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December 9, 2020

Start-up Visa: Importance of Detailed Business Plan

A start-up visa is a category that allows entry into the UK for persons who wish to establish a business for the first time. You will need to show you have a creative, operable and expandable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body. It offers leave to remain for a period of two years, and although it does not lead directly to settlement, you may move into the innovator category.

What is an endorsing body?

The body will review your business proposal and decide if it meets the required tests. If it does, it will send specific information to the Home Office in an endorsement letter and will contain things such your personal and business details. The letter must be dated within three months of your immigration application.

The business proposal

In order to give your business the best chance of a start-up visa, you must ensure your application meets the following requirements:

  • Innovation – You have a bona fide, original business plan that meets new or current market needs or creates a competitive edge
  • Viability – You are actively advancing the knowledge, skills, market awareness and experience to run a successful business
  • Scalability – You must provide proof of structured planning and the potential for job creation and growth into nationwide markets

 How do I make my business plan viable?

Aside from the above three elements, a business plan should prove that it is an idea worth pursuing. You should ask yourself such things as: is there a market for it? Is there room for it or is the market saturated therefore making it nonviable? Can you fund it? Do you have a contingency plan if anything goes wrong? And perhaps the most important question of all – have you got what it takes?

Market research

Your business plan should detail all the market research you have undertaken. You need to make sure there is depth of quality and enough participants to gain a reliable picture of the UK business market within your start-up visa business idea.

Your market research should cover both primary (which you conduct yourself) and secondary (data published by secondary sources) market research to provide enough detailed information to confirm there is a market for your business.

Competitive analysis

The purpose of this is to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of any competitors within your market and develop strategies that provides you with an advantage over them. You should also identify any barriers you can establish to avoid competition entering the market, and any weaknesses you can exploit.

Operations and management plan

This is used to describe how the business will function on a day-to-day basis. It should highlight the systems and inner workings of the business such as management responsibility or tasks designated to each department.

An essential factor in creating a successful business plan in order to secure a start-up visa is to make sure it is viable and complete with extensive and correct costs estimates. The UK government are not looking for traditional businesses but instead, are looking towards new and innovative projects surrounding technology and digital platforms. Although innovation is not limited to these industries, business innovation closely linked to creativity and the creative sector are also a feasible option for a start-up visa.


Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration advisers regulated by OISC.

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration advisers in London Office, please contact us at or call +44 207 993 63 46.