Tag Archives: UK

Top schools by county

The Financial Times has published the list of the top 1000 schools of the Country. Attending a good school is essential to have a good culture, the right formation and an attractive curriculum vitae: so parents and children have a look on the map and on the list to find the best for your future!

And here you are the first 10 position of the list 2008

  1. Westminster School   –   Westminster
  2. Perse School for Girls   –   Cambridge
  3. Wycombe Abbey School   –   High Wycombe
  4. Magdalen College School   –   Oxford
  5. Queen Elizabeth’s School   –   Barnet
  6. St Paul’s Girls’ School   –   Hammersmith
  7. Winchester College   –   Winchester
  8. North London Collegiate (IB)   –   Edgware
  9. Colchester Royal Gram Sch   –   Colchester
  10. Eton College   –   Windsor

To find out all the rankings and some more about the previous positions click here. And here is the link to check the best schools in your area (the map gives information for all 2,188 schools in the sample, which had at least 20 pupils in their sixth form studying at least two A’levels. Only the top 1,000 are ranked).

Amazing numbers from Companies House in January

Even in these very difficult times people from all over the UK are forming new companies. The numbers are down, but still respectable as the figures below from Companies House clearly show for the month of January:

04/01/2009                                      1,672

11/01/2009                                      6,077

18/01/2009                                      6,660

25/01/2009                                      6,790

01/02/2009                                      6,302

Howard Graham explains in his blog: “Over 6,000 companies were formed in the UK last week alone, companies that represent the hopes and dreams of many people from all over the country who are possibly making a new start. measure and monitor the performance of our business and this is something I would encourage new businesses to do. Knowing the numbers is key to growing a business. As we make and implement decisions, it is only with this sort of data, that we can measure the extent to which they are successful.Of course , not every company is able to get such up to date data on market share, but there are plenty of numbers in a business that can be readily ascertained and measured over time and far too few businesses actually do this.”

Recession Britain, it’s official: but don’t lose hope!

It’s a a hard Friday for the UK: it’s official we are in recession. Probably it’s not exactly news, but all the newspapers have opened today with new even darker predictions for the future.

The BBC.co.uk reports: “The UK is now in recession for the first time since 1991, official government figures have confirmed. … That means that the widely accepted definition of a recession – two consecutive quarters of falling economic growth – has been met”.

The Guardian.co.uk says: “Britain has officially entered recession for the first time since 1991, after the economy shrank at the fastest pace for nearly 30 years in the fourth quarter”.

The Timesonline.co.uk explains: “Britain is in the grip of its sharpest recession for three decades, grim official figures confirmed today. The economy suffered a brutal 1.5 per cent drop in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the past three months, shrinking at its fastest quarterly pace since 1980”.

People in London feel the pressure: unemployment is accelerating sharply, with 1.92 million people now out of work, the housing market remains severely depressed and retail sales are weak. There are no ‘green shoots of recovery’, no light at the end of the tunnel. The average recession in the UK since 1955 has lasted for three quarters, but the past two recessions have lasted for five. But people don’t lose the hope and the will to do and work.

Obama’s Speech: Written for America, Applied to the World.

My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors…

Serious challenges

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

‘Era of peace’

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.


Barack Obama – 44th U.S. President. Speech to the Nation – Speech to the World.

How much does it cost to start your new business 2009?

How much does it cost to start a new business in UK? How much do you need to invest to create your new company?

With Company Made Simple it costs much less than you were thinking.

Here the main services & prices for the different packages.

Bronze Company Formation £24.99

Offers you fast, electronic company registration and formation. Like all of our UK products, your company is usually formed within three hours.

Bronze Plus Company Formation £34.99

Including all of the features of our Bronze service, this package also comes with a printed Certificate of Incorporation on the required legal paper.

Silver Company Formation £59.99

Includes all the features of the Bronze Plus, this package also offers you the use our prestigious City of London address as your company’’s registered office.

Gold Company Formation £79.99

When you form and register a company using this service, you receive all the services which are included in our Silver package, plus maintenance of your company’’s statutory books.

Platinum Company Formation £119.99

Our premier service. You receive all the services included in our Gold package, plus your annual return being prepared and filed (filing fee included) at Companies House. You will also receive a Company Register, Company Seal, bound M&A and Certificate of Incorporation.

And for many more services for you and your company click here!

A new fraud hits the financial world

A new act of fraud hits the world of business and finance. It may seem unbelievable but Bernard Madoff has stolen $50 billion with the use of a complex system of hedge funds. This system imitates the Ponzi’s system and if manipulated it can be used to commit multiple fraudulent acts. However this illegal act is unfortunately not fool-proof.
Mr Madoff is an American citizen and 70 years of age – he is a famous trader and businessman but now he finds himself in a cell: he risks incarceration for 20 years and paying $5 million, though the victim’s losses far exceed his fines.
The breadth of this case encompasses banks from many countries including British firms. Here are some news cuttings from the British press:

Bloomberg reports the story and asks where all the money went. “Investigators are still trying to figure out where customers’ money went. Madoff, 70, told his sons last week he had as much as $300 million left, according to an SEC lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan. The agency is looking for additional money that may be recovered for victims, two people said. In a regulatory filing in January, Madoff’s firm listed $17 billion in assets under management”.

