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The corporate gifting market in the UK is estimated to be worth £78.3 million, according to a survey by One4all Rewards and almost half of UK workers have received some kind of gift from a supplier. This shows just how important this form of marketing is in the current economy.

Corporate gifting generates around 88% brand recall, meaning landing the right gift on the right desk can be essential to securing repeat business and keeping your company in the minds of those you’ve been working with over the past year.

corporate giftingBut with UK workers stating they’re received gifts with an average value of £50, choosing the right gifts and ensuring they are worked into the wider business budget will also need to be a key consideration for business owners. Additionally, during the holiday period, businesses can sometimes tread the thin line between corporate gifting and bribery so companies will need to keep a close eye on their activities to ensure full compliance with the Bribery Act 2010.

The Bribery Act 2010

The Bribery Act means that HMRC allows a business to send gifts to any one person in the tax year up to the value of £50, hence the £50 average value noted by One4all. However, these need to be work-related and can’t include the most common kinds of corporate gift such as food and drink presents. By following the requirements of the Bribery Act 2010, businesses can still send these gifts as long as they remain compliant with the tax limitations and avoid misunderstandings.

Why buy corporate gifts?

Though typically associated with the holidays, 67% of businesses give corporate gifts throughout the year and 95% of British bosses see it as a crucial part of business strategy. Though it isn’t essential and many strong business relationships can be founded on the guarantee of good quality work alone, most businesses see gifting as an extra bonus and a show of gratitude for the relationship fostered over the past year.

5 top tips to corporate gifting in 2019

Once you’ve figured out whether you want to send corporate gifts to clients or staff for the holidays, there are some key considerations which will ensure you don’t accidentally sour relationships, get into misunderstandings or get caught out by HMRC unwittingly.

1. Appropriate and acceptable

Many companies have policies around corporate gifting, specifying that only token gifts will be accepted or no gifts are allowed at all. Sending more than the business is expecting can strain relationships or even lead to investigations. It’s imperative that you do your research thoroughly beforehand to avoid these kinds of situations.

2. Personalised and presentable

Personalising your gift is a great touch which will help your business stand out and show the client or employee that you know and appreciate them. Consider allergies or intolerances and include personalised cards wherever possible. Presentation is also key so choosing a well-packaged product can have a significant impact.

3. Budgeting

Corporate gifting is a kind of investment so being aware of the potential returns will help define the necessary budget and maximise the value of your show of good will come the holidays. If you intend to send work-related gifts, keeping the value below £50 will also ensure your compliance with the Bribery Act. This includes delivery and VAT.

4. Keep a record

Keeping track of your gifts will ensure that, should HMRC have any concerns about your gifting activity, your business will be able to provide evidence of your compliance. This will also ensure that gifts are not being used for undue influence.

5. Choose the right moment

To avoid accusations of undue influence, it’s advised not to send corporate gifts to clients who you know are thinking of leaving you or those who you are bidding for a contract from. Choosing the right moment, even at Christmas time will help your business navigate this complex time, keep you compliant with the law and keep your clients happy.

When choosing to send corporate gifts, knowing the essentials of etiquette and compliance while also being able to pick out the best quality gifts is a balance you will need to strike. This will allow you to promote your business and keep your clients, staff and the government happy.


This article was written by Ben Fielding from Hamper.com, quality hamper distributors in the UK.