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Business Opportunities in The UK for Foreigners

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

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The fact that the United Kingdom is listed among the most competitive and significant markets there are today will certainly not come as a surprise to anybody. Characterized by a melting pot of influences as ethnically diverse as they are culturally distinct, the four united countries are most remarkably favorable to expatriates and welcome innovation with open arms.

To do business and successfully establish their presence in the kingdom, a foreign entrepreneur had better get acquainted with the environment and consequently adjust to the emerging local market trends.

Why conduct business in the UK, where, and what sector to invest in are questions the following article endeavors to answer.

business opportunities in uk

A little bit about the UK economy for starters

With roughly 79% of its GDP originating from the tertiary sector, let us not forget that the UK is primarily a service-oriented economy. World leader in innovative and creative engineering and industry solutions, the kingdom harbors numerous business incubators and accelerators. This focus on innovation programs development provides particularly fertile ground for start-up entrepreneurship.

Because of the strong entrepreneurial culture that permeates the UK, SMEs form a crucial part of the economic fabric, accounting for an astounding 99% of all registered enterprises and over 60% of jobs in the private sector.

Why invest in the United Kingdom?

One of the UK's most attractive attributes is how liberalized its economy has become, possibly making it the most favorable business environment to entrepreneurs. It is no coincidence if, in the 2020 edition of the World Bank Group's "Doing Business", the United Kingdom ranks 8th in a total of 190 economies.

While thirty-two days on average are needed in Europe for an enterprise to start operating, another indicator of the propitious nature of the UK's economy is that it takes roughly thirteen days to establish a company.

Interesting opportunities for foreigners

Yet another positive point is that the UK is a staunch defender of entrepreneurship. No discriminations divide British nationals and foreigners, neither for the setup nor the management of private enterprises.

While, in some sectors, participation in share capital is restricted, the UK made it clear it wants to offer a welcoming environment for registered self-employed foreign investors. However, the signing of Bilateral Investment Treaties with other countries and the absence of laws and regulations limiting foreign ownership and investment does not relieve entrepreneurs of their obligation to abide by the competition law.

entrepreneur working from home

Investment opportunities for entrepreneurs in the UK

Being one of the most liberal economies in the world does not prevent the government from retaining variable levels of control over some key areas, however, namely: the transportation, energy, healthcare, defense, and media sectors.

In the UK, coal mining, financial and corporate services, aerospace, chemistry, pharmaceutical, and automobile industries are all strategic economic sectors. Renewable energies, communication, information, luxury, cultural and creative industries (such as print publishing and multimedia, audiovisual and film production, crafts, and fashion business) are listed as high-potential sectors.

Investing in London for small businesses

It is no wonder why close to 90% of the participating business owners agreed on London being a particularly fruitful city in a recent survey carried out by the Confederation of British Industry. Not only is the city a world-leading pole in financial services, but additionally, its banking sector is both healthy and sturdy; its labor law framework is among the most flexible, and the overall unemployment rate is one of the lowest worldwide.

The first finance center in the world, London offers numerous business opportunities in a wide array of spheres, such as, to name only a few: the arts, trade, education, entertainment, fashion, tourism, and professional service sectors. To give you an idea of the almost endless variety of business opportunities available, below is a sample of five ideas well worth exploring:

1. Microbreweries

Teeming metropolis, London can be exhausting. After putting in a hard day's work, what better way is there to relax than sit down with a fresh foamy beer? Investing in the erection of a pub from the ground up may be far from being attainable to all, but a home-based microbrewery, however, is more often than not well within reach. From experimenting with new brewing recipes to striking deals with distributors, homemade microbreweries are sure to keep clients coming back!

man serving beer at microbrewery

2. Personal trainer/coach/teacher

If you are gifted in arts or skilled at teaching a particular subject, opting for a professional transition and becoming an in-home teacher could prove beneficial, be it music, mathematics, or yoga. Once your customer base is secured, expanding further on the idea could lead you to the setup of a dedicated enterprise.

3. Mobile catering services

Maybe you did not know but, for lack of time or simple motivation, over 50% of Londoners have traded pans and wooden spatulas for the rapidity and convenience of home deliveries. With half the population putting away their oven mitts, there is never a shortage of demand for fast food providers.

As for microbreweries, one does not need to live high on the hog to go about setting up a home delivery service. All it takes is thoughtful planning, proper customer targeting, and diverse yet appetizing meals on the menu, and off you go!

4. Housekeeping services

Million-pound ideas are not as uncommon as you would think, all it takes is a little determination. For example, busy as busy can be, Londoners nonetheless expect cleanliness and tidiness in their homes. With no time nor desire to sweep the flat up and vacuum left and right in their spare time, the gap is yours to fill in with tailored housekeeping assistance. Regular customers and excellent feedback can get you far in this business!

female housekeeper mopping floor

5. Financial consultation services

More entrepreneurs make extra money on the internet nowadays. In that regard, the ever-increasing popularity of online business and swot analysis is a telltale sign of the steady and intergenerational need for financial services and the like. Insurance, investment, mortgage advice, pension plans, or tax expertise are all in high demand.

You could very well be a freelance financial or tax consultant, guide customers in need of advice and help them save up money while earning a commission rate upon completion.

Whatever your business idea might be, if it shows potential, there is always a way for you to get funding for your start-up. We, at Funding Routes, set out to help SMEs make the best out of their potential. With our selection of the best up-to-date solutions, you are sure to find the most suited deal. Get in touch, and let one of our consultants advise you on the best ways to grow your business, fund future projects, and reinvest into your business.

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