Any business that invests in innovation for themselves or for their clients could be eligible for R&D (Research & Development) 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 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 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”, 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 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 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.

If you would like to find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.