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My wife and I would like to visit the UK in the future, but I was wondering whether my situation is going to be an issue or not (I would hope not, but you never know).

I am self employed, and I make a nice amount of money working as a contractor. I have two bank accounts: the personal one, and the business one.

The way it works is I can use the funds in my business account same as it were my personal account. There's no dividend or anything – my government only cares for the taxes I pay as self employed when the time comes. It's perfectly legal – any money I withdraw doesn't count as expenses, but anyways.

I usually have a specific day of month (+/- a day) when I transfer a fixed amount of money from the business account to my personal account, which I intend to use as living expenses. Sometimes I have some extra expenses (e.g. unexpected trip to the doctor), which I then again transfer from the business account to the personal one.

I'm wondering if such a setup can make it difficult for me to convince the officer I have enough funds to cover my expenses while in the UK. Can I even use my business account statements as proof of my income?

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    Please tell us your nationality. – MJeffryes Oct 11 '20 at 13:57
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    Review this Travel.SE question and its answers: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/66104/… which will help you understand how UKVI looks at applicants' bank statements. – DavidSupportsMonica Oct 11 '20 at 17:22
  • If you do transfer funds from your business account before using them for personal needs, and you also have tax records about your earnings, then I don’t quite see a problem. If you pay for personal stuff directly from your business bank account it may be more complex. – jcaron Oct 12 '20 at 21:17
  • Actually, re-reading your question... are you transferring just enough from your business account to your personal account to cover expenses, so any “savings” are actually left on tour business account? That may make things more complicated. Do you have any savings outside of your business bank account? – jcaron Oct 12 '20 at 21:19
  • Is the business account in your name or is there a distinct legal entity you've set up that holds the account? – phoog Oct 14 '20 at 12:07
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This is not a rare situation, and there are two reasonable ways you could go about it.

The first is to report your income as what you transfer from your business to personal accounts, including any personal expenses you pay directly from your business account. Report your expenses as the total of what you pay out of your personal account plus whatever you pay directly from your business account. Where a personal expense is paid direct from the business account, state in notes exactly what it is for.

The second way is to not distinguish between personal and business expenses. Report your income as all the money coming into your business (plus any income not related to the business), and expenses as everything you pay, including for your business. This is best if your business expenses are low.

Write notes of explanation saying what you are doing, and in either case include your business account statements, and some documentation to show that you are the sole owner of the business. Make sure that the transfers between business and personal match, especially that there are no unexplained transfers into either account.

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  • I like the second way since I think it suits me. My business expenses are minimal, since I am not a typical business. Pretty much all of the income, minus an accountant fee, counts as "earnings". Also, you say "write notes". Are these notes that I write when I apply online, or somewhere else? Sorry if I sound ignorant, but I have no idea what the process is like. – user113826 Oct 14 '20 at 15:43
  • I would suggest looking up the process and reading the notes provided for applicants. – DJClayworth Oct 14 '20 at 15:51
  • You're right. There is a section to write notes in the Visa application form. Thank you! – user113826 Oct 15 '20 at 13:09
  • This separation of business and personal bank accounts, for a self-employed person, is completely normal in the UK - and the business account may be named as Joe Smith Trading As Happy Services. – Owain Oct 15 '20 at 14:49

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