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UK Business


Business
 
What constitutes a business?
For immigration purposes 'a business' refers to an enterprise as:
  • a sole trader
  • a partnership
  • a Company registered in the UK
You must obtain a visa or entry clearance to set up in business in the UK. Please read the section below for information about making your application.
 
All applications are referred to the Home Office in the UK before a decision can be made and a visa or entry clearance issued.
 
 
What do I require to set up in business in the UK?
To qualify you must:
  • have at least £200, 000 under your control, which is disposable in the UK and held in your name (not held by trust or other investment arrangements) with the intention of investing in a business in the UK
  • have sufficient additional funds to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds, or taking employment (other than work for the business) until the business provides income
  • intend to be actively involved full-time in trading or providing services on your own account or in partnership, or in the promotion and management of the company as a director
  • intend to maintain a level of financial investment proportional to your interest in the business
  • intend to have either controlling or equal interest in the business, and any partnership or directorship must not amount to disguised employment;
  • be able to bear your share of any liabilities
  • intend to provide investment and services for which there is a genuine need in the UK
  • expect to receive a share of the profits from the business which will be sufficient for to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants adequately without recourse to employment (other than the business) or public funds
  • not intend to take or seek any other employment in the UK other than your work for the business
Additionally you must satisfy one of the following:
 
If taking over or joining as a partner or director in an existing business you should provide:
  • a written statement of the terms on which you will join or take over the business
  • audited accounts from the business for previous years
  • evidence that your services and investment will result in a net increase in employment provided by the business and thereby create at least two new full-time jobs for persons already settled in the UK
If you are establishing a new business in the UK you should provide evidence that:
  • you will bring to the UK sufficient funds of your own to establish the business
  • the business will create at least two new full-time jobs for persons already settled in the UK
The above applies to self-employed Doctors and Dentists.
 
 
Who qualifies under the European Community (EC) Association Agreement?
In addition to the general rules about setting up in business detailed above, certain nationals may apply for entry clearance to establish themselves in business under the special provisions of the EC Association Agreements. If you qualify for entry clearance you do not require a work permit. The nationalities covered by this agreement are:
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Slovak Republic
To qualify for entry clearance you must:
  • put into the business money which is under your control and which is sufficient to establish yourself in business in the UK
  • have sufficient additional funds to maintain and accommodate yourself, and any dependants, adequately without recourse to public funds or to employment (other than work for the business) until the business provides income
  • receive a share of the profits of the business which will be sufficient to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds or to employment (other than the business
  • not intend to take or seek any other employment in the UK other than your work for the business
  • If you are establishing yourself in a new business or taking over an existing company you must provide evidence that:
  • you are a national of one of the countries listed above
  • you will have a controlling interest in the company
  • you will be actively involved in the promotion and management of the company
  • the company will be registered in the UK and be trading or providing services in the UK
  • the company will be the owner of the assets of the business
  • you are taking over or joining an existing business and provide audited accounts for the past three years
If you are establishing yourself in self-employment or as a partner in an existing business you must provide evidence that:
  • you are a national of one of the countries listed above
  • you will be actively involved in trading or providing services on your own account or in partnership in the UK
  • you alone, or together with partners, will own the assets of the business
  • where you are a partner in a business, your part in the business will not amount to disguised employment
  • you are taking over or joining an existing company and provide audited accounts from previous years
All applications to set up in business in the UK are referred to the Home Office in the UK for approval before an entry clearance can be issued.
 
How do I qualify as a member of the legal profession?
Members of the legal profession may qualify under special concessionary arrangements outside the Immigration Rules. Applications do not need to be referred to the Home Office in the UK.
 
Solicitors and law consultants, whether establishing or entering into a partnership in an existing practice in the UK, and barristers setting up in chambers, may enter the UK provided that the following evidence is seen and/or action taken:
 
Barristers:
  • you must produce a letter of admission from the General Council of the Bar (England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland ) or, alternatively, evidence of a place in chambers
  • evidence that you have sufficient funds to meet a share of the cost of rent and the employment of staff
Solicitors:
  • you must produce a letter of admission to the Roll of Solicitor from the appropriate law society (England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland)
  • you must have sufficient funds to either set up a new practice or enter into partnership with an existing practice from which you will receive a share of the profits
Consultants in overseas law:
you must show evidence of your qualifications
  • you must produce a letter from the appropriate law society (England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) confirming that there is no objection to you being given entry clearance for this purpose
  • you must have sufficient funds to either set up a new practice or enter into partnership with an existing practice from which you will receive a share of the profits
The requirements for investment and job creation are waived for persons setting up in business within the legal profession in the UK.
 
The requirement for maintenance and accommodation are the same as for the other types of business covered in this leaflet.
 
Can my family join me in the UK?
Your husband or wife and your children may apply for entry clearance to join you in the UK provided they can show the following:
 
Spouse:
  • he or she is married to you
  • you hold an entry clearance as the main applicant (for the purpose of setting up in business)
  • you both intend to live together for the period of your stay and your marriage is subsisting
  • there is adequate maintenance and accommodation for you both, and any other dependants, without recourse to public funds
  • he or she does not intend to stay in the UK beyond any period of leave granted to you as the main applicant
Dependent child:
  • he or she is your child and that you hold entry clearance as the main applicant
  • he or she is under 18 years of age
  • he or she is unmarried, has not formed an independent family unit and is not leading an independent life
  • he or she will be adequately maintained and accommodated without recourse to public funds
  • he or she does not intend to stay beyond any period of leave granted to you as the main applicant
  • both you and your spouse are being issued with entry clearance, except where
    • you are the sole surviving parent
    • you have sole responsibility for your child's upbringing
    • there are exceptional reasons for allowing entry and suitable arrangements have been made for your child's care
Your dependants must obtain an entry clearance before travelling to the UK. If they travel without entry clearance they will be refused admission to the UK.
 
Do I need a visa?
Yes.You must have a visa before travelling to the UK. You will be refused admission to the UK if you arrive in the UK without a visa.
 
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