Immigration Advice for Entrepreneurs

Any individual that wants to set up, run or take over a business in the UK should apply for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa. This also applies to entrepreneurs that wish to be otherwise actively involved in a UK-based business. There is no limitation as to the number of businesses you can be involved in, and sponsorship is not required.

If you wish to invest in either existing UK businesses or establish your own business, you must score, at least, 95 points, which can be awarded to you if you can show that you have access to over £200,000 which you intend to invest in a British company or business.

In order to score the maximum available points you will also need to show that you possess certain levels of competence in the English language and also your ability to remain in the UK without requiring access to any benefits from the government based on your current financial status (known as “maintenance”).

Once your visa has been approved you will be allowed to come to the UK or in some instances change your current UK immigration status so that you can start or join your business. In this case, the initial period that you will be granted is for three years.

An extension under this category is possible, and you may be granted a further two years if you:

  • Have registered as self-employed with HMRC.
  • Are the director of a British startup.
  • Are the director of an existing UK company.
  • Are actively involved in the business when you apply for an extension.
  • Have created two full-time jobs within the company, where either you employ two full-time employees or one full-time employee per year of operation.
  • The money that is required has been invested in British business.

You may also apply in a team of two entrepreneurs, as long as access to the investment funds is equal to all partners. If the two partners wish to apply for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa at the same time, then they have to use the same funds and both be able to pass the English language and maintenance requirements.

If you are granted with Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa, you are allowed to spend a total of 180 days outside the UK annually and still be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain upon the completion of 5 years of residency in this category. Usually, after spending 6 years in the UK, you are eligible to apply for British citizenship.

Undeniably, there is a lot of (and often confusing) paperwork that needs to be completed associated with investing in or establishing a UK company.

Our London based immigration lawyers will assist you with your Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application from the initial process of gathering the required documentation right through to the point of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. We pride ourselves in partnering with some of the most reputed business experts so that we can offer you the support and assistance you seek as an entrepreneur in the UK.


Contact us – We are here to help you

If you would like to know more about our services for immigration clients please contact our specialist Hateem Ali either by phone 020 7822 2222 or email

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