Direct Trade Bags are now the UK’s largest dedicated bag printer with the largest stock holding. They hold over 1 million products in UK stock and can offer same day dispatch on plain stock orders.

Direct Trade Bags are now the UK’s largest dedicated bag printer with the largest stock holding. They hold over 1 million products in UK stock and can offer same day dispatch on plain stock orders. Alongside their plain stock Direct Trade Bags have a production facility capable of producing in excess of 40,000 screen prints a day. This allows Direct Trade Bags to be very accommodating with regards to short lead times and bulk orders. Direct Trade Bags also offer services such as full colour lithographic printed transfers, digital transfers and bag fulfilment which may involve putting other promotional items in bags to give the client a complete promotional bag solution.

As the directors of Direct Trade Bags come from a range of backgrounds, including straightforward production, this gives the company a new perspective to every aspect of the bag printing process. Direct Trade Bags have consistently challenged everything, from bag requirements and colour finish to production speed. In this way the company has innovated every part of the process, with the aim to make the production process faster, more cost efficient and to improve quality.

The need for funding

The initial 2013 and 2014 claim would provide Direct Trade Bags with a good size rebate on research and development carried out, and would allow them to invest in more innovation to further improve their processes and printing techniques. This would create a more efficiently manufactured and better quality product, giving them a wider client-base and happier customers.

TBAT’s assistance

TBAT first met with the company to illustrate how a unique technical approach could be applied to gathering project information, while having the financial expertise to calculate the claim. During this meeting, TBAT also gained an insight into the company’s finances and work, ensuring that a claim was worth pursuing.



Direct Trade Bags’ staff were very busy so TBAT was able to gather the required information quickly through several short visits to their offices. Being a bag printing company, Direct Trade Bags were not initially aware that the improvements they made to their processes constituted research and development. The HMRC’s definition of R&D is that the work has to be scientifically or technically challenging in some way, and takes some time to solve. TBAT was able to highlight areas of relevant R&D and focus on the main projects that took place over each financial year.

TBAT R&D tax experts then provided a financial and technological analysis, which resulted in two detailed written reports for the HMRC (one for 2013 and 2014, and a later one for 2015) establishing that Direct Trade Bags carried out genuine R&D.


TBAT provided assistance throughout the claim submission process. The client received over £104k back from the HMRC for the three financial years reported on. Receiving the R&D tax credits had a transformative effect on Direct Trade Bags’ business. They were able to increase the amount they spent on innovative solutions to technical challenges they faced, appeal to a wider range of clients, manufacture higher quality bags on new materials in novel ways and improve their process efficiency. This all led to higher revenue and a better product.

Direct Trade Bags has a great working relationship with TBAT and is delighted with the outcome. TBAT is about to start working on a further R&D tax claim covering 2016.

Further Information

Get in touch with
Lorna Goodwin

“TBAT were truly exceptional in their ability to create a clear and concise final report of projects brought to fruition from my more creative and unstructured way of thinking.” Ian Ault, Director, Direct Trade Bags.

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