connect with the highest quality professional services providers anywhere in the world.Our online platform allows you to instantly Connect, Communicate and Collaborate with likeminded entrepreneurs, business leaders, professional advisers and investors from around the world.
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Blog
Oct 2020

Defamation in the Fifth Industrial Revolution: Can an emoji convey defamatory meaning?

Introduction   With the now fast-paced world in the fifth industrial revolution, the legal sector is at the forefront of current global technological growth which makes for a powerful force to enable sustainable change and high levels of accountability and transparency. It is therefore no surprise that the District of New South Wales, Australia has made an unparalleled finding involving the use of social media’s ‘emoji.’   In 2002, Kirby J made remarks in the case of Dow Jones & Company Inc. v Gutnick (2002) 210 CLR 575 which still hold true today in 2020 as they did then. At the time, the whole concept of social media was in its initial phase and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram did not yet exist. Within this time, social media has made strides in a manner which has been unforeseeable, making it easy for defamation as a result of defamatory remarks to be published or accessed in ways which are unprecedented.   Facts of the matter   On 27 August 2020, in what appears to be the first of its kind, Australian judge Gibson J confirmed the unprecedented decision in Burrows v Houda [2020] NSWDC 485, that the use of an emoji is capable of breeding defamatory meanings. In this case, the plaintiff brought defamation proceedings from an exchange on Twitter with the defendant who was her employer. The defendant in response to a question “but what happened to her since?” responded with the ‘zipper-mouth face’ emoji and continued to use other emojis in three other tweets.   The first part of the analysis Gibson J had to make was twofold. Firstly, she had to question whether it was appropriate to determine a meaning based on an emoji without the benefit of expert evidence, jury or input. The court concluded that it was unnecessary in this case because there had already been rulings on the meaning of emoji in other areas of the law without this requirement. It also added that there had been prior rulings made on liability for publication and, or, defamatory meaning for non-verbal internet tools. In light of this, it was unlikely that the court would rely on linguistics or communication experts for the interpretation of emojis. Secondly, she noted that on Emojipedia the zipper-mouth face emoji carried the meaning of a “secret” or to “stop talking” in events where it was implied that the person knew the answer but was reluctant to give it. Furthermore, she accentuated this particular argument on the finding in the case of the School of Excellence Pty Ltd v Trendy Rhino Pty Ltd [2018] VSC 541 [25] where it was confirmed that an emoji has the ability to convey a set meaning. In opposition to her findings, the use of Emojipedia has resulted in the academic criticism of judges (Smyth 2018: 211). However, the nature of modern communication makes it absolutely necessary to consult internet dictionaries such as Emojipedia to determine what the ordinary reasonable person would make of these symbols.   Applicable principles   Central to this case is the question of whether the defendant’s zipper-mouth face emoji together with other emojis in corresponding tweets as a reply to a request for updates on disciplinary proceedings constitutes defamation. The following claims were made: The “zipper-mouth face” emoji is worth a thousand words and that it implies a finding which may be damaging to the plaintiff but the defendant may not disclose the result and must hint at it by posting the emoji. The post which refers to the swearing of false affidavits would infer that a reasonable social media reader would think that the plaintiff signed the false affidavits and would therefore also assume responsibility for the part played in the presentation of the affidavits to the court. In cases where the tweets that identify a prosecution as a result of the signing of false affidavits, the reasonable social reader would assume that the plaintiff is also likely to be prosecuted. All these claims were found to constitute defamation.   Conclusion   What does this mean for South African law? South African law authorises its courts to merely consider foreign law in interpreting the Bill of Rights in the Constitution where it states in section 39(1)(c) that a court may consider foreign law. As the use of emoji increases and social media continues to become a dominant form of communication, a case similar to this may make an appearance in South Africa and therefore it is important to prepare for these instances before they occur.  Directors, board members and employers in companies should therefore address the use of social media in the workplace and on social media platforms.
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Guides
Oct 2020

A Guide to Intellectual Property

Do you know the difference between trade marks, copyright, design rights and patents?How can you protect your personal or company's intellectual assets?IP makes up a significant value of a company's assets and can be valuable both as an asset but also monetised to generate recurring revenue. On the flip side, certain activities you undertake may infringe others' IP if you are not careful and could result in costly rebrands or lawsuits. To help you get to grips with all things IP we have created a handy IP Basics Guide. Download the guide here: https://www.centuroglobal.com/ip-basics
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Videos
Sep 2020

Coffee with Centuro - Episode 8

What do Robert Downey Junior, Mark Cuban, Ciara and the CEO of Uber all have in common? Tune in to this week's episode of Coffee with Centuro to find out!This week Zain, Ben & Seraj discuss topics ranging from Facebook's threat to quit Europe, LVMH's proposed takover of Tiffany, Toilet Paper VC, and analyse the proposed smart city in Senegal AKON CITY.
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Videos
Sep 2020

Coffee with Centuro - Episode 7

This week Ben, Seraj and Zain discuss their thoughts and opinions on a range of trending topics in the business world from philanthropy, AI automation and its effects, LEGO, among many others.
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Event
Sep 2020

‘COVID-19 HAS RIPPED OFF THE BAND-AID FOR THE OLD WAY OF WORKING’

Our Chairwoman, Asma Bashir, participated in a roundtable of business leaders discussing the impact of COVID-19 on business and what they think the future will hold.  The first question asked was, ‘How is COVID-19 affecting your business and your clients?’ Asma Bashir, who has run various businesses in her career, kicked off the debate by saying: “We have several businesses in our portfolio and were able to react very quickly. As soon as the government announced we were going into lockdown, we were able to respond efficiently due to the technology infrastructure we had in place. “In regards to the shift to remote working, there was a high-level of excitement in the first couple of weeks, with working from home being a new experience and people feeling united with their families, but gradually it is starting to wear on people and the excitement has waned. “From an external perspective, the impact on our clients has been varied. For the start-up clients we deal with, they are being challenged by cashflow, their business runway in terms of funding and also how they navigate the various government schemes. “For our larger customers, we have had challenges with their expat population and people being stuck in other countries and we’ve been trying to support them with crisis management and getting them the advice and support they need.”   Follow the link below to read the full article. 
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Press Release
Sep 2020

Centuro Partners With Faster Capital

We are delighted to announce that Centuro Global has entered into partnership with FasterCapital, to add to our offering to startups and scaleups around the world.Centuro Global seeks to assist companies from around the world in expanding their business into new markets globally and provides a range of services including legal, tax and accounting, HR & payroll to fully service a company’s international expansion needs.FasterCapital is an online incubator that supports entrepreneurs worldwide with a core focus on FinTech, AI, EdTech, Software, B2B, Media, Entertainment, Tourism and other industries that mostly require technology. The core offering is to help you build your product by becoming your technical co-founder and investing 50% of the money you will need in the process.Mr. Bashar Hamood of FasterCapital commented on this partnership, “FasterCapital is thrilled to partner with Centuro Global and we look forward to supporting and working with entrepreneurs from the Centuro network.”FasterCapital runs three programs to bring a startup to life and set it up to scale globally, at which point Centuro Global can come in to assist with all international expansion related work. The three FasterCapital programs are: Tech Cofounder, Idea to Product, Grow your Startup. Founders can join any of these programs for free by filling an online form and applying here. Zain Ali of Centuro Global commented, “We are excited to work with FasterCapital and assist their startups in scaling globally.”
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Videos
Aug 2020

Coffee with Centuro - Episode 3

This week Ben, Seraj and Zain discuss the UK economy heading into recession, some of the top countries for doing business (which include a few surprises!) and the wonderful world of Unicorns (billion dollar valued companies)! Grab a coffee and join in with the conversation here.
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Videos
Aug 2020

Centuro Global launches Coffee With Centuro!

Our team regularly has insightful discussions about business news from around the world, sharing interesting opinions, fascinating insights and experiences over a cup of coffee and we thought why not turn this into a weekly chat show / podcast / vlog series?! We sat down and thought, what can we call this, and decided to name it after exactly what it is - Coffee with Centuro ("CwC"). In episode 1, Zain Ali, Ben Blackburn and Seraj Toefy (all of Centuro Global) sit down alongside guest, Shaheena Rasool from Oclas Group (a turnaround business consultancy) and discuss the Winners & Losers of COVID so far, and what struggling businesses can do to keep going and get through this pandemic. Check out the video here and let us know what you think! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCpiXXdDBwk 
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Videos
Aug 2020

Coffee with Centuro - Episode 2

This week Seraj, Ben and Zain discuss the Big Tech Hearing in the US, TikTok's struggles in the US, and Forbes recently published list of the Most Valuable Brands in 2020. Seraj backs the slipper market as the next big opportunity, Ben suggests that Facebook may be better off being broken up leaving Instagram and Whatsapp as independent companies and Zain finds the US' much debated TikTok ban shocking and potentially illegal. Watch the episode here and let us know your thoughts!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpcAsnY7Vrc 
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Event
Jul 2020

In-depth with Global Women Leaders in the face of Covid-19 in the Services sector

COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on life as we know it. Within the Services industry players must adapt and look to change the way Services are designed and delivered. Our Chairwoman, Asma Bashir, will be speaking on a panel of Global Women Leaders to discuss this in more depth tomorrow, 21st July 2020, at 4pm GMT.  Sign up now to hear from Swati Mandela, Marie Christine OGHLY, Deniz MISIR, Danela Arsovska, Alexandra Lund, and Asma: https://lnkd.in/dqiNw7r  The evidence suggests that given its unprecedented nature, it is very likely that the covid-19 crisis is transforming the way Services are designed and delivered. The task is uniquely challenging for industries that rely heavily on in-person interaction, including a wide swath of sectors from banking and insurance to hospitality, telecommunications, government & public services, IT and industrial services.This webinar aims to identify, understand and address these and other issues related to the trends in the transformation of Service industries and how can this transformation create more formal, qualified, high-quality and resilient jobs, the effectiveness of post-pandemic recovery efforts for service industries, the use of artificial intelligence and robots in services, as well as government measures and policies intended to provide assistance and interventions in service sectors.WBAF Virtual Roundtable: In-depth with Global Women Leaders in the face of Covid-19 in Services sectorDate: 21 July 2020Time: 4 pm GMT60 Minutes + 30 Minutes Q&AWelcome SpeechSwati Mandela, President, WBAF Global Woman Leaders Committee & High Commissioner for South AfricaKeynote SpeakerMarie-Christine Oghly, World President, World Association of Women Entrepreneurs (FCEM), Vice President of the GWL Committee, FranceModerator:Deniz Misir, Founder, V22 MFO, WBAF Senator for TurkeyPanelists:Danela Arsovska, President of the Macedonian Chambers of Commerce Asma Bashir, Chairman Centuro Global, WBAF Senator for UK Alexandra Lund, CEO Core Values Consulting, WBAF Senator for Cyprus
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Blog
Jul 2020

UK offers citizenship to Hong Kong residents

Yesterday, on 1st July 2020, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered the opportunity for residents of Hong Kong with British National Overseas (‘BNO’) status to settle in the UK and ultimately become citizens. This was in response to the National Security Law introduced in China, which is seen to violate the rights of Hong Kong residents and is a direct breach of the terms agreed when Great Britain ‘handed back’ Hong Kong to China.  This was the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ promise to grant residents of Hong Kong key liberties, as well as judicial and legislative autonomy, until at least 2047. This meant that while becoming part of one country with China, Hong Kong would enjoy "a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs" for 50 years. As a result, Hong Kong has its own legal system and borders, and rights including freedom of assembly, free speech and freedom of the press are protected.   What is the National Security Law? Pro-democracy protests have been ongoing in Hong Kong for over a year, with a fear that Beijing is overreaching with its role in HK governance and starting to breach the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ promise. China went on to introduce the National Security Law on Tuesday 30th June 2020, without any input from Hong Kong authorities. The law gives Beijing broad powers to crack down on a variety of political crimes, including separatism and collusion and it is feared that it will curtail the civil liberties of the residents of Hong Kong. Many fear a reign of terror and Hong Kong becoming a secret police state. Many Hong Kong residents will be looking to resettle elsewhere, and this new offer from the British Prime Minister opens up a new avenue.    What are the British settlement requirements?  BNO Passport holders in Hong Kong were granted special status in the 1980s but currently have restricted rights and are only entitled to visa-free access to the UK for six months. Under the government's new plans, all British Overseas Nationals in Hong Kong and their dependants will be given right to remain in the UK, including the right to work and study, for five years. At this point, they will be able to apply for settled status, and after a further year, seek citizenship.   What remains unanswered There are currently 350,000 BNO passport holders, and about three million Hong Kong residents are eligible for BNO passports. These figures exclude dependants born after 1997 and so the number of total eligible applicants could be well over 3 million. Many questions remain unanswered including, Will the UK be ready to take in so many Hong Kong residents? Will there be enough jobs? Will BNO passport holders have recourse to public funds? Will they be covered by the NHS? It is also still unclear if the applications made by BNO passport holders will carry any costs or if there will be any other special conditions attached to their stay.  China has also since retaliated and stated that it firmly opposes the British offer to Hong Kong residents and has urged Britain to stop “interfering”. We will have to wait and see how this plays out and the UK government will reveal more information in due course and we will keep readers up to date. For any immigration queries, get in touch with us now for a free consultation.
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Event
Jun 2020

Tactics to Exploit Your Intellectual Property to Scale and Protect Your Business

 ABOUT OUR FREE WEBINAR Our webinar showcased the best tactics to exploit your intellectual property (IP) to both scale and protect your business. IP lawyer, Zain Ali of Centuro Global, will be joined by Alex Athienitis of EdTech startup, Education Shed, to explore the different types of intellectual property and how to use them to grow your business.  Who is this webinar for? This webinar is for dynamic forward-thinking entrepreneurs and business owners to help them get an edge on their competition by understanding intellectual property and how this might apply to their business. What will we cover? Zain Ali will guide you through the core forms of IP and how these can be exploited by your business, he will cover: Core forms of IP - Trademarks, Patents, Copyright and Design Rights Top tips for protecting your IP Do’s and don'ts when using IP to get ahead of the competition How to exploit your IPZain was joined by Alex Athienitis to discuss how Education Shed exploited trademarks to scale their brand globally across 102 countries. With over two million users of their technology, the innovative online platform that provides educational resources globally has gone from strength to strength. Alex will also share his experience of how they protect themselves from competition plus the key considerations for startups when creating their IP strategy. Discover your business's Intellectual PropertyEvery company will have some form of IP that they own or can own, yet many businesses are not aware of some of the IP that exists within their company and do not know how to exploit it. Apple reached a TRILLION DOLLAR evaluation in 2019, and 80% of that value arose from their intellectual property. Watch this webinar to ensure you don’t miss out on an opportunity to add value to your company!ABOUT CENTURO GLOBAL Centuro Global offers leading business consultancy to help businesses go global. With over 20 years' experience working in legal services and management consultancy and an extensive global network, they can help you scale your business and achieve your goals. Services include: Support finding investment and fundingHelping businesses go global Intellectual property advice Start-up and Innovator VisasBusiness strategyand much more... Find out more and get in touch today.
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Blog
Jun 2020

