Offering expanding business owners a gateway to global markets and home to a diverse set of multinational companies and industries, Nick Preskey, Inward Investment Manager at Locate Isle of Man, explains why the Isle of Man is proving to be the jurisdiction of choice for South African and other international entrepreneurs looking to grow and internationalise their business offering.
The Isle of Man is a well-regarded business centre and home to many of the world’s foremost organisations, leading the way in many new and diverse sectors. An internationally recognised digital centre of excellence and home to an award-winning financial and professional services sector, the Island is renowned for its innovation, and diversified economy, with industries such as tech, eGaming, engineering and manufacturing, and new and emerging sectors including medicinal cannabis, bio tech and esports.
With many strong traditions and longstanding business partnerships with South Africa, the Isle of Man offers South African and other international business owners a gateway to global markets with services spanning a broad range of finance industries including banking, fiduciaries, insurance, pensions, and wealth management, with familiar firms and institutions across both jurisdictions including Nedbank, Standard Bank and Derivco.
Along with a diverse set of global companies and innovative sectors, the Island’s favourable economic climate provides the perfect business breeding ground for entrepreneurs requiring access and expansion into international markets.
Stable Jurisdiction & Supportive Government
An economically stable and politically advanced jurisdiction (the Island has the oldest continuous parliament in existence in the world), the Isle of Man appeals to both individuals and businesses. A supportive business ecosystem, a progressive regulator and excellent legal system (similar to British common law), provides a fantastic commercial environment where international business owners can align their operation with an open Government.
Through a mixture of Government funding and support schemes, a low taxation regime and access to a secure infrastructure sufficient to house global organisations, the Isle of Man has been, and continues to be a hub for entrepreneurialism. In the last five years alone, the Isle of Man Government’s Department for Enterprise has supported 469 small businesses through its Micro Business Grant Scheme – designed to give start-ups and early stage businesses the necessary financial support, training and business acumen to get their business off the ground.
Progressive Immigration System
Despite being outside of the UK, the Isle of Man offers both a progressive and straightforward immigration system that allows for a greater freedom of movement – and skills to the Island. Well-defined immigration routes provide business owners with the opportunity to import culture and values, so they can maintain the ideals and ‘feel’ of their company to the Island.
For those looking to establish or scale up an existing business in the Isle of Man, the Isle of Man Government’s Business Migrant Visa can make this possible. This progressive immigration route is available to any type of business, operating in any type of sector or industry. In comparison to other jurisdictions, in particular the UK, the criteria to achieve indefinite leave to remain in the Island, is far more favourable.
For businesses looking for support with recruitment off Island, the Isle of Man Government’s Employee Relocation Incentive (ERI) provides a grant of up to £10,000 towards the cost of relocating an employee to the Isle of Man. The scheme, which has been designed to encourage job growth and the import of skills from outside of the Isle of Man in certain sectors, is perfect for international businesses looking for skilled workers and continued business growth and success.
Attractive Tax Regime
Ranked as one of the best places to live for expats in the British Isles, Isle of Man residents enjoy some of the lowest personal tax rates in Europe – which are capped at 20%. There is also no inheritance tax or stamp duty on house purchases.
With no capital gains tax, the Island’s low taxation regime is also incredibly beneficial for business owners – with some business sectors benefitting from 0% corporation tax, dramatically lowering company overheads.
The Isle of Man is home to a world-class telecommunications infrastructure which includes an extensive broadband network and a number of wi-fi hotspots. Everybody – residents and businesses alike – benefit from great internet connectivity. In fact 99% of the Isle of Man’s population has access to 4G coverage – a must for any business owner who needs to stay connected.
Despite its location in the middle of the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man is remarkably well connected. The Isle of Man has air links with many major airports situated in the UK, Channel Islands, Ireland and further afield along with sea links to the UK and Ireland – a must for any business owner looking to expand into the UK, Europe and beyond.
The Island’s size means that new businesses are never far from their target market and that gives an unparalleled opportunity to build contacts and network at relatively low costs – a must for any new business venture. If you have a quality product or service, the Isle of Man is the place to develop and scale it into a viable business.
Excellent Lifestyle Offering
Home to a significant South African expat population, the Isle of Man has been ranked as the best place to live for expats in the British Isles, and was recently declared the safest place to live in the British Isles.
Measuring 33 miles long and 13 miles wide, the Island is compact and is not only home to a vibrant business centre, but some of the British Isles most stunningly diverse natural landscapes. This means the average commute time is only 20 minutes, and with its robust infrastructure and little overcrowding, there is ample space to breath and enjoy what the Island has to offer.
With 86% of residents rating their quality of life as ‘excellent’, work-life balance is very much championed in the Isle of Man and is reflective of a holistic Island lifestyle – from business opportunities and community to its abundance of outdoor activities and vibrant independent food and drink scene.
Combining all of these factors makes the Isle of Man an increasingly popular jurisdiction for business owners looking to internationalise their business in an environment where they can professionally – and personally thrive.
Locate Isle of Man forms part of the Isle of Man Government’s Department for Enterprise. Their vision is to promote the Isle of Man as an attractive destination where people choose to live and work and where businesses and entrepreneurs choose to locate and invest, finding the workers they need to drive the Island’s economic growth and diversification.
The Locate Isle of Man website is an online resource that provides a wealth of information for businesses and individuals considering a relocation to the Isle of Man.