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Opportunity for Computer Programmers to Work and Settle in the UK

Programmers who are experts in the field of Computer Technology, generally come to the United Kingdom with Ankara Agreement and are looking for ways to become a freelance software developer. However, the Ankara Agreement is not appropriate for computer programmers very much. This is because programmers often work on long-term projects.  The British Ministry of Interior believes that programmers living in the UK through Ankara Agreement are actually doing work that requires a work permit. In other words, while they are required to do their own business, they create problems in visa extension applications, claiming that they are actually working as workers in people or companies with customers.

However, it is also possible to come to the UK with a work permit without applying to the Ankara Agreement. Of course, you need to be a really talented programmer for this. It’s worth adding. After staying with a work permit for 5 years, there is a chance of permanent residence and citizenship.

A Special Startup Guide for England

With the digital development and transformation of the modern era

the technology sector is at the top of the list of investment areas. There is now almost no sector that digitalization and artificial intelligence technologies have not come into contact with or almost no individual that they have not affected. This profound change and transformation in technology has begun to affect not only individuals and institutions, but also the future provisions of countries and even their domestic and foreign policies. It is seen that thanks to the technology companies operating in the name of our country to take part in this wave of change and transformation, our country is also presenting ideas and products that can compete worldwide. On the other hand, the fact that investments made by Turkish firms in other countries in competition with the world play an important role is another thing emphasized with importance not only by sectoral officials but also by financial advisors. On the other hand, the UK is the most remarkable market among the countries to be invested regarding Turkish technology companies claiming international competition because of the UK’s ease of language, proximity, and openness to technological developments and new ideas. As a matter of fact, very useful studies free of charge are being conducted by the UK Government for Turkish Startups.

The UK Department of International Trade established by the UK Government as the responsible unit for commercial agreements between the UK and countries that are not members of the EU introduces the investment atmosphere in the UK to entrepreneurs from foreign countries through commercial units established by English consulates in 51 countries. The main duties of these commercial units are the execution of the Trade Policies of the UK in the countries they are located in, the management of UKEF and International Trade and Investment. The authorities in charge of this department provide advice to companies and business people wishing to invest in the UK about the UK’s commercial and legal system. There is not only location analysis, sectoral reports, company establishment procedures, taxation system, employment and information on possible incentives among these services, but also contact with sectoral institutions and appropriate service providers and information on visa types.

To this end, it is being planned by the UK government that owners of new projects and notions and technology firms will be made to come together in the UK in October 2019 within the framework of an activity and Startups will be encouraged to invest in the UK.

UK Market and Its Advantages

Firms in the technological sector having performed a growth performance that is 2.6 times faster in comparison of the UK economy received a venture capital of 4.5 Billion Pounds in total in 2017. These investments, which have doubled compared to those of 2016, are higher than the total investments made in Germany, France, Spain and Republic of Ireland. In 2018, the total capital investment (VC) received only for startups was recorded as 6.1 billion Pounds. Thanks to this dynamic and attractive investment environment, the UK has become Europe’s leader in ventures and public offerings with a capital worth at least £ 1 Billion and the world’s third state after the United States and the People’s Republic of China.

The structure distant from bureaucracy, equality in the taxation system and the principle of simplicity, easiness in the establishment of companies and reception of permission documents taken into account; the UK market is ranked the 7. in the sequence by the World Bank in terms of doing business easily. This success is largely due to the technology-centered, rapidly adaptable structure of the UK market. In addition to these, the UK market has become the Market primarily preferred by companies also due to the large talent pool, attitude open to innovations, cosmopolitan working environment and easiness for attaining finances and investment and easiness in technological adaptation.

When entering a new country market , many parameters need to be evaluated together for a company. The most important of these parameters are the market structure and dynamics of the country and the choice of location accordingly, as well as the administrative and legal procedures to be followed in order for the companies to start and continue their activities. Here, the questions that come to mind in terms of investor persons or companies;

  • can be sorted as
  • How to set up a company?
  • Expenses at what amount must I conduct?
  • Where and how to open a bank account? What kind of visa options are available?

Company Establishment Procedure in the UK

Establishing a company in the UK is a fairly simple procedure. A unique company registration can be made online with a minimum capital of £ 1. Establishment costs are also very low.

Where and How to Open a Bank Account?

One of the main requirements for opening a bank account for a newly established company is that there is a resident director of the company living in England. In addition to these, some documents such as an address in England, partnership structure, bank account reports, financial reports and projections of the company, list of customers and suppliers in England if available and the business plan projected by the company for the UK are demanded from company officials. In addition, a signature authority must be appointed by the UK-based company that wishes to open a bank account.

