Whether you are just starting to dip your toes into international waters, or you already have a mature global presence, there are numerous complex issues which need to be considered, including:

  • Taxable presence overseas
  • Branch versus a subsidiary
  • Owning an overseas company
  • Overseas agents
  • Anti avoidance rules
  • Documentation and procedures

Whatever the issue, Bishop Fleming has substantial knowledge and experience of advising on international trade issues. We have many international clients that rely on us to ensure that they not only remain compliant with regulations, but are also made aware of the numerous planning opportunities available.

With Bishop Fleming as your advisers, you can deal internationally in confidence without it being a big deal.


Our specialist International Trade Team


Robert Davey

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Chris Walklett

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Issues to consider when dealing with international trade


VAT is a major concern. It’s a complex area, so it’s essential to have an adviser on board who can quickly identify any VAT issues that may be on the horizon and to point out ways of mitigating the tax.

The VAT rules are different for the supply of goods or services and will also vary dependent on the nature and location of the customer. With Bishop Fleming, you can focus on building your business in the knowledge that the VAT issues are covered.


Issues which can have an effect on exports include geography, the nature of the customer, the level of customs duties, currency conversion, local regulations, etc. The regimes are different for the European Union and for the rest of the world.

It’s vital to be alert to the planning opportunities, as well as being aware of the pitfalls such as withholding tax.

Goods and Services

The supply of goods or services each has its own risks and regulations.

With goods, there are issues for example to do with physical stocks, customs duties, warehousing, shipping, documentation, dependent agents, overseas stores, withholding taxes, etc. There could also be an issue with whether you have created a permanent establishment in another country for tax purposes.

With services, there can be issues for example with the place of supply (and the January 2015 changes to the digital economy), warranties and maintenance.

You may also need advice on the Transfer Pricing rules which oblige you to apply arm’s length principles to the calculation of profits. There are exemptions which depend on the size of the company.

International Tax

We have considerable expertise in international tax and we have access to a worldwide Kreston network of contacts with whom we liaise. There is more information on our International Tax Page.


International Trade News


Three Brexits to Muse Over

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As Parliament debates the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration for the Future Framework, we have set out below some of the key issues businesses need to consider in each of the three likely […]

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Draft Brexit Treaty published, but what happens now? – Updated

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After many months of intense negotiations, the UK government and EU have published a draft Brexit treaty that sets out the future relationship between the UK and EU. The UK will leave the EU on […]

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