Is a franchise a simple way to get my innovators VISA?
Many of our clients come to us thinking that if they start a franchise they will: ”
1 - Be more likely to be approved by the home office.
2 - Be more likely to have a successful business.
The benefit of using a franchise for your UK investment is that the franchise may provide you with the guidance on how to start and grow your business. It will mean that the emphasis of your skills and experience matching your new UK business will be slightly less important as you can show that you will be receiving help.
The negative impact of this is that you have very limited control over the business.
1 - You will not be able to choose any location, only the locations that the franchise owner has available.
2 - You will not be able to change the name or have any impact on the logo or branding of the business.
3 - You will not be able to have any say on the website.
4 - You may have limitations on how you can market the business.
5 - You will have to follow sales and hardware processes defined by the Franchise owner, even if you know a better, cheaper or faster solution.
In terms of your Visa, a franchise may not always be tier 1 compliant and it’s certainly no guarantee of getting your VISA approved.
Potential problems with using a franchise for your application are as follows:
1 - Franchises often require far less than the £200k required investment and it will be difficult to justify a higher investment than the franchise publicly state you need.
2 - Franchises may not require you to hire 2 full-time member of staff.
Finally, looking at whether your business is more likely to survive or give you a return on investment if it is a franchise, this is can only be estimated once we have reviewed your skills, experience and other business options.
The above does not mean that a franchise is not suitable for your application, only that it cannot be seen as a fast-track solution for a faster or cheaper route to home office approval.