The UK remains one of the world's most popular destinations for foreign investors and entrepreneurs, with 28 ventures and nearly 2,000 jobs created here each week. According to Business Secretary Vince Cable, more than two thirds of the jobs created or safeguarded in 2010/2011 came from existing investors. The World Bank says that the UK is the easiest place to do business out of all the EU and G8 countries while Ernst & Young have confirmed that the UK is the most attractive destination for foreign investment.
Relaxation of the existing immigration rules
The UK government is looking to attract international investors intending to set up businesses in the UK. At the heart of this effort stands the government's decision to improve the immigration system and lower the entry barriers for those wishing to invest here, with a view to attracting start-up entrepreneurs. Changes to this end came into effect in April 2011.
Under the new immigration rules, 'prospective entrepreneurs' were given the opportunity to enter the UK in order to finalise the funding and start the process of setting up their own business without having to worry about the traditional visa application for another six months.
Also, from 6 April 2011, the top visa category, Tier 1, has been amended and only made available for entrepreneurs, investors and the exceptionally talented. Those falling under the 'investor' category are now able to settle in the UK at any point after three years when investing £5 million or after two years when investing £10 million, as opposed to the old five-year rule.
Under the provisions of the new immigration rules for Tier 1, the old minimum sum required has effectively been changed. Whereas an investor previously had to invest at least £200,000 in funding, under the new Prospective Entrepreneur visitor route entrepreneurs now only need to offer as little as £50,000, provided that a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition or government department is committed to providing a further £50,000 for the applicant's proposed business.
Rich and diverse market, creative and innovative
The UK market offers a rich and diverse range of sectors in which to invest. With manufacture, service and advance industries all prominent in the UK, it can be a perfect base from which to launch new products and services.
Easy to set up and operate
A company can be registered in the UK within 24 hours. This simple and straightforward process is complemented by banks that are quick to provide newcomers with banking services tailored to businesses. As a result, investors can start trading very quickly and receive the same support from the UK government as any domestic business would.
The government has also committed to lowering the corporate tax rate progressively each year until 2014, enhancing Research and Development Tax Credits and introducing a 'Patent Box', which should usher in yet more reductions in corporate tax.
The UK is the most accessible of all European locations. Its world-class transport links make it the number-one getaway in Europe, giving access to all 27 EU member states.
With its excellent air links, modern rail network and advanced road transport system, the UK is the perfect location for setting up ventures that are dependent on international connections.
UK Labour Market
The UK offers the most flexible and varied labour market in Europe. As host to many of the world's top universities, the UK is renowned for providing foreign investors with the best combination of skills and attributes.
With strengths that range from a globally renowned science and technology base, a strong and large financial system in Europe, and access to a very varied and flexible labour force, the UK is a great place to invest, grow and succeed.
Gherson's expert team of immigration lawyers and paralegals is highly experienced in assisting those who wish to set up a business in the UK with their application, ensuring that clients are fully advised and informed at every stage of the process.