Why You Need to Protect Your Intellectual Property: Copyright, Trade Marks and Patents

Does your company have Intellectual Property it could protect?   Every company will have some form of IP that they own or can own, yet many businesses are not aware of some of the IP that exists within their company and do not know how to exploit it. “Apple reached a TRILLION DOLLAR evaluation in 2019, and 80% of that value arose from their intellectual property. So how can you make your Intellectual property bring value to your business?” In 2019, SMEs making legal claims to protect their IP increased by a massive 68%, with initial IP registrations surging greatly, demonstrating that more and more business owners are waking up to the importance of protecting their IP for the long-term. But where exactly do you start if you’re a new business owner and a novice to the world of IP? Moreover, what is the actual process for registering IP and how does it add value to your business? How to assess your intellectual property?   Firstly, it is wise to critically analyse your unique selling point and review what products or services you are creating and how you are positioning them in the market. This gives you the opportunity to assess what areas you wish to protect and identify where to develop the business in the future, ranging from logos, taglines and branding through to physical inventions, such as unique software platforms. Remember, ideas themselves cannot be protected. However, if you are concerned about someone sharing or using a particular idea, the best option is to create a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), which can be applied to any relevant scenario – ranging from the protection of sensitive business information to pitching a new product to a group of potential investors. What are the forms of IP?   Trade mark - Product names, logos and slogans Patent - Inventions and products, e.g. machines and machine parts, tools, medicines Copyright - Writing and literary works, art, photography, films, TV, music, web content, sound recordings Registered Designs - Appearance of a product including, shape, packaging, patterns, colours, decoration Register a trade mark or patent   Once you have critically analysed your IP, think about what you can trade mark or patent. A trade mark is any sign, be it a word or logo or even numbers, that represents your brand and distinguishes it from others. An easy way to apply for a trade mark is by submitting an application directly to the Intellectual Property Office, which can be found via the Gov.uk website. The process is fairly straightforward but requires thought around what exactly you want to be trademarked and what ‘class’ it sits under, for which you may want to seek expert advice. Once the trade mark has been listed, members of the public have a short time period in which to contest it and if no responses are received, the trade mark will be yours. Once you register a trade mark, you will be able to take legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission. Once the trade mark is issued, you can put the registered symbol next to your brand, slogan or its tagline to show that it's yours and you can take legal action should someone attempt to use or replicate it. Patents, on the other hand, are more complex and are designed to protect your invention and are only granted to inventions that no-one has ever thought of or built before. It is important to be diligent in what you are trying to register so that it does not infringe upon anyone else’s IP. Consider a copyright   Copyright covers anything that an individual or company creates. It can incorporate words (e.g. text for websites), images, photographs, and training manuals and is automatically created with no registration required. If a work is created in the course of employment, the assumption is that the copyright lies with the employer unless agreed otherwise. For the tech industry, copyright can also extend to code. Using this example, when code is written by an individual, independent developer, copyright automatically lies with that person unless it is sold or assigned to a client company. However, this would need to be agreed within a commercial contract. Review your intellectual property over time   The one mistake entrepreneurs or business owners face when trying to protect their IP is complacency. Have you developed a new product or service? Reviewed your branding recently? Or changed your tagline? When improving and growing your business, you need to review and grow your IP too, ensuring you have the correct trade mark, copyright registration or patent in place with each change and development. “Not taking the time to review your IP requirements on a consistent basis increases the risk of competitors being able to take and market key elements or USPs of your business and brand. This could be detrimental to both the growth of your business and its ongoing longevity.” Seek intellectual property guidance from experts   If you are looking for further guidance or advice, there is a wide selection of information and support available.  Contact us now for an IP health check, together with guidance on how to register your IP and where. Centuro Global can help you protect and monetise your intellectual property with legal advice, planning and application support for copyrights, trade marks, patents and design rights. We can create a strategy to add value to your company through IP both in the UK and globally. Get in touch for a free IP consultation. https://www.centuroglobal.com/contact-us 
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Blog
May 2020

BLOG: Top Tips on Raising Investment During a Crisis

We hosted a thought-provoking panel discussion on Raising Investment During a Crisis on 20 May 2020. Our highly esteemed panel offered some incredibly valuable insights and provided many lessons for startups and investors alike. (A link to the recording of the webinar will be shared in due course - watch this space or sign up to our mailing list to be kept up to date). Read on for some of the main takeaways from the event. What investors are looking for The panel discussed the importance of a number of factors when looking for investment opportunities: Grit - A founder who can show that they are determined, have tenacity and can weather a storm will be the most successful. Just because COVID-19 has come along and impacted the world now, doesn’t mean something else won’t come along next year or in the future so you need to be able to demonstrate you can take on any challenge. Josh Romisher recommended the book “Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success” by Angela Duckworth as a great read. Trust & Integrity – Do not massage your financials to make them seem better than they are or exaggerate on your wins and successes. During the due diligence process your business will be laid bare and your integrity will be damaged if you have not been honest. Traction – With the current pandemic slowing business worldwide, the more traction you can show with your current business or a track record of previous successes the more likely you are to catch an investor’s eye. The less traction you have the harder it will be to convince investors to back you. Experience – The panel recommended that all founders invest in a startup themselves, even if it is only £500 or £1000, which you can do via many Crowdfunding platforms. Research companies yourself and track your investments as they grow. This will put you in the shoes of an investor and better equip you with the knowledge of how you should present yourself to potential investors. Sales - You need to be able to present well and capture the minds of the investors. If you can’t come across as convincing to investors, they will struggle to believe you will be able to sell your vision to your staff let alone your product or service to customers. Does approaching investors cold work? The panel also shared valuable advice on how to approach investors. Here’s a summary of their key recommendations: Peter Cowley – Warm introductions are always better than cold so make sure you network and befriend someone who may know an investor and can make the introduction for you. Target investors carefully and ensure you will be a good fit for them as investors typically have strict criteria relating to the companies they invest in ranging from sector, to growth stage, to founding team etc. Nicholas Russell – Think of reaching out to investors in the same way as reaching out to someone you’re interested in dating. Don’t just adopt a scatter gun approach and send the same message to hundreds of people bragging about how great you are and why they should pick you. You need to take the time to build a relationship and get to know each other first and offer them value. Tuba Terekli – It is very difficult to receive a response to a cold approach from investors as we receive countless LinkedIn messages, Whatsapps and emails daily with pitch requests and it just isn’t feasible to look at them all let alone respond. Building a relationship first is certainly key. How would you react if someone approached you on the street and started asking for things when you didn’t even know them? Do not start conversations by saying you are looking to fundraise from the get go. Build rapport, add value and then ask. Next Steps If you are looking to raise funds for your startup or require any advice on getting investor ready, or even more widely on business growth, do get in touch with us now. About Centuro Global Centuro Global offers leading business consultancy to help businesses go global. With over 20 years' experience working in legal services and management consultancy and an extensive global business network, we can help you scale your business and achieve your goals.  Services include:  Support finding investment and funding Helping businesses go global  Intellectual property advice  Start-up and Innovator Visas Business strategy and much more... 
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Event
May 2020

Raising Investment During a Crisis

Want to know how to impress investors and raise funding during these challenging times? We have gathered a formidable panel of investors and serial entrepreneurs within the Centuro network for a webinar on how to raise investment during a crisis, from an investor's perspective.Whether you are a start-up, a business facing tough decisions due to coronavirus or looking to grow and go global, our expert panel will share their years of experience with you on how to raise the funds to achieve your goals. Watch the webinar recording below:The event was hosted by Joshua Romisher, the CEO of LaunchLab, who has raised over $250 million in funding over the past 6 years.We covered: How have investors been affected by COVID-19?How to find opportunities for investmentWhat investors are looking forTips on fundraising both now and beyond COVID-19SPEAKERSPeter CowleyAwarded the accolade of Best Angel Investor in the World 2017 by the World Business Angel Investment Forum. He has also founded 14 of his own businesses in technology and construction.Tuba TerekliA serial investor funding companies globally over the past 15 years & founding the first accelerator program in Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Fast Growth 100 list.Nicholas RussellA serial entrepreneur from Silicon Valley and involved with a new initiative - Conception X, a venture builder that creates deep tech start-ups from PhDs. He has also mentored some of the most innovative and highly successful businesses in the tech sector.Josh RomisherA serial entrepreneur and former US banker, his array of ventures include a boutique investment bank in New York, a solar irrigation start-up in India, entering the solar sector in Africa and a frozen yoghurt franchise in San Francisco. Josh has been successful in raising funds of over $250 million in the past 6 years. ABOUT CENTURO GLOBAL Centuro Global offers leading business consultancy to help businesses go global. With over 20 years' experience working in legal services and management consultancy and an extensive global network, they can help you scale your business and achieve your goals. Services include:Support finding investment and fundingHelping businesses go globalIntellectual property adviceStart-up and Innovator VisasBusiness strategyand much more...Find out more and get in touch today.
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Blog
May 2020

The Power of Partnerships - Nike & Michael Jordan

The year was 1984. A rookie by the name of Michael Jordan was about to start his first season of the NBA looking for an athlete endorsement deal and keen to sign with Adidas. Along came Nike, a brand predominantly known at the time for long distance running shoes. Whilst everyone recognised the immense talent in this rookie, Nike were ready to put all their chips on the table and offered him a deal far more lucrative than the bigger sports apparel companies such as Adidas.Michael Jordan had never even worn a Nike shoe at the time but was convinced by his parents to take the deal over Adidas, commencing the legendary partnership between Michael Jordan and Nike. The Air Jordan was born and the rest is history.NBA rules meant that players could only wear white sneakers at the time. Leveraging the fact that Michael Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls, Nike designed the first Air Jordans in red, black and white. The NBA were not best pleased and fined Michael Jordan $5,000 every time he wore the shoes. However, Nike were willing to pay the fines and have the shoes stand out from the crowd. They predicted $3 million of sales of the Air Jordan in the first four years of the deal. Nike actually sold $126 million in the first year alone.Nike became a mainstream shoe, having previously been known mainly as a track running shoe, slipped into popular culture as the edgy must have sneaker, and are now one of the most recognised brands on the planet.Michael Jordan went on to become arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, and off the field he has also made $1.3 billion to date from his deal with Nike, alone.This shows the power of partnerships and how two new entrants to an arena can combine forces to make a massive impact. Sometimes, partnering with someone that understands your vision and can strategically help you scale your business is the key to long term success.If you are looking for that partner to catapult your business to the next level, get in touch with Centuro Global today. We are on hand to help you scale into any region globally and assist with all your business growth needs.We’ve recently been advising clients on COVID-19 related disruption, specifically relating to:Renegotiating ContractsFurloughing Staff & Dealing with RedundanciesApplying for government relief, grants and business loansWe are also on hand to assist with our full array of services including investor readiness, international expansion support and IP advice. Go Global by Centuro GlobalFor those looking to expand their business internationally, Go Global is a free revolutionary new global expansion platform that empowers companies with the knowledge and expertise to trade in any jurisdiction globally.Our easy to use, self-service portal will grant access to a database of business expansion blueprints, a global network of experts & actionable support. Sign up for your free account and start your global expansion journey today.
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May 2020

Post Lockdown Return to Work Guidelines

Coronavirus has had an unprecedented impact on life and is primarily a humanitarian issue with healthcare professionals battling to save lives. Nonetheless, workplaces and businesses have been impacted like never before and after lengthy periods of lockdown, some countries are starting to ease measures. In light of this, some “non-essential” businesses will be re-opening and employees may begin to return to offices. Certain protocols will need to be in place and office life will not be as it was before, at least in the short term. This article will provide some guidance on some of the measures that will need to be put in place. 1. Managing staff numbers Given that the spread of coronavirus stems from close contact of groups of people, the return to work of staff will need to be carefully managed. Any return may require employees to be phased back in small numbers and over time. A phased approach is not only important for ensuring sufficient social distancing can take place in the office but also to minimise the number of people using public transport to commute to and from work at any one time. Staggering start and end times for work should also be considered to reduce the numbers on public transport at any given time, and prevent a crowded rush hour scenario. Timings could be segmented based on roles or departments. Choosing which employees to bring back to the office first is also an important consideration. If it is straight forward for some employees to continue working from home then they should be permitted to do so. Where productivity or physical space requirements are important, these employees should be phased in first. 2. Office Environment The government has already warned that social distancing is likely to continue for some time. This may be easier for some workplaces and roles to implement than for others. Employers must start planning for this now, as it may take time to get right, in order to be in the best possible position when a return to work for staff is possible. Key considerations include: Spreading work stations 2 metres apart. Minimising close interactions and meetings in small closed spaces. Limit the number of people permitted in communal areas at a time, such as office kitchens. Promote healthy personal habits including regular washing of hands Provision of masks to all staff and anti-bacterial stations throughout offices. Make use of PPE including plastic screens on office desks such as those used at supermarket tills. Signs to make social distancing easier to follow. One way systems on stairs and limiting of use of lifts to certain floors. Regular cleaning with cleaners operating throughout the day. Stagger lunch hours and encourage eating at your desk. 3. Health & Safety Employers have a duty to provide a safe place of work and to protect the health and wellbeing of their employees. Some of the office environment suggestions above relate to hygiene in the workplace. Employers will also need to review sick policies and share updated policies with staff. Anyone with COVID symptoms should immediately self-isolate and not attend the office for 14 days. Some employees may not want to return to the office out of fear of using public transport and being in public spaces. This may not be considered unreasonable and therefore employers should tread carefully in how they deal with this. In the UK, if an employee who refuses to return to the office is dismissed, then this may be considered automatically unfair under section 100 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Similarly, if an employer decides to furlough such staff or reduce their pay and they subsequently resign as a result, then this may be considered constructive dismissal which may also be automatically unfair. Careful communication and open discussions with employees is key. The main considerations are whether an employee believes that COVID-19 poses a serious and imminent danger to them, and is this a reasonable belief for them to hold. This is fairly subjective and will be considered in line with government advice. 4. Back to work training Staff should all be offered back to work information and any relevant training to ensure they understand new policies, new hygiene requirements, what they can and cannot do and there new work hours. If you need help or would like to discuss please get in touch: hello@centuroglobal.com
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Event
Apr 2020

