Business plan writing service for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa - from experienced Immigration Entrepreneurs

From 6 April 2015 a business plan has been made compulsory for all initial applications for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. Contact us now!

With over 10 years of experience in the visas and immigration business, and many successful Entrepreneur visa cases, who would be better placed to write a business plan than Immigration Entrepreneurs? Our company, just your new business, started ‘small’ (from a spare room at home) and now it is based on the prime location in the City of London. You can find more on ABOUT US page.

As many Entrepreneur visa applicants and immigration lawyers know, this category is more about a ‘Genuine Entrepreneur Test’ than about the ‘Specified Evidence’, such as bank statements showing £200,000. In fact, evidence of funds is usually the easier part, it is the ‘genuineness’ which needs to be addressed to a greater extent in Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa applications.

Failure to meet the Genuine Entrepreneur Test is the most common reason of refusal. If the Home Office simply does not believe your intentions are genuine they may refuse on the ‘balance of probabilities’ (those who had refusals may recognise this phrase).

The main part of the Genuine Entrepreneur Test is a business plan, which is now compulsory if you are making an initial application in this category. Over the past several years we have been dealing with the Entrepreneur visa applications for our clients and as a part of each application we had to read clients’ business plans. More often than not in the past, we ended up re-writing a business plan. As a result, it would become less of a standard-looking one from the internet template and more of a plan which addresses Entrepreneur visa requirements as well as uses our experience of our experience of clients’ visa interviews.

This allowed us to develop a unique approach to creating business plans for our clients as well as for the clients of other companies like ours but who don’t provide a business plan service. Our business plan is created from the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa point of view. It usually means you don’t have to have a very detailed financial analysis (although we do need the figures and a cashflow forecast), since this is not a plan to secure a bank loan. This is why many standard templates from the internet don’t work for this visa application.

Instead we focus on what the visa officers expect to see, ie on what you will be required to do while holding this visa. For example, we cover investment of £50,000 or £200,000 (depending on your category) and what you are going to spend it on. For example, paying yourself a salary is not counted, yet it is very common for clients to do this after they secure an initial Entrepreneur visa. Paying the money to the owner of a business you are buying does not count either.  

Another example will be including a plan of creating 2 jobs and that they will be for ‘settled’ people. Most business plans we see (usually created from standard templates) do not mention these 2 jobs at all, yet the common questions of a visa interview (for applications inside the UK) are about UK employment law. Real examples of our clients include “How much is UK minimum wage?”, “How are you going to find the candidates to work for you?” So, we think it is a good idea to mention all this, plus more! 

As any business person knows, a business plan never works exactly as written on paper. There are too many assumptions for it to work, especially the sales targets. However, writing one helps you (the visa applicant) to clarify your business idea for both yourself (and business partners if any) and for the visa officers. You may have a brilliant idea and extensive experience in the area but how do the visa officers know that?  

We also advise to explain your business idea in simple and plain language. For instance, there is no benefit in adding many technical IT terms because the visa officers are not IT professionals, yet they have to understand your business idea. If you can explain it to us, we can explain to the UK Visas & Immigration. Finally, we advise to treat it like a CV but for a business. Too many CVs contain information designed to make the applicant look ‘clever’, yet fall apart once an interviewer starts asking questions about it. The Home Office staff do read your business plan and may ask questions! So we advise to keep it realistic and only to include what you can genuinely back up with your knowledge or resources.

A typical business plan includes the following, though may vary on case-by-case basis. It is usually a 20-30 pages document and takes 1-2 weeks days to prepare, though we always try to accommodate the client's requested timing.

1.      Description of your business idea.

2.      Previous experience and qualifications (CV) of the owner(s).

3.      Market research and competition including SWOT analysis.

4.      Detailed description of products/services (‘Product’), why your product is good or even better than competitors’.

5.      Who will be your customers and how they are going to reach out to you (‘Place’).

6.      Fees/prices (‘Price’).

7.      Marketing (‘Promotion’):

·         Advertising.

·         Website.

·         Social media and similar.

8.      Where you will be based and whether you need an office.

9.      Licences and professional registrations, required for this type of business.

10.   Who will be running the company: staff, including creating of 2 jobs for settled people, each job lasting for at least 1 year, what duties will they be expected to do and how much they will be paid.

11.   What professional services you need to run your business and what work has been done to acquire them (or contacts made): accountant, business insurance, employment/business lawyer, IT support.

 

12.   Financials:

·         How investment will be made (ie what the £50,000/£200,000 will be spent on).

·         Cashflow forecast for the 3 years of your initial Entrepreneur visa. Some call it a profit and loss account, so a cashflow forecast includes expected sales, expenses (regular, yearly and one-off), profit/loss.

 

We offer the following services for Entrepreneurs in addition to the business plan:

-      ADVICE SESSION which is a one-off session, either over email or at our office in the City of London (near Monument Underground station).

-     VISA APPLICATION SERVICE when applying for an initial Entrepreneur visa, for an extension or for permanent residency. Here we advise on what documents are needed (such as to prove investment of £200,000 or to prove the created jobs), check the documents are in order, help with the forms and generally, guide you throughout the visa application process and representing you with the application to the Home Office.

-      COMPLIANCE SERVICE while holding an Entrepreneur visa. Here for a yearly fee we help Entrepreneurs to comply with the Rules (and changes of the Rules) while they are holding a visa. For example, after the 3 years of an initial Entrepreneur visa you have to register a business within specific time limit, create 2 jobs for certain types of people and for the duration of 12 months for each job. If one of the jobs has not lasted for a year, or if several jobs do not make up to a year, or if a job was not for a settled worker, then you won’t be able to secure a further extension in this category after the initial 3 years. That’s while you are already risking £200,000! When the time comes to extend your visa aft6er 3 years, you would be ready.

 

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