Getting the timing right
But what happens if British citizens register their business in 2017 and then the UK leaves the EU two years later? Does that mean all is lost?
“Anyone who decides to set up a business now can do it without having to face great bureaucratic hurdles. Then you can use the remaining time until Brexit to prove yourself. If you have already been running your business for two years when the United Kingdom leaves the EU that will be a lot more impressive than a start-up that has only been going for a few weeks,” predicts Kühn. “The aim will always be to set up a business with a future. And if you can show two years of sound operation, no one is seriously going to want to come between a thriving business and its proprietor. I cannot image that someone would suddenly be deported after two years of success.”
The business plan - additional effort for non-EEA citizens
If citizens of a non-EEA country decide to register a business in Bremen, they face quite a struggle with bureaucracy. This begins with an application to the relevant embassy or consulate, where they have to submit various documents, including a business plan. Applicants must make a convincing case for the viability of the business they intend to set up.
What does such a business plan consist of? You need to outline your business concept. It also requires projected earnings, an investment plan, a capital requirement plan and a liquidity plan.
“Your business plan must be completely convincing in terms of why you are the person to see it through. Based on your plan, the assessors must be able to satisfy themselves that the proposal makes sense,” explains Kühn.
Once that is done, the foreign representative office sends the documentation to the relevant Municipal Immigration and Registration Authority in Germany. They in turn obtain expert advice, normally from their chamber of commerce. The chamber of commerce produces an expert opinion, which assesses the economic sustainability of the proposed business, among other things.
“The whole process could easily take a few months. That is something that needs to be considered when planning the time required,” says Kühn.
Meeting the needs of the region
One important aspect in favour of launching a start-up before Brexit takes effect is the consideration given to overriding economic interests for applications from non-EEA citizens. The expert opinion also assesses whether the business meets a particular regional need. This means that there is a particular onus on non-EU citizens to find a special niche.
For example: As a non-EU citizen wanting to set up a snack bar on Bremen’s Ostertorsteinweg you can expect to be turned down, because that small area already has a high density of snack bars. However, that does not matter to EU citizens, who do not need to find a special niche where they can add value.
Dear Brits – it’s last orders for start-ups! If you’ve always had an idea for your own business, now is the time to take the plunge. Here in Bremen, we like you and the added value you bring. We’re happy for you to come, and to stay!
For further information contact Manuel Kühn, project manager welcome service,
+49 (0)421 163 399-477, firstname.lastname@example.org
How to start your own business with our welcome service? Find out!
Click here for more information on our funding and support for businesses in Bremen.