International Business Services

Richard Burnett Chief Marketing Officer

Whether you’re a business already trading overseas, or an overseas business looking to trade in the UK, or even a business owner yet to accomplish your international ambitions, then you’ve come to the right place.

Fortus have a team of specialists here in the UK to help you with financial management, legislation, people, property, international tax, and more. Not only that, but we’re also part of Morison Global, the 9th largest association of leading professional service firms globally, providing cross-border accounting, auditing, tax and consulting support to business owners.

Our International Team

We draw on considerable expertise from across Fortus to meet the international needs of our clients, and to support other Morison Global association members and their own clients.

Expanding internationally for the first time?

You’re ready to export or trade internationally for the first time. Now what? There’s a whole world out there for you to conquer but, if you’ve only traded domestically until now, there are many things that you perhaps haven’t considered. Don’t go it alone, seek advisors you can trust and learn from others who’ve taken the international leap before you.

Whether it’s choosing the right countries to expand into, establishing local links, tax planning, or insight into the local market and culture, we can help.

Making it in new international territories

Have you already expanded into other countries but have ambitions to expand even further? Maybe you’re looking at emerging (and challenging) markets? It’s important to consider the unique entrance strategies into those markets. What’s worked in one country, won’t always work in another. Underlying economic, demographic, cultural and regulatory factors differ and often the ‘rules of engagement’ must be changed.

We can help you take the courageous step into your next foreign market and answer all the questions you’re likely to have before you make your move.

Going mobile, going global

With more and more businesses hiring remote workers alongside expanding their global presence, global mobility’s becoming increasingly more important to the modern workplace.

Embracing such strategy is often a daunting prospect for business owners, but the benefits are abundant for those that do – successful expansion, fast growth, increased profitability, improved employee acquisition and retention.

It’s also a complicated affair. Immigration, taxes, employee benefits, acclimatisation, payroll, and compliance on a global scale can cause roadblocks to a business’s master scale up plan if you don’t have an international specialist guiding you through these matters.

Setting up in the UK

The UK continues to offer great incentives to make it a world leading country in which to do business. If you’re considering trading or investing in the UK, then you should know we work with many UK subsidiaries of overseas groups. There are plenty of opportunities and initiatives designed to incentivise foreign investment – whether it’s access to funding, tax reliefs, R&D tax credits, annual investment allowances, finding the right commercial property, or hiring the right people.

Adhering to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) rule book

UK accounting standards are largely underpinned by the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) framework, the exceptions being those for micro-sized entities. It’s currently the required accounting framework in more than 120 countries.

The rules are there to ensure consistency, clarity and coherence of financial reporting, all whilst considering the cost of doing so. Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) 100 outlines the financial reporting requirements for UK companies, with the principal standards as follows:

  • FRS 101 – a reduced IFRS disclosure framework for the individual financial statements of group members included in publicly available consolidated financial statements.
  • FRS 102 – UK Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) based on IFRS for SMEs.
  • FRS 105 – Micro entities (non-IFRS based).

At Fortus, many of our clients are SMEs however still report under IFRS and FRS 101 for a whole host of different reasons. Commons reasons include:

  • Providing a better financial representation of a company’s business model.
  • Aligning with group accounting policies.
  • Adapting to industry and sector trends.
  • Supporting plans for international expansion.
  • Supporting plans for additional investment.
  • Meeting investor requirements.
  • Developing management skill sets.
  • Transparency and accountability.

Technical IFRS expertise

Through his role as Audit and Accounts Director at Fortus, Richard Gillespie’s gained significant experience of, and interest in, providing international financial reporting services to our clients – start-ups through to large, multi-national groups.

Overseeing our specialist International accounting service, Richard and our team possess strong technical knowledge of IFRS, meaning they’re well placed to help with the following:

  • Preparation of IFRS (or FRS 101 where qualifying) compliant financial statements.
  • Impact assessments between UK and international reporting standards.
  • Assistance with transition from UK GAAP.
  • Technical advice/guidance on complex transactions.
  • Group audit services to UK owned companies.
  • Subsidiary audit services to overseas owned groups.

Cross-border confidence

Corporate Tax

EU and US businesses that import and sell products in the UK are often caught off-guard by UK customs and VAT rules. There’s a common misconception that such businesses don’t have any UK exposure unless they open an office or warehouse, or employ people on the ground.

We can help with…

  • Navigating cross-border complexities and requirements so businesses can set up an efficient route into UK markets, allowing them to import and sell their products.
  • VAT compliance, including accounting and reclaiming import VAT.

One example client of ours needed to register for UK VAT, obtain a UK import declaration number and get set up to file UK VAT and import VAT returns. We guided them through the process from start to finish, enabling them to conduct their business in line with their ambitious expansion plans.

Personal Tax

As well as dealing with corporate tax issues alongside our Morison Global associates, we’re frequently asked to advise individuals on many personal tax issues, across a whole host of international matters.

Working outside the home country doesn’t only apply to employees who are seconded, but also to those who may live in one country and work in another. This is one of many examples where employers and employees need our assistance with the UK tax and legal aspects.

