Unforeseen Benefits – Net Natives Case Study

Steve shares the unforeseen benefit of doing an R&D Tax Claim that surprised us all!

Any business that invests in research and development, or is being innovative for themselves or for their clients could be eligible for R&D tax credits. Brighton-based full-service marketing firm Net Natives is one of many businesses that we help take advantage of the government’s Research & Development tax relief scheme. Net Natives founder and CEO Steve Evans (pictured below) wishes more businesses knew about R&D tax relief and was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to highlight some of its benefits.

David and Steve (right) playing ping pong at Net Natives’ office in Brighton. Spot the ball…

If only more people knew…

Speaking from experience, Steve said: “It’s certainly a shame more SMEs aren’t aware of the R&D tax credit scheme because every business – even if they’re not a true ‘software business’ – will have some element of Research & Development and, as such, can benefit from the scheme.” Many companies would no doubt be surprised, as Steve was, to discover what sorts of things fall within the ambit of eligible R&D. “People just don’t realise there’s R&D aspect to their business”, lamented Steve, before pointing out that many companies who maybe don’t see themselves as software companies can actually use R&D to fund such investments. “Software is so important for generating sustainable revenue”, he added.

“The culture stuff was an unforeseen benefit.”

When we first made Steve aware of the R&D tax scheme, he was understandably attracted by the tax breaks; he is, after all, a businessman, first and foremost. However, once his team was made aware of the R&D scheme and how it could affect their development process, Steve began to notice softer benefits which came as a welcome surprise. He said: “Tax credits were the initial motivation, but then there were cultural benefits that we had not anticipated”, before describing the ‘unforeseen’ cultural impact that R&D had on his team.

“It gives a real sense of purpose and ethos to the team – we all really feel that we are working on something relevant, pioneering and interesting; the culture stuff was an unforeseen benefit. It’s really useful for them to recognise that the work they’re doing has got a value that’s not just about revenue.”

Calling all SMEs!

Steve is thrilled with the cultural and financial benefits he, along with the entire Net Natives Group (now over 100 strong!), has enjoyed thanks to the Research & Development scheme. The government estimates that the R&D scheme has added an extra £8.1bn extra to the UK economy from the R&D scheme from a total of £3.5bn given out; this potentially creates another 213,335 jobs in STEM fields. Most claims are filed in London, the South West and Scotland by SMEs worth under £50k.

This case study highlights one unique company benefit that can be achieved from an R&D tax credit claim. Rarely companies when claiming R&D tax relief are thinking about the cultural aspect of having a successful claim. Yet, the Net Natives case study brings to light both the cultural and psychological victory a company feels when being recognised and rewarded for the innovative work. Another interesting take away is that a company does not need to be a traditional software business to be able to claim R&D tax relief.

Sometimes to understand whether a business is doing work that qualifies for R&D tax relief, it takes an outside opinion of a trained R&D specialist, such as the ones we have at Novel. Even more, as a company who has claimed R&D benefits for a software of our own, we know the intricacies of the process and how to get the best claim.

To learn more about the different types of projects within the software sector that may qualify, click here. If you rather talk to one of our R&D specialists or think you may qualify, please visit the contact us page and schedule a free consultation at the time that best suits you.

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