Legal Considerations

  • Tax
    • Sales
    • Income
    • Withholding Tax
  • Cultural
  • Visas
  • Employment
    • Employed
    • Self Employed
  • Contract
  • Goods
  • People


Legal advice should be taken on how to operate in each country.  Clarity should be sought over whether the legislation in the foreign country takes precedent over legislation in the UK or whether they are in conflict.  This can become a significant issue with Health & Safety and can be dependent on who the contractual relationships are between.

Certain countries require withholding tax to be paid on the earnings of UK citizens working in their country.  This commonly relates to entertainers.  The sums can be reclaimed from the individual’s tax return in the UK under double taxation relief.  It is therefore advisable to agree with agents that the individuals will be responsible for paying and subsequently their tax liability in the country.

Employment Law

Employment law can be complex. Best practice is to use local experts to contract local cast and crew.  This ensures payments and deductions are handled correctly and prevent the UK production company from inadvertently set themselves up as a local employer, leading to all the responsibilities and costs this incurs.

Bribery Act 2010

The penalty for committing a crime under the act is a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment, along with an unlimited fine.  The act has a near-universal jurisdiction, allowing for the prosecution of an individual or company with links to the UK, regardless of where the crime occurred.   It is the responsibility of the UK production company and the individuals associated with it, to ensure bribes are not given or received in order to gain a commercial advantage.  Steps must be taken to mitigate the risks of this occurring; this can include educating individuals and stating their responsibilities in their contracts


It is important to fully understand the pros and cons on the options of setting up contractual relationships, whether to book services, equipment, facilities, cast, crew etc. directly from the UK, through a special purpose vehicle or through a foreign production company.  This can effect:

  • Budget
  • Tax relief
  • VAT rebates / reclaims
  • Employer status
  • Legal responsibilities


  • People
  • Goods

See Insurance section for full details on insurance.

Care should be taken over which areas of insurance are mandatory in each country.  Advice should be sought from the insurance provider and fixer / foreign production company.