Other areas our dedicated team can advise on:

  • Taxation of investment opportunities.
  • Residency & domicile advice.
  • Pension fund withdrawals.
  • Disposing of assets in the UK.
  • Generic UK income tax rates & allowances.
  • Preparing & filing UK Self-Assessment Tax Returns.
  • Double Taxation Agreements.
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT).
  • Inheritance tax planning.

Here are a few examples where our team’s supported clients through cross-border complexities…

AVOIDING DOUBLE TAXATION – We assisted an individual who was resident in the UK longer than expected due to Covid restrictions. They needed to understand their residence position and were concerned about double taxation. We worked alongside our Morison Global counterparts in the country where they were due to move to, to establish their residency and tax position.

UK, CANADA GROWTH AND DOMICILE – As part of our strategic planning with our client, they identified Canada as a growth market for their business. We advised them on the structure of their Canadian subsidiary, supported them in the opening of local bank accounts (a difficult process which highlights the need for good local accountants), as well as setting up local payroll and accounting for local payroll taxes. Our team worked with local accountants to ensure the share structure incentivised the key local employees in a tax efficient manner, and also advised on transfer pricing (the prices of goods and services exchanged between companies under common control).

Additionally, we supported a UK domiciled client of ours who was living in Canada but due to employment reasons, wanted to return to the UK. They needed our advice on UK and Canadian tax considerations, and we’re working closely with our Canadian associates to ensure they have the right advice from both countries’ perspectives.

STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL SECONDMENT – We’ve worked alongside our associates in Belgium to advise on the UK tax and legal implications on an individual being seconded to the UK. Our Tax and People Services teams have come together to ensure both the individual and their employer understand all the necessary implications, and importantly, are fully compliant.

ROMANIA TO UK RESIDENCY – A Romanian firm of accountants came to us to support a Romanian citizen client who was working in the country based on a local employment contract with a Romanian employer. The individual was looking to move to the UK permanently with their family and the activity for the Romanian company would be entirely performed in the UK. After their move to the UK, their Romanian tax residency would change and so they required advice from our team on several topics including UK income tax rates and allowances, pension, and healthcare right, permanent establishments, and immigration requirements.

STATESIDE & FILED – An American entertainer had carried out some work in the UK and we were engaged by their American accountant to prepare and file the UK Self-Assessment Tax Return. Although the individual wasn’t resident in the UK, they had performed and made substantial earnings whilst in the country, therefore making them liable to tax. We also have a client who we put in touch with our US associates to assist with a property transaction involving calculating taxes due and filing the necessary federal and state returns.

PENSION POTS ON THE MOVE – We’ve supported many individuals who have at some point worked in the UK in their younger years and in later years, have moved abroad. When working in the UK they had pension pots and now at retirement age, need advice on how to withdraw from those UK pensions and what the tax consequences are, both in the UK and their new country of residence.

More about Morison Global

Our team here in the UK can offer a comprehensive range of services but it’s important to us that you deal with the right people in each country you operate within, so we’ll only refer you to firms who we know meet our own rigorous standards.

Independent Member Morison Global - Logo

To make sure you receive top quality advice across the globe, we’re part of the Morison Global* community, the 9th largest international association of professional service firms in the world. With over 300 offices in 74 countries, Morison Global’s mission is to provide people with access to high-quality services in all major locations globally. Their selection process for member firms is rigorous, designed to recruit only outstanding independent member firms into their global association. They’ve built a strong reputation across all continents and are an association that brings trust and confidence.

Fortus are proud to be part of the Morison Global’s ‘family’ of member firms. Through our association, and global network we’ve built, we’ve successfully supported many of our clients achieve their international ambitions.

“Fortus has been an invaluable member to Morison Global since they joined in 2020.

We’re incredibly proud of the collaborative relationship we’ve built, and our shared commitment to service delivery, driving positive change, and creating opportunities.

I consider the Fortus client experience to be best in class, and the insights and expertise they offer to be invaluable to our members’ growing client needs. As well, the Fortus team actively participates in our various events including our international conference panel discussions which cover a whole host of topics relevant to our members, for example, the importance of culture in the workplace and what the accountancy practice of the future might look like.

Importantly, they’ve supported us on a number of our strategic initiatives by sharing their knowledge, expertise and best practices on many of our successful, developmental projects, such as our website branding, member portal, and referral database. They’re continuing to provide us, our members, and their clients with genuine, valuable advice. We couldn’t ask for anything more from a Morison Global independent member firm.”

Kenny Young, CEO – Morison Global

Breaking language barriers

Whilst English is the official language of communication and business correspondence across the world, we appreciate it’s great to be able to have a business conversation in your own language. Within our team we can speak at a business level in French, Polish and Romanian. Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bangladeshi and Urdu. Mandarin, Cantonese, and even Ghanaian, Malawi and Tagalog!

*Morison Global is an international association of independently owned and operated professional firms. Professional services are provided by individual member firms. Morison Global does not provide professional services in its own right. No member firm has liability for the acts or omissions of any other member firm arising from its membership of Morison Global.

"They’ve given us the added layer of confidence we needed and there are so many things we don’t have to worry about now – Fortus are just dealing with it. You can’t put a price on that feeling."

Anthony Sheret Colophon Foundry


So, if you want to work with advisors who will understand you and work with you to make a real difference, then contact us now.

Email Richard

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Not convinced yet and want more detail about our international affiliation? We’re only too happy to give you more information.

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