TWO entrepreneurial businessman have united with other businesses in the region to form the fastest tax and financial service platform for seafarers and yacht crew across the globe.

Former City workers Marcus Sinkinson and Brad Kelly both age 24, from Durham and previous students of Durham Johnston Comprehensive have created Flovio – a tax and financial services web portal for people who work on superyachts, cruise ships and other watercrafts.

Flovio is a unique hub in which local experts, including Robson Laidler Accountants, have come together to create a one-stop shop for seafarers who have specific non-resident compliance regulations in tax, wealth management, mortgages, foreign exchange, property, life insurance and legal services.

Marcus Sinkinson said: “Having come from a yachting background before working in London, there’s always been a passion for the industry. We decided to leave our jobs in the City and come back to our roots to set up this unique hub with other local businesses.

“We trialled Flovio for a short period and proved the concept worked, we’re now focused on building a strong client base. We’ll be on location in Antibes this summer, meeting crew and making them aware of how we can help, both ourselves and our partners are excited for what the future holds.

“Clients can register with us for a set fee and have access to a host of professional services dedicated to their industry. With the specific regulations seafarers have to adhere to, bespoke advice is often needed. With our membership they get access to all these services and we also include a seafarers tax return.”

Experts in non-resident tax from Robson Laidler Accountants in Jesmond are servicing the tax area of the portal. Martin Wardle tax director at Robson Laidler said: “If you are a seafarer there are specific tax rules. It can be a rather complex area, and these people may need guidance and support from experts like ourselves and the team at Flovio to help ensure they meet regulations and we maximise their tax efficiency.

“The guys at Flovio impressed us with their passion for creating a totally unique platform in a niche market. There is so much innovation right here in the North East. I find it inspiring that Marcus and Brad had great jobs in the City and have come back to the North East to set up this innovative business.”

Brad Kelly said: “We pride ourselves on keeping it local, we’ve found the North East to be a truly fantastic place to start a business that is often overlooked by many. Every aspect of our business has been grown here, from web development to KYC checks, this is all done locally. However this is just the start, we already have our sights set on the Australian, US and South African markets, making our hub compliant with those country’s revenue and customs regulations.”