Dragons’ Den firm receives tax cash bonus

A COMPANY which won over the stars of television’s Dragons’ Den with its innovative fuel device has received a financial boost from the Government with the help of business advice specialists Clive Owen & Co LLP.

Darlington-based Diesel Do Nicely (DDN) won £250,000 investment from dragons Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden in return for a 25 per cent stake in the firm when it appeared on the hit BBC show in August 2008.

But bosses at DDN, which sells the Fuel Angel – a device fitted to diesel vehicles to prevent them being filled with unleaded petrol – walked away from the dragons after they felt the stake in their business was too high.

The firm sourced private investment to develop its Fuel Angel and has gone on to sell them across the world, mainly to company and emergency services vehicles.

Now Darlington-based business advisory and accountancy firm Clive Owen & Co LLP has helped the firm receive £24,000 in cash plus an additional £8,000 in tax relief back from the Government, as part of a research and development tax credit scheme.

Michael Cotton, the director who appeared on Dragons’ Den, said:

“We were over the moon when we went on Dragons’ Den but we decided to walk away because we felt we were losing too much control in the business.

“We did find private investment but like any business in the recession, this has been a challenging time for us. Being able to get £32,000 back through this scheme is fantastic and has come at just the right time.”

Clive Owen & Co LLP, which also has offices in Durham and York, is urging other businesses to check if they qualify for the Government scheme, which is designed to encourage and support greater investment in innovation in the UK.

Peter Hogan, tax partner at Clive Owen, said: “A lot of businesses think that only people who do research and development in white coats in laboratories can qualify under this scheme, but DDN has shown it’s far wider ranging than it appears.

“Any businesses which are trying to refine a particular process or product or developing a new product may qualify – anything where there’s innovation.

“Under the scheme, a company’s tax bill can be reduced, or, for some small or medium sized companies such as DDN, a cash sum can be provided by HM Revenue & Customs.”

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