Service: International Tax 

Sector: Technology 

How IDnow catapulted its growth from a start up to a leading identity proofing platform provider

“The first-year audit of IDnow UK is complete, with the relationships between us and our advisors at Gerald Edelman set up in an efficient working structure. We’re happy to have such trusted advisors on our side for all the developments that are to come."

Barbara Kaindl, Head of Accounting at IDnow.

IDnow has a vision to make the connected world a safer place. 

Founded in 2014, IDnow has seen accelerated growth. From a Munich-based start up with four founders, to an international company with offices in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Dubai.

In the area of remote video identification for onboarding customers to different services, IDnow were among the first to provide the market with a legally secure solution without additional hardware. The company now aims to become a leader in the UK’s financial services industry, and a global leader in the identity proofing sector. 

Choosing the right path to growth

To achieve its goals, IDnow has a growth strategy. In 2021, the company acquired the French market leader ARIADNEXT and IdentityTM, bolstering its position as one of the strongest identity proofing players in Europe.

The two elements that have been key to IDnow’s growth are:

Staying true to its strategy

Since the beginning, IDnow has remained true to its core offering, which is that of providing secure and user-friendly identity proofing solutions, which has led to one of the broadest portfolios in Europe via a single platform. 

Being at the forefront of market trends

IDnow has continued to remain competitive and keep ahead of the market. The acceleration of advanced digital business models has led to a shift in demand, from single-product identity verification towards more comprehensive identity proofing platforms such as IDnow’s. 

Behind the scenes

Setting up a UK subsidiary

Sonal Shah, International Tax Partner at Gerald Edelman, was introduced to IDnow UK in July 2020, during the pandemic, by Kreitinger-Maierhofer, a fellow member of XLNC (an association of independent accounting, law and management consulting practices from across the globe). Despite the challenges Covid presented, through regular Zoom calls and communications, Sonal was able to build a strong relationship with IDnow, a relationship that has gone from strength to strength.

The main support IDnow UK required was with setting up operations in the UK. Sonal helped the company consider its options, which included; either setting up a branch office, creating a permanent establishment (PE) or setting up a subsidiary of the German company. Having the right set up for when the company commenced its UK operation was crucial. After careful consideration, setting up a subsidiary of the German company was the right way forward and Sonal, along with our statutory team, had it all set up in no time.


An audit is required when a company exceeds the audit threshold. Even if a company doesn’t exceed the threshold but is part of a larger group that collectively exceeds the threshold – an audit is still required. However, it shouldn’t be seen as an extra administration burden, but rather a testament to how well a company is performing. Thanks to regular catch ups, updates on how the business is progressing and general awareness of anticipated growth rates, Sonal was able to quickly identify that IDnow UK would meet the audit threshold and require a statutory audit. 

At this stage, Sonal brought in Lucy Norton, Audit Manager at Gerald Edelman. Having an advisor that has the expertise in house for different services meant Lucy and Sonal could work together to complete the audit, identify any issues, and mitigate the risk of not complying with accounting standards. 

“When working with any business – whether it’s on an audit, delivering tax advice or providing strategic planning, it is important for the business owner to trust their advisor and know they have someone to turn to, who knows their business inside out”, said Sonal from Gerald Edelman. 

“Ensuring expectations are always managed and met is crucial. In the case of IDnow UK, I was brought into the relationship early, which meant I was able to understand the business and its needs fully. As a result, I was able to ensure IDnow UK was prepared for its audit. Planning ahead and having a clear strategy has been key in the entire process”, added Lucy from Gerald Edelman 
Sonal further commented, “It wasn’t just our audit team who supported IDnow UK. I also introduced IDnow to our VAT team who supported them through all the complexities of VAT. Furthermore, with IDnow UK’s expansion, and with our international network, it meant that I was able to introduce IDnow to advisors in other countries where they were expanding. It has been a truly seamless relationship.”

“The first-year audit of IDnow UK is complete, with the relationships between us and our advisors at Gerald Edelman set up in an efficient working structure. We’re happy to have such trusted advisors on our side for all the developments that are to come in the future”, commented Barbara Kaindl, Head of Accounting at IDnow. 

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