Ankara Agreement Visa: Establishing Your Business in the United Kingdom

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Successful Ankara visa applicants are required to set up a business venture in the UK to continue residing in the UK and potentially acquire permanent residence after 5 years.

As per UK immigration Rules, Home Office allows the applicants various business entry points, as such an Ankara visa holder can:

  • Set up new business
  • Join existing business venture
  • Take over established business

Let’s talk in greater details about each option below.

  1. Setting Up a New Venture

Applicants can start business operations in the UK by setting up one of the 3 different legal business structures:

  • A Sole Trader
  • Limited Company
  • Legal Partnership

There are pros and cons of setting up business in the UK via each of the legal structures. Registering as a sole trader is the simplest way to run a business, but the owner of the business is solely responsible for the liabilities and debts relating to business operations. A legal partnership is usually structured as an entity where the decision making in business operations is shared between 2 or more partners.

However, most of our clients are utilising the business structure of a limited company when starting their business operations in the UK. Why? The main reason is the fact that a limited company’s structure gives more options as to how to run a business and grow operations either by selling shares of the business in future or establishing new partners. Also, notably, a shareholder of a limited company is not liable for debts and liabilities of the business, unless the shareholder is in breach of financial laws and procedures.

Applicant’s education and experience should be relevant to the nature of the business they would like to operate in the UK. It’s essential, that applicant will invest sufficient funds into the business and the relevant capital amount should be reflected and explained in detail in a good-quality business plan.

  1. Joining An Existing Business

In order to join an existing business, an applicant will be required to show that they bring additional benefit to the company as well as investing their own funds into the company in the future. An applicant must provide evidence of financial activities for previous years of the company’s operation, such as financial statements of the business they would like to join, as its paramount to identify that business is genuine, active and requires investment.

An applicant must provide clear detailed legal written agreement of terms on which they enter the business, for instance, how much funds will be invested; what is the number of shares of the business that will be acquired by the applicant; which responsibilities will they undertake in the company. The application process does not allow angel investors or sleeping partners to benefit from this visa, only active partners of the business can acquire Ankara visa. It’s important to explain why an applicant will join a particular business and which added value they will bring with their experience, background and investment. All of these should be relevant to the business and the specific role, the applicant will be undertaking by joining the company.

The applicant should be the majority shareholder of the business they are looking to join in order to comply with Home Office Rules and Regulations.

  1. Taking Over an Established Business

Applicants can establish a business through taking over an existing business in the UK. Taking over the company will enable an entrepreneur to have full control with sole ownership over the company and its operations. Most of our clients purchase existing businesses by registering their own company in the UK first and then buying assets of the desired business or through the purchase of shares of an existing company. These are more favourable options to preserve the business capital, as purchasing the business from the owner directly will require the applicants to invest further own funds into business operations. It is vital for an applicant to have relevant education and experience in running a company they are looking to take over or the industry the business will be operating in.


You can request 15 minutes free consultation from our immigration lawyers; it will be conducted over the phone only.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul and St Petersburg and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at enquiries@manns-solutions.com or call +44 207 993 63 46.