The applicant who is actively developing the necessary skills knowledge experience and market awareness to be successfully run the business. This is framed in the language of skills, knowledge and experience but the finance is going to be a strong element of that unless you can show you’re going to be able to financially support yourself in the UK and support your business in the UK, you’re not going to qualify under this criteria viability. It’s also about financial viability. There’s two elements of that because the UK is actually quite an expensive place between in London but there are various incentives depending on the business sector that you’re in and what you’re doing. There are incentives and tax breaks for example. You can qualify for example, if you’re doing something in thin tech space there’s plenty of benefits the government is really trying to incentivize people to start up fintechs because we’re losing some business in breaks it – to the continent and so there’s a big push for London to be the digital heartland of the Europe. Part of that is incentivizing fintechs because we have a very strong financial sector base in here in London.
On viability, we’re talking here about financial viability. Some of the clients have income from an existing business abroad and their startup is funded by that and if you speak to people in the startup space a lot of if you’re completely fresh starts up and you’re coming from position you’re salaried where you’ve been salaried a lot of people. If you’re starting a startup, the first thing needs to do is get a job, in other words you need some form of residual income to keep they startup going in to fund the many expenses that I start up a new business entails. On that point, work what can you work out and what can’t you work out. There’s a couple of points to be made so there’s a difference between the startup and innovator work restrictions for the UK.
For the the startup visa, the endorsing body has got to be reasonably satisfied that the applicant will spend the majority of their working time in the UK on developing and business ventures so that’s the majority of their working time so there’s still scope and it’s going to be guidance on this. There’s been no guidance yet the rules make it clear that this is the majority of your working time but still leaves scope for working on something outside of your business which is bringing in income or having property portfolio or rental properties which you’re earning residual income from. This is to be contrasted with the work restriction if you like for the innovative visa so the endorsing body is reasonably satisfied that the applicant will spend their entire working time in the UK on developing business ventures.
There’s probably two points to be made about this and the first point is that, if you have some for some of passive income and that’s not going to be a problem whether you’re on to the innovative visa or startup visa or income from from investments but the second point is that, it’s possible to in some cases it will be able to incorporate the revenue generating activity within your business proposal and that’s quite possible. If you’re going to be moving, if you are working, if you are salaried at the moment you moving into a position where you’re going to be more on a consultancy basis and that can be incorporated within the business plan.
Novelty, the viability, scalability still needs to be demonstrated but the key thing and point of vulnerability for any business is going to be the the first few months or possibly the first year if that’s when a period when you may not be automatically generating income from your business but you’re still going to need some income to keep you going. For some, this isn’t going to be a problem. I do it for large international operations who are setting up subsidiaries. There are also other visa routes of available. For example, I am talking about the sole representative visa for the UK so this isn’t for everyone and for some people the viability and sense of viability isn’t going to be a problem. It may be that you’ve got venture capital funding depending on your business I can introduce you to my network which includes funders and includes universities. I’ve got a project on at the moment to assist innovator and startup visa applicants where I will connect you with a university and under this program in the UK and knowledge exchange program, you may qualify to have students from the University to assist you in your enterprise because universities are very much keen on innovation that a lot of them have innovation hubs, a lot of them are looking to connect with the private sector to give students experience in technology or areas of innovation and connect people with the startup world which is a very exciting place to be, so that’s the viability criteria.