3 min read

In the battle for the signage industry to assist marketers in reaching out to consumers and prospective clients, technology is quickly evolving.

To ensure that signage firms continue to take care of all the promotional and branding needs of their clients, there is a growing need for businesses to be given the time and freedom to innovate and push their creative boundaries.

In recent years, there have been numerous challenges that the signage industry has had to overcome, in particular, the topic of energy efficiency.

An example of such involved the level of research and development needed for the signage industry to implement an organic solution to conventional LED signage. Organic LED (OLED) technology has not only helped reduce power consumption but has enhanced the calibre of visuals available to businesses.

The same can be said for many other signage innovations, including:

Solar-powered digital signage

Sourcing electricity supplies for large digital signage such as billboards has historically been a major challenge for businesses to overcome. In some cases, businesses have had to pay thousands of pounds on trenching and connecting signage to power supplies. That’s additional to the cost of the signage itself. Thus solar-powered signage was developed to resolve safety and environmental issues, whilst using the sun’s rays to reduce operating costs.

Smart technology

In a consumer age where individuals value experiences over possessions, smart technology has helped to change the game for marketers. Smart signs recognise the age and gender of passers-by and uses this information to display relevant products and services that are likely to be of interest.

These recent advancements would not have been possible without the financial support of the UK government towards ambitious and creative signage companies. Those conducting research and development (R&D) into projects – regardless of their size or success – can now claim for R&D tax credits.

Does your signage company qualify?

To be eligible for R&D tax credits, any research project your company undertakes must be directly linked to your trade – either an existing one or one you plan on setting up following the outcome of your project. To claim R&D tax credits, you must be able to explain the following about your project:

  • How you’ve sought an advance in technology or science
  • How you overcame an element of uncertainty
  • How the project could not be undertaken easily by a competent professional

There are two different types of R&D tax relief available, depending on the size of your company:

SME R&D Relief

This is available to companies with fewer than 500 employees and a turnover of under €100m or a balance sheet total under €86m. Companies can deduct 130% of their qualifying costs from their annual profits, along with the standard 100% deduction. Profit-making SMEs can claim up to 26p per £1 of expenditure, while loss-making SME’s can claim up to 33p per £1 of expenditure.

Research and Development Expenditure Credit

Large companies with more than 500 employees can claim RDEC. This is also available to MEMEs that have been subcontracted to undertake an R&D project by a large company. RDEC equates to a 12% tax credit of all qualifying expenditure.

70% of Kene Partners’ clients were unaware R&D tax credits existed before working with us. We’ve helped dozens of innovative companies in the signage industry access hundreds of thousands of pounds of Government money that’s been set aside to reward companies prepared to invest time and effort in pushing the boundaries of their industry.