Sole Representative Business Plan Template 2020 (Basic Guidance)

Make sure your UK branch’s business plan covers the following areas in detail to maximise your company’s chances of success…

While the below Sole Rep Business Plan Template and related guidelines do not reveal our exact proprietary structuring, document layout or the depth of information typically presented, it will give you a sense of the scope of work required to ensure that your new UK branch’s business plan passes muster.

(NOTE: Most of the business plans we develop for Sole Representative Visa applicants are at least 50 pages or longer, and feature in-depth market research, analysis and findings compiled by our senior application advisors and expert UK business plan writers.)

  1. COMPELLING EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Any winning Sole Representative Business Plan must feature a  succinct, compelling executive summary that will allow the Home Office case appraiser reviewing your file to grasp your vision, value proposition and plans instantly – especially if they are not familiar with your particular industry.

    The executive summary must therefore present key information regarding the new UK branch or subsidiary’s proposed products and/or services, as well as the applicant’s key skills and industry experience, in a compelling and digestible manner.

    In addition, it must also touch on the overall accessible target market and anticipated target segments, while providing an external overview of the new company’s focus industry, its vision, mission, short and medium term objectives as well as the critical factors that will contribute to its success.

  2. PRODUCT / SERVICES OVERVIEW: A detailed and easily digestible overview of your intended product and/or services offering in the UK is key, and should feature early on in your UK branch’s business plan. It is important to note that the new UK branch’s core business activities must be closely correlated to those of the overseas parent company.

    What is the business model, and how exactly do you intend to scale the business up?

  3. BRANCH RATIONALE: Why is the parent company’s choosing to set up a branch office or subsidiary in the UK, specifically? And where exactly will the company be set up, and why?

    Failure to adequately outline the rationale for the branch can negatively impact on your application’s chances for success.

  4. REVENUE & FINANCIAL FORECAST: Failing to plan is planning to fail – especially when it comes to finances. Your branch business plan should therefore include a detailed financial snapshot summarising the projected financial performance during the forecast five-year period of the company for quick and easy consumption.

    If, for example, your revenue is to be semi-annuitised, a table illustrating projected compounding revenue growth could be an appropriate element to include.

  5. PARENT COMPANY OVERVIEW: The legitimacy and establishedness of the overseas mother company will come under close scrutiny by the UK Home Office. In addition to the company headquarters having to be presented as an established, reputable and viable business entity, it is also vital that compelling proof is provided that the overseas business will remain based abroad and will continue trading in its country of origin.

    This is often referred to as the Centre of Operations Test, and is a vital application hurdle to clear.

  6. APPLICANT PROFILE: Apart from the parent company itself, the individual visa applicant will arguably receive the most scrutiny. A detailed profile of the Overseas Representative, indicating their key relevant skills, experience and seniority within the company, their qualifications and overall career achievements can be a make-or-break component of any Sole Rep Visa application.

  7. APPOINTMENT AND SENIORITY AFFIRMATION: The overseas business must provide a notarised affirmation of the applicant’s appointment as the Sole Representative and managing staff member of the UK branch or subsidiary. Extensive documentary proof of their tenure with the overseas company should be submitted in the appropriate format as well.

  8. UK MARKET RESEARCH: Detailed market research is a key requirement for success in applying for the Representative of an Overseas Company Visa. The branch business plan should  identify key external  performance drivers, outline market conditions, and provide key indicators sourced from respected research firms or publications.

    Without this component, or if this particular aspect is insufficiently expounded upon, your application could be rejected outright.

  9. ORGANISATIONAL CHARTS: A copy of the parent company’s organisational chart, combined with a proposed organisational structure for the UK branch based on an anticipated staffing plan, should be included in a visual format.

  10. SWOT ANALYSIS: Any solid UK branch business plan should include a rigorous assessment of both the parent company and the proposed branch’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – especially within the context and uncertainties of Brexit.

    We can assist you in presenting this, and all other material aspects of your application, in a clear and compelling manner.

  11. COMPETITOR OVERVIEW: Which core competitors will your UK branch be up against? A clear overview and demonstrable understanding of the competitive landscape will be key, not only for your commercial success, but for your visa application as well.

  12. TARGET MARKET: A discussion of the target market and the core marketing & advertising strategies that will be adopted to appeal to those prospects.

  13. GO TO MARKET STRATEGY: This component of your branch business plan needs to illustrate that the overseas head office A) has the means to commit the proposed funds to marketing and sales tactics, along with a level of detail as to how the business will market itself and grow its commercial traction in the UK.

  14. PROOF OF MEANS (APPLICANT AND PARENT COMPANY): The applicant must be able to prove that they possess the financial means to adequately accommodate and support themselves in the UK without recourse to state funds. The company should be able to prove that it has the financial wherewithal to support the proposed expansion into the UK.

  15. The proposed UK branch or subsidiary’s financial projections for the first 3 to 5 years should be laid out in the appropriate detail and format, taking cognisance of the economic prospects, operational risks and profit growth, backed by realistic assumptions and verifiable calculations.

  16. PROACTIVE OPERATIONAL AND FINANCIAL RISK MITIGATION: The branch business plan should articulate how the proposed business will mitigates its key risks, both in terms of offensive and defensive strategies.

  17. GENERAL BUSINESS PLAN PRESENTATION: Given that the business plan could be anywhere between 40 and 100 pages in length, it is highly advisable to present the document in a graphically laid-out format featuring charts, diagrams, flowcharts and infographics in order to aid the appraiser in their task. Failure to do so can negatively impact on the application’s chances for success.

    DISCLAIMER: The above information is intended to serve as general information on the topic only, and the publishers will not be held liable for any financial losses or opportunity costs suffered as a result of reliance on this information, either directly or indirectly. In accessing this information you understand and acknowledge that there exists no relationship between yourself (or your company) and the publishers or the immigration experts and UK immigration solicitors we work with.

    While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information published on this website, immigration rules are constantly changing.

    As such, the older information becomes, the less likely it is that it will reflect the current rules and status quo.

    Legal advice is only provided to contract clients, and it is highly recommended that you consult a suitably qualified UK immigration expert before making any decisions pertaining to UK business immigration.