At present, the options for overseas entrepreneurs wishing to start a business in the UK are rather limited.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur route was closed to new entrants in 2019. It remains open for visa extensions and applications for indefinite leave to remain.
This route was replaced by Start-up and Innovator visas which are openly more geared at high tech than any other area of enterprise.
Global talent visa is the new route introduced in 2020 for high achievers who are free to start any business of their choice or take up employment in the UK outside the sponsorship system.
There is still a route for representatives of overseas businesses seconded to the UK to operate the UK-based branch of the business. An overseas business can only have one representative under this immigration scheme, although other employees of the business can be brought over as sponsored employees.
The rules for investors are rather demanding financially, but this category permits accelerated settlement in the UK and offers other perks, such as unrestricted access to employment market and an opportunity to set up and manage your own business without the requirement to report to the endorsing bodies or achieve the prerequisite number of created job posts, revenue or income.