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Opening a Branch Office in UK: Registration, Visas And Employment

Opening a branch office in the United Kingdom can be a daunting task. There are many details to take care of, from registering with the government to obtaining sponsor licenses for employees. Call us on 0333 305 9375 or contact us online to consult with an immigration expert today.


Overview of What You Should Know

Before opening a branch office in the United Kingdom, it is important to take care of some key details related to registration, visas and employment. First, the company will need to be registered with Companies House, which is the UK’s registrar of companies. You’ll also need to secure Articles of Association and your VAT registration through the HMRC.

Once that is done, you will need to obtain a visa for any employees who are not citizens of the European Union. These can be obtained through the UK visa application process. Finally, you will need to comply with UK employment law, which includes things like setting up payment of taxes and National Insurance contributions.

By taking care of these company details in advance, you can ensure that your branch office in the UK is up and running smoothly. This article will outline the process for registering your UK branch office, obtaining visas for your employees, finding local employees, and understanding UK employment law.

Visas for Foreign Entrepreneurs

All foreign nationals will need a visa to enter and work in the UK, regardless of their purpose or duration. To apply for a visa to open and operate a business in the UK, you’ll need to submit an application with proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay, as well as proof that you have a valid business plan.

As of 2021, a majority of visas for foreign entrepreneurs, investors, and business developers are no longer available. However, the UK still offers special visas for business people who wish to open a branch office in the UK. While you can no longer apply for an Innovator Visa, start-Up Visa, or Tier 1 Investor & Entrepreneur Visas, there are still a couple of visa options available.

Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

The Representative of an Overseas Business visa is available to those who have been employed by a company outside the UK and are being sent to the UK to open a branch office or set up a subsidiary. This visa requires you to submit proof that your business has sufficient financial resources, as well as proof that you will be actively working for the overseas business.

There’s also an inclusion for members of the media. Journalists, editors, and broadcasters who are sent to the UK by their employer can apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa if they’ll be the only employee working in the nation at the time.

If you are approved for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa, you’ll be allowed to stay in the UK for two years (three years if it’s a media-related visa).

What if Someone in My Company Can Not Get a Visa?

At this time, the UK establishment is not issuing visas to all entrepreneurs, investors, and business developers who want to open a branch office in the UK.

If someone in your overseas company is unable to get a visa, they may still be able to work for the overseas parent company remotely from their home country.

The UK restricts the number of visas issued for certain categories, so it’s important to research the visa requirements and plan ahead.

This will ensure that your company can get the staff it needs in order to start operating in the UK quickly and efficiently.

What Types of Jobs Are Eligible for UK Visas?

The UK has a number of visa categories for individuals who want to work in the country. These include skilled worker visas, investor visas, and entrepreneur visas. In addition, certain professions such as medicine, engineering, or IT are eligible for specialized work visas. However, a lot of categories are restricted, so it’s important to check the visa requirements before applying.

When hiring employees for your branch office in the UK, you’ll need to ensure that they meet the visa requirements. This will require you to do a bit of research into the types of jobs that are eligible for UK visas and the documents required for each type of visa.

In addition, any employees who are not citizens of the European Union will need to obtain a work permit in order to legally work in the UK. However, most EU citizens do not require a work permit.

We can help you open a new branch office in the UK.

Employing Workers

It’s important to comply with all local regulations when recruiting workers. This includes making sure that you pay fair wages, offer equal opportunities for all applicants, and adhere to any union rules or collective bargaining agreements.

The UK has strict requirements for recruiting foreign nationals, so it’s important that you understand the regulations before hiring anyone. In addition, you’ll need to make sure that you have the appropriate insurance and licenses in place before hiring any employees. Your best bet is to hire locally from the UK in order to avoid any legal issues.

Who’s Eligible to Work for Overseas Companies?

In the UK, any person with a valid work permit or visa can be employed by a branch of a foreign company. Certain professions such as medicine, engineering, and IT may require specialized qualifications or experience in order to obtain a work permit. However, there aren’t restrictions based on the employer’s nation of origin. This means you’re free to hire any worker who has the right to work in the UK.

What Are the Requirements for Employing Workers?

Before you can hire any workers for your branch office in the UK, you’ll need to make sure that you have all of the necessary paperwork in order. This includes registering your business, obtaining the appropriate insurance and licenses, and making sure that you comply with all local regulations.

You’ll also need to ensure that any workers who are not citizens of the UK have the necessary visas or work permits before starting work. This includes a sponsor license for each employee and a valid work permit for any non-EU citizens.

UK Employment Law & Contracts

When you open a UK branch, you’re establishing a separate legal entity from your business in its home country.

In addition to getting your overseas company registered with Companies House, you must also ensure that you are following all applicable UK employment laws and regulations. Here are a few things to know about employing workers in the UK if you’ve never done it before.

How Does UK Employment Law Affect Businesses Based in Other Countries?

Even if you’re based in another country, you must adhere to UK employment law when hiring workers for your branch office in the UK. This means that you must comply with any applicable regulations, such as offering equal opportunities or paying at least minimum wage. This is because any worker employed by the branch office will be protected by UK law and must adhere to it.
In addition to this, all employers must provide workers with a written contract of employment that outlines the job duties, salary, benefits, and any other relevant details. This document is legally binding and should be signed by both parties in order to ensure compliance.

Are There Any Restrictions on Working Hours or Benefits in the UK?

The UK has strict regulations regarding working hours and benefits for employees. Generally, the maximum number of hours that a worker can be expected to work is 48 hours per week. Additionally, every UK company must offer at least 28 days of paid holiday per year and provide other benefits such as pension schemes or health insurance.

By following these guidelines, you can guarantee that your business runs smoothly and your employees are treated fairly. This will help to ensure that your branch office in the UK operates efficiently and according to UK employment law.

Does the UK Have Double Taxation Protections?

The UK has double taxation treaties with many countries, including the US, Canada, and Australia. These treaties provide protection from double taxation of income earned in the UK by foreign businesses. This means that your business will not be taxed twice – once in its home country and again in the UK – on any profits it makes from its branch office in the UK.

It’s important to note that certain conditions must be met in order for the double tax agreement to apply, so it’s wise to seek professional advice on this matter. Additionally, while the UK has agreements in place with many countries, it’s still necessary to check the rules for each double tax treaty.

If you need assistance on employment law or immigration matters in the UK, we can help.

Let IAS Help You With Immigration & Employment Law Matters

Establishing a branch office in the UK can be an exciting opportunity but also comes with its own unique set of challenges. From setting up a separate legal company, obtaining a sponsor licence and hiring workers to understanding employment law, it’s important that you get all the details right before you notify Companies House of your registration.

At IAS, our experienced team of UK immigration and employment law experts can help you navigate the process and ensure that your branch office is set up for success. Speak to an immigration attorney today by calling 0333 305 9375 to find out how we can help you as you open a new branch office in the UK, or contact us online.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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