15 October 2019

The Sole representative who are shareholders

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The current immigration rules require that a sole representative is not a majority shareholder in the overseas parent company. 

Where a sole representative holds more than 50% of available shares, their application will be refused, which means an applicant can still own 50% shares. If a business does not have shares, then there are no specific requirements as to the control you can have over it. 

Can a sole representative own shares in the UK company?

 No, because to apply for further leave and indefinite leave to remain a sole representative will provide evidence that the overseas parent company holds all shares. 

Can a sole representative sell shares in the overseas parent company?

A sole representative can sell their shares in the overseas parent company and provide evidence of previous ownership along with the sale of share since then at the time of extension or settlement. 

How to become a shareholder in the UK company?

If the sole representative wants to be a shareholder in the UK company, they may consider the following potential immigration routes;

  • Tier 1 Investor (Where the investment in the UK will be at least £2 million)
  • Tier 2 General (where the applicant’s shareholding is over 10% can only be used if the salary to be paid in the UK is at least £159,600)

Can the UK branch or subsidiary hire more employees?

The UK branch or subsidiary can employee British citizens, EEA or Swiss nationals without needing work permits. To employ skilled workers with a long-term job offer from outside the EU, the business must first submit a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application.   

About the Author

Riaz Anwar
A talented and dedicated public relations professional, Riaz, has more than 14 years of experience helping organisations communicate more effectively. He has developed strategic communications plans garnered extensive media coverage, produced marketing materials coordinated special events, and hosted other communications activities.

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