Start up Investment Options to Survive and Thrive

The start up ecosystem has been growing exponentially for the past decade with many success stories. With billion dollar tech companies having disrupted the market and highly successful entrepreneurs, creating jobs and prosperity for the UK economy. This work is now under immense threat as the Covid 19 shutdown has imposed substantial harm to the start up environment. We are seeing an increasing number of companies running out of cash to survive this difficult period without any recourse to options or investors. What should the government be doing to support entrepreneurs and start ups in our economy? Should the government provide an equity based liquidity package or runway fund to help these businesses survive? We will be asking these and many other questions to our expert panel of speakers to find ways to support businesses who are still struggling to get through the current crisis. Whether you need to seek funding, or find alternative ways to manage your company, ask the experts during our webinar. Date: Wed, 22nd AprilTime: 14:00pm BST REGISTER FREE TICKET._______________________________________________________________ SPEAKERS: Philip SalterFounder, The Entrepreneurs Network Philip Salter founded The Entrepreneurs Network in 2014 with the aim of building an organisation with the aim of helping make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business. Philip was previously Business Features Editor of City A.M. where he wrote a weekly column on entrepreneurship and interviewed many of Britain’s leading entrepreneurs.He is a frequent speaker at conferences, writes a column for Forbes on entrepreneurship and appears regularly elsewhere in the media. View Linkedin profile, here. Henry WhorwoodHenry leads Beauhurst’s Research and Consultancy team. He is an expert on business finance and has worked on briefs for clients including the British Business Bank, Penningtons Manches, Syndicate Room, and Innovate UK. Henry regularly gives presentations on market trends at events around the country. He studied Classics at the University of Oxford. View Linkedin profile, here. Asma BashirAsma has worked in the legal services industry for most of her career, having been with multinational law firms before she established her own practice. Asma went on to found Newland Chase, where she worked for 13 years before the firm was eventually acquired by an American corporation. She is now a mentor on the Mayor's International Business Programme as well as a Senator for the World Business Angel Forum. Asma has worked with both multinational clients and SME's to help them expand into complex regions across the world. Her specialist skills are to match entrepreneurs and scaling companies to the right investor either for funding, merger or acquisition. View Linkedin profile, here.   REGISTER FREE TICKET.
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Blog
Apr 2020

4 Ways COVID-19 Has Left Entrepreneurship in Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has been reported in more than 175 countries and territories around the world. As of April 7, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) had affected 1,378,937 people, leading to more than 78,000 deaths. It has shut down business activities around the world, bringing some sectors to the verge of collapse.  While governments and big companies are feeling the heat of COVID-19, entrepreneurs are definitely the biggest hit. The disease and the way the world is responding to it has left entrepreneurship in crisis. Small and medium businesses are suffering the reality, and there is a good chance that things will change for good even after the pandemic. Here are four ways the COVID-19 has left entrepreneurship in crisis: Emphasis Is Now On Survival Many entrepreneurs had serious expansion plans for 2020. Many had taken the necessary actions, signed the necessary contracts, and started adapting the strategies to become bigger. The reality of COVID-19 has taken everyone back to the drawing board. The primary objective of any entrepreneurial endeavor at the moment is to survive. This is a no brainer as there is no upside for any business that doesn't survive the crisis.  Revenue Has Been Hit, and Will Take Time to Get Back To NormalA few businesses who are supplying products and services that are mission-critical or enablers of remote working and lockdown living are still doing well in terms of revenue. For the majority of other businesses, however, revenues have been hit. Contracts with cancellation clauses are getting terminated due to the uncertainties about the pandemic. Entrepreneurs are no longer able to fully rely on their supply chains as it is becoming increasingly obvious that more businesses may shut down soon. Factories are closed and businesses with physical outlets have been forced to close as society is pushed into lockdown, cutting out most revenue streams. The biggest question is when will this end. There is a good chance that revenue will not get back to normal for most businesses in the next 12 months.   Raising Money Will Be Tougher Going Forward Funding will stall even after we see an end to the menace of the coronavirus. Limited Partners who provide the funding that goes into the VC pot have been hit, either through their own businesses or through stock market crashes, and so the pipeline of funding will be increasingly reduced.  Some investors will remain active, but we will likely witness smaller rounds of investments at lower valuations. Even for existing portfolio companies, the disruption of most business activities, and the sudden downturn in the market will cause a severe stall in funding.  Emerging entrepreneurs will have to think outside the box to get funding. That being said, many governments around the world are offering grants and funding incentives to entrepreneurs who can provide new solutions to a COVID-19 and beyond new world order.  Downsizing Will Take Center Stage As bad as this can be for some people, downsizing will be the way out for most entrepreneurs. This will be part of the survival strategies many businesses will adapt. Already, many employees have lost their jobs in some sectors. There is no way for things to get back to normal immediately afterward. Except for the very big companies, most businesses will have to do with fewer employers until they have recovered from the shock of lost revenues. Fortunately, many governments around the world are offering support schemes for employees who may otherwise have been made redundant, with the UK government’s furlough scheme a prime example.  ConclusionEntrepreneurship is all about adapting to the inevitable changes. This does not mean that entrepreneurs are immune to global pandemics like COVID-19. The novel virus and the disease it causes has left entrepreneurship in crisis in many ways, and the points above are the realities at the moment. There are nonetheless opportunities for new entrepreneurs. The global recession in 2008 birthed the likes of Uber, Airbnb, WhatsApp, Slack and Pinterest. Now is the time to seize the moment.  
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Event
Apr 2020

Managing contractual obligations during COVID19

Corona Correction For Startups Webinar Series #2. In the second instalment of our Corona Correction webinar series, we will be looking at how businesses can manage their contractual obligations in these uncertain times.   We will also discuss the current startup fundraising landscape.   This webinar will aim to answer questions on the following key areas: What businesses can do where they are struggling to fulfil their contractual obligations. What your options are if you are a party to an agreement where the other side is failing to fulfil their contractual obligations. The steps businesses can take going forward in this uncertain time to mitigate risk. Are VCs still looking to invest and what the state of the fundraising market currently is. The impact on ongoing deals and negotiated term sheets. What founders can do to manage their relationships with investors? Other general contractual issues. We will be joined by two fantastic guest speakers:   Leena Patel – Corporate/Commercial Solicitor at Grant Saw Solicitors. Leena acts regularly on a range of Corporate M&A transactions with a particular emphasis on secured lending and restructuring instructions. She also understands how raising finance works in practice and the issues that frequently arise during the lending process.   Kenzo Onumonu – Senior Legal Counsel for Entrepreneur First. Kenzo Onumonu is a corporate (venture capital) lawyer by background with experience working for a City firm in London, in house at Deliveroo, and now for the world’s leading talent investor, Entrepreneur First. He is also the founder of the conversation card game – Forty.   Hosted by Zain Ali - CEO of Centuro Global and IP lawyer by background. Zain has worked with large multinational media, sports, and technology companies on how to protect their brands and creative content. He branched out to advising start ups and scale ups, exposing him to some key challenges that all entrepreneurs face. This inspired him to start Centuro Global to assist all businesses with their growth efforts.       Please note this site is only currently compatible with the following browsers: Chrome, Safari or Edge. Here’s a handy checklist containing more information to get the most out of using this webinar & networking platform.
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Event
Apr 2020

Relief packages made available by the UK government and how you can access it

Corona Correction For Startups Webinar Series #1. Join us for our Corona Correction Series, designed to help you navigate through challenges facing your business due to COVID-19. About this Event: In the first of four webinars, we will delve into the relief package made available by the UK government and how you can access it. The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced numerous government support packages which businesses in the UK may be eligible for including a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, business grants, rates relief and more. Not all of these may be right for your business, and you may be left confused about your next steps. We have brought together experts from various fields to help you understand what your options are to get your business through these trying times. We will clarify the various relief options and how you can actually access this support on a practical level. There will also be a Q&A to provide you free advice for your business as well as a chance to network and hear from peers.__________________________________________________________________________________________ SPEAKERS: Tim Stovold, tax Partner at Moore Kingston Smith who specialises in complex tax issues with extensive experience in start up businesses as well as entrepreneurs will offer advice and tips on how to access the government grants and funding for your business. Tim works with businesses throughout their lifecycle, from developing appropriate business structures and fundraising for owner-managed businesses, through growth and expansion to exit and succession planning. His portfolio of clients includes individuals, small and medium sized businesses, the UK operations of large international groups and publicly listed companies in the UK and worldwide. Tim also has extensive experience providing guidance and insight for Indian clients who wish to invest or start a business in the UK. View Tim on LinkedIn here.Zack Topuzov, Finance Specialist at a fast growing technology start up Smarkets, Zack will discuss considerations all businesses should be making and the benefits of each of the relief options enabling you to better understand the pros and cons.Zack's skills and experience are highly valued by entrepreneurs as he has a unique insight into analysing clients' financial models and providing accurate and realistic projections to be successful. View Zack on LinkedIn here.Host: Asma Bashir Chairman of Centuro Global, Asma worked in the legal services industry for most of her career, having been with multinational law firms before she established her own practice. She is a mentor on the Mayor's International Business Programme as well as a Senator for the World Business Angel Forum. View Asma on LinkedIn here.
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Event
Apr 2020

Navigating the subsidies provided by the South African Government.

South Africa Lockdown Webinar Series #1. Join us as we tackle the topics facing Startups, SMEs and large companies alike during this Lockdown Period.   About this Event: The Lockdown Webinar Series is a group of webinars aimed at business owners and designed to help during this lockdown period. We will have guests speakers who specialise in their field and topics to be addressed through the series will be: Navigating COVID19 subsidies that are available in South Africa Tips and Strategies to deal with staff during the lockdown Time to rebuild, how best to strategise during the lockdown If you have other ideas for topics, please send it through to us in the chat feature. See you soon.____________________________________________________________________________________________ Speakers: SERAJ TOEFYSeraj is a serial entrepreneur based in Cape Town with a rich background in marketing, communication and entrepreneurship. He started his career in the oil industry working for a multinational across Sub-Saharan Africa before switching to the internet, publishing and communication industry heading up several consumer magazines before starting his own content marketing business. Seraj lectures Entrepreneurial strategy and management at a few leading universities throughout Africa and is a regular guest speaker on the topic in Europe.He heads up the Centuro Global Africa operation and will provide on the ground analysis and perspective to any global client wanting to scale into Africa while assisting African companies wanting to scale globally. SCHALK GREEFFSchalk is a small business activist with a corporate background who now loves working alongside, mentoring and investing in entrepreneurs.Over the years he's obtained skills and experience on how to start a company from nothing, to build a growth platform and then scale from there. He's meticulous on the standard by which he does things, but won't let an opportunity pass. He also is a Managing Partner of Indevaldi, a professional services company that focuses on the entrepreneur, their businesses and their families. Services range from accounting, payroll, tax, advisory and many more.Indevaldi is a digital, on-line practise, serving clients throughout South Africa and abroad.
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Event
Apr 2020

Rebuilding after the South African lockdown and embracing the new norm.

South Africa Lockdown Webinar Series #3. Join us as we tackle the topics facing Startups, SMEs and large companies alike during this Lockdown Period. About this Event: The Lockdown Webinar Series is a group of webinars aimed at business owners and designed to help during this lockdown period. Join Centuro Global's Head of Africa, Seraj Toefy with guest speakers tackle the issues facing South African business. As South Africa and the world, start to contemplate the lifting or easing of lockdown restrictions, we speak to a panel of experts on their view of rebuilding after the lockdown and embracing the new norm. Register free ticket. Wednesday 15th April, 2020 11:00am SAST Speakers: Josh Romisher is a serial entrepreneur who has built businesses in Africa, United States and India. He is currently CEO of LaunchLab where he transforms seemingly impossible ideas into world-shaping businesses. Shukri Toefy is an entrepreneur, strategic advisor, investor and CEO of FORT. He is an Entrepreneurship Expert at Said Business School, University of Oxford and has been named a Top40 CEO by Under40CEOs and an EY World Entrepreneur finalist. Asma Bashir is a former founder of Newland Chase and current Chairman of Centuro Global. She is a mentor on the Mayor's International Business Programme as well as a Senator of the World Business Angel Forum. Seraj Toefy is a serial entrepreneur based in Cape Town with a rich background in marketing, communication and entrepreneurship. He started his career in the oil industry working for a multinational across Sub-Saharan Africa before switching to the internet, publishing and communication industry heading up several consumer magazines before starting his own content marketing business. Seraj lectures Entrepreneurial strategy and management at a few leading universities throughout Africa and is a regular guest speaker on the topic in Europe. He heads up the Centuro Global Africa operation and will provide on the ground analysis and perspective to any global client wanting to scale into Africa while assisting African companies wanting to scale globally. REGISTER FREE TICKET HERE.
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Event
Apr 2020

Labour Law and Leadership in the time of Covid-19

South Africa Lockdown Webinar Series #2. This week's webinar will once again be hosted by Seraj Toefy, Head of Africa for Centuro Global, and will start with Schalk Greef recapping any new developments around funding and subsidies, followed by labour lawyer, Melanie Ferreira who will breakdown the dos, don'ts and best practises of labour law related to the lockdown, and we will finish with Professor Mias De Klerk of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, who will talk about Leadership in the time of Corona. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ SPEAKERS: MELANIE FERREIRA Melanie studied B.Com Law at the University of Johannesburg and followed this with the post graduate LLB degree which she received in 2000. Subsequent to this she joined SVH Attorneys, a firm specializing in Labour Litigation where she articled and remained employed until she branched out on her own and commenced her own practise in 2007 as Ferreira Attorneys, specializing in Employment Law.Melanie identified a spin off opportunity and started a Consulting business called Labour Solve in 2007 as well, acting as Managing Director of to date. Labour Solve consists of a team of Consultants, specializing in Industrial Relations Practises, Human Resourses, Employment Equity, Skills Development and BEE Consulting.With experience in the labour law arena of more than 19 years, we pride ourselves on having assisting our clients i.e. various Employers (from large corporates to EME’s) to mitigate the risk of managing staff on a daily basis and surving the Employment Law maze. Professor Mias de Klerk Mias de Klerk is Professor in Leadership Development and Organisational Behaviour and at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, where he is also the Head of Research. He has 30 years industry experience as an organizational development consultant, specializing in leadership, personal and organizational transformation, workplace spirituality and motivation and business ethics. Internationally, he facilitated workshops on all continents. He also has many years academic experience, which includes University of Stellenbosch, University or Pretoria (UP), University of the Free State and University of South Africa (UNISA). His research interests include business ethics, system psychodynamics, meaning and workplace spirituality, work motivation and commitment, and personal and organizational transformation. He has a PhD in organisational behaviour (UP), Masters Degree in Business Leadership (UNISA), and B Eng (UP). SERAJ TOEFY Seraj is a serial entrepreneur based in Cape Town with a rich background in marketing, communication and entrepreneurship. He started his career in the oil industry working for a multinational across Sub-Saharan Africa before switching to the internet, publishing and communication industry heading up several consumer magazines before starting his own content marketing business. Seraj lectures Entrepreneurial strategy and management at a few leading universities throughout Africa and is a regular guest speaker on the topic in Europe.He heads up the Centuro Global Africa operation and will provide on the ground analysis and perspective to any global client wanting to scale into Africa while assisting African companies wanting to scale globally. Please note this site is only currently compatible with the following browsers: Chrome, Safari or Edge. Here’s a handy checklist containing more information to get the most out of using this webinar & networking platform.
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Press Release
Mar 2020

HOW ARE PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS REACTING TO THE CORONA VIRUS CRISIS?

