London: World Capital of Business

Map - London


There has never been a better time to do business in London. The city retains its position as ‘European City of the Future’ in the fDi Intelligence European Cities & Regions of the Future Awards 2014/15; and been crowned number one in PwC’s Cities of Opportunity index, highlighting the city’s continuing strengths as a leading business destination.

Business thrives in London. The U.K. capital is home to 40% of the European Headquarters of the world’s top companies, more than any other European city, including 37% of the FT Global 500. London excels in industries including tech, finance, life sciences, and creative and is the place to capitalize on the exciting convergence between them. This has led to the growth of pioneering companies in new business areas including FinTech, AdTech, and MedTech, testament to the city’s continuing evolution as a world capital of business.



London’s prime asset is its social capital: a highly skilled, diverse and multi-cultural labor force. The city is rich in both local and global talent, with London being recognized as the number one relocation destination for professionals. More than 37% of its 5.4 million labor force is born abroad and over 230 languages are spoken, which adds to its ever-changing cultural vibrancy. Deloitte also rates London as Europe’s leading center for high-skill employment, with 60% of the inner London working-age population holding a degree.


Feeding the world’s ever-growing appetite for knowledge, London is recognized as a world center of excellence in research and education, with one of the largest critical masses of educational and academic facilities anywhere in the world, including four universities in the world top 40. Over 350,000 students are currently studying at London higher education institutions, of which more than 100,000 are overseas nationals, including more than 6,000 American students.


As well as the welcoming business climate, there are a number of initiatives to help companies set up in London:

• Entrepreneurship visas: The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is available to business owners and founders, and allows entrepreneurs to stay in the U.K. for up to three years and four months
• Progressive cuts in corporation tax: the current 20% rate of mainstream corporation tax is currently the lowest in the G7 and joint lowest in G20
• R&D tax incentives – The incentives are most attractive for SMEs, who can claim a deduction of 230% of R&D expenditure
• Entrepreneur’s relief from capital gains tax: doubled from $7.5 million to $15 million from April 2011
• EIS: Income tax relief on enterprise investment schemes (EIS) and venture capital trusts (30% tax relief on investments up to $1.53 million)
• Patent Box: a scheme that allows companies to apply a 10% corporation tax to all profits attributable to qualifying patents, whether paid separately as royalties or embedded in the sales price of products


London has benefited from huge investment pre-and postdating the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including impressive transport, infrastructure and new business, retail and residential quarters. London is also transforming itself to accommodate growth in its population of 1 million over the next two decades. Among the largest and most exciting development projects that are taking place in London are Crossrail, King’s Cross, Battersea, and the Old Oak Common developments.


London’s strong business infrastructure provides the perfect conditions for a broad range of sectors and industries to build, grow and succeed. Creative industries, tech, financial services, life sciences, business services, real estate, environment, clean-tech, manufacturing, oil and gas, transport, and logistics all make up the rich tapestry of the business world in London.


London, Europe’s fastest growing digital cluster, is home to more than 38,000 digital tech companies and 155,600 digital technology professionals. Small start-ups to large corporates thrive in London’s tech scene. The capital is also uniquely placed to leverage its traditional strengths to create new business opportunities, with the city being home to more fintech start-ups than anywhere else in Europe. In 2014, London tech companies landed more than $1.4bn of investment – double the previous full-year record of $719 million raised during 2013.


London leads the world in financial services, with the expertise and the sectors that provide capital, investment and advice to businesses.

London is the historical home of banking and investment. Its reputation for stability and business-friendly regulation stretches back over centuries. Today, London is Europe’s largest investment banking center. It leads the world in a range of financial services, including FX trading, international equities trading, fund management, derivatives, international insurance, and bonds trading.


London is home to one of the most connected research and commercial life science ecosystems in the world. London forms one of the most dynamic life science networks in Europe, as part of the ‘golden triangle’ with Cambridge and Oxford.

With the launch of the MedCity organization, the Mayor of London’s vision is to position London and the greater southeast of England as a world leading, interconnected region for life science research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization.

Other future developments that demonstrate London’s life sciences ambitions are the Crick Institute and Imperial West.


London & Partners is the Mayor of London’s official company for London. We help international companies to set up and expand their business in London. Our services are fully funded and confidential, and our team of experts can help businesses on a wide range of issues:

• We can help you build the business case for London
• We show you what London offers your business, and we connect you to it
• We know London inside out. We find the best people from London’s huge pool of talent and skills, places and opportunities for your business
• We understand the different relocation issues of a multinational company and a business start-up, and we tailor our service to meet the needs of both
• We help at every stage of the process – from your initial enquiry to your first few months in London. And it won’t cost you anything
• We connect you to our business networks so you can learn from companies that are already established in London
• We make sure you have all the information you need to make the best decisions for your business – we’ll give you sector-specific analysis, contacts and advice
• We do everything we can to help your business succeed and grow in London

There are plenty of reasons for businesses to consider London for relocation or expansion in 2015 and beyond. London & Partners can help investors take advantage of the opportunities London has to offer their specific sectors and set businesses on the right path in the world’s most global city.

Further Information


For more information contact:

Craig Harrison
Head of North America
London & Partners
6th Floor
2 More London Riverside
London, SE1 2RR

Tel: +44 (0) 207 234 5889
Email: charrison@londonandpartners.com

Pru Ashby
Vice President, Business Development
London & Partners
845 3rd Ave.
9th Floor
New York, NY 10022

Tel: +1 212-745-0481
Email: pashby@londonandpartners.com

Penny Harwood
Vice President, Business Development
London & Partners
415 Jackson St., Suite B
San Francisco, CA 94111

Tel: +1 415-391-0191
Email: pharwood@londonandpartners.com

Website: invest.london
Twitter: @L_PBusiness
LinkedIn: Follow our company page and join ‘London & Partners FDI Group’


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