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Setting up business in the UK for non EU citizens – Essentials Check List

By Richard Wickes

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The summer is a time when visitors come from all over the world to watch our famous sports events including Wimbledon, test cricket at The Oval and the UK Grand Prix at Silverstone. To the side of these visits, many are also researching the UK as a destination for their new business. The UK is now one of the easiest countries in the world to do business in but there are a number of essentials you must have in place before you can start trading if you are a non EU citizen.



You will need a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, or a Tier 1 Investor Visa. For the Entrepreneur Visa you will need to invest a minimum of £200,000 in your new business and employ yourself and at least two members of staff. For the Entrepreneur Visa you need to be prepared to invest at least £2m in the business.


Business Idea

You need to start with an idea of what product or service you want to sell. The first step is to think who might buy your product and why.

You need a USP (Unique Selling Point). You must think very carefully about why anyone would buy from you. It may well be that your home country has products or skills that could be useful to businesses or people in the UK.



You need to draw up a budget or financial plan. You need to establish how much money you will receive from sales of your product. Then how much money it will cost to make and deliver your product. In addition you need to estimate the cost of overheads such as salaries, rents, rates, insurances.

These figures, assuming they are reasonably accurate, will enable you to judge if your business will make enough money to cover costs and meet your requirements.

Of course they will not be completely accurate as they are only estimates, probably little more than guesses at this stage.


Business Name and Registration

You will also need to choose a name. You will probably want to choose something that stands out and perhaps describes the business you have in mind. In most cases you will be setting up a Limited Company. You will need to register that name with UK’s Companies House so you need to ensure that there is not already a company with your chosen name.



You will need to set up a bank account for your business. Banks are keen to attract new business customers, but stringent money-laundering regulations mean they will need to satisfy themselves that your business is genuine. They will be even more rigorous if you are transferring money from outside the UK.



You will need to find somewhere from which to run your business.

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Website and Social Media

These are vital these days in establishing and growing almost all businesses. They are likely to be crucial to your success.



As you have just read, there are a lot of things you have to to before you start making any money. It is unlikely that you will have the skills to do all of them yourself. In those areas where you do not have experience, it is sensible to seek professional advice from specialists who have the relevant expertise. United Kingdom Business Advisors (UKBA) is an excellent source of skills in all aspects of setting up and running a business.


If you are looking for assistance with setting up a new business in London or the UK please contact Richard Wickes discuss your requirements further.

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