For international business people, it is often a question of which country would be most suitable for them to move to when it comes to setting up or moving their business. There are of course many factors to take into account when it comes to selecting the ideal location for you to set up: the best country to live in, the easiest visa to gain and the country with the best economic conditions will all play a role in the decision process. In this article we are going to try and answer some of these questions and hopefully try and persuade you that the UK is the ideal answer for many international business people when it comes to which is the ideal country for them to move to.
As one of the world's most mature economies,the UK is a world leader when it comes to setting up a business. Even with Brexit on the horizon, the UK really is one of the world's best places to start a business no matter what the sector. There is of course the benefit of the UK being a European base with a majority of English language speakers - making global trade easier. Then there is the economic conditions, as a mature market, the UK has huge potential for new businesses to make their mark and then spread across borders. There are also low levels of taxation and straightforward accounting options that make the whole process of setting up and running a business easy.
Then there is the visa system. Currently it is actually quite straightforward for foreign entrepreneurs to come to the UK as long as they have adequate funding or a strong business idea. The government is keen on developing business in the UK and the UK is one of the more welcoming places for foreign investment. There is also the large amounts of investment capital available. The UK is a financial powerhouse and as such has strong financial institutions that can help new business to take off. This is in stark contrast to many other countries and makes the UK an ideal home for a startup.
There are two main visa options for international business people to look at when moving to the UK, these are the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and the Tier 1 Investor Visa. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is very much aimed at those with a business idea that they plan on bringing to fruition. The alternative, the Tier 1 Investor Visa is more aimed at high net worth individuals but can be used as a way to start a business in the UK. The main one for the majority of international business people is the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. This visa allows entrepreneurs to come to the UK in order to start a business. To do this they must have at least £200,000 in seed funding and pass a series of criteria. This criteria includes the ability to speak English and a business plan that is highly detailed.
The benefit of using the visa route is that you can build up your time in the UK. Once you have reached 5 years of continuous stay in the UK (you will need to extend upto it) you can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) means that you can remain in the UK free of visa restrictions. Once you have had Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for 12 months, you can then apply to become a British citizen. British citizenship is the ultimate goal for many who travel to the UK and by using this visa route, it becomes a distinct possibility.
As things stand Brexit is not going to make much difference to those who are currently in the UK on a visa or are looking to come in the near future. Will this change? Perhaps. But this is only likely to change positively for those who are looking to come to the UK to start a business. Brexit is likely to present many challenges to the British economy and there is no doubt that fresh business investment will help to stave off some of the worst of those effects. The Home Secretary Sajid Javid has already put forward the idea of a new startup visa route to help tech sector business to get into the UK and this will likely be expanded as the UK tries to entice foreign investment into the UK.
While there is little in the way of announcements, as the UK works it's way around the world making trade deals, there is little doubt that each country will try to gain deals for the free movement of people to the UK. It is likely that the immigration picture in the UK will change significantly over the coming years. As the country seeks to find a way to replace the significant numbers of EU citizens who travel to the UK, it is likely that a whole raft of new deals will need to be done and that this will affect the long term picture of immigration in the UK.
If you are looking for more information on starting a business in the UK and relocation then please get in touch. Our experienced immigration solicitors can help provide you with everything that you need to get started, so don't delay, call today and let us help you get started.