Keeping the lights on with R&D tax credits

The phrase “good things come in small packages” comes to mind when thinking about Haberdashery. From their studio in Dalston, London their team of highly skilled designers are creating massive waves in the global lighting industry. For over 10 years Haberdashery has been dedicated to its vision to transform the experience of the spaces that we occupy with the power of light. With research and development consistently at their core, their ambitious and creative philosophy has seen this company push the possibilities of lighting, delivering over 450 projects in over 30 countries worldwide.

Led by Ben Rigby and Mac Cox the company have created extraordinary solutions for flagship premises; using a blend of computer design and visualisation skills, lighting solutions are mapped to the needs of the potential customer with R&D playing a key role in enabling the company to deliver these designs within a fixed budget.

As an established member of the Lighting Industry Association (LIA), Haberdashery had been claiming Research and Development tax credits for 4 years with their accountant, but during the submission of their last claim Ben felt unsure that they had included all the relevant information to secure the correct claim value.

For a small business it can be terrifying to invest in products that you potentially aren’t going to see a return on.

Ben Rigby, Haberdashery Creative Director

With further product development at stake, a fast-approaching European product launch, coupled with concerns around Brexit and its potential impact on their business, he began his search for an R&D specialist believing that they would have the best knowledge to manage their claims. After several indifferent experiences with inflexible companies, an LIA contact approached Ben recommending MPA Group as a tax specialist.

I instantly felt that they were distinctly different, and I thought that I could work with the MPA Group. We trust the LIA and they trusted you – it was a simple and easy decision that didn’t take much thought.

Ben Rigby, Haberdashery Creative Director

At the time of preparing their claim the company was in an important season of change with very tight timeframes. With decisions to change their year end date and attend a European trade show to launch five new products, the success of this claim was essential in supporting their planned activities. With a very short time to submit the claim MPA had to apply expertise and speed without compromising on our ability to maximise the claim value.

From “Dawn to Dusk”

A recent innovation, “Dawn to Dusk” a colour changing floor lamp was the focus of their claim. With lights changing from a gentle warm, useful for waking up; to a bright light for focus and then again to a calming light of orange and red hues which can be used to unwind and relax, this lamp was created to support the human circadian rhythm. The development of this lamp experienced may challenges and technical iterations. Controlled by a custom-designed mechanical and electrical component integrated into the stand and the head of the lamp; Haberdashery were able to achieve a design with no visible power cables – an integral design aspect.

The qualifying R&D in this project is found in the recreation of the warming hues which couldn’t be achieved with existing off-the-shelf technology. The team at Haberdashery were able to develop a custom LED array which incorporated a specific type of red, found only in horticulture.

Facing two main problems; generating the correct light and reducing the production of heat from the LEDs, the team were able to overcome several technological uncertainties, meeting the R&D claim requirements set by HMRC.

R&D tax credits are more than a calculation exercise it requires a level of technical expertise necessary to identify the detail of the development process, which is integral to getting the correct claim value.

At MPA Group we are passionate about helping businesses secure funding to continue doing what they love, and Haberdashery has been no exception. It is a pleasure to work with companies that are pushing the boundaries of innovation. Research and Development tax credits can be complicated enough but what a good specialist will do is demystify this process.

R&D tax credits have changed the way we approach research and development; we are more adventurous and ambitious, pushing the boundaries of the types of R&D we do. The whole process has underpinned our confidence and reinforced our philosophy and vision as we can take more calculated risks. We can’t wait to work with you again!

Ben Rigby, Haberdashery Creative Director

If you want to find out more about claiming R&D tax credits, or if you are currently claiming and want to see if we can maximise your claim value, get in touch and speak with one of our experts today!