3 Tips For Starting A Business In The UK As A Foreigner

City of London

As the world’s sixth-largest economy in terms of GDP, the United Kingdom is an attractive option for people looking to start a business.

Whether you are interested in investing in the service industry, technology, fashion, or finance, the UK is one of the leading players in each of these markets.

Not only does the UK encourage entrepreneurship, it also facilitates it. This means that even if you are a foreigner looking to start or expand your business, you can easily do so without having to obtain a residential status or even being present in the UK. All you need to do is register your company, get the right visa, and comply with the existing rules and regulations to kickstart the process.

In this article, we share the top tips for starting a business in the UK as a foreigner.

Sort Out Your Visa Requirements

First things first, you will need to apply for the right kind of visa in order to obtain the right to work in the UK as a business owner. Basically, there are three types of visas you can choose from which include the start-up visa, innovator visa, and investor visa (Tier 1). Depending on your initial investment and type of business, you should verify which category suits you best.

Generally, you will be required to pay a visa fee and a healthcare surcharge when submitting your documents and can expect a decision between 3 to 8 weeks. Make sure to familiarise yourself with all the stipulations, such as lack of access to benefits or public funds, or settling indefinitely in the UK so that you don’t stand in violation of any rules.

To ensure that your visa process is smooth and seamless, it is recommended that you submit all your documents in English. With professional and certified services such as Rapid Translate, you can easily obtain top-rated translated documents that would facilitate and quicken your visa application process.

Decide On A Business Structure

In the UK, you can choose from a number of different legal business structures depending on what is most suitable per your business plan.

You can be a sole trader if you wish to work as a solo business owner, or you enter into a general partnership with one or more individuals to set up a company. You may also register as a limited partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), private limited company, public limited company, or an offshore company.

After choosing your business structure, you need to register your business by selecting a company name, getting a business address, and information about the company director and shareholders. If you are setting up a limited company, you will also require two additional documents, namely the documents of formation which include a memorandum of association and articles of association.

Explore Financial Options And Comply With Rules

As a business owner, you want to minimize your costs as much as possible. This is why it is recommended that you open a UK business bank account to make it easier to transfer money, collect profits, and disburse funds whenever the need arises. Remember that it may take anywhere between 4 weeks to 3 months to get your business bank account approved.

Having a bank account will also make sure that you are on top of following UK tax laws since you will be legally required to pay tax on your earnings. For this, make sure you register with the UK tax authority, referred to as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). If you have a limited company, you will be required to register with the UK registry of firms and companies, known as Companies House.

Lastly, it is important that you secure yourself against any potential losses, which is why you should apply for UK business insurance. Depending on your business, you may need public liability insurance, employers’ liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, building insurance, or contents insurance. It is best to get in touch with a lawyer to figure out which type suits you best.

Parting Thoughts

Starting your own business is both challenging and exciting. You need to be constantly monitoring industry and market trends, examining areas of growth, and proactively assessing business needs to increase revenue.

While all this may seem overwhelming, it is a highly rewarding experience that will basically allow you to be your own boss. And there is no better place to launch a successful business than in the UK. So start preparing your documents and get ready to embark on an exciting journey full of growth and opportunity. All the best!