Every business contains or has the potential to develop Intellectual Property! Be it in the form of a brand, logo, a catch phrase, design, formula, code, unique activity or the like.

It is vital to identify, value, protect and develop your IP as soon as is feasible. Protection not only involves registration, but savvy structuring to separate IP as an asset, from operational creditors as well as the South African Revenue Services!!

As IP is not a physical asset, it is capable of being valued, registered and owned anywhere on the planet. It is therefore sage to do so in a jurisdiction that offers the optimal benefits.

The Paris Convention is the primary convention protecting Trademarks with over 90 member states including: The USA, most of the EU and Australia. It offers reciprocal protection opportunities for member states. SA is not a member and to boot, provides precious little if any fiscal benefits in the form of grants, funding or tax incentives for research and development of IP.

As disadvantageous as SA may be, IP cannot merely be exported without real commercial purpose, as SARS will demand its part of the action. Tax legitimate hedging of your IP in a preferential jurisdiction requires real benefit, beyond mere tax avoidance e.g. Funding, better access and/or proximity to markets, skills, time zone parity, common language etc.

IP is the best opportunity for any business to hedge in hard currency and, in the context of SA, Ireland cannot be beaten as a home for IP. It is a member of Paris Convention as well as the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and provides ample R&D funding for markets, access to EU markets, a common language, skills and time zone parity. Almost every global brand you can think of houses its IP and European HQ in Ireland, including 4 of the world’s top 5 brands: Apple, Microsoft, Google & Facebook.

Ireland is not a “NO” but a “LOW-TAX” haven, with a corporate tax rate of 12.5% and zero tax on specified Global IP royalties Double Taxation Agreements with SA and most other G20 countries.

The recent media hype surrounding the case of Apple and the EU is not be interpreted to cast dispersion on the many other compliant Multinationals in Ireland. Apple paid far less tax than the already Low rates and was rightly fined by the EU. Ironically, it is ultimately not Apple nor Ireland that will suffer but the US, as the penalty off against Apple’s US tax liability.

As dual SA/Irish national I am only too familiar with clients’ ecstatic with reciprocal fiscal benefits and those disgruntled by the lack thereof. And with more funding and support from EU than ever in the wake of Brexit, timing could not be better.

While IP externalisation can be expensive, we provide a platform for smaller brands to minimise costs and improve access to funding, towards building a global brand.

The sooner one values and externalises IP the better, as the greater its value the greater the penalty and limitations in terms of transfer pricing. As illustrated by the following example:-

A local brand expanding globally waited for global profits (mainly from the EU, US and Australia) to reach the R10m mark before it became disgruntled after having to pay over R3m in tax thereon. Had the owner of the brand registered its IP in Ireland it would not only have had access to millions of Euros in grant funding but been liable for ZERO tax on Royalties earned.

Once global is revenue earned and taxable in SA, it then becomes a taxing exercise to unravel the IP revenue from the SARS net.

Hedging IP does not mean one is unable to register or Trade in SA. Although as SA is not a Paris Conventions member, you will have to re-file with CIPC and ensure that transfer pricing guidelines are observed.

For more information on how to protect, hedge and expand your brand contact us now for a complimentary consultation.

Every business contains or has the potential to develop Intellectual Property! Be it in the form of a brand, logo, a catch phrase, design, formula, code, unique activity or the like.

It is vital to identify, value, protect and develop your IP as soon as is feasible. Protection not only involves registration, but savvy structuring to separate IP as an asset, from operational creditors as well as SARS!!

As IP is not a physical asset, it is capable of being valued, registered and owned anywhere on the planet. It is therefore sage to do so in a jurisdiction that offers the optimal benefits.

The Paris Convention is the primary convention protecting Trademarks with over 90 member states including: The USA, most of the EU and Australia. It offers reciprocal protection opportunities for member states. SA is not a member and to boot, provides precious little if any fiscal benefits in the form of grants, funding or tax incentives for research and development of IP.

As disadvantageous as SA may be, IP cannot merely be exported without real commercial purpose, as SARS will demand its part of the action. Tax legitimate hedging of your IP in a preferential jurisdiction requires real benefit, beyond mere tax avoidance e.g. Funding, better access and/or proximity to markets, skills, time zone parity, common language etc.

IP is the best opportunity for any business to hedge in hard currency and, in the context of SA, Ireland cannot be beaten as a home for IP. It is a member of Paris Convention as well as the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and provides ample R&D funding for markets, access to EU markets, a common language, skills and time zone parity. Almost every global brand you can think of houses its IP and European HQ in Ireland, including 4 of the world’s top 5 brands: Apple, Microsoft, Google & Facebook.

Ireland is not a “NO” but a “LOW-TAX” haven, with a corporate tax rate of 12.5% and zero tax on specified Global IP royalties DTAs with SA and most other G20 countries.

The recent media hype surrounding the case of Apple and the EU must not be confused to other legitimate Multinationals paying appropriate taxes in Ireland. Apple paid far less tax than the already Low rates and was rightly fined by the EU. Ironically, it is ultimately not Apple nor Ireland that will suffer but the US, as the penalty off against Apple’s US tax liability.

As dual SA/Irish national I am only too familiar with clients’ ecstatic with reciprocal fiscal benefits and those disgruntled by the lack thereof. And with more funding and support from EU than ever in the wake of Brexit, timing could not be better.

While IP externalisation can be expensive, we provide a platform for smaller brands to minimise costs and improve access to funding, towards building a global brand.

The sooner one values and externalises IP the better, as the greater the value at the time the greater the penalty and limitations in terms of transfer pricing. As illustrated by the following example:-

A local brand expanding globally waits for global profits, mainly from the EU, US and Australia to reach the R10m mark before it became disgruntled with having to pay SARS over R3m in tax thereon.  Had the owners of the brand registered their IP in Ireland they would not only have had access to millions of Euros in grant funding for R&D but been liable for ZERO tax on Royalties earned i.e. The 10m would probably have been far greater with 100% retained as tax free profit.

Once global is revenue earned and taxable in SA, it then becomes a taxing exercise to unravel the IP revenue from the SARS net.

Hedging IP does not rule out registration or Trade in SA. Although as SA is not a Paris Conventions member, the Mark can be re-filed with CIPC.

For more information on how to protect, hedge and expand your brand contact us now for a complimentary consultation.