Starting a business on the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is a unique place to start and run a franchise. Crown dependent but outside of the UK’s law the Isle of Man has complete control over its own laws. The island is renowned for its low taxes. Businesses on the island pay 0% corporation tax, 0% stamp duty and 0% capital gains tax – an important consideration for entrepreneurs looking for high growth and an eventual exit. While financial services and property businesses pay 10% corporation tax.

Isle of Man franchising

Why choose Isle of Man to run your franchise operation?

Isle of Man has one of the lowest crime-rates of anywhere in the British Isles, in 2016 the island recorded its lowest incidence of crime since 1970 – with just 1,968 crimes recorded. Not surprisingly, the island has a much more relaxed environment than any cities in the UK – so entrepreneurs looking for a fast-paced city that never sleeps should best stay away. But with tax laws and a parliament that prides itself on its reduced red tape that allow a business owner to maximise their own personal gains and an above average wealth of the citizens, there is money to be made on the island. Consideration must be made for start-ups when it comes to trade, although part of the custom union it still needs to sell its products via the UK.

“One of the things the island is particularly hungry for is the franchise model. We have loads of very good independent shops, but if you’re able to afford a franchise, and use a big name behind it, then that can enable you to launch a business quicker.” 
Adrian Moore, business development manager at the Department of Economic Development 

Are there suitable areas to run my franchise opportunity?

Isle of Man is a fantastic franchise territory as it hosts several business parks and shopping districts capable of hosting a vast array of franchise operations from. These include on the Isle of Man;

  • The Strand Shopping Centre – Easy access parking available, home to a number of retail and food shops
  •  Douglas – Located right near the ports, this town is home to high street to high end shops, food outlets and entertainment
  • Eden Park business park - Eden Park is a proposed environmentally conscious business park off the Cooil Road in Douglas, Isle of Man offering energy-efficient units

Isle of Man currently has a population just under 85,000, but the island is famous for several events, including the TT the international motorcycle race which attracts a worldwide audience. The latest figures show that over 200,000 people visited the small island.

Will I receive any support through franchising in Isle of Man?

Apart from the franchise support and training you will naturally receive from your franchisor, there is an added benefit of choosing the Isle of Man as your franchise territory.

There are several local business networks and organisations looking to help businesses achieve success:

  • Micro business grant scheme: Meeting with a business development manager, entrepreneurs receive a five-day free course which takes them through all the fundamentals of setting up and running a business – such as law, tax advice, marketing, recruitment, payroll and accounts
  • Small business grant scheme: small business grant scheme is available for start-ups with between one and 10 employees. The scheme offers grant support of up to 40% of eligible expenditure to a maximum of £25,000
  • Isle of Man has so many scheme to promote, such as; Enterprise development scheme, Vocational training assistance scheme, Green business loan scheme

When considering buying a franchise you also need to work out how much you can afford to invest, whether you want to employ people, how much money you want to make, and how you want to make your living. The good news is that there is likely to be a franchise concept that ticks most, if not all the boxes. If you want to buy a low-cost franchise, there are many on the market. There are as many white-collar franchise opportunities as there are food based franchises. There are part time franchise opportunities and there are full time franchise opportunities.