Can a company give gifts to clients?

This rule applies to both direct and indirect donations. Direct gifts are defined as those that are given as part of a direct professional relationship. When giving gifts to employees and customers, there are tax and National Insurance (NI) obligations you must meet. It varies depending on the gifts and benefits offered (you can see the full list here), but below we'll go over some of the most common ones.

The agent attaches a note with the gift requesting future business and references, accompanied by three business cards. If your organization incorporates gift giving into its sales and marketing strategy, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with these laws to ensure that you don't accidentally cause any legal incidents. Gift cards and gift certificates are considered taxable income for employees because, essentially, they can be used as cash. Before launching her own company, TheOnSwitch in 2003, she worked as a senior executive for major brands, where she often gave (and sometimes, unfortunately, refused) gifts.

Gifts can also be presented to employees, potential customers and material suppliers, and don't forget about charities and NGOs. Buying a gift that is too extravagant can send the wrong message no matter who you give it to. A golden rule of corporate gifts is to never forget the people who have truly helped your business grow. Gifts such as technology, toys, accessories, etc., should be reported, and NI should be paid for the value.

There's really no better way to personalize a gift than to include a personal note with the customer's name and give the impression that their gift is an individual gesture. Most larger companies have established clear and specific gift policies as part of their codes of conduct. A poorly chosen gift can do the exact opposite and can even be toxic to any future business transaction. When it is not possible to refuse a high-value gift for reasons of etiquette, the OIE suggests raffling them off for charitable purposes.

This is where it gets a little more complicated: if the gifts have no resale value, the amount they cost is used. In addition to addressing laws governing gift-giving, such as anti-bribery laws, a business may also be governed by additional industry-based regulations. Consult your legal counsel before you donate to determine the best way to meet compliance obligations.