Having first launched his business in the UK during his university years, founder of Maple Intelligence, Sung Park, has since relocated and settled his business in Singapore. On a rare visit back to the UK he had the chance to drop into our office for a quick catch up and we used the opportunity to interview him about his experience back when the business was just a start-up.
“How did you first find out about R&D tax credits?”
I was actually approached by a different company about R&D tax credits through a cold-call. Although I was interested, I found the approach to be unprofessional and couldn’t establish trust with them. I naturally preferred to turn to my accountant instead. Simon and Michael were incredibly helpful; offering a meeting to explain R&D to me from the very basics to the more technical aspects which were crucial to ensure my business’ eligibility. They provided forecasted calculations of what I could expect in different scenarios such as if the business was to make a profit, break even or make a loss. I was certain from then that I wanted to try claiming for R&D tax credits for my business and felt confident that I was in safe hands when working with the Ridgefield team.
“At which stage of your business did you start to consider R&D?”
I would say it was basically the beginning. I had just started putting in money to develop my product but as R&D tax credits work by claiming back eligible money spent, I hadn’t missed out on anything. In fact, it gave me the confidence to drive on ahead as I felt I had more to gain than I did to lose.
“From your own experience, when would you recommend people consider R&D for their own venture?”
I actually believe not enough business owners know about R&D tax credits in general. When people first start their business, it’s normal to consider what their budget is and what they can afford. What a lot of people don’t do, myself included at the time, is to look into ways of leveraging that budget to make it go further. I would definitely suggest that people do their homework and a lot of research, or just save the time and speak with Ridgefield Consulting, as some of the information out there can be quite overwhelming. By planning to utilise R&D tax credits early on in your business, you can ensure that you’re eligible as well as being able to allocate funds where you’ll be able to claim them back. I found this to be the case when I was creating a prototype of my product. It allowed me to better budget for the money I would receive back as tax credits to help push my product development further.
“How complicated did you find the R&D process?”
Not complicated at all, but this was mostly down to the help of Ridgefield Consulting. When you tell a service provider that you are looking for a solution that will take care of everything for you, Ridgefield Consulting really delivered. At the time, all I wanted to do was just focus on building my product and selling it to clients. I didn’t want to have to worry about the admin side of owning a company. Michael in particular really helped me out with the day to day issues and he was always there to speak to me if I called with questions. Michael also kept me well informed and up to date with any information I needed to be aware of and also chased me with reminders when I was behind.
“Any last words for Ridgefield Consulting?”
I really like working with Ridgefield Consulting. It’s a comfortable relationship which is not something I imagined with an accountant. I thought it would be just an office I would go in to see every now and then, pay for the service, and leave. Actually, they are interested in what I’m getting up to, how things are developing, and I can even bounce my ideas off them. I would recommend them to other start-ups because they really are tax and accounting experts. This might not be something you realise you need until you start yourself and see what a difference they make to your business.