UK Business Owners, Sponsor Licences and the Impact of Corporate Activities banner


UK Business Owners, Sponsor Licences and the Impact of Corporate Activities

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One thing in life is certain; change. That is true in your personal life or your business activities.

Your SME business may have thought 2 or 3 years ago that the height of its ambition was to secure a sponsor licence and employ overseas workers on Skilled Worker Visas.

2 or 3 years is a long time in business and things change. In this article, our Immigration Solicitors look at the impact of corporate activities on your sponsor licence.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors and Sponsorship Licence Lawyers

For immigration advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Why corporate activities are of interest to your sponsor licence management service provider or key personnel 

At OTS Solicitors our Sponsorship Licence Lawyers provide sponsor licence management services for sponsor licence holders. We also support businesses that manage their sponsor licence through their key personnel. We do this by providing their directors and staff with bespoke sponsor licence and employment law training.

When our Business Immigration Solicitors ask questions about corporate activities and plans we often receive puzzled looks. Why are you asking questions is often the response we get. Sometimes there is suspicion about how we have guessed about speculative merger talks or why we are interested in a confidential joint venture.

The answer is that our Sponsorship Licence lawyers are not corporate solicitors but we do want to be kept in the loop about all corporate transactions. We need this information so we can advise your business on the sponsor licence implications for your sponsor licence and your sponsored employees of any corporate transactions.

If we are not providing your sponsor licence management service for your business, but providing ad hoc advice or training to your key personnel, we will also want to ensure that they know the complex rules on corporate transactions and reporting and recording duties.

Our Sponsorship Licence Lawyers work with bespoke corporate legal teams to provide joined-up business immigration and corporate law advice as well as with business advisors and accountants. Working together to cover the small but vital angle of your sponsor licence is vital when you are going through a corporate change, however small or large.

The implications of corporate changes and not getting sponsor licence compliance right

Some corporate changes or transactions need to be reported to the Home Office. If they are not then your business risks a Home Office audit and compliance visit, sponsor licence suspension and, worst case scenario, sponsor licence revocation.

If your licence is suspended you can't employ any new overseas workers on Skilled Worker Visas. If the licence is revoked, your business can't continue to employ its existing workforce of Skilled Worker Visa holders.

In other cases, a company interested in a takeover might assume that they are going to be gaining a stable and highly skilled workforce. However, the sponsor licence that makes the business so attractive for takeover or sale will not just automatically belong to the acquiring company.

These sorts of legal and practical implications mean that whilst your Business Immigration Solicitors may naturally be nosy there is good reason for them to be so when trying to manage your sponsor licence for you. If we are advising your HR staff and key personnel it is equally important that someone knows what may be going on behind the scenes so the company can get the specific sponsor licence advice it needs on sponsor licence corporate due diligence and reporting and recording duties.

Transferring a sponsor licence

As Sponsorship Licence Lawyers we are asked to transfer sponsor licences to new corporate entities. It is at times like those that we wish that we had been brought in early to provide bespoke business immigration advice.

A business cannot transfer a sponsor licence or sell it.

The immigration rules set out how if a business changes its corporate structure, it cannot transfer its sponsor licence to the new structure. This covers mergers and takeovers.

Requests to transfer sponsor licences are on the increase. Increasing numbers of business owners have secured sponsor licences due to the UK skills gap and the need to resort to the recruitment of overseas workers combined with the last couple of years of turbulent economic times forcing some businesses to look at amalgamation or sale.

How Sponsorship Licence Lawyers can help with corporate due diligence

Massive amounts of time are spent on corporate due diligence when a company is acquiring another company or being taken over. Quite rightly - as the figures can be eye-watering or the transaction can create efficiencies and save jobs.

It is equally important to have a specialist Sponsorship Licence Lawyer on your side to help ensure that there are no unexpected nasties or if there are, that your business is aware of them.

Our Business Immigration Solicitors can provide sponsor licence due diligence whether or not we secured your sponsor licence for you or are currently providing a sponsor licence management service for either the acquiring company or seller.

As experts in sponsor licence applications and compliance, we know what questions to ask during all types of corporate transactions ranging from:

  • Mergers
  • Takeovers
  • Share sales
  • Asset sales
  • Family businesses and next generation corporate planning
  • Businesses and key shareholder changes

Change in any business can be fraught for those negotiating the change or for the employees affected by a merger or by the acquisition of a new head office. Our Sponsorship Licence Lawyers aim to offer clear legal advice on the implications of your planned corporate activities on your sponsor licence or, if you have not yet applied for one, on your planned application.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors and Sponsorship Licence Lawyers

For immigration advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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