"The relentless progress of the corona virus is pummeling life and business in the UK in a way that hasn’t been seen since World War two. The health of the nation has been shifted to the center of importance, with the UK businesses effectively put in lockdown to tackle the spread and save lives. For this article, we look at the private equity market is reacting to the crisis." This article seeks to answer; How is the PE market reacting to the crisis? How are PE funds being affected? What other trends are you seeing in the market?   READ BLM FULL ARTICLE HERE:
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Press Release
Mar 2020

Entrepreneurs hit hard by Coronavirus – ways to stay afloat

Thought provoking words and tips on how Entrepreneurs can stay afloat during times of crisis - from our CG Head of Africa, Seraj.   In this article published by the University of Stellenbosch Business School, Seraj shares insights on the following seven areas; Costs Operations "Co-opetition" Communication Strategy Knowledge Mindset Read the full article on University of Stellenbosch Business School website here.
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Blog
Mar 2020

Government Relief Programs for Small Businesses Affected by COVID

New governmental initiatives around the world are providing wider support for Employers, Businesses and the Self-Employed. This document contains a collated list of such relief programs for the following countries; Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. You will find information relating to Tax, Financial aid, Employee Wages, Sickness support, and more. DOWNLOAD THE RESOURCE PACK HERE. Please share this with your network. Also, we have created a Linkedin group to discuss the challenges business owners and leaders globally are facing during the coronavirus crisis, and to find expert advice and guidance on how to manage the impact of these challenges - particularly as it relates to managing cash flow, legal compliance, immigration and team remote working. You may request to join the group here.  
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Blog
Mar 2020

Template - Company Guide to Working Remotely

Moving to a full remote setup, particularly in a quarantine environment, is a new experience for all of us, and one where we’ll have to be very deliberate with our actions and communication to make it go well.In this guide, we cover off a few things we especially want to look out for: communication, keeping the [company] community, and looking after our own well-being.DOWNLOAD COMPANY GUIDE TO REMOTE WORKING
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Blog
Mar 2020

CENTURO GLOBAL AFRICA HAS ARRIVED!

We are excited to announce that, due to our remarkable growth over the last one and a half years, we now have expanded into Africa! Our Centuro Global Africa office officially opened its doors on Monday 16th, March 2020 and is situated in Cape Town, South Africa. So, whether you’re an African based business looking to scale out of Africa, or an overseas business looking to scale into Africa, we are here to help facilitate your global expansion plans. You can come to us for business growth services including; Legal Immigration Intellectual Property Scaling & Expansion New Market Entry Raising Capital Pitch Deck Creation Business Development HR Support Office Sourcing Investor Introductions and much more. We chose South Africa as our first Centuro Global Africa hub because with a GDP worth USD 294 billion, South Africa is the 40th largest economy in the world and the third largest in Africa.  They are also home to the third largest entrepreneurial hub in Africa, just behind Nigeria and Kenya.   A report commissioned by Google highlights the huge opportunity within SA;  “Much of the support has focused on creating early-stage startups and entrepreneurs, with little focus on mapping out the full journey of entrepreneurship and creating support initiatives along the way…” We are ready to change that narrative by assisting South Africa in reaching its full potential by improving the commercial outlook for entrepreneurial talent and innovation. Heading up the operation will be Seraj Toefy. Seraj is a serial entrepreneur based in Cape Town. He also lectures Entrepreneurial strategy and management at a few leading universities throughout Africa and is a regular guest speaker on the topic in Europe.  He will provide on the ground analysis and perspective to any global client wanting to scale into Africa, while assisting African companies wanting to scale globally.  You can contact him on Linkedin and our website. You can also follow what we're doing on our social media channels; @centuroglobal. We would like to Thank You for your continued support in Centuro Global. We are pleased to be expanding our hub into diverse regions across the globe in a pact to grow more successful startups. To celebrate, we are offering any business that is thinking about expanding into Africa, or from Africa into the UK, a consultation. Contact us today or email us at hello@centuroglobal.com
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Blog
Feb 2020

No “Australian Visa System” in the UK

The UK government has finally released some of their actual plans for the “new immigration system” after Brexit. The new system is alleged to be more employer-led and will be implemented on 1 January 2021. The details released on February 20th, do not cover family migration, asylum and students but covers workers (“fiscal migration”).  The new UK’s point-based system  As the UK will leave the UK by the end of 2020, the government has released their plans to “compensate” the cessation of the EU freedom of movement of people. Businesses and workers have been quite anxious about how the UK would shape their immigration system after Brexit and this morning the Home Office has finally disclosed their plans (some) on introducing a new UK’s points-based system following the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report published last month. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/migration-advisory-committee-mac-report-points-based-system-and-salary-thresholds   1. Skilled Workers The Home Office will bring the skills threshold down from RQF6 to RQF3. These will open a door for more workers to become eligible to work in the UK. All other workers with lower skills than RFQ3 are not going to be benefited by any specific route, but the government will expand the pilot scheme for seasonal workers in agriculture providing 10,000 places for such individuals.  1.0. New Salary Threshold  Migrants still need to meet 70 points in order to be eligible to apply for the visa and have a job offer from a Home Office approved employer. The gross annual general minimum salary, currently used on the Tier 2 General visa category, is going to be reduced from £30,000 to £25,600. Migrants must still be paid according to the minimum “going rate” salary of their respective Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes, which can be higher than the new salary threshold.  ⦁ Trading Points and salary reduction The new factor introduced is that migrants will be able to “trade” some of their jo characteristic qualifications towards points if their salary is going to be less than the minimum threshold or “going rate” but never less than £20,480. Migrants can “trade” to obtain points if: ⦁ their job is in the shortage occupation list (as designated by MAC); or⦁ they have a Phd in a subject relevant to the job; or⦁ they have a Phd in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subject relevant to the job. Salaries can be reduced as follows: ⦁ the job is in the shortage occupation list (as designated by MAC) - 20 % reduction⦁ the migrant has a Phd in STEM subject - 20 % reduction⦁ the migrant has a Phd in non-STEM subject – 10 % reduction ⦁ Dependants The Home Office has confirmed that as now, skilled workers are going to be allowed to bring their dependants to the UK. No further information or details have been provided on this. ⦁ Global Talent visa category As expected, the Global Talent Visa will be extended to EU citizens who will be able to come to work in the UK without a job offer, as long as they have been endorsed by a competent body. ⦁ Unsponsored visa route The government mentioned that they are working on a broader unsponsored route which will allow the most highly skilled workers to come to the UK without a job offer. No further details have been provided on this either. ⦁ Students Student visas will also be points-based system managed where, students must have an offer from an approved educational institution, knowledge of English and funds to maintain themselves in the UK. Again, nor further information or details have been provided on this visa category.  ⦁ EU Citizens The government has confirmed that EU Citizens will be treated the same as non-visa nationals, where entry clearance is not required to be issued before coming to the UK for a maximum period of six month, but work is not permitted. The UK unilaterally will allow EU citizens to use the e-Gates but stressed that this policy will be kept under review. EU Citizens will be able to apply for visas using their smartphones to self-enrol face biometrics and fingerprints will not be required. Other citizens will have to visit a Visa Application Centre (VAC) abroad to enrol their biometrics.  A physical visa or card will not be issued to EU citizens. Therefore, they will be able to prove their immigration status in the UK electronically. Article written by Michael Rodriguez. If you would like to get more information on the above or have any question on Immigration please call us on +44 (0) 207 458 4600, or send an email to hello@centuroglobal.com
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Blog
Feb 2020

Brexit results in 'eU-turn' on Meme Ban

Following the UK leaving the EU on Friday 31 January 2020, albeit in a transitory period until the end of 2020, there was one immediate positive outcome for UK based memelords and meme fans alike. The anticipated “Meme Ban” will not be brought into UK law. What is the so called ‘Meme Ban’? The EU Copyright Directive is a controversial piece of legislation that is due to be implemented across EU Member States. It addresses how copyrighted material is shared on online platforms and its most controversial component is Article 17, which requires online platforms to stop copyrighted material being shared on their platforms. With so much content shared between users of online platforms, there have been fears that such platforms will be left with no choice but to use automated filters to takedown and remove copyrighted content. The goal being to redirect revenue from the tech giants to the original creators of the content. Given this new and very significant burden of responsibility added to the shoulders of online platforms, Tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have naturally been against the Directive. Whilst memes technically fall under the copyright exception relating to content that is merely “for purposes of quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody and pastiche”, the fear is that the automated removal technology that platforms may implement will not be able to distinguish between genuine copyright infringement and excepted copyright material. The internet therefore coined the term ‘Meme Ban’ for the EU Copyright Directive. However, UK Minister for Universities and Science, Chris Skidmore, has confirmed that the UK will not implement the EU Copyright Directive now that we have left the EU and so memers can all rejoice. Why has the UK opted not to implement the EU Copyright Directive?             The UK was actually a key player in the original inception of the EU Copyright Directive and originally supported it. If the UK was really not keen on the Directive or on Article 17 (previously Article 13), as a strong EU player, it could in fact have blocked it. Many are therefore now suggesting that this reversal of adoption of the Directive is a mere PR stunt. The topic of copyright freedom online has been hotly debated and will continue to be hotly debated with a very tricky balance between freedom to share content online and obtain knowledge versus the right for creators to control or benefit from their content. Legislators argue that online platforms are the one benefitting from the content at the expense of all the creators – the artists, writers, journalists, and so forth. Will the decision not to implement the Directive benefit business?             One industry that will particularly be hit hard by the lack of implementation is the music industry, who have been campaigning for years for platforms such as YouTube and Facebook to face more responsibility for tackling content that contains infringing content belonging to record labels, songwriters and artists alike. There are suggestions that, on the other hand, this could benefit startups and smaller platforms who cannot afford to implement the technology required to scan and remove content. Julia Reda, a former MEP for the Pirate Party Germany, predicts that “not implementing Article 17 makes the UK more attractive for running platform businesses”. However, the Directive does not require smaller companies to act in such a manner regardless. Any companies that meet all of the following 3 criteria would not have been required to implement takedown technology: It has been around for less than 3 years; Annual turnover is below €10 million; and It has fewer than 5 million unique monthly visitors.   Furthermore, the lack of implementation of this law is unlikely to be a significant consideration for many businesses about whether to do business outside the EU, in comparison to the other consequences of Brexit. Not much will practically change over the next 11 months, but for now we can all rest easy that we can share and enjoy memes without any fear of copyright infringement.
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Event
Jan 2020

Brand It, Pitch It, Nail it, Scale It!

