By Daniel Hunter

A growing number of overseas companies are seeking advice about setting up in the Sheffield region, a tax specialist says.

Peter Kennan, a partner with Sheffield-based independent chartered accountants and specialist business advisers Hawsons, of Glossop Road, points to an increase in requests to his firm for assistance, coupled with more local enterprises looking to expand operations abroad, as being a healthy sign that global activity is boosting the area's economy.

Hawsons is a member of HLB International, a network of independent accounting firms and business advisers whose participating firms in over 100 countries provide strategic, business and taxation advice.

But, for all the opportunities, Peter adds, there are challenges and pitfalls for companies wanting to come to the UK and also for those in our area intending to grow business abroad.

"The laws in the UK that regulate business and taxes are numerous and complex and so before any overseas businesses invest, they have to properly consider the best structure.

"The main challenge for our local companies entering foreign markets lies in the increasingly aggressive attitude of tax authorities around the world to protect their tax base. There is also a tendency for authorities to make unilateral decisions, often ending in the potential for double taxation."

But, he says, companies shouldn't be put off because the potential benefits are considerable and difficulties can be easily overcome with the right advice.

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