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How to be a Successful Entrepreneur in the UK

The UK is a central hub of business. Ideally placed between continental Europe and the Americas, the UK is a global leader in business and a magnet for those with an entrepreneur mindset. You may be looking at countries around the world that are ideally suited to starting up as an entrepreneur, and in this article we hope to make the case for moving to the UK.

Why move to the UK to become an entrepreneur?

As laid out above, the UK is fantastically located for global business. It is also home to mature markets in many sectors and enjoys a healthy and buoyant economy. The UK also enjoys close proximity, and business links, with continental Europe and although the UK is about to leave the European Union, it is highly likely that close links will remain with the rest of the continent. Some may wonder whether moving to the UK in the run up to Britain's departure from the European Union is wise, but arguably Britain has one of Europe's most diverse and mature markets and is well set up for businesses. The UK also has a set of immigration options that are designed to help those with an idea and funding to move there - we will investigate these in more detail further down the article.

What options are there for moving to the UK in order start a business?

There are is one main option for those looking to move to the UK to start a business: a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa allows those with initial seed funding of at least £50,000 (under certain circumstances) or more usually £200,000 working capital to start a business. The money needs to be available straight away and must be in a recognised institution (such as a regulated bank in the UK). There are unfortunately not many other options for those looking to move to the UK if they do not have seed funding, and may need to move to the UK under another route, save up their money for seed funding and then switch to the visa which is indeed an option if you are willing to live in the UK under different conditions for a while so that you can save up.

What is the eligibility criteria for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

As well as the seed funding, you will also need to ensure that you have a particularly strong business plan. The business plan is used as a major part of the overall visa application and it is therefore vital that it displays your business and idea perfectly. We can help with your business plan if you are looking to have one crafted - get in touch with us for more details. So, you need the funding and the business plan, but what else do you need? You will also need to ensure that you have a high level of English literacy; this will need to be verified by an outside source (usually by gaining a certificate that proves your proficiency). You will also need to ensure that you are of good standing and have no previous immigration concerns in the UK. As long as you fit this criteria, you will be able to apply to move to the UK for an initial period of 30 months in order to start a business.

Keys to success in an entrepreneurial pursuit in the UK

The UK can be a complicated market to conquer. But, with the right idea, it is more than possible to make your business successful in the long-term. So you're probably wondering what makes a business successful in the UK? The UK rewards businesses that are thoroughly researched and hit the right price points. There is also a large variance in low price businesses and high price ones that means finding a place in the market can be difficult. Rest assured, if you do your research into a market and get your pricing strategy right, you should be able to generate a good business in almost any market in the UK. But there is one more thing: customer service. Whilst perhaps not as important as it is in places like America, customer service is important in the UK as Britons tend to be quite reserved people and tend not to complain loudly. Often, a British customer will just use a competitor rather than complain, therefore it's important that you gather as much feedback as possible and continue to evolve your service.

Remaining in the UK long-term

The good thing about the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is that you can stay in the UK for the long-term as long as you stick to the eligibility criteria. At the end of your original 30 months you can apply to extend your visa for a further 30 months. As long as nothing has changed in your circumstances, you should be eligible to remain in the UK up until the point that you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and stay in the country permanently. It is this flexibility and ability to stay in the UK that makes the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa one of the most exciting and challenging visa routes in the UK. It is well worth the work that is required to gain the visa and for your long-term prospects, there is no better option.

Where can I get more help?

If you would like more help in setting up in the UK then please get in touch. Our expert immigration solicitors can help you to craft your application and even help to get your business plan written. We are experts in getting entrepreneurs to the UK and we can certainly help you. Get in touch today for more information on our services and let us help you make your move to the UK the success that you hope it will be.

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