The Guardian.co.uk describes this as the worst fraud in history. “Madoff is himself regulated by the FSA, along with his two sons, his brother Peter and six other registered individuals, though his eponymous London-based offshoot. However, Stephen Raven, chief executive of London-based Madoff Securities International, said the firm was “not in any way part of” the New York company caught up in the alleged scam”.

The Timesonline.co.uk reports reports the list of the victims, a list that keeps increasing: Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Santander, the Spanish group that owns Britain’s Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley…

Your new tax code for 2008-2009

Over the coming weeks the HM Revenue & Customs will be sending new tax codes to all UK employees.
After personal allowances there are 2 income rate bands:
– 20% up to £36,000 annual gross income
– 40% over £36,000 annual gross income

Form more information you can visit the HMRC website.

Not sure what ‘personal allowance’ means or how to calculate your taxable income? Here’s an example to help you: say your salary is £50,000 before tax. You pay no tax on your personal allowance (for the 2008-2009 tax year, the standard personal allowance for under 65-year-olds is set at £6,035). That leaves £43,965. You would pay 20% on the next £36,000, which would come to £7200 tax. That leaves a remaining £7965 on which you would be paying 40% tax, making the total tax deducted £10,386 and your NET salary £39,614.

What happens if you are not registered with the Inland Revenue? You get a temporary insurance number which is used to establish your tax level. So, before getting your NI number you may well pay too much tax but you can apply for a rebate from the IRS, providing you attach your P60 and payslip of April last tax year and include the reference number of your company and your temporary NI number.

So what happens if you are a resident in another country and you work here? Or if you work abroad but live here? Answers are coming… Keeping checking your daily blog on London Presence for more business advice.

How to calculate your own inflation

Prices are increasing rapidly as inflation grows but how will it damage you and your wallet?

BBCNews.co.uk is trying to help you find the answer. By filling in this form created by the Office for National Statistics, you will be able to calculate your personal inflation rate. The more accurate you are with filling out your dates, the more accurate the result will clearly illustrate how inflation affects you.

Take our advice and fill in the form now. This way you can better understand your personal financial position and be prepared for the future.

Bank Holidays in UK 2008 – 2009: take note of your days off!

Are you ready for the long weekend? Maybe you’ve forgotten but next Monday is the last Monday in August… so it’s a Bank Holiday! Bank holidays are special public holidays that have been recognised since 1871 as days when banks were closed and that means no trading and no working in banks or offices. However, most museums and other public attractions remain open to profit from these holidays.

But remember, since your virtual office is in England your business will also abide by these dates as holidays regardless of where your post, calls and emails are forwarded to.

Here are the dates for the remaining holidays in 2008 and 2009: update your calendar now!

Summer Bank Holiday 25th August 2008
Christmas Day 25th December 2008
Boxing Day 26th December 2008
New Year’s Day 1st January 2009
Good Friday 10th April 2009
Easter Monday 13th April 2009
Early May Bank Holiday 4th May 2009
Spring Bank Holiday 25th May 2009
Summer Bank Holiday 31st August 2009
Christmas Day 25th December 2009
Christmas Bank Holiday 28th December 2009

And now that you know we won’t be answering the phone on Monday, have a browse through some websites to get excursion ideas: for London go to visitlondon.com or if you are feeling more adventurous go to lastminute.com!

Enjoy! and see you next week!

Tea vs Coffee: a never-ending feud

starbucks bits

I don’t drink coffee I take tea my dear – so Sir Sting tells us. And he likes his toast done on one side apparently – funny that. So Sting may have been An Englishman in New York but is the Big Apple as different from the Big Smoke as it used to be? Well, yes but we do seem to have adopted the decidedly American trend of coffee-shop culture. Do we have the TV show Friends to thank for that? We hope not – we prefer to think that it’s because a firm as large as Starbucks decided to explore cosmopolitan London through its multinational population.

But does the Breakfast Tea homeland still prefer drinking tea than coffee? The oldest and most famous coffee chain doesn’t agree. Starbucks doesn’t accept the old English tradition and makes efforts to engage new coffee drinkers. How? With a new coffee experience. For free. Since 1998, when it arrived in UK, the American chain has tried to be an affordable luxury – Starbucks now offers customers free refills!

The future is uncertain, but never give up! Even if the present economic crisis hits your breakfast table. In the last year Starbucks has fired many of its employees in USA and is closing many stores across the world, but as it has to get used the company try to limit the problems. The latest news say that Starbucks will close 600 stores in the United States and 61 (of the 84) in Australia. Also in UK the coffee company has recorded its first loss as a public company, surviving a terrible week, caused by an international halt of revenue growth. Starbucks was one of the most successful businesses of all the world, and it wants to survive to the big economic crisis and save its 670 shops in Britain.

And you can like it or not, love the coffee or not, but Starbucks is a good example of a successful business in times of trouble. We are also here to cover these stories for you – are Londoners rejecting coffee culture now?