UK Startup Visa Accounting
The Brexit deadline has been and gone – and the new and “improved” Tier 1 investor is here. This year, an extensive statement regarding the changes to UK immigration rules was released on 7th March 2019, which outlines the new point based system and rules for the Tier 1 entrepreneur and investor visa programs.
A quick refresher: If you can cast your mind back to 2018 when the Tier 1 investor visa scheme was the scrutinised. Well, to put it simply, the Home Office had a very public investigation. This investigation involved over 700 very well-off Russians, including Roman Abramovich.
Back to the point, how do the changes affect new Tier 1 UK Startup applicants?
The Innovator and Startup visa is for non-EEA individuals who want to open a UK business. Similar to the original Entrepreneur visa, you have to meet certain qualifications. The first step is to be endorsed by an approved body. Then, your application will be reviewed based on the following: Innovation, Scalability and Viability.
The application at first glance is daunting, and the process can be quite complex. Applicants will have to jump over several hurdles during the process. The section below summarises the two visa options. However, you’re not alone during your application process as there are UK Innovator Accountancy practices that can assist you with certain steps.
UK Startup Route
This visa option is for early-stage business ventures, which have high potential. This option is for budding non-EEA entrepreneurs who wish to open their first startup.
- You have never had a UK startup
- At this stage, applicants are not required to invest funds into their venture
- If successful, the applicant will be granted leave (for two years)
- If leave is granted, your family members can join you in the UK (spouse/partner and/or children under 18).
- Applicants are required to invest the majority of their time in the UK in their startup (you will also be granted allocated time to work outside the business)
- Once the two years has ended, then the startup visa hold can qualify to the Innovator route – only if you wish to extend your stay, to grow your venture.
This section is a brief guide of the UK Startup Visa.
- Applicants must be over 18 (not surprisingly)
- Immigration Status
- You have access to £200,000, or
- You have £50,000 invested from an approved body (i.e., UK Trade and Investment or a registered venture capitalist). You will still need to provide the remaining £150,000.
- You meet the English language requirements
- You can provide for yourself and your family
- You genuinely want to set up a viable business
We just want to briefly cover, the immigration requirements if you want to apply via the startup route. You need:
- A startup or startup idea
- Tier 1 (the original graduate Entrepreneur)
- Tier 2
- Tier 4 (general) with restrictions or
- Visitor who is permitted to undertake activities as a potential UK entrepreneur
Three Steps for the Tier 1 UK Startup visa
As mentioned, applicants must have a new business idea. This visa was the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa. Although, this has now been replaced with the Tier 1 UK Startup visa, applicants are still being accepted until 9th July 2019.
Step 1 – Your Business Proposal.
First things first, you need to demonstrate that your startup has: Innovation, Viability and Scalability. If you’re wondering how are they assessed? Well, they can, and they’re on a point based system.
Simply, what it says on the tin. As a businessperson, you will need to showcase that you have an innovative, unique and original idea. Also, you must demonstrate this innovation within your business plan.
Are you viable? Well, viability is what you need to demonstrate. For instance, can you prove that you have the necessary skills set? You also need to show that you have a responsible mindset – aka “business head.” Essentially, you need to show that you have what it takes to succeed in running your business venture.
Here, you need to prove that you have the capability to have structured planning. You also need to showcase the potential of your venture of creating employment. Simply, your venture needs to have the potential to contribute to the UK economy and global markets.
This step is your time to shine, so you don’t want to miss out any details. Business and finance go hand in hand. So, if crunching numbers isn’t your thing – don’t worry! As there are many UK Startup visa accounting firms. For instance, do you know how to draft an official letter to the UK government?
How we can help you with step 1:
– Our startup team can advise and help you organise your business plan
Step 2 – Endorsement
Now, you need to be endorsed by an approved body. If you’re unsure what an approved, endorsed body is, you can find the list here. So, besides step one, you will need to submit your endorsement letter with your application.
It is the endorsing body, who will do the initial assessment of innovation, viability and scalability. So, if you’re unsure that you have a solid business plan, speak to a member of our team today.
If your business plan is approved by an authorised endorsing body, the letter will need to be submitted to the Home Office. This letter will need to be submitted three months of your immigration letter. The endorsement letter must confirm:
- Providing an initial investment, or
- Verifying that the applicant has investment funds available and/or has received initial investments.
Step 3 – Credibility
The next step is demonstrating to the Home Office, that you have:
- a genuine intention and are capable of managing all aspect of the business activities, (as stated in your business plan). During the assessment, the Home Office will also assess factors such as immigration, work and education history, besides any declaration to UK government departments, such as HMRC.
- Supporting evidence, such as an accountants letter for Tier 1 entrepreneur visa and your endorsement letter
- no intention of breaching the immigration law
- the declared funds are authentic and are available to be used (as per the business plan)
Please note, some applicants might be asked to attend a credibility interview.
If your UK startup visa application is approved, you will be granted ‘leave to remain’ status for three years (initially). If you want to extend, please look at our page on Tier 1 innovator here.
Rights for refusal
The application can be refused, for instance, if the applicant has breached UK immigration laws.
We can help with UK Startup Visa Accounting
As mentioned, we can assist you throughout the process to ensure that you have a strong and informative application. Below, are just some areas that we can help with your UK startup visa application:
- Provide reconciliations with investment and payroll they will need to show
- Prepare and file the company accounts with Companies House and HMRC – link to this page
- Fixed monthly packages
- Business Plans
- Work in partnership with competent, knowledgeable solicitors that understand new changes in Immigration rules