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Why The UK Is Still A Great Place For Foreign Investment

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Britain has bounced back from Brexit doom and gloom and proved that it is still an excellent place for foreign investors and entrepreneurs to invest their capital in.

If you are looking to apply for a Tier 1 (entrepreneur) and a Tier 1 (investor) Visa, obtaining the best advice from Immigration lawyers and other professional advisors will assist you in taking advantage of the exceptional investment and business opportunities available, especially in the technology sector.

Confidence in the tech market was proven last month when Twitter acquired the London start-up, Magic Pony Technology for £150 million. Across the tech sector, start-ups have received around £200 million in funding since the June 2016 referendum.

Opportunities for foreign investors

The tech sector and many others such as renewable energy and chemical manufacturing provide strong opportunities for growth and return from high-net-worth individuals looking to invest the £2 million needed to qualify for a Tier 1 (investor) Visa.

The investor route is an attractive way to enter the UK as it offers a fast-track to settlement depending on the amount of funds invested. For example, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR):

  • within two years if you have invested £10 million or more
  • within three years if you have invested between £5 million and £10 million
  • within five years if you have invested £2 million

In order to take advantage of the Tier 1 (investor) Visa shortcut to ILR it is best to engage the advice of an experienced Immigration law solicitor.

For those who do not have access to £2 million in investment funds, the Tier 1 (entrepreneur) route may provide a more accessible way to enter the UK. This entry route requires either £50,000 or £200,000 in investment funds. Successful applicants are required to work in the business and submit a clear business plan to be reviewed by Home Office officials. Again, by engaging an experienced Immigration lawyer to assist you with your Tier 1 (entrepreneur) Visa application, you stand the best chance of being successful.

Tax incentives for UK tech start-ups

Foreign-born entrepreneurs looking to start a new business in Britain or invest in an existing one need to be aware of the generous tax incentives provided to investors sinking capital into the technology sector.

The main schemes are SEIS, EIS and R&D Tax Credits Initiative.

The SEIS scheme provides a 50% tax relief to those investing up to £100,000 in a start-up business. If the investors choose to sell their stocks in three years, capital gains tax will not be charged on the profits.

The EIS scheme encourages investment in small high-risk trading companies. Investors can claim 30% tax relief up to a maximum of £1 million per year. As with the SEIS scheme, no capital gains tax will be charged on profits if shares are sold within three years.

The Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credits initiative allows profit-making SMEs to receive up to a 26% rebate on development costs and loss-making SMEs can receive up to 33.35% in cash rebates. This scheme is designed to encourage companies to further develop their products and processes and is one of the most generous of its kind in the world.

An Immigration lawyer and/or financial advisor can provide you with the best advice when it comes to taking advantage of UK tax incentive schemes for entrepreneurs and investors on a Tier 1 visa.

Good news from German business chief

One of Germany’s most prominent businessmen stated yesterday that not only will Britain emerge from Brexit with a stronger economy and be better off than other EU countries within five years, it will also become an even more attractive destination for foreign investors.

Mathias Döpfner, chief executive of Axel Springer, one of Europe’s largest media companies, told the Financial Times, that he saw Britain moving towards a, “more free market-oriented model, while Europe is step by step transforming into a transfer union” — with funds being channelled from successful states to the struggling ones…And that can put a lot of investors off.”

He believes that if Britain can create an alternative to the EU market, it could prove a very attractive destination to investors.

Mr Döpfner’s comments come on the back of positive investment figures released at the end of the summer. The Department for International Trade recorded 2,213 inward investment projects, in the year to April 2016, up 11% on the previous year.

The data shows the UK is the most popular destination in the European Union for overseas firms looking to invest capital and open new branch offices.

In Summary

It seems that regardless of whether or not Britain remains part of the EU, it will continue to be a vibrant, dynamic country for foreign entrepreneurs and investors. For those looking to enter the UK on a Tier 1 entrepreneur or Investor Visa, this will be welcome news.

OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected Immigration law firms in London. By making an appointment with one of our Immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today. We will assist you with all aspects of applying for a Tier 1 entrepreneur or Investor Visa and will support you throughout the process.

If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on 0203 959 9123.

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