Accountants have an important role to play during the renewal of Entrepreneur visa, which is why as a fully qualified member and a fellow of ACCA, I thought to shed some light on from an accountant’s perspective.
Let’s first prepare a list of mandatory documents, which are required by UKVI for the successful renewal of the visa:
1. Application form
2. Current appointment reports with recent filing history
3. Employee documents i.e. passport copies to prove that they are settled individuals
4. A minimum of the previous 12 months payslips for the employees you are using to gain points
5. A minimum of the previous 12 months FPS report for the employees you are using to gain points. Make sure that you include the FPS reports that indicates the employees start date with the company
6. Director Loan agreement/Share certificate
7. Personal and business bank statements clearly identifying the transfer of director loan from personal account to business account
8. Financial statements indicating the director loan under creditors
9. English language fulfillment documents
10. Personal bank statements to fulfill the maintenance requirement.
I will now discuss the above points step by step. Please note that I will not be discussing English language or maintenance requirements as they are quire self-explanatory. Please note that you should always follow the guidance issued by UKVI and the following should use as a guideline and not to be constituted as advice. As a human, I may have mistakenly omitted a few points so the fellow members are welcome to chip in and make this post as useful as it could be for the fellow applicants.
Current Appointment reports with recent filing history
This is a report, which shows the company details, the details of the directors and their respective appointment dates and also show the recently filed documents to companies’ house. I have noticed that some of the applicant’s visas were refused because the wrong report was provided by the accountant. It is vital that you ask your accountant to provide you with the current appointments report with recent filing that could be ordered through companies’ house, previously web check process. Every accountant is aware of this report and need to be specifically told as to what is required. If you ask the accountant for the generic report than he/she may provide a report that will cover the above but it may not be the current appointment report generally accepted by UKVI. Accountants letter confirming the above WOULD NOT fulfil the requirement. Also, you cannot blame the accountant as not many accountants are aware of the UKVI requirements.
As per the requirements, you are only required to show that the employee is a settled worker in UK and the employees start date. However, as we have recently noticed a sudden influx of interviews at the applicants business premises, which is why it may be prudent (not required) to provide extra documents. The extra documents I would suggest are the documents, which every business usually request from the employee and provide to the employee. Those documents could be:
1. Passport copy to prove the workers status
2. Proof of address
3. A signed employment contract
You can request your accountant to provide you with a P11 that indicates the employees start date, which would be in line of the employment contract. The extra documents that I have outlined above are usually requested from the applicant during the interview.
A minimum of the previous 12 months payslips for the employees you are using to gain points. You may also choose to attach the payment confirmation print out from your bank showing the wages payment made to each employee and attach it with the payslips. This is not required but is usually requested from the applicant during the interview.
You may also choose to sign each payslip and payment receipts attach to those payslips.
A minimum of the previous 12 months FPS report for the employees you are using to gain points. Make sure that you include the FPS reports that indicate the employees start date with the company. Your accountant should be able to provide you with these.
You may also choose to attach print outs from HMRC website that will show the figures submitted to HMRC, which will match the FPS reports and the payments made to HMRC, which is not required but is usually requested from the applicant during the interview. Your accountant should be able to help you with this.
It is an absolute must that the financial statements are prepared by a qualified accountant who is a member of a qualifying body such as ACCA, ICAEW, CIMA etc. It is also important that the accountant is allowed to practise as an accountant by their bodies. You should ask your accountant if they hold a valid practicing certificate. You may decide to request the copy of your accountants practicing certificate, which is again not required but may be requested during an interview.
The financial statements must clearly indicate your full name under company information, director’s report, and balance sheet and under notes in front of director loan. The financial statements must be signed by both you and the accountant. You will sign the director report and balance sheet while the accountant would sign the accounts compilation report.
You may request a letter from your accountant, confirming their membership number and if they hold a valid practicing certificate. The letter may also indicate that you are the director and shareholder of the company and have introduced the director loan. The letter should also confirm that they are your accountants and prepared the financial statements. It is important that the letter mentions that the accountant is willing to confirm the contents of this letter on UKVI request. This is again not a requirement but may be requested during an interview.
You do not have to provide the last number of year accounts but the latest accounts that shows the full amount of director loan. In certain cases, your application renewal date may come before your company yearend. If your previous accounts shows the full director loan than you can provide the previous year accounts. If they do not than you can ask your accountant to prepare management accounts from the first day of your company accounting year till the last date of the month, just before you send your application.
If you have invested in the form of share capital than you should ask your accountant to make sure that your name is clearly mentioned as a shareholder on the accounts and in front of the shares issued and paid. Your accountant should also be able to provide you with the shares certificate and the confirmation statement/annual return (previously) showing the amount invested in shares.
Home office is now very keen to ascertain if you are a genuine entrepreneur, which is why you should insure that the following documents are provided. Please note that some of the following documents are not required by UKVI. However, genuine entrepreneur has a vast definition and the following would assist you to prove UKVI that you are a genuine entrepreneur. Also, the following may not be required by UKVI but are requested if an interview is conducted.
1. Copies of VAT returns if you are VAT registered with the proof of payments
2. Copies of corporation tax return with the proof of payment if any tax was due. You are not required to provide the tax return but are required to provide any documents issued by HMRC confirming that the company is registered for corporation tax purposes indicating the UTR.
3. Copies of your employer’s liability insurance. If you have employees than you are required by law to have employers liability insurance
4. Copies of your public liability insurance.
5. Copies of your professional indemnity insurance if you are involved as a professional in an advisory role such as an accountant.
6. Any advertisement material, which could include the print out of your website, any SEO that you pay for or any other advertisement.
7. Copies of the contracts between you and the client.
8. Copies of some invoices issued to the client and the confirmation of payments received in your business bank account.
I mentioned some above but have prepared an extensive list that may assist you during your interview, which you could check at uk-tier-1-entrepreneur-visas/entreprene ... 39738.html
In the end, I would strongly suggest that your accountants and your lawyers are your best friends but you should not accept any advice blindly and should ensure that you compare the information provided to the UKVI guidance and the wealth of information provided on this forum.
I wish you all good luck and remember, the case worker is as mortal as you are and if you are a genuine entrepreneur than the above may require time to gather the documents but would give you a peace of mind that you are genuine entrepreneur.
Lastly, write a detailed cover letter explaining your business, which is al though not, required but would enormously assist you with your case. Please make sure that you organize the documents in a way that you include the mandatory documents together and extra documents separately, which will make the case workers life a little easier and as the human nature suggests, may result in your case being approved.