The United Kingdom has always been a favourite market for foreign investors, and conditions have never been more favourable for businesses and individuals to invest their wealth and expand their commercial opportunities.
In June 2015, the Office for National Statistics reported the UK economy grew faster than expected, growing by 0.4 per cent, compared to the 0.3 per cent initially estimated. For 2014 as a whole, economic growth was revised up to 3 percent from percent. That marked the fastest rate of economic growth since 2006.
Business confidence is also buoyant. After the May election, which delivered a majority Conservative government, business confidence soared to a record 119.4, according to Smith & Williams’ Enterprise Index. Even more encouraging, over 80 per cent of the 200+ business leaders who took part in the established quarterly survey expect the economy to improve over the next 12 months.
Analysts estimate that the UK’s inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock could reach £1.5 trillion by 2020, once again highlighting overseas’ investors long-term in interest and confidence in the UK market.
If you are looking to invest in the UK, below are the top three aspects you need to consider to ensure you receive the strongest return on your investment and protect your business brand and wealth.
1. Get the Right Legal Advice
Setting up a business or investing wealth in a foreign market can be a minefield of problems if you fail to invest in clear, concise, local legal knowledge. An experienced legal professional can guide you through the initial considerations and challenges such as:
- merging or acquiring a local company
- tax planning
- purchasing property and equipment
- due diligence procedures
- local regulatory compliance
Once these major issues have been managed, your legal professional can work with you to draft appropriate commercial contracts and protect your intellectual property rights.
2. Know Your Immigration Law
Nothing will bring your investment project to a halt faster than failing to understand the applicable Immigration Law that will allow you, your business, your staff and your money into the UK.
Again, experienced legal advice is essential to ensure the process runs smoothly, as any immigration hold-ups could cost you thousands in terms of lost time, productivity and money.
Individuals wishing to invest to launch entrepreneurial projects in the UK will need to satisfy the requirements of either a Tier One (Investor) Visa or a Tier One (Entrepreneur) Visa.
Tier One (Investor) Visa
To satisfy the requirements of a Tier One (Investor) Visa, you will need to show evidence on the application that you have access to £2 million or more, held in a regulated financial institution. In order to obtain extensions or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you would need to invest the money in permitted investments within three months of the grant of the initial visa or within three months of entry into the UK.
Tier One (Entrepreneur) Visa
If you wish to set up or run a business in the UK, you can apply for an Entrepreneur Visa, providing;
- you have access to at least £50,000 or £200,000 (different criteria apply) in investment funds held in a regulated financial institution
- meet the English language requirements
- be able to support yourself financially
If you have invested in or acquired a business in the UK and wish to bring in staff from your country of origin into the UK, the most common route is to a arrange Tier 2 Sponsorship licence for skilled workers. However, businesses need to be forewarned that the UK Government has restricted the amount of Tier 2 immigrants to 2,000 per month and made it increasingly difficult for them to gain permanent residency.
If you successfully sponsor employees under a Tier 2 immigration visa, you will need to put in place an Absence Management system to ensure employees remain in the country and their whereabouts can be tracked by the Home Office. If a sponsored employee leaves their position within your business, you are responsible for the individual until they leave the country.
3. Get your employment Policies in Place
To ensure your Tier 2 visa applications process smoothly, it is imperative to have robust employment contracts and employee handbooks in place as the Home Office will assess these and other employment policies when you apply to sponsor foreign workers.
If you are investing in the UK commercial scene via a merger or acquisition, you will need to obtain sound legal advice relating to employee rights under the The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of employment) Regulations 2006 (known as the TUPE Regulations). These regulations protect the rights of employees when a business transfers from one party to another.
It is also vital foreign employers understand how the principles of the Equality Act 2010 affect aspects of employment law. Under the Act, there are nine protected characteristics and it is an offence to discriminate against an individual because they hold one or more characteristics.
The nine protected characteristics are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion and belief
- Sexual orientation
How OTS Solicitors can Help
OTS Solicitors is a leading London law firm, focusing on immigration, employment, corporate and litigation law. Our hallmark is our timely, client-focused service, our ability to think outside the box, and to collaborate as a team, thus providing our clients with practical legal advice that is second-to-none.
Based in the city of London, our practice consists of:
Mr Paul Gulbenkian – A former immigration Tribunal Judge, Paul is recognised as one of the UK’s leading immigration specialists. He has enormous experience in the field of business immigration law and is a founding member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) and President of the European immigration lawyers Group.