Centuro Global, in collaboration with White Bear Studio, are delighted to announce our upcoming masterclass. The session focuses on both White Bear and Centuro Global's proven methodologies to nail your branding and pitching strategies to land investment and drive sustainable growth. The speakers will teach their methodologies so that you can apply them yourself, such as: How to build your brand story and tone of voice How to build a brand for future growth and investment Top tips for creating a pitch deck that will land investment Scaling your business As with any good event, there will be the opportunity to network and breakfast will be provided. About The Speakers... White Bear StudioWhite Bear are a London and Dublin based Branding Agency that specialises in creating smashing brands with stickiness for high growth businesses, helping them scale for investment and growth. We work with businesses across multiple sectors and our clients have secured investment in the tens of millions, as well as significant double-digit growth. We teach our unique approaches at industry-leading events. All the brands we've created have beaten their investment goals. White Bear Studio will share their creative process for building a compelling brand, fit for scale and investment. Through brand story, tone of voice, and building a brand world to ensure your business is set up for success. Centuro Global:Centuro Global is a business growth consultancy and concierge service. We assist companies throughout their lifecycle from seed to scaling to exit. Whether you need assistance with pitch decks and funding, intellectual property protection or advice on how to enter new markets and scale globally, we offer a full 360 service. We also have a global membership community comprised of vetted scaleups & SMEs, professional service providers, and investors to ensure you have the right advisory support throughout your business journey. Centuro Global will share their top tips for nailing your pitch deck. Having created numerous pitch decks for clients and connecting them with our network of angel investors and VCs we have great experience in what works and what does not. Join us for our core principles on maximising your chance of obtaining investment.
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Event
Nov 2019

Launch of The Business Series in collaboration with Modern Woman

On 27th November 2019, we launched a new events collaboration with Modern Woman at The Curtain Members' Club in London: The Business Series. The event was split into two parts to provide maximum value for our sold-out audience, namely a social media marketing masterclass followed by a live speaker panel. We had a full house on the night, buzzing with colourful canapés, vibrant ambience and inspiring conversation. Dominic Baber-Norris and Xavier Parkshouse-Parker, the dynamic duo behind digital marketing service Zaphub, led a fantastic workshop in which they shared a host of actionable tips that any small business owner could get started with on social media straight away. Three of our guests in the audience were selected for a live audit of their social media profiles, which proved to be deeply valuable for the entire audience covering tips for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.  Fitness & Lifestyle influencer, Karly Arber, also stepped onto the stage and delighted the audience with her bubbly personality as she shared her journey towards becoming a social media influencer, and most importantly how to remain authentic whilst growing a large following. The key takeaway from Karly’s message was that regardless of who your audience is, authenticity always wins.  People follow you because they are interested in you, and what you do. They want to feel as though they are taking that journey with you, getting previews of the behind-the-scenes shots of your daily life and getting to know the real person behind the screen.  Bearing in mind that it’s natural for people to connect with people, rather than a company, it is important to showcase the human element of your business. Do you do monthly team pizza days? Or do you have a dog friendly office?  Capture these moments in the form of short videos, boomerangs and pictures to share on your socials as this will boost intrigue and engagement amongst your followers whilst depicting you as a personable brand, rather than a cold, soulless entity. As the workshop wrapped up, DJ Ronnie Herel from Mi-Soul radio played ambient, soulful sounds as our guests networked with one another and enjoyed the wide array of delicious canapes and refreshing drinks provided. Panel Discussion Rosie Coxshaw, Founder of Modern Woman, moderated the second session of the evening, where we welcomed to the stage three incredible guest panellists to discuss a variety of topics including female success, wellness and purpose as an entrepreneur. Top takeaways: Karene Lambert-Gorwyn, Property Investor with a multi-million pound portfolio and Co-Founder of Profit for Practitioners Mentorship program -  Value collaboration over competition. This opens you up to wider opportunities for success than you could ever achieve alone. Help other women climb the ladder with you. Often, as women, you work so hard trying to open doors throughout your career, that you forget to hold the door open for your fellow women along the way. Quote she lives by “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life in a way that most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”  Tram Anh Nguyen, Wall Street Trader turned Co-founder of the Centre for Finance, Tech & Entrepreneurship - Stay healthy and remember to switch off, to avoid burn out.  Ensure you have a deep-rooted mission that underpins your company and motivates your team. Every single day she receives testimonials from students all over the world who have landed jobs in fintech thanks to her programme.  Quote she lives by “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work”. Thomas A. Edison  Chantal Gautier, Chartered Psychologist -  The future of work is changing. As an employer, you must trust your employees enough to give them autonomy. Thank you to all who came and shared in a wonderful evening. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media to receive the latest news, top business tips and updates on future events! LinkedIn Instagram Facebook Twitter
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Blog
Nov 2019

Rich vs King

‘Why Did You Start Your Business?’ Founders get asked this all the time. What made you do X and why did you choose Y? Founder motivations differ and can be incredibly broad. It’s undoubtedly a blend of timing and inspiration, but ultimately what motivates us as founders is vital to understand. Noam Wasserman’s, The Founder’s Dilemmas, examines early stage decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team.  Wasserman argues that in the majority of cases, the motivation bottles down to a shoot-out between ‘Rich’ or ‘King’: ‘Rich’ – This is self-explanatory where money is the name of the game. This motivation is where a company's purpose is typically seen as a vehicle to deliver shareholder profit (and ultimately build the founder’s personal wealth).  ‘King’ - Wasserman describes the motivation of some founders stemming from running and controlling their own business empire. Power is the driving force here. ‘So, Which Is Better - Rich Or King?’ Firstly what does this “King” type founder look like? Are they micro-managers who try to control every aspect of their business? Potentially yes, but not necessarily.  The key point of control is the control of the equity and likely resulting control of the board. Founders who maintained this type of control in their business typically exited at lower valuations, with lower returns or in most cases did not exit, as the company stalled as a “Zombie” or simply failed. It may seem counter-intuitive that, in ceding more equity, co-founders and investors would lead to significantly higher returns. However, studies repeatedly show that founders that are “rich” motivated will achieve their goals with less control.  An element of this is obvious - selling equity to an investor who injects both financial and social capital into a business will likely have a better chance of success - sure you’ll lose some control, but sometimes you have to accept your weaknesses and bring others in to grow. A great example of knowing when and how to cede control is often the CEO position.  For startups that are growing fast, strong leadership to make decisions and set the company direction is necessary. The qualities of a top CEO will differ from company to company and opinions on what makes good CEOs are constantly debated.  Ultimately, we can confidently say that the founding CEO is not necessarily the best person to run their company. Many founders have visions of being the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, founding a large company and running it for many years. However, Wasserman’s research of hundreds of American startups revealed that within three years of founding the startup, 50% of founders were no longer the CEO, and fewer than 25% were in the top seat when their companies went public.  In fact, four out of five founders from Wasserman’s study were actually ousted from the CEO post, a direct challenge to this role of King. This suggests that, more often than not, foregoing the glamour of being a King, and instead pursuing Rich is the best route to growth.  ‘One Step Backwards, Two Steps Forward’ The control point is where the founder’s dilemma is felt hardest. Professional investors (VCs and Super Angels) will sometimes push to replace the CEO early since they know that everyone’s financial returns will be maximised by implementing experienced leadership.  Admittedly, this isn’t always the case and/or investors aren’t always right. Sometimes founders can be stepped down too early, thus calling disruption or stalling company growth. The founder has the initial vision, sees the opportunity and hires people to help build according to that vision. Indeed, super successful VC firms such as Andreessen-Horowitz (A16Z) are well known for much preferring to back founding CEOs. However, AH are one of the few exceptions. Another key consideration is that at different stages in the lifecycle of a startup, different skillsets will be required. For example, whilst a technology minded founder might be the best person to lead the company at an early stage, more business acumen and experience in marketing and sales may be required as the company grows. Therefore, the more successful a startup is at an early stage, and the more equity and board control that is given away, the more likely that the ‘successful’ founding CEO will be replaced by someone with more experience and/or different skillsets.  Take the example of Google - founded by Larry Page (Founding CEO) and Sergey Brin. The co-founders made a great team but were initially inexperienced and unable to captain the incredible growth that Google and its technology were experiencing. Page knew he was not ready and with his board hired Eric Schmidt, who helped mastermind Google into the incredible technology giant it is today. Throughout Schmidt’s tenure, Larry Page importantly stayed involved at the board and executive levels. Then in 2011 - a whole decade after he initially stepped back - Page was now ready to retake the reigns and lead Google to their next stage of growth.  Google really is a perfect example of the founding team realising the huge potential their venture held whilst accepting their own shortcomings in relation to this. In their case, it made total sense to bring others in to ‘run’ things. Sure, ultimately Larry Page returned, but this was far from guaranteed in 2001 when he stepped back from his creation - what was guaranteed though, was that Schmidt presented the best opportunity for Google to kick on to the stage of hyper-growth. So, how about Steve Jobs? The infamous control freak, who many would argue achieved both Rich and King… Even Jobs accepted he was not right to be CEO of his booming company in the early 1980s. Upon accepting this, Jobs went out and hired Pepsi-Cola’s President, John Sculley. In hindsight, this was not the best hire (Apple’s prospects under Scully deteriorated). However, the decision to bring someone in was correct - Steve Jobs was not the right person at that time. It took the strenuous experience of acting CEO of NeXt Computers and later Pixar to build Jobs into the ‘iCEO’ we all know about today. Therefore, even Jobs faced the Rich vs King dilemma and learnt to avoid King. In summary, all founders need to understand their motivations for their company. Do they want to maximise returns or retain control and power over their company? If it is the latter, they need to consider whether they are ready for such a role.  Founders who understand that they are motivated more by wealth than by power will make the best decisions to help the company scale, including bringing in a more experienced CEO. On the other hand, those motivated by control may make more decisions that enable them to retain power whilst actually hindering the overall growth of the company. It’s a prevalent dilemma because often founders face the choice to lose control to increase their wealth. However, it’s safe to assume that most entrepreneurs are motivated by maximising profit - therefore, avoiding the enticing trap of King is a must for those looking to scale effectively.        
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Nov 2019

Social Media Marketing Masterclass: Presented by Modern Woman & Centuro Global

Set in the cool and trendy LP Room at The Curtain members club, The Curtain Hotel, 45 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3PT. Join us for an insightful day full of workshops, valuable business tips and inspiring stories whilst networking with other business owners, entrepreneurs and passionate people! See below for a diary of events: 4pm - 5:45pm: Social Media Marketing Masterclass Social media has rapidly become vital in the armoury of any entrepreneur’s marketing efforts. Not only is it important for promotional purposes, but also as a medium to communicate with business customers and clients. Dominic Baber-Norris and Xavier Parkhouse-Parker from digital marketing service Zaphub will lead this workshop on how to use social media for your business. This unmissable course will show you how to: Develop a successful social media strategy Identify and target your audience Create compelling content to drive engagement Time your posts to maximise engagement *A surprise social media influencer will also be attending to give their top tips on driving engagement.* 5:45pm-7pm: Food, drinks and networking 7pm-8:30pm: Live Speaker Panel Modern Woman's editor, Rosie Coxshaw hosts the conversation with inspiring women from diverse industries & cultures as they share their personal experiences as well as discussing thought provoking topics centred around women in the workplace including sales and marketing tools, raising finance, monetising tech for you business and wellness. Followed by an audience Q&A. See below for speakers on the night:   Tram Anh Nguyen Co-Founder of The Centre For Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (Covering: Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship) Tram Anh is the co-founder of CFTE (Centre for Finance, Tech and Entrepreneurship) and an Industry Fellow at Imperial College Business School. She has been nominated as one of the Top 100 Women in Fintech in 2018 and 2019, and is an advocate for lifelong learning and continuous education as the best tool to help organisations and people adapt to a fast-changing world. She is passionate about up - skilling and providing more opportunities to professionals in finance, as well as providing women and individuals from diverse backgrounds with a voice. With extensive experience in the finance industry prior to co-founding CFTE, Tram Anh has a tracking record of setting up leading projects in the world of education with learners around the world, from over 100 countries. Today, she works tirelessly with governments, policy makers, industry experts and academia to push initiatives in continuous education. She believes that in a world increasingly dominated by technology, people must remain at the centre of society and organisations, with education and training key to helping individuals thrive in a fast-changing ecosystem.   Karene Lambert-Gowyn Co-Founder of Passion to Profit & Heart Centred Business (Covering: Business Growth, Sales & Marketing) Karene is an award winning Mumpreneur, Coach and successful Property Investor with a multimillion pound portfolio. Previously a highly paid Management Consultant in Australia, Singapore as well as the UK and Europe, she changed careers to have more time, better relationships and financial freedom. After engaging world-class business and property mentors, Karene created a £2m+ property portfolio in under a year and alongside launching her own Property Coaching Business, she helped Chris create the Passion to Profit for Practitioners Success Formula.She credits her stellar financial and business success to finding the right mentors combined with stepping outside of her comfort zone and taking massive action! With her years of corporate experience focused on saving companies money through efficiency structures and effective systems, Karene brings that knowledge and experience to the Practitioner world and with her husband Chris, created the Award-Winning Passion to Profit for Practitioners Mentorship where they help expert health practitioners build a six-figure practice and then scale it to seven-figures. Chris and Karene have personally trained more than 2500 heart centred business owners how to build a 6 figure income. They have been invited to speak at Business and Financial Conferences around the world, appearing on stages in 14 different countries across 4 different continents, alongside business titans such as Sir Richard Branson, Robert & Kim Kiyosaki, Kevin Harrington, Randi Zuckerberg, Gill Fielding, and Kane and Alessia Minkus. Chris and Karene live in Central London with their daughter Mya where they balance their exciting careers around being present and committed parents.   Chantal Gautier Senior Lecturer, C. Psych, fHEA, AFBPsS at Westminster University & Author (Covering: Business Psychology & Wellness) Chantal is a London-based academic, Chartered Psychologist and eclectic professional with consultancy skills, specializing in a wide range of academic and business activities. Her successful track record in Higher Edicatopm warranted the Teaching Fellow Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Chantal continues to apply her academic knowledge and teaching skills in a range of settings. Her breadth of experience and specialist insight into leadership, team development, employee engagement, change management and customer services, has led to contributions in both public, private sectors as well as internationally. Her attraction to Organizational Psychology is driven by her interest with the interface between learning, teaching and business and how they can impact on the servicing of people and interactions. With her recent book publication: The Psychology of Work: Insights into Successful Working Practices, she reminds us of the need to bring back the humane into organizational life. 8:30pm-10pm: Networking, drinks and soulful sounds with DJ Ronnie Herel (Mi-Soul Radio) All attendees will also receive a free day pass to the Private Members Club, “The Curtain”. Buy Tickets
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Blog
Oct 2019