Companies may encounter some difficulties in obtaining a bank account. Since the bank accounts of the companies at startup level are not considered sufficient by some British banks, the bank that they want to open an account in according to the current turnover of the company should be selected carefully.  In addition to this, as the UK has been effectively combating money laundering pursuant to  ‘know your customer’ law , it can take up to 3 months for the banks to examine the documents they want and to open the account.


What kind of visa options are available?

Innovator Visa

As of March 31, following the amendments to the visa legislation, it became difficult for the main shareholders to obtain visas. Pursuant to the new regulation, the case of whether the business notion subject of the company activity is innovatory, sustainable and scalable must be approved by some cluster firms for the main partner of the company to obtain a work and residency permit in the UK. These cluster companies, thanks to their incubation centers and accelerators, enable investors to adapt to the new economic system as well as bring the company to investors through their networks. Organizations such as Techcity, Techstar, Digital Catapult, Oxyigen and Innovative Finance are considered the best clusters in the UK in this field. Pursuant to the visa laws that went into effect after March 31, for the main partners of a company to get a residence and work permit in the UK, the business plan must be approved by technology institutions where some of these firms or more of them are located. In this case, the main partners of the company can apply for a visa with innovator visa option. After the 8-week approval period, the company, which will operate in the UK, is required to certify that 50,000 Pounds will be transferred as capital. When these conditions are met, permanent residence permit can be granted to the main partners of the company at the initial stage for 3 years and with the option of prolongation at the subsequent stage.

Startup Visa

If the company to be established is at startup level, it can apply to ‘startup visa’ which is similar to ‘Innovator Visa’. In this visa type, which does not require capital, the residence and working permit is limited to 2 years. However, at the end of these two years, a re-application to the Innovator Visa is required.

Sole Representative2 Visa

If the main partner of the company has to be in Turkey or has to often travel to Turkey after the establishment of the new company in the UK, a sole representative may be appointed for the company in the UK by the main partner of the company. The visa option for this authority is the ‘sole representative2’ visa type. This authorized person may be one of the main shareholders of the company or only a company partner. In this visa option where there is no approval process for the business plan, differently from ‘Innovative Visa’ applications, the appointed official can be granted a residence and work permit of 3 years at the first stage and the permanent residence and work permit in the subsequent stage together with prolongations.

Apart from the visa options mentioned above, various visa options like exceptional talent, graduate entrepreneur, standard visitor and business visa, general and intercompany transfer visas and Ankara agreement provide opportunities for those who want to start a new life in the UK.


UK taxation system

The UK has the lowest tax base among the G20 countries with a 19% corporate tax rate. This rate is being planned by the UK government to be gradually reduced to %17 until 2020. Considering this tax rate is between %25-34 in countries such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy that are the locomotive economies of the European Union, it can easily be noticed that the UK is quite an advantageous market in terms of taxation. Moreover, thanks to the Double Taxation Agreement in effect between the UK and Turkey, the taxation to be conducted again can only be implemented at the rate of corporate taxes of both countries in the case of the transfer of the profit obtained by the companies to Turkey. Furthermore, there is no withholding tax in the UK.

In addition, 2.3 times of all R & D expenditures in the country can be deducted from the tax within the framework of the support given to the UK’s technology and R & D studies. In Turkey, this ratio is in the form of 1X1. The corporate tax rate on the profits obtained as a result of patent studies in England is 10%. In addition, regional incentives can be offered periodically thanks to strong local governments.

A tax deduction of %30 is granted to investor companies in investments made to companies having obtained SEIS and EIS investment documents by the UK government for the purpose of encouragement of foreign investors. This encourages investment in start-ups at an early stage or at a scale-up level.

Sectoral Analysis of Cities in the UK

Although London comes to mind first in terms of investment, other regions of England also come to the forefront in different sectors. To illustrate, while London comes to the forefront in Fintek technology, Bristol does this in smart cities, Cambridge does this in artificial intelligence technology, Edinburgh does this in data science and Manchester does this in the field of the media-communication in England.

The UK government, paying special attention to investments to made in the fields of artificial intelligence, healthcare-hospiscare for the aging population, smart cities and environmentally-friendly growth, is aiming for significant transition until the year 2035 within the framework of the strategy of equal distribution of technological and industrial investments across the country. This is seen as a great opportunity for technology producing companies and start-ups.

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