UK Entrepreneur visa and its challenges

The United Kingdom is a popular destination for prospective entrepreneurs. A favourable tax system, extensive business opportunities, innovation and high quality lifestyle all contribute to UK’s attractiveness for start-ups.

The two key factors that determine an applicant’s eligibility for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa are the ownership of funds and a viable, solid business idea.

In terms of funds, a minimum of £200,000 are required for investment in the business. A special category exist for young entrepreneurs who are already present in the UK and may establish a business with an investment of £50,000 providing that they satisfy specific requirements. We will focus here on the general visa option with investment of at least £200,000.

It is important to note, that the funds have to be disposable and transferable to the UK. In addition to the main investment, the applicant will need to provide evidence that he/she is able to maintain himself/herself and any dependants without any recourse to public funds during their stay in the UK.

An entrepreneur may establish a new business or take over an existing business in the UK. It is also possible to form an entrepreneurial team (maximum 2 partners) with shared funds. The entrepreneurial team submits one single Tier 1 Entrepreneur application and has to meet all of the standard requirements.

Many applicants erroneously believe that the possession of funds and an idea are enough in order to qualify for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. However, the qualification and eligibility are much more complex. For the success of an application, a foreign entrepreneur must have a convincing business plan and the skills/qualifications required by the prospective business.

In addition to the classic information that has to be included in the business plan such as; a rigorous financial forecast, meticulous market research, detailed description of the business/services, applicant’s profile etc., it is necessary to demonstrate that the applicant has knowledge and/or experience in the related industry. The authorities will make a thorough analysis as for the applicant’s capacity to establish, develop and maintain the business.

It is possible for the entrepreneur to establish a business within a new industry where he does not necessary have the experience. In this case, it is worth spending more time on the market research and present a clear business idea and reasons for its success that will evidence an understanding of the industry.

At Migra&Co we make sure that the applicant’s business venture will be successful when it comes to the qualification criteria for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. We work closely with the prospective entrepreneur while building the case for the application with strict attention to detail and support throughout the entire process.

If you are considering to apply for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and have questions regarding your eligibility, please contact us on: +44 (0) 20 33 84 3075 or via email: info@migraco.com.