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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

Non-residents trading in the UK: Treaty permanent establishment

Fixed place of business permanent establishment - automated equipment

Where the business of an enterprise is carried out through automated machinery a PE may nevertheless exist if personnel are required to set up, operate, control or maintain such equipment. Whether or not gaming or vending machines and the like set up by a foreign enterprise in another State constitute a PE thus depends on whether or not the enterprise carries on a business activity besides the initial setting up of the machines. A PE does not exist if an enterprise merely sets up a machine and then leases it to another enterprise but it could if the first enterprise also operated and maintained the machine for its own account. This also applies if the machine is operated and maintained by an agent dependent (INTM266150) on the enterprise.