Despite recent progress, the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU have yet to be finalised, creating a great deal of uncertainty for businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the single bloc. The sticking point remains the solution to the Irish border, and with this in mind it’s hard to imagine entrepreneurs clamouring to relocated to the UK anytime soon.
However, the fact remains that locations such as Scotland offer a plethora of natural advantages to entrepreneurs, and this is unlikely to change in the long-term once the process of Brexit has been completed and the business community has had the chance to react to its new reality.
In this post, we’ll look at the advantages of relocating to Scotland, whilst considering the steps required to achieve this objective.
Why Relocate Your Residency and Business to Scotland?
In an uncertain and volatile economic climate, cost control remains one of the key focuses for entrepreneurs. In this respect, moving to Scotland makes perfect commercial sense, with the cost of renting an office in Scotland (and even central locations such as Glasgow and Ediburgh) far lower than in London.
In fact, the cost of renting a commercial space in Scotland is often cheaper than a host of cities in the UK, including bustling metropolises such as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.
The money saved through cheaper rent not only provides a financial contingency to small businesses, but it can also be reinvested into your venture to drive sustainable growth.
This could prove crucial in the current climate, whether you want to build brand awareness as a way of increasing turnover or restructuring the business to cope with economic demands and the threat of a recession.
Given the understated and underrated nature of Scotland, it’s also fair to surmise that the country is home to lots of new and as yet undiscovered talent.
Relocating your business north of the border and from elsewhere in the EU enables you to tap into this well, with recruitment agencies in Scotland are likely to charge less for their services than some firms in the English capital or other locations throughout Europe.
How to Relocate to Scotland
Of course, if you want to relocate your home and business from elsewhere in the UK, the process is relatively straightforward and no form of work visa is required.
Similarly, if you want to join the estimated 209,000 EU citizens who live and work in Scotland, there’s no current requirement to request a formal work visa thanks to the Union’s freedom of movement laws.
These will be lost regardless of how the UK leaves the EU, however, at which stage some iteration of the classic work visa is likely to be required for those hoping to settle for an extended period of time.
If you’re relocating to Scotland from outside of the EU, however, you’ll definitely need to possess a relevant work visa.
There are plenty of options available, and entrepreneurs with specialist skills who wanted to live and work in Scotland historically had to apply for a Tier 1 visa. These were discontinued in 2011, however, and those who intend to remain in Scotland and set up a business are now encouraged to apply for permanent residence.
You may need to liaise with immigration lawyers such as Withers to determine the best course of action for you, but it should be noted that you can usually make this application so long as you’ve lived anywhere in the UK for a period of between two and five years (depending on the precise nature of your work visa).
Of course, the rules and regulations pertaining to work visas and permanent residence in Scotland are subject to change against the backdrop of Brexit, so it may be worth waiting until the terms of the UK’s exit has been finalised before pressing ahead with your relocation plans.
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