Personal Immigration
Business Immigration

The ‘Genuine Entrepreneur’ test and Business Plans

The ‘Genuine Entrepreneur’ test was introduced in 2013, and is a discretionary element of the otherwise fairly objective Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) modernised guidance (v19) sets out in relation to initial applications that:

Where the applicant is being assessed under table 4 of appendix A, you must be satisfied that:

  • the applicant genuinely intends, and is able, to establish, take over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK within the next 6 months
  • the applicant genuinely has established, taken over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK and continues to operate that business or businesses
  • the money is genuinely available to the applicant and will remain available to them until such time as it is spent for the purposes of their business or businesses
  • if the applicant is relying on one or more previous investments to score points, they have genuinely invested all or part of the investment funds required in table 4 of appendix A into one or more genuine businesses in the UK the applicant does not intend to take employment in the UK other than working in their business

You must take into account the following:

  • the evidence submitted
  • the viability and credibility of the source of the money referred to in table 4 of appendix A available for investment
  • the viability and credibility of the migrant’s business plan and market research into their chosen business sector
  • their previous educational and business experience (or lack thereof)
  • their immigration history and previous activity in the UK
  • if the nature of the business requires mandatory accreditation, registration and/or insurance, whether that accreditation,
  • registration and/or insurance has been obtained
  • any other relevant information that can be considered within the context of the genuine entrepreneur test as drafted in the Immigration Rules

The Business Plan is a vital part of the application, and many Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applications are refused on the basis of genuineness not being accepted.

To give an application the best chances of success, a business plan should contain detailed information setting out the proposed business, demonstrating knowledge of the proposed market and setting out the market strategy.

The Business Plan needs to make clear the Applicant’s role: this must be an active role, and their duties and responsibilities within the proposed company are important.

The Business Plan should include competitor analysis, show plans for recruitment and financial projections.

The viability of a Business Plan is important: the Home Office will assess the background of the Applicant and their skills and previous experience in assessing whether they are likely to genuinely run the proposed UK business, as well as the viability of the financial projections and business in terms of market, etc.


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