Creating Wealth: Taking successful business experience overseas through a joint venture

8 July 2020
Expanding to an overseas market can prove to be challenging for many businesses that are successful in their domestic market.

Client profile: Three high-net-worth entrepreneurs from the Arabian Gulf, wanting to expand into an overseas market in the hospitality sector through a joint venture.
Challenges: Bringing a new franchise to a new market with limited practical experience on the ground. 
Vistra services provided: Complete end-to-end joint venture set up, corporate and legal services, advisory support as well as trust set-up and visa application.

Our clients, who are successful GCC-based entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector, were in negotiations with a new franchisor to bring the brand to London when they first approached us. Although they knew the market dynamics around their sector in the region, they had limited experience of carrying out business in the UK. 

In order to ensure the venture was a success, they required help with legal, regulations and finances and in effective implementation of various governance, banking and accounting processes. 

To get their business started in the UK, the client required complete end-to-end set-up, including accounting, company secretarial, tax and payroll processes and legal advice on the franchise agreement, commercial and employment contracts. Additionally, local directors and ongoing banking support were also needed.

The initial and critical phase was to ensure that the consortium was well advised on the terms of the franchise agreement and the commercial terms of the premises lease agreement, which in turn will help them in their negotiations.

As this was the first franchise agreement for the franchisor, it posed additional challenges that the legal team had to overcome. Our HR legal team advised on the various types of employment contracts available to them and their suitability for the various roles, as well as assisted on the implementation of HR policies and procedures. 

In parallel, the set-up of the legal structures and critical banking requirements was facilitated by using our existing, long-standing relationships with banking partners. Procedures were agreed and implemented for the payment of suppliers, tax and VAT registrations as well as ongoing compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

The launch date was met within a tight timetable and was well-received, catching the seasonal trade that was of utmost importance for the brand strategy and obligations under the franchise agreement. 

The client was exceedingly pleased with the full suite of services provided by Vistra in all aspects of their business expansion plans. Following this success, they hope to move into other countries, giving us the opportunity to extend our support and knowledge of the business as their partners. 

Ensuring a seamless move abroad

A daughter of one of the partners, who was representing the family in the venture, wanted to relocate to the UK with her family. We assisted in all aspects of applying for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa, as well as approaching several tax advisory firms to provide essential personal tax advice as part of the pre-arrival planning. The selected tax advisor accessed the case and recommended a Jersey trust to ring-fence certain international assets. This was then set-up and administered by our Jersey office.

If you would like to discuss how Vistra can help you create, preserve or transfer your wealth, please contact one of your local experts or visit our Private Wealth website.

Location Name and title Phone number
UK Chris Marquis
Global Head of Private Wealth
+44 203 872 7325
China     Sherrie Dai
Managing Director, North Asia
+86 21 6085 6188
Hong Kong SAR Yumei Zhang
Executive Director, Head of Private Wealth, Greater China
+852 2848 7580
India     Navita Yadav
Managing Director, India & Mauritius
+91 22 2659 3882
India     Neeraj Aggarwal
Director, Private Wealth, India
+91 22 2659 3659
United Arab Emirates Heba Al Emara
Managing Director, Middle East
+971 4 278 3600
Singapore Chris Burton
Managing Director, South East Asia
+65 6854 8010
Singapore Christine Tan
Managing Director, South East Asia
+65 6854 8061
Jersey     Clive Wright
Managing Director, Jersey
+44 1534 504560
Malta Dr. Anthony Galea
Managing Director, Marine & Aviation
+356 2258 6400
Switzerland     Sascha Züger
Managing Director, Switzerland
+41 44 296 68 70
UK David Rudge
Managing Director, Corporate & Private Wealth UK
+44 203 872 7334
UK Charlotte Phipps-Hornby
Director, Corporates, UK
+44 7552 749476
UK Julius Bozzino
Executive Director, Private Wealth, International
+44 203 872 7384
Cyprus Nick Terry
Managing Director, Cyprus
+357 25 817 411
Luxembourg Joost Knabben
Commercial Director, Luxembourg
+352 422 229 530
Luxembourg Farabi Zakaria
Commercial Director, Luxembourg
+352 422 229 398
USA Raúl Markos
Director, Private Wealth
+1 305 978 1742