There is no reason in principle you cannot finance the purchase of an overseas business in the UK. The Business Banking Code says that before a bank lends you any money, they will assess whether they feel that you will be able to repay it. This will probably entail undertaking an assessment which may include the following:
- Information you give them, including information to prove your identity and why you want to borrow the money
- Your business plan and accounts
- Your business’ cash flow, profitability and existing financial commitments
- Any personal financial commitments which may affect the business
- How you have handled your finances in the past
- Information the bank gets from credit reference agencies
- Credit-assessment techniques, such as credit scoring
- Any security provided
- What ongoing information the bank expects you to provide to support the financing.
In the case of starting up abroad the issue of the security you offer for the loan will probably be critical. The bank will also want to know the local circumstances of the business and whether local financing might be available. They will also seek information on how you intend managing and controlling the business if you are not based in the country where the business is located.
The alternative to a loan would be to seek to interest an individual or UK business to invest equity (risk capital) in the business in return for a share of the profits. You would be more likely to secure such an investment through organisations linked to that country such as through Chambers of Commerce or the UK Embassy of the country concerned.
Regardless of how you’re funding your business, consider accepting money and holding it in a multi-currency account. TransferWise is a good option to consider – it’s a free account that comes with US, Eurozone, Australia, and UK bank account details. This means you can avoid receiving fees when you’re sent US dollars, euros, Australian dollars, and pounds. And you can easily move money from TransferWise into your domestic bank account. They’ll convert your money at the mid-market rate and could be up to eight times cheaper than banks when making international payments.
This article was updated on June 20th 2018.