The Power of Marketing Data & 5 Ways You Should Use It In 2020

“Marketing Data” can sound like typical industry jargon that means nothing and has no basis in the real world. Or worse still, flashbacks to Cambridge Analytica and data leaks can leave people frightened of the negative capabilities that modern data control brings. The truth is, the best ‘marketing’ is using any information you get from your customers to enhance the promotion of your business. The best marketers in the world know that utilising data to guide creativity is the key to marketing & business success. If we could give one piece of advice to any small business it would be: get a handle on your marketing data ASAP. Data is the new gold. On the surface, marketing data is as broad as any and all audience interactions. In reality, decisions can currently be made from insights into something as specific as click percentages of 16-25-year-olds within 15km of your business. In effect, marketing data is all the information that comes from interactions with an audience, in person or online. All of this is incredibly useful when it comes to growing your business. Why? Here are our three key reasons why business success and marketing data are inextricably linked: 1. Marketing Data Tells You Who Your Customers Are. This might sound very strange: you know who your customers are, right? You interact with them on a daily basis, but do you know their age range, their business sectors or their business size? Can you plot that data on a graph that tells you your ideal customer persona? There are tools available that will track many of these key pieces of data for you – the more you know, the better you can target leads. 2. Marketing Data Saves You Money. If you’re marketing now, then you’re spending money. Even if this is just business cards, flyers and branding - your logo and even your business name are marketing. Even spending your time on your Twitter page costs you time and, as a wise man once said, ‘time = money’. If you know more about your market or your customers, then you’ll be able to spend your time or money better, maybe even automating parts of your acquisition funnel like we have at CG. 3. Find Out Your Best Customers. Do you know which customers make you the most money? The Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule states that the likelihood is that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers (we’ll get in to how to use this a bit later). Put simply, you probably have an ‘ideal’ customer - someone who you add the most value to and someone who, in return, is a loyal and reliable revenue stream. So, the data from your marketing can give you incredible insight into your business and your customers. But, how can you use this to grow your business? Here are our top 5 ways you can use your marketing data: 1. Target the right people.  Above we said marketing data could be used to save you money and time. It pays to be more focused. If you find from your marketing data (for example) that 80% of your customers are middle-aged women, for example, then all your marketing efforts should keep this in mind. Do you know which social media your customers prefer? If they’re all on Facebook and not Twitter, then any time you spend on Twitter is wasted. Unless you have money or time to burn, it’s essential to maximise everything you do.(As an aside, if you do have a bit of money to throw at your marketing next month, think about saving time by outsourcing some of your outreach.) 2. Target people when they need it.  This is one of the best uses of marketing data: sell to your customers when they need it. This isn’t as simple or easy as focusing on one social media - there are few ways to effectively do this. If you’re an online business or conduct any activity online, then you really should look at Facebook’s Pixel for starters. It’s their product that tells you which customers want to buy what and even indicates when they want to buy it. It’s powerful, and there isn’t enough space to explain it here, but it’s well worth the effort to add. Read up on it here.  But, what if you’re not an online business? Well, in that case, when are your products typically used? If you sell caffeinated drinks, then 8:30 in the morning is a great time to target your customers. If you’re a gym, then January and May are pretty good times to focus. The best thing is marketing data will help you make these decisions by showing you when to focus and whom to focus on (more in number 4). 3. Understand Wasted Effort.  Ever heard the phrase “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.”? (John Wanamaker (1838-1922)). This old saying used to be the case for marketing, but, using data, you can know precisely what works. You can see where your customers click (tools like bit.ly are fantastic), you can use data to see which of the places you’re advertising generate the most revenue. This is similar to targeting the right people since you can double down on everything that works well and cut everything that doesn’t. Taking John Wanamaker’s formula, you’re practically doubling your marketing effect, at half the cost. Think about using landing pages and heat mapping plug-ins to fully visualize where your customers are most interested. Again, most agencies should be able to help you sort this and the easy tech available nowadays is game-changing. 4. Focus on High-Value Customers.  Throughout this article we’ve mentioned focusing on key targets, demographics & times. All of this comes down to the 80/20 principle. It’s one of the more fascinating rules in business and economics. It came from an Italian economist who was examining peas and discovered that most of the peas come from a minority of pods; usually split by 80% of the benefit (peas) coming from 20% of the participants (pods) (hence 80/20). Over time the same phenomenon can be seen in business: it’s staggering that 80% of revenue can come from just 20% of customers. We’ve just finished working with a company where the split was actually 92%/8%. This doesn’t only apply to revenue; you could find that 80% of your new customers come from just 20% of your marketing: giving you a clear path to ramping up your successful marketing. The key here is to focus on the aspects that are working and ‘double-down’ on those. This is a big topic, with lots of examples and research conducted; Tim Ferris has done much work in this area. You can use your marketing data along with the 80/20 principle to unlock a business superpower. 5. Plan your cash flow far, far ahead.  This might seem mundane, especially compared to some of the interesting principles we’ve touched on, but it’s incredibly important. Do you know how much it costs you to acquire a new customer (your ‘Cost Per Acquisition’/ CPA)? This number is one of the most critical numbers any business owner can have, as it means that, for every dollar spent on advertising, you’ll know how much new custom/revenue you will get. Once you know this, you can plan to grow bigger with ease, and you will be able to truly understand what is needed to grow. Reinvesting revenue is a no-brainer when you have a clear calculation of the returns you’ll see next quarter. This article has only been brief overview of marketing data and what it can do for your business. There is so much more to say but a quick point (I see a lot of people complaining about) is that spreadsheets don’t have to be boring - they can unlock the potential of generating more revenue by spending your time and money effectively. Instead of seeing marketing data as boring, view it as a key tool to growing your business. Since there’s nothing boring about growing your business, get into using your data effectively!
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Sep 2019

Young Owners Forum in Bodrum, Turkey

Our Chairwoman, Asma Bashir, and founder & CEO Zain Ali, attended the inaugural Young Owners Forum in Bodrum, Turkey from 20th– 22ndSeptember. It was a fantastic gathering of business owners from across Europe, the Middle East, Africa & Asia, as well as investors and business advisers. The topics discussed ranged from the rise of robotics, to challenges facing young business owners, to how to target a global market. Professor Adrian Cooper, the CEO of Oxford Economics (a leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis) forecast that 20 million manufacturing jobs could be lost to robots by 2030. This would be a reduction in the global manufacturing workforce of 8.5%. From 2011-2016, in China alone there was a 267% rise in the number of robots per worker, with a 40% rise in the US and 27% rise in Germany. A Chinese delegation also attended the conference and led a panel discussing the landscape in China. Elena Zheng of Huobi Global discussed the speed at which technology is developed in China, which renders many pieces of tech obsolete by the time they are completed, making it a race to stay relevant. The sheer size of the population at 1.5 billion, over half of which own smartphones, make it a massive market for business resulting in phenomenal opportunity. Our Chairman, Asma, sat on a panel including speakers from Germany, Spain, Oman, Iraq and Nigeria discussing leadership to inspire the younger generation of business owners. Tariq Al-Barwani, the founder of Knowledge Oman, emphasised the importance for early stage entrepreneurs to test their idea in the market and creating an MVP before going full steam ahead with a startup. Asma discussed two of her biggest challenges in her early days as a founder of a company in the early 2000s. These were setting up a strong team and servicing the needs of demanding clients. If you can carefully curate a balanced team with all of the required skillsets and complementary personalities, you will be onto a winner. Meanwhile, doing everything you can to keep clients happy, which can be very time consuming, is crucial. Asma also advised that her top tip for success is to ensure you continue to innovate and never stay stagnant, which was echoed by members of the panel. Miguel Martin, a renowned Spanish angel investor and member of the World Business Angel Investment Forum emphasised the importance of thinking 3, 5, or even 10 years in advance just to keep up with technological developments and to stay one step ahead of your competitors. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend networking with amazing individuals in the beautiful seaside town of Bodrum. We look forward to the second edition of this wonderful conference next year.
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Sep 2019

Why Valuation Matters

“What is your valuation?” “£100,000 for 10%?” The above seems like a fabricated scenario made for Dragons Den or Shark Tank, but at some stage, every investor will want to know: “what is your valuation?” Often one of the most daunting questions that a VC or angel investor can impose on you is around valuation and the distribution of your equity. Without wanting to get tangled up in trying to cover behavioural economic signalling, it’s best to regard answering this correctly as more of an art than a science. At any investment stage, when an investor is asking for your valuation they are looking for many things. Principally, they want to gauge how attractive the deal on your startup’s equity is - they can then make any further decisions anchored to this number. There is a lot to look at when it comes to tackling your valuation. You’ll hear terms such as ‘pre-money, post-money, EBITDA multiple’ thrown around and it’s easy to get lost in the jargon (there’s a handy Jargon Glossary at the end of the article in case you run into any new terms whilst reading).  What really matters is how your stated valuation affects the investment deal for both you, and the interested party. Every interaction with an investor will act as a signal. The way you dress, pitch, your tone of voice and your enthusiasm are all factors that are hard to control. Believe it or not, we’re seeing data that suggests even being enthusiastic in pitches could actually hurt your chances of success! The point is that interactions can be erratic, and it’s near impossible to predict their effects on individuals. Nonetheless, there is no need to panic! Your valuation is one thing that is totally in your control. Until you have your first lump of capital invested, you are entirely free to move your valuation to suit your aims & business ambitions. Sure, we’re framing this potentially daunting autonomy as being a good thing, but if you can’t get excited by risk, then maybe fundraising isn’t for you after all...   So, Why Does It Matter What Valuation I Say? How does what I say affect the deal and what are these behavioural economic signals I’m sending? If you state your valuation too high, you could seem delusional or price future investors out of the deal. Too low and you might imply a lack of faith in your idea and team or, even worse, sell your equity too cheaply and as a founding team be stuck with a minority stake in a booming business one day. You’re sending an important signal and you must use this as a tool to your advantage. Signalling isn’t something that many accelerators or incubators will adequately teach you. Being lucky enough to get introduced to investors is one thing, but knowing how to manoeuvre that room once you’re in it is a whole new game. As a founder, equity in your attractive business is your one pivotal asset and will be a central factor in any investment negotiation. Any deal-making is based on tradables as seen below:   P1: I trade X for Y P2: What if we traded my Y for your X and your Z P1: We can make it work if we trade my X and Z for your Y and W. Deal? P2: Deal   The letters in the above negotiation are tradable; each one adds more value to the deal and eventually leads to an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both parties (at least that’s the aim). There are many tradables in an investment deal (board seats, liquidation preferences, shareholder rights, pre-emption rights, drag-along rights etc.) and you should become familiar with these terms before embarking on any deals. While we’re not fans of jargon, sometimes it does pay to be in the know. Check out our glossary below where you can find definitions to all of these terms and more. In almost all early-stage financing rounds what matters most is what the investor ‘gets’ for what they put in. In effect, your stated valuation is your opening position and (as any game theorist or expert negotiator will tell you) this sets the stage for the entire rest of the deal.   How Do I ‘Use’ My Valuation? The valuation you state first, i.e. the one that is in your pitch deck, isn’t necessarily going to be your final agreed figure. As a founder, it’s vital to know the equity percentage that you want to end up at and it is prudent to have an upper and lower bound as to what you will accept. Once you know and understand your personal (or team’s) percentages, then you are at an advantage as you can enter any negotiation or pitch with clear parameters of what you will accept and clear parameters of what you will walk away from. After you’ve settled on ideal outcomes, you can focus on what information you can deliver with your valuation. In most cases (like any negotiation) it is best to open at a high asking price, as it’s likely you’ll see efforts to bring the valuation downwards, so it’s good to leave room to ‘cooperate’. Additionally, opening with a reasonably high valuation tends to signal confidence. Since you’re able to be flexible from pitch to pitch about your valuation, you can fluctuate your valuation number easily depending on whom you are pitching to. For example, when meeting professional VC investors with established funds, a £1m+ valuation at seed stage is not untenable (in fact, VC’s won’t really get excited about anything lower than this). In comparison, an angel investor certainly could be scared off by such a high valuation. Tailor your valuation to what works for you, and what you expect to work for the specific investors you’re targeting. On angel platforms (e.g. https://www.syndicateroom.com/) or equity crowd funders (e.g. https://www.seedrs.com/) it’s often prudent to set your valuation low to encourage rapid micro-investments. As you gain momentum and reach your milestones you could end up raising considerably more than your initial ask at a much higher valuation (although watchout for down rounds). Above all, try to simply look at valuation (and investment generally) as a tool to grow and accelerate your startup. It isn’t just a signalling method and it certainly isn’t a vanity metric, it’s a real number that will affect your startup for years to come. A massive valuation is guaranteed to make headlines, but it’s certainly not guaranteed to bring successful growth.   Finally, Is Valuation Everything? No. As discussed above, there are numerous factors in play during an investment deal. For example, take these two deals: A: £400,000 for 20% equity B: £200,000 for 10% equity Both of these deals would give the startup a pretty tantalising pre-money valuation of £2 million. However, deal A gives the startup far more rope in terms of working capital for a sustained burn rate than deal B, at the cost of surrendering more equity. Only you can decide which is better - it’s when you’re presented with decisions like these that you’ll be grateful for the mentors and team around you. Ultimately, a stranger could invest £100 into your startup for 0.00001% equity and you would technically have an instant ‘unicorn’ (£1billion+ valuation). In this case, your valuation would be a dangerously misleading vanity metric, and certainly unimportant for you and your business.   A Complex Problem If you’re dedicated and talented enough to fundraise, your valuation/s will be one of the most prominent factors in your career. It’s fraught with problems and since it’s often little more than an educated guess, it makes sense to get the right help in early before you start making commitments and receiving capital. At Centuro Global, we assist businesses in getting the right advisory support from our unique network of professionals. Our team comprises industry experts within the legal, finance, technology and marketing sectors. We have led companies, advised major brands and contributed to the growth and success of numerous small to medium and large businesses around the world. Valuations are tricky. It is definitely an art not a science and, put simply, it can be a disaster if you get it wrong. However, as the best entrepreneurs have shown over time, your valuation can equally be a significant asset when you get it right.   Jargon Glossary: Pre-Money & Post-Money Valuation - The value of private companies is very subjective and usually comes down to negotiation. Pre-money valuation is the value you place on your company before going out to find investment. Post-money valuation is simply the pre-money valuation plus the investment. The higher the valuation is, the less dilution there will be as the company will need to issue fewer shares for any capital raised. However, if the valuation is too high it will be off-putting for potential investors. As always, balance is key – don’t be too greedy but don’t sell too cheaply either!   EBITDA Multiple -This financial ratio compares a company’s Enterprise Value to its annual EBITDA. The Enterprise Value considers the startup’s entire market. For example, all ownership interests and asset claims from both debt and equity are included. EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization and is a metric used to evaluate a company’s operating performance. Put simply, a low EBITDA ratio value indicates that the company could be undervalued, and a high EBITDA value suggests that there may well be an overvaluation. Importantly, it’s not uncommon for prospective buyers and investors to push for a lower valuation to get more ‘bang for their buck’.   Pre-Emption Rights - These can be set-up to give a contractual right for existing shareholders to maintain their proportion of ownership of the company. Put simply, they do so by acquiring their proportional share of any additional stock issuances (e.g. if the company goes public). This right ensures that a shareholder's ownership interest is not diluted through the issuance of more shares. Also known as subscription rights or subscription privileges, these can be really important in negotiations as they allow a shareholder to be able to protect themselves from having their shares devalued over time. Equally, they can prevent selling or transferring shares to another party whom they may not wish to be in business with, thus potentially blocking future deals.   Down Round - Generally viewed as a very negative way to raise capital for founders; a “down round” is when a company sells shares of its capital stock at a price per share that is less than the price per share it sold shares for in an earlier financing. Investors will often cement protections against down rounds. They are typically issued new shares to ensure their stake in the company isn’t diluted by new investors acquiring equity. However, that has to come out of someone else's proportional stake - typically founders. Additionally, down-rounds can be seen as a backwards step for a company as the valuation shrinks. This is bad for a number of likely obvious reasons and is likely to hinder future investment opportunities and damage employee morale.   Drag Along Rights -An agreement that enables a majority shareholder to effectively force a minority shareholder to join in the sale of a company. A key caveat is that the majority owner doing the ‘dragging’ must give the minority shareholder the same price, terms, and conditions as any other seller. Something to watch out for as it can suggest an investor’s exit strategy doesn’t align with yours.   Tag Along Rights -Effectively the opposite to Drag Along Rights, whilst not mentioned in the article, are very important for some investment deals. Also known as 'co-sale rights', they occur when a majority shareholder sells their shares; a tag along right will entitle the minority shareholder to participate in the sale at the same time for the same price for the shares. These rights are meant to protect minority holders from being ‘left in the cold’ after a sale of large proportions of the equity that don’t involve them.
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Sep 2019

