Here we consider what kinds of business ideas work and don't work, based on our practice.
A business idea shouldn’t be too generic. For example, another restaurant or a shop is unlikely to work, there is no shortage of them! Importing consumer goods to the UK could be difficult too (mobile phones, clothes etc) unless these particular goods are in great demand. You have more chance to succeed with a specialist type of skills/services, as long as it is in demand by the economy.
Property-related activities are excluded by the Rules (although nothing is stopping you from doing it as a secondary activity, separate from your business for the visa purpose ).
Examples of business ideas that are likely to be successful:
IT services, particularly very specialist ones.
IT services related to the financial industry, such as helping with a software used to facilitate financial transactions.
Creative activities, such as design, advertising, film-making etc. For example, we had a client providing wedding photography and video. We had many designers too!
Manufacturing, as long as the actual production will be based in the UK. It can be a small operation (doesn’t need to be a big factory).
Export of goods produced in the UK. We are often asked about other way around - import of the foreign goods to the UK market - but export of British goods is “better” for this purpose.
Activities based on science and technology. In our real example, it was nanotechnology.
Activities from the Shortage Occupation List, as long as they are relevant to an Entrepreneur category. There are many activities like doctors and nurses, which would be more relevant for a Tier 2 visa, but some would work as a business, such as video games or dentistry.
Other technology activities. For example, we had a client who designed an app.
Health & beauty services that require specialist skills. For example , another hairdresser’s salon is unlikely to work. However, a salon with high-tech beauty procedures would.
Generally, highly skilled and experienced people are welcome under this category!
Next week – Entrepreneurial (dream) teams.
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