Buying a business

Old Jun 3rd 2011, 12:28 pm
  #1  
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Default Buying a business

Hi everybody,

I am seriously considering buying an existing business in Barbados. I am a UK citizen.

I have been reading through this forum about work permits, immigration etc but have a few questions and I'd appreciate the views of members of this forum.

Have I understood the position correctly in that I could buy the business, employ the local staff (which I would want to do) but not actually work in the business myself as I would have no work permit? Sounds a bit weird!

Would I be right in thinking that I would be granted the right to stay on the island (supporting myself financially etc) to supervise/run the business (without actually drawing a wage) or would I have to leave at regular intervals and return?

Any input gratefully received!
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Buying a business

Hi Sunday Girl

Your comments are correct - consider it from a different perspective.

The issue is one of legal immigration status and that can only be given on merit and has nothing to do with what you own in the shape of a business - the guy that owns Harrods is a perfect example of such a situation - just cos he owns an expensive store does not give him status in the UK

There is nothing stopping you buying a business and running it remotely but immigration looks at the running of a business and your legal right to work/ reside in Barbados as two distinctive separate issues. The linking of them is via a Work Permit which anyone is entitled to apply for however they are like gold dust at the moment as the current government is not pro international workers in my opinion.

Your status would be that of any visitor in fact probably less because if you do not have a work permit and state that you are here to review your business entity then i think the standard business visa is 30 days whereas pure visitors can get up to 6 months.

I understand your outlook when I first started my business here 6 years ago my thinking was surely they cant let me set up a business but not be able to work for it!! Barbados immigration is very similar to that of UK so its not wierd per se its just that we dont get to see it all as we are citizens. To confirm if an African, Jamaican or Eskimo decided to come and set up a company in UK (cost £199) that would not give him the right to work in the UK or live there

Hope this helps you to see the situation in a different light
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Old Jun 4th 2011, 10:16 am
  #3  
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Default Re: Buying a business

Hi Serendipity,

Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed reply.

I do take your point that Barbados is no different to the UK in its approach to this one and that, until you consider all of the "rules" from all different angles, it can appear to be somewhat irrational!

I will give this some more thought before deciding whether to pursue buying a business out in Barbados. I can live with the fact that I couldn't actually work in the business without a permit (and I recognise that hell will probably freeze over before I got a permit!) For me, the fact that I couldn't work in the business isn't really too much of an issue as I would want to maintain/increase a local work force and to some degree supervising it remotely is OK because I would expect to be in the UK for some of the time anyway.

The position regarding the right to be in Barbados and for what length of time is the pivotal thing for me really and the fact that I could be restricted to 30 days at a time introduces a risk which I am not sure I would want to take. At the moment, I am considering an existing business but if I was trying to build up something from scratch I'd be very reluctant to invest. When taking over an existing business I would still want to put my own "stamp" on it and if I couldn't be there to see that happen ...... well ...... it makes me wonder, especially given some of the information I have read on this forum where people are not allowed back for 12 months etc and I recognise that there may be some "tit-for-tat" immigration decisions going on because of policy changes in the UK.

I'm not being critical of Barbados law but it does make me wonder if such a disincentive helps any country in the long run. The huge investors probably are happy to take risks and manage remotely but for smaller investors like me the position is a little different I guess. A lack of investment may well lead to fewer local jobs in the long run ......


Anyway, again, thanks for your help.
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Old Jun 5th 2011, 12:24 am
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Default Re: Buying a business

I dont disagree with anything you have said - in my opinion the current government has a very short term view on foreigh investment probably as a result of the previous government being very pro foreign investment. Election next year so result will be interesting if gov changes again who knows how this will affect the overview on foreign investment
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