Teni Shahiean – Teni has a wealth of knowledge and experience of immigration law and employment work. She is ranked by the Legal 500 as a recommended immigration solicitor and has been highly accredited by the Law Society for her immigration knowledge and advice through the Law Society immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme.
Oshin Shahiean – Oshin specialises in Immigration Law and has been awarded supervisory status by the Law Society. He acts for a variety of clients, advising on complex judicial review matters and private clients requiring assistance with points based system applications, human rights appeals and Asylum.
Dr Lusine Navasardyan – Since joining us in 2015, Lusine has built a solid reputation in the city of London as a specialist in immigration and corporate law. She has extensive knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the challenges SMEs face and her services are tailored to meet the needs of these clients. She has advised and guided many start-ups, her advice proving to be an invaluable asset in each of their success stories. Her expertise includes advising on company structure, contracts, compliance, due diligence and business immigration.
Nataliya Bondarets – Nataliya specialises in immigration and advises and assists students, workers, entrepreneurs, investors and businesses to successfully satisfy immigration criteria and obtain all necessary immigration documents under current Point-Based System.
We also work closely with other professional advisors to ensure our clients receive the most in-depth and comprehensive advice available when engaging us on an investment matter.
Our Partners Include:
We have teamed up with a leading global relocation expert, Paul Williams of Elysian Partners, who would deal with everything that you need, from transportation of your valuables, to real estate and property, and enrolment of your children at the best schools in the UK.
Paul Williams is a Co-founder of Elysian Partners, Paul has over 30 years’ experience in the financial sector. As a Partner and Co-founder of Elysian Partners, he works with high-net-worth immigration clients who wish to replicate and establish their present high standard of living when they move to the UK.
We have teamed up with a leading private equity professional, John Dupont of MD Capital Partners who have raised equity funding for a number of businesses including Renewables, Commoditiy mining, Online Social gaming, and financial instuments for international invoice factoring in the fresh produce industry.
John Dupont and Miles MacKinnon are Co-founder’s of MD Capital Partners based in Mayfair, London. MD Capital Partners is a boutique private equity firm, which since its inception has successfully raised significant amounts of equity, primarily for pre-launch, or early stage businesses that require between £1 million and £10 million. They are continually assessing new and existing businesses which require start up capital or additional investment for expansion and re-modeling.
Some of the recent projects they have and are advising on are as follows;
London chain of wine bar restaurants focusing on the lucrative ‘square mile’. Equity requirement of £2-3m. Exit within 5 years. High yield by way of dividends and multiple of investment return on exit.
Care Home business in Scotland. Focussing on the high end of the market in affluent areas. Highly experienced team and management. Looking to build a portfolio. Investment required of between £1m and £10m. Coupon on investment, dividends and IRR in excess of 20%
UK Management company with licence to mine c350,000 ounces of gold. £10m is required as an equity investment. Captial will be returned within 15 months. Expected return over 5 years is 300%. Profits paid quarterly. Full security offered against licences with valuation in excess of £10m. Mining to commence early 2016.
UK Skincare and Welfare clinic in Central London. Funding of up to £200,000 required for expansion. Exit in 5 years with strong dividends and multiple of investment return on sale / refinance. Potential to grow internationally within 18 months.
UK based Tech company developing an app to capture and create a unique ‘photo and memories’ scrap book. The idea has gained international interest and likely to be given a high valuation post lauch. Early investment required of up to £500,000. High risk, high return potential.
To find out more about how we can assist you or your organisation invest and/or take advantage of business opportunities in the UK, call our City office on 0207 936 9960 to make an appointment with our team.
- Business Immigration
- Tier 1 Investor Visa
- Tier 2 Work Permit Visa and Sponsorship Licence
- Business Visas
- Individual Immigration
- Family and Spouse Visas
- Indefinite Leave to Remain
- British Citizenship and Nationality
- Appeals and Judicial Reviews
- Employment Law
- Judicial Review and Human Rights
- Immigration Judicial Review
- Immigration Tribunal Appeals
- Companies, Startups and Structuring
For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration solicitors on 020 7936 9960 or contact us online.
We are one of the UK’s top firms for immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, spouse visas, Student visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA applications, Asylum and human rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur visas and Investor Visas.
Our top immigration solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.
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Posted on: Sunday, 16 August, 2015