Case study

HS Trade

“With this substantial cash benefit, we've been able to reinvest into the growth of our business" Michael Gromett, Owner, HS Trade

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Supported by the Fortus team, Heat Seal Trade Windows (HS Trade) has been able to claim back what they’re deservedly entitled to, based on the patent-licensed manufacturing process they’re using.


Research & Development (R&D) tax relief and other innovation tax reliefs are a key part of the government’s strategy to encourage investment in innovation in the UK, but there are two common assumptions made by UK business owners. One, they’re not undertaking any qualifying R&D work, and two, it’s far too difficult to make a successful claim.

Michael Gromett, Owner of Lincolnshire-based window and door manufacturer HS Trade, admits he firmly held these assumptions before he was introduced to Fortus’ dedicated Innovation Tax Reliefs team.


HS Trade are considered experts in trade UPVC windows, trusted by 100s of installers and trade customers across the UK. It’s no surprise they’ve received awards for their manufacturing facility based in Grantham, which they’ve made significant investment into.

Inside you’ll find a skilful team hand-crafting their varied product range of windows and doors to the exacting high standards of their client base. Their focus now is to expand production output to meet growing demand and ensure a timely manufacturing timescale for new orders.


One client commission of note was to manufacture a distinctive style of window to remain in keeping with the style of a listed building. To achieve a product that looked just like the original, HS Trade got to work, manufacturing the desired windows using a licensed, patented process.

Now, the company’s successfully meeting the ongoing requirements of purchasers and specifiers who are looking for a window that matches the original style of the building, like-for-like, in a colour of their choice.

That, right there, is eligibility for tax relief…

Over one hundred thousand pounds’ worth.

Michael’s response? “I’m gobsmacked. We were referred to Fortus by another local business for their accounting and outsourcing expertise, so initially I only approached them for accountancy support. Never would I have imagined a claim of this magnitude would be possible. I honestly thought it would be a waste of time.”

Fortus’ initial assignment from HS Trade was to support with their day-to-day accounts – but with much broader expertise and in-house resource across innovation tax reliefs, the team knew there was an unidentified opportunity for Michael to capitalise on. More specifically, the UK Patent Box.

“Fortus looked at our business holistically, identifying how they could maximise our tax relief entitlement using a range of reliefs, not just relying on R&D specific claims,” says Michael.

“When the team toured our facility for the first time, I got the impression they were genuinely invested in us; our story and success, asking questions to get an in-depth understanding of our manufacturing processes, operations and people.

“Since then, we’ve built a solid – and social – working relationship, and I’ll be open in saying, I’d never question a Fortus fee ever again! I wholeheartedly trust their advice, whether it’s on our general accounting needs or complex innovation claims.” he adds.

HS Trade continues to thrive and grow. Supported by the Fortus team, they’ve been able to claim back what they’re deservedly entitled to (over £100,000 in a considerably short space of time), based on the patent-licensed manufacturing process they’re using.

“With this substantial cash benefit, we’ve been able to reinvest into the growth of our business. And the great news is, with Fortus taking care of innovation-related claims on our behalf, I can focus my time on our people, our facility, and keeping our clients happy.

I can’t thank the team enough for ‘opening doors’ I didn’t know could be opened.”


Manufacturing continues to represent the highest number of claims made in the UK, with many companies not recognising the true extent of their own innovation and therefore, the potential cashflow that can be injected back into the business through R&D and other innovation-related claims.

HS Trade can now claim annually for the Patent Box relief, so long as the company remains in profit and continues to manufacture their product using the patented technology and process.

Credit where credit's due

“HS Trade have used their experience from the last 20 years to keep innovating and successfully improving their manufacturing operations. Such success needs to be celebrated and rewarded.

It gives us a huge sense of pride when we help business owners, like Michael, recognise their company’s activities as ‘innovation’ and secure cash injections to fuel growth even further. A clear and bright future lies ahead for HS Trade.”

Vic Ulfik Head of Innovations Tax Reliefs
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"Never would I have imagined a claim of this magnitude would be possible. I honestly thought it would be a waste of time."

Michael Gromett HS Trade