Why You Need To Up Your Networking

Networking.  The chances are, the above word either fills you with excitement or a sense of dread. Nonetheless, regardless of how it makes you feel, networking is essential for your startup.  For many people, networking is practically intolerable. Networking events can sometimes feel forced and may even seem fake and artificial to some.  In reality, though, the functional purpose of networking is about as natural and authentic as it gets. “People do business with people.”   It’s an age-old saying but still holds true nonetheless. In fact, in the modern digital ecosystem, the ability to engage people face-to-face is a dying art. Think back to that time you gained a client purely off the back of a chance encounter. Or how about that time an old friend or colleague just threwchucked some work your way because they could trust you would do a good job, at a fair price. These examples stem from networking in some shape or form. We’ve even heard a story about a startup landing their first major client by literally spilling coffee on a stranger at an event in London! All it took was a chat and a bit of luck - fortunately, the recipient happened to be in the market for his product (and a new shirt!) If your business has a unique founding story, or interesting people/products behind it, what better way is there to get people enthused in your brand than by simply telling them about it? Instead of throwing money at digital promotion, a savvy startup should be on the lookout for the dozens of free networking events going on in London every month. Sure, you probably won’t meet any massive prospects at a free event, but, you are guaranteed to meet like-minded people.  People do business with people and nearly everyone prefers to do business with people they know personally. People you’ve met and built a relationship with will remember you and drive sales into the future.  There aren’t many better feelings than building a consistent revenue stream just from referrals - clients you’ve gotten to know in-person are more likely to want to refer you business. We all have clients who we’ve developed personal relationships with and they’re the clients who we reliably retain going forward. Ultimately, networking is never going to be for everyone. Some people can’t get enough and attend multiple events every single week in London. If you’re one of those lucky few - keep at it! If you’re in the larger camp of people who can’t really get excited by spending an evening networking, start with one event a week and build up from there. If you know that you’ll only be at a handful of events every year, you’re more likely to make the most of every encounter and find yourself enjoying it much more.  Something we’re crystal clear on at CG is the absolute need for entrepreneurs to surround themselves with the right people. We tailor our events to ensure that the right people are in the right room to make meaningful connections. To stay in the loop on great upcoming events and start surrounding yourself with an A-Team, get involved with Centuro Global today!
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Aug 2019

Why The UK & Its Startups Should Pay Attention To Trudeau’s Canada

TLDR: Justin Trudeau (Canadian Prime Minister) recently spoke about his efforts to improve Canada’s startup ecosystem. This article outlines some of his methods and ideologies, before arguing that adoption of concentrated and strategic funding, as well as more intelligent immigration policies similar to Canada’s, would stand the UK’s startups in better stead to compete internationally.    When Justin Trudeau was unveiled as a keynote speaker at Collision 2019, people were rightly excited to hear from the man who has championed the power of Canadian startups. Collision, Toronto, is North America's fastest-growing tech conference, boasting over 25,000 attendees and seeking to replicate the success of its familiar European event, Web Summit. It is fitting then that Trudeau spent the entire half an hour of his valuable time speaking about the importance of welcoming foreign talent and investments while making every effort to bolster Canada's national infrastructures.  With Trudeau recently announcing the government-backed $52million 'Scale-Up' investment platform for Canadian startups and Canadian unemployment at a 40-year low, you could be forgiven for assuming he's happy to rest on the smooth seas he has created for businesses and the broader Canadian economy. However, Trudeau indicated nothing resembling satisfaction concerning the Canadian startup ecosystem. Touching on everything from travel links to gender pay gaps, he excitedly rattled through his plans to take Canadian startups to the 'next level' and cement technology as a future-proof Canadian competitive edge.  So, why should we in the UK care? What lessons are there to be learnt and what advice is there to be heeded from a politician across the pond so proudly separated from the inspiring Silicon Valley giants?  In short; Trudeau offers principles and novel ideals that form a seemingly bulletproof path to success.    Empowerment & Inclusion Trudeau has made every effort to maximise skilled immigration throughout his tenure as Canada's Prime Minister. Often viewed in stark contrast with their isolationist US neighbours, Trudeau is proud to run a country that welcomes foreign visitors and settlers with open arms. This acceptance is of vital importance when considering the impact of low unemployment on startups. While undeniably a considerable achievement for Trudeau's Canada, high employment rates and job opportunities mean even more noise for startups to have to cut through when trying to entice the best talent. Trudeau does not shy away from this unpleasant truth -  again affirming at Collision his belief that "access to talent is at the core of successful businesses".  To aid startups in battling talent congestion, Trudeau looks to solutions around engaging universities as well as investing in local and broader Canadian tech talent to ensure startups have access to bright individuals, fast. The best solution for every Canadian is undoubtedly to have a better-educated population, capable of stepping up to homegrown opportunities in fast-growth startups.  Long term schemes are receiving adequate funding from Trudeau, but as with all generational shifts, improvements take time. This patience is where Trudeau's increasingly rare approach to immigration can pay supplementary dividends. Trudeau wants to mobilise his population while encouraging and enabling foreign workers to flourish within Canada. The Canadian Startup Visa is just one example of Trudeau's empowerment of immigrants.  Trudeau introduced his 'Global Skills Strategy' - recognising the value in attracting the 'best and the brightest' foreign citizens. Settling talent in Canada not only meets short-term talent requirements but also grows companies to ensure more jobs for the next generation of Canadians.    Infrastructure To Entice To reference back to Trudeau's Collision talk; he made an effort to touch on his government's improvements to welfare. An avid believer and supporter of younger generations, Trudeau has increased welfare benefits for young people, workers and new parents. He strives for a world where opportunities are open to all, no matter their age, background or social standing. Improving Canada's infrastructure has also been seen in more traditional physical 'brick and mortar' solutions. Trudeau has commissioned high-speed travel links across the unforgiving Canadian terrain, he's pushed better living conditions and environments within inner cities, and he's prioritising technology in the national curriculum. For example, learning coding languages has been introduced to early-education for Canadian children, as well as grants for extracurricular organisations looking to help teenagers pursue a career in tech.  During Collision, Trudeau goes as far as to claim that 'no government has ever invested as much in the tech sector' as has been during his current four-year tenure. The message couldn't be clearer; Trudeau's government is investing to ensure there is room for everyone to have a path to success in Canada.   Is It Working? In short: yes.  Canada's startups are basking in increasing amounts of foreign investment and growth. Contrast that with a consistent decrease in investment rates & funds for European and US counterparts, and it's fair to say that Canada's startup ecosystem shows enough promise to account for its lack of to-date maturity. A commonly cited example is that of Thomson Reuters. One of Canada's best companies recently moved back to Canada and has announced plans to hire over 1,500 new jobs there. Trudeau highlights that the return of Silicon Valley startups and organisations is a growing trend and one that Canada will reap the rewards from.  Trudeau hopes that the days of losing promising startups to the allure of the Bay Area are gone. With the return of Canadian startups comes with it an influx of new talent and capital ready to be injected straight into the Canadian ecosystem. A better quality of life, access to talent and space, positions Canada firmly above much of what Silicon Valley has to offer. Trudeau has been quick to capitalise on this returning promise; recently investing hundreds of millions into Canada’s VC infrastructure and even more into national AI research & development. In 2018 alone, VCs invested over $3.7billion across multiple Canadian startups. This level of investment is yet another sign that Canada nears the startup maturity it needs to compete with neighbouring tech monoliths (£10 billion market cap) as well as shoring up a future-proof national competitive edge. This growing startup potential is likely to flourish as Trudeau vows to continue moving funding and subsidies from traditionally successful oil & gas into sustainable and scalable industries within technology.    How Can We & Why Should We Implement Trudeau's Vision In The UK? Fortunately, Trudeau has shown that a government prepared to prioritise support for grass-roots and startups will reap the rewards sooner than one might expect.  Trudeau's vision works beyond its idealistic nature; absolute belief in diversity and its strengths is something to be commended, but no nation has the luxury of adopting investment approaches based purely on their utilitarian value. The rise of nationalism in the UK is a concern as startups are intrinsically reliant on cooperation and connections. More welcoming immigration policies would go a long way to reassuring UK startup founders that talent will be readily available. Further to this, a more comprehensive funding strategy from the British government to offer support to both early-stage ventures, as well as follow-on capital, is paramount. Reserving funds for expansion-series rounds is just as important as seed investment, but isn’t regarded as significantly right now. Funding for research and development projects focused on cutting edge commercial technology is just as crucial for the UK as it is for Canada. The UK is home to some of the world’s best educational institutions and tech-companies; London is the hub, but talent and innovation are spread far and wide across Britain. Funding to encourage and facilitate the collaboration of ideas without forcing arbitrary centralisation is vital to gain an edge in developing international markets.  Finally, watching back the video of Trudeau's speech, a sense of unashamed pride in his country's unique approaches is as inspiring as it is heartwarming. There is a growing consensus within London's startups that trying to replicate the freak success of Silicon Valley is, at best, outdated. Embracing Britain's startups and their ability to attract world-class talent must be a better way to grow.  Breaking the London-led, Silicon Valley eLite status-quo is undoubtedly a bold step, but for the brave few who achieve it, an unprecedented level of success could expand far beyond the self-imposed European bubble. Join Centuro Global today and gain access to the kind of "one-stop-shop" to startup growth that Justin Trudeau so greatly champions. 
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Aug 2019

Centuro Global Battleground

The Centuro Global Battleground gives startups the opportunity to get in the ring and pitch in front of a panel of pre-eminent judges for a £100,000 prize.  Applicants will be narrowed down to 20 startups who will present behind closed doors to a panel of judges in September 2019. Please note these pitches will be recorded and shared online, providing you with further marketing opportunities. 3 of the 20 startups will then be selected to pitch in front of a live audience in October 2019, with one lucky winner taking home the £100,000 prize. If you have the mettle to get in the ring and face our panel, apply now!  Applications from all sectors, countries and industries welcome.  Pitching applications close 23 August 2019. Once a ticket has been purchased, you will be sent further information by email.  Viewing tickets also available - be in the audience for a new, exciting startup pitching event! 
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Aug 2019

China-Britain AI Summit 2019

We are pleased to announce that we will be speaking at the China Britain AI Summit is being held in London on21st June 2019 at The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2 Savoy Place, London WC2R 0BL. Following on from previous successful summits, this platform presents opportunities between China and the UK creating global partnerships in the tech space making significant impact on the economy. The event promises to deliver panel discussions covering investment opportunities, the AI landscape in China and the UK and the role of smart technologies.
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Aug 2019

Tech London Advocates: Investor Showcase 2.0

Tech London Advocates hosted the largest private sector tech event of 2019 in London on May 2, 2019. The event was attended by over 600 people from the world of entrepreneurs and investors around the world. Some of the information shared by the panellists included a debate on the current trends with investment into UK businesses and how VC's are responding the lack of money available to start ups.   It was evident from all the speakers on the day that Brexit has had a significant impact on tech investment? It was reported that 39% of companies were now finding it harder to obtain investment in the UK as a direct result of Brexit. As an outcome of the challenges being experienced by the Tech world, TLA London will be creating venture capital working groups to help entrepreneurs raise more capital going forward.  
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Aug 2019

All Dressed Up and Everywhere to Go!

