How can we help?


Representative of an Overseas Business Visa: Choosing an appropriate representative

The Representative of an Overseas Business Visa is aimed at overseas companies intending on setting up their business in the UK. This visa allows those companies, which do not already have an active presence in the UK, to send a sole representative for this purpose.

Who to send?

The first question to ask is, who to send? This is primarily a question for the business as they may want to send someone who is capable in setting up the business for them in the UK. However, the visa requirements expressly require this individual to have:

  • Been employed by the overseas (parent) company in a senior job role
  • A track record of setting up branches for other companies, if employed specifically for this purpose
  • Authority take operational decisions once in the UK which should be demonstrated by the company hierarchy.

Overseas Companies should however note that the sole representative cannot be an agent who has been hired as a consultant to market the company’s services, neither can they be sales representative as the purpose of this representative is to have broader responsibility in setting up the business.

The Representative of an Overseas Business Visa is aimed at overseas companies intending on setting up their business in the UK

How many representatives can you send?

The route only allows one individual on this visa, but once the company is set up, the individual can then obtain a Tier 2 sponsor licence to sponsor further employees of the overseas company.

It is important to note that if during the course of this visa, the individual is no longer the sole representative, he should switch to a Tier 2 visa, provided the company has a sponsorship licence.

Can you send a shareholder?

This route is not for majority shareholder of a company, and the Home Office guidance says that applications from shareholders who own more than 50 percent of the company will be rejected.

About this article

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

  • 10 April 2024
  • Employment

New Guidance: Confidence to Recruit

The new Government guide in collaboration with the CIPD aims to give employers the confidence to recruit its workforce from a wider range of people including those who may have been overlooked in the past as a problem rather than an asset.

  • 03 April 2024
  • Employment

FAQ’s on the new Carer’s Leave Act

Beginning on 6 April 2024, the Carer’s Leave Act comes into force, meaning carers are now entitled to request 1 week’s unpaid leave to care for their dependants.

  • 02 April 2024
  • Construction

UK housebuilders investigated over suspected exchanges of anti-competitive information

In 2022 the CMA was called upon by the Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities to conduct a study into the housebuilding sector and provide recommendations on how the sector can operate as efficiently as possible

  • 28 March 2024
  • Corporate and M&A

Legal perspectives on ESG and director duties

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, the concept of ESG factors has emerged as a guiding framework for companies seeking to thrive in the long term.

  • 27 March 2024
  • Commercial Real Estate

5 key considerations when taking on a lease of a pub property

Taking on a pub property can be both exciting and daunting. Here are 5 key considerations that pub tenants should consider when taking on this new venture.

  • 26 March 2024
  • Employment

Navigating Neuroinclusion: A Guide for Employers

Over the past few years, we have seen a marked rise in awareness of neurodiversity, as well as campaigns for awareness and inclusion in the workplace for neurodiverse employees.