The British SME sector is booming. At the start of 2020 there were 5.9 million small businesses, up 1.9% on the previous year. They are the lifeblood of the UK economy, accounting for 50 percent of the total revenue generated by UK businesses and 44 percent of the country’s labour force.
Many of these businesses saw record investment during the pandemic. Those looking to expand into the UK can take heed from the fact that investment in smaller UK businesses was £8.8bn last year, an increase of 9 per cent. The trend continued into the first three months of 2021 when a further £4.5bn was raised. Tech-focused companies prospered particularly well. Funds built up during the pandemic by investors hungry to sink money into new ventures create fertile ground for overseas businesses looking for opportunity.
The UK Sole Representative Visa allows a senior employee of an overseas business to come to the UK to set up and run a UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary of the parent company. This Visa is the perfect vehicle for business owners based in India who are interested in launching into new markets and taking advantage of the favourable climate for SMEs in the UK. It can also open the gateway to full British citizenship.
There are several eligibility requirements needed for a successful Sole Representative Visa application, so we would always recommend that business engage the services of a professional and experienced immigration law specialist, to save time and money, as Kunal Agrawal, Director of Lippi Systems Ltd did. Lippi Systems Ltd was founded in India in 1993. The company is a professional printing and digital engraving company, and they are currently listed on the Bombay Stock Market.
Mr Agrawal said: “The Sole Representative Visa allowed my business to expand into a new market. The result has been an increase in business and having an office in the U.K. now gives us a strategic foothold that will help us with any business we do in Europe and the US. A Y & J Solicitors were invaluable in helping us with the Visa and made sure our application had the best chance of success.”
In the UK 122,512 work-related visas were granted in the year ending March 2021 which was 37% fewer than the previous year. This drop was a result of the pandemic and restrictions on travel and we expect demand to rise considerably throughout 2021 and 2022.