We are excited to announce that we’ve collaborated with fashion designer Raishma of Raishma Couture to support The Cherie Blair Foundation and The Hemraj Goyal Foundation in an entertaining evening of girl talk and fashion, an event not to be missed! The Cherie Blair Foundation The Cherie Blair Fouondation help release the potential of women entrepreneurs, so they can redefine the future. With our support, women and girls start and grow successful businesses – and reclaim the rights and freedoms they are too often denied.As a result, they earn a better living – but that’s only the beginning. Families flourish. Communities prosper. Attitudes shift. Economies grow. And women move the world in a whole new direction. http://www.cherieblairfoundation.org/ The Hemraj Goyal FoundationThe Hemraj Goyal Foundation is passionate about building a sustainable future for the children of today. The distribute funds to organisations with a clear vision, a vision for a world where children have the right to education, are free from suffering and abuse, women’s rights are empowered, and the disabled are offered a chance to fulfill their potential. https://hgf.org.uk/
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Aug 2019

Mayor of London announces historic trade mission to Pakistan

We are excited to announce that our Chairman, Asma Bashir was invited to accompany the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal and London and Partners, the Mayor of London's official promotional agency on their trade mission to Pakistan/India. Inspired by the great tech companies and incubators we've met and looking forward to better UK / Pakistan trade relations in the future.  
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Aug 2019

North Americas Fastest - Growing Tech Conference

We are excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at The Collision Conference 2019 at the Enercare Centre, Toronto Canada from May 20 – 23, 2019.  Collision is the fastest-growing tech conference in North America. Now in its fifth year, Collision has grown to over 25,000 attendees. Following the lead of our European event Web Summit, Collision has become a crossroads for the world’s largest buyers and sellers of technology, alongside many of the world’s most disruptive emerging technology companies.Inc. has said Collision run “North America’s fastest-growing tech conference”; The Wall Street Journal that “the giants of the web assemble” at Collision; USA Today that Collision is “the anti-CES”. We hope to see you there.
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Aug 2019

Centuro Global to speak at business and networking growth London

We were invited to Speak at a business growth and networking event in London, co-hosted by Dynamyk Events.
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Aug 2019

The Master Investor Show 2019

We are excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at Master Investor Show 2019. The show will be taking place at the Business Design Centre, London on April 6, 2019. The Master Investor Show will bring together an unparalleled combination of sponsorship, exhibitor and digital packages to maximise engagement with attendees before, during and after the event For the latest news leading up to the event, please visit https://investoraccess.masterinvestor.co.uk/ . We hope to see you there.
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Aug 2019

UK Business Awards 2018

We are excited to announce that our Chairman, Asma Bashir has been invited to judge this years finalist at the UK Business Awards. Now in its 3rd year, the UK Business Awards 2018 is back once again to reward the organisations, teams and individuals who are creating the future of business. The UKBA is a vehicle for sharing best practice and enables the organisations who enter to promote professional improvement, learning, and personal development. To win or be shortlisted at the UKBAs is a great honour that identifies you as superior in your industry. The awards trophies are affectionately called ‘The Dons’ in tribute to our Chairman Don Hales who has been a prominent figure in the Awards industry for the last two decades and founded many of the UK’s most respected business Awards. To know more about the awards, visit https://ukbizawards.com/about-the-awards
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Event
Aug 2019

CBI Annual Conference 2017

The renowned CBI Annual Conference returns on Monday 6th November 2017. The conference will be taking place in the heart of London’s most up and coming commercial district, Greenwich Peninsula, at the brand-new hotel InterContinental London – The O2.  Through the theme ‘A world of opportunities’ they will discuss key issues and drivers of change, such as globalisation and automation, that have emerged over recent months, focusing on what happens next for business, the workforce and society. The rest of the day will be made up of inspirational talks, challenging panels and exclusive interviews with A-list speakers, who will be giving their unique perspective on the topics of the day and answering delegate questions through live Q&A sessions.
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Event
Aug 2019

Telegraph Festival of Business

We thoroughly enjoyed the seventh Festival of Business took place on Tuesday 7th November, 2017 at The Brewery in central London.This one-day Festival, attracted an audience of 500+ senior executives from UK SME businesses, to hear and learn from some of the best-known names in British business, alongside leading politicians and thought leaders, to ensure the continued growth of Britain’s small businesses.Partners of the event, includes: Amazon, LDC and Samsung Knox
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Event
Aug 2019

Centuro Global to exhibit at the Business Funding show 2019

Asma Bashir - Senator United Kingdom We will be exhibiting at the UK’s only Business Funding Expo, The Business Funding Show. The Business Funding Show brings together leading players in the UK funding arena. The expo will be taking place at the East Wintergarden, London on 21st February 2019. the Business Funding Show (BFS) will bring together two key groups in the UK economy — entrepreneurs looking for funding and leading finance-providers. The event will host over 60 exhibitors representing various support and financial institutions providing Loans, Venture Capital, Private Investment, Grants, R&D Tax Credits and Advice on Investment-Readiness, Innovations, International Expansion and Scaling-up. All attendees to the event will have an ample opportunity to liaise with representatives of various leading financial institutions to discuss their funding options and secure the best solution in the most time-efficient way.  Up to 15 businesses will have the opportunity to pitch for funding from the main stage to the carefully-selected panel of funders. Our Chairman Asma Bashir will be amongst the funders critiquing start-ups pitching for funding.
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Event
Aug 2019

WBAF World Congress 2019

Asma Bashir – Senator United Kingdom We are excited to announce that our Chairman, Asma Bashir will to be appointed as Senator for the World Business Angel Investment Forum on February 18th 2019. We are looking forward to interacting with key leaders from around the world to help ease access to finance for start-ups and scale ups. The World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) is an international organisation aiming to ease access to finance for businesses from start up to scale up, with the ultimate goal of generating more jobs and more social justice worldwide. It is committed to collaborating globally to empower world economic development by creating innovative financial instruments for innovators, startups, and SMEs.
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Event
Aug 2019

Show me the money options to finance your business growth

We will be hosting our very first event, Show me the money: Options to finance your business growth.  Every company reaches a point in their life-cycle where a financial injection can really accelerate growth. Whether a seed investment to get your idea off the ground or sourcing finance to fund a new venture, this event will explain the various options available for startups and scaleups. We will be joined by a panel of experts including Crowdcube, demystifying the world of crowdfunding, Funding Options, explaining the array of debt financing options, as well as Forward Partners, an early stage venture capitalist, highlighting what VCs and Private Equity firms look for when investing in a business.  Registration starts at 6 pm, with a 6:30 pm start for the panel session. The event will be followed by networking drinks, giving you a chance to speak to some of the other attendees and speakers.  We sure you register on this page and we look forward to seeing you there! 
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Event
Aug 2019

StartUp 2018: The biggest start-up show of the year!

We attended a great event hosted by Enterprise Nation. The event is geared towards helping start-ups grow their business. The event was packed with over 100 expert speakers and inspiring entrepreneurs across 10 stages! Highlights included:  • Inspiring keynote speakers including Morning GloryVille founder Sam Moyo, The Office Group co-founder Olly Olsen and The Gym Group founder John Treharne • Show me the money zone: advice on raising and managing funds • Business essentials zone: register a company and get advice on IP, insurance, and mental health • Building an online business zone: get advice on how to grow online • The Digital stage: learn tips and tricks on SEO, blogging and more! • Facebook and Instagram zone: grow your business on these social media channels • Youth Enterprise zone: hear from inspiring millennial entrepreneurs • Build a brand zone: advice on logos, company names and brand personality • Start me up zone: insight from industries of food, fashion, technology, beauty and handmade businesses • Make me famous zone: hear from PR experts and journalists on how to get noticed • Adviser zone: visit the adviser zone for one to one business advice from experts. Find out who you can meet here • Exhibition area: grab your goody bag and visit the exhibition zone for lots of start-up freebies
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Event
Aug 2019

Asma Bashir speaking at the WEF entrepreneur awards

Speaker profile at WEF - Speaking at the Women Economic Forum arm of the global network ALL Ladies League (ALL), the Women Economic Forum (WEF) is an multinational forum platform enabling women and leaders from all walks of life worldwide to expand business opportunities and enhance personal influence through networking across borders while being inspired by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, authors, thought leaders and celebrities. 
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Press Release
Aug 2019

Centuro Global | Key tips for start-up

Centuro shares key tips for start-ups looking to secure business investments. Venue Details  
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Press Release
Aug 2019

How do you transform from a startup to a scale up?

Centuro shares key tips for start-ups looking to scale up. 
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Press Release
Aug 2019

Judge appointed for Great British Entrepreneur awards 2019

Asma Bashir – Judge & Mentor We are excited to announce that our Chairman, Asma Bashir has been appointed judge of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2019 as well as the official coach and mentor to their start up accelerator program for scaling businesses. Founded in 2013, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs and businesses in Great Britain. It celebrates the incredible stories that have taken entrepreneurs to where they are today, regardless of size or turnover. The 2019 programme sees the Awards held in five regions – Midlands, Wales & the South West, the North, Scotland & Northern Ireland, and London & the South East. Central to the ethos of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards is being more than just ‘an awards ceremony’ – its sense of community, a thriving eco-system of support all year round, providing opportunities for winners and finalists to connect and showcase their business.
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Press Release
Aug 2019

Intellectual property – how to protect yours as a start up or scale up

Many owners of start up and scale up businesses overlook the importance of protecting their intellectual property. Zain Ali (pictured) of Centuro Global explains what to do and why. Click the button below to read more.
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Blog
Aug 2019

5 Funding Options To Raise Your Startup Beyond Bootstrapping

TLDR: Multiple funding routes exist for your startup - some better than others. Whatever option you choose for investment, it requires a lot of time and perseverance. Centuro Global can help you along the way with mentorship as well as access to investors and exciting competitions with 6-figure prizes.   No. 1 Ingredient For Survival. No matter the idea, no matter the team and no matter the market, the most critical requirement for any startup to succeed over time is cold hard cash. With the need to compete intrinsically linked with the need to grow, there comes a time for every ambitious startup to look externally for funding. Hacking together an MVP, proving market demand, bolstering up your business model - the brightest teams will often learn to thrive off a shoestring budget, but bootstrapping can only get you so far.  Capital is the number one irreplaceable ingredient for business survival. With sufficient funding, any team can be improved, any product can be developed, and all processes can be scaled. There is a growing desire among young startups to sell off large chunks of equity to the highest or (even worse) first bidder. If you’ve created something worth investing in, it’s in everyone’s interest to find the ideal funding option for your startup.   Here are a few tips on route to raising you can adopt: (1) Bossing CompetitionsProbably the most exciting way to raise capital is through winning contests. The UK has some of the best competitions for you to win some capital, often without having to sacrifice equity or months chasing investors. Pros - The best contests often hold or attract media coverage to boost your startup’s publicity. Equity-free prizes Pitching practice Feedback opportunities Cons - Stages tend to be quite high-pressure. Requires a lot of confidence - participation often requires fielding public criticism and getting ‘grilled’ by a panel of judges. We love a good competition at Centuro Global, which is why we’re hosting a unique pitching battle in October. In true winner-takes-all style, there’s going to be £100,000 equity-free investment up for grabs. Find out more and apply here. (2) Crowdfund Like A Champ There’s an ongoing debate around the best crowdfunding platform right now. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Seedrs & Crowdcube are probably the top four in the UK, depending on whether you’re selling a product, service or platform. Every crowdfunding platform has its quirks and own approach, but whichever one you choose, there are a few universal advantages and disadvantages to communal capital. Pros - Creating a buzz. The best campaigns whip up the most public attention and will raise finance through new-found customers, not just investment! Proving market demand through crowdfunding is an increasingly attractive ‘tick in the box’ for future VC investment. Leapfrog any inexperienced competitors getting bogged down in intricacies involved in bringing an investor on board. Cons - Oversaturation is beginning to take effect on crowdfunding. There are dozens of crowdfunding platforms and thousands of startups jockeying for capital on each. Standing out to the crowd can feel like luck more than judgement. Not as hassle-free as expected - again due to the enormous popularity of crowdfunding, to successfully execute a campaign takes a lot of hard work and ‘man hours’. Often missing out by just a few hundred pounds can mean you get no return on your efforts.   (3) Incubate Then Accelerate Let’s agree on a quick fact right away: London’s startup ecosystem isn’t Silicon Valley. We don’t have the funny TV show, we don’t have the accelerators, and we certainly don’t have the weather. That isn’t to say there are no options if you’re looking for assistance beyond straight cash injections. London is home to some truly world-class accelerators and incubators: Techstars, Seedcamp, Wayra and FoundersFactory are just a few of many well-established options. Pros - Becoming part of an ambitious community is exciting. The mentorship and connections available at the top accelerators can be valuable. Cons - Often surrendering equity is required just to join - low valuations and low returns are inherent risks. With so many new accelerators, startup founders and increasingly feeling like they’re being ‘sold a dream’ when hunting for the best opportunities. At Centuro Global, we don’t consider ourselves as an accelerator or incubator - we’re striving to be something much better. By doing away with a reliance on ‘bootcamps’ and requiring participants to inhabit specific office space, we know we can offer the most flexible and effective service (business > beanbags…)   (4) Secure Angel Investment An ever-popular option, angel investors can act as individuals or groups called ‘syndicates’. This is the best option we’ve mentioned so far to start tapping into some ‘big bucks’ investment. With great tax-relief schemes in the UK, there’s never been a better time for high net-worth individuals to invest funds into promising startups. Pros - The best angel investors act as an advisor as well as a capital provider. Access to more substantial & flexible investment amounts without needing to sacrifice control or equity. Cons Can back-fire if you chose the wrong angel. When considering funds available, giving equity to an angel investor can be a lesser option compared to venture capitalists.   (5) Strap-In to a VC Funding Rocket Venture capitalists (VCs) can offer the most significant investment amounts short of IPO’ing your startup (and since you’re reading this, you probably aren’t looking to IPO any time soon…) VCs are funds managed by experienced professional investors, continually looking for the best opportunities to invest millions of pounds into. Pros - VCs possess the largest funds. Teams of professionals will scrutinise and improve your business with an eye to a quick and successful exit within 3-5 years. Cons - The determination for a quick exit means receiving VC funding can feel like being ‘strapped to a volatile rocket’. It will either take your business to unprecedented heights or crash and fail very quickly. VCs have stringent prerequisites to investment - very few startups meet the requirements for funding, and even fewer can demonstrate they know how to use it. This takes VCs out of reach for the vast majority of startups (6) BONUS: Not Mentioned Options: Bank Loans: Great for quick cash injections although not for the faint-hearted. Government Programmes: The potential for substantial funding if you have the patience and diligence to secure them. In conclusion,  there are numerous considerations and potential pitfalls to every funding option. Even the most experienced entrepreneurs can struggle to source investment and then trip up just before or after raising capital. Centuro Global specialises in helping startups attract funding and helps put proven models in place to make the most of whatever capital and equity you have available.   Find out more and apply today - http://bit.ly/CGRegister 
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Press Release
Aug 2019

London Entrepreneur Represents UK At World Business Angels Investment Forum

London based Entrepreneur, Asma Bashir, is encouraging international investment into UK start-ups, having represented UK businesses at the World Business Angels Investment forum, held in Istanbul last month. Having taken place on 18th February 2019, the World Business Angels Investment Forum is the globe’s largest annual gathering of early-stage and investment markets, hosted by the World Congress of Angel Investors, which is dedicated to guiding investment into promising start-up and scale-up businesses worldwide.
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Event
Aug 2019

Women Of MENA In Tech Conference

Join our Chairman Asma Bashir and many other inspiring speakers at the Women Of MENA In Tech Conference 2019, an inspiring, empowering and "One of A Kind " Conference! The event is open to ALL (WOMEN & MEN) In TECH (STEM). The Annual "Women Of MENA In Tech" Conference 2019 hosted in London at the iconic LONDON CITY HALL on Saturday June 22, 2019 is an all day conference including Keynotes, mentorship, panels and networking. As technology becomes more integrated in our society and creates a new paradigm, it is up to us to be intentional about equity, inclusion, and diverse representation in the space.The 2019 Women of MENA In Technology conference is first of its kind, bringing together speakers and attendees that have been powerful catalysts of change, and now will come together to connect and evolve ideas of bettering the technology landscape globally. Visit the link below for more information on tickets, Agenda, Speakers and Sponsorship.
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