Endorsing body & Endorsement Letter

In order for your business proposal to be endorsed, an approved endorsing body will need to be satisfied that your business idea meets all of the following criteria:

  • Innovation: You have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage;
  • Viability: You have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business;
  • Scalability: Your business plan shows evidence of structured planning and potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

The endorsing body will also need to be satisfied that you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing business ventures.

If you are applying to continue the same business venture as in your initial application, you will need to demonstrate significant achievements judged against the business plan assessed in your previous endorsement. You will need to demonstrate that you are registered with Companies House as a Director or Member of your business, your business is active, trading and appears sustainable for at least the following 12 months, you have had an active key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business and you will spend your entire working time in the UK on developing your business ventures.

List of approved UK Innovator visa endorsing bodies

We have published an up-to-date list of endorsing bodies for Innovator visa applications. This list is based on information provided by the Home Office, which is updated periodically. Our list of endorsing bodies contains the names of all currently approved Innovator visa endorsing bodies, as well as links to their websites and, where available, details of their application process and endorsement criteria.

Some endorsing bodies accept open applications (often with sector and/or geographic limitations), whilst some only issue endorsements to business founders that they are already working with through their existing programmes.

Ted is a trusted introducer to several endorsing bodies, ensuring eligible clients direct contact with investment panel members as well as transparent and timely decision-making.

Joining an existing business as a UK Innovator visa holder

The UK Innovator visa category is for people seeking to establish a new business in the UK for the first time. Applicants are expected to present a new business idea.

Generally, the business that forms the basis of the new business idea will not already exist in the UK. However, where it does, the business should not yet have fully started trading.

If you are looking to join an existing trading business then the Innovator visa category is not an appropriate immigration route. However, a new business that is to trade as part of a joint venture arrangement may be acceptable. If you wish to apply for an Innovator visa on the basis of a joint venture arrangement then we recommend that you speak to an immigration lawyer.

Applying for a UK Innovator visa as part of a team

You do not need to be the sole founder of your business and you may be a member of an innovator team. However, each applicant must receive their own individual endorsement from an approved endorsing body.

Innovator team members that are required to satisfy the investment funds requirement for a new business endorsement also cannot share the same £50,000 but must instead have at least £50,000 investment funds each.

Stages to obtaining a UK Innovator visa

Our UK Innovator visa application preparation and submission service is divided into 8 discrete stages:

Stage 1 – Complete our Innovator visa enquiry form

To receive a free initial assessment of your suitability for an Innovator visa, complete our Innovator Visa Enquiry Form. A barrister will review your responses. We aim to respond within 24 hours.

Stage 2 – Eligibility Assessment

All endorsing bodies require that applicants have checked that they are eligible as an individual for an Innovator visa before they are contacted for endorsement. If Stage 1 is completed successfully, we will have an initial consultation meeting where we will check that you are able to satisfy the general eligibility requirements of the Immigration Rules for an Innovator visa.

Stage 3 – Concept Assessment

All endorsing bodies require applicants to demonstrate that they have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea. We will have an initial consultation meeting where we will listen to your concept and advise as to whether it is appropriate to take forward to an endorsing body. This stage can be run concurrently with Stage 1.

Stage 4 – Introduction to Endorsing Bodies

Having successfully completed stages 1 and 2, we will formally introduce you and your business plan to up to 3 Home Office approved endorsing bodies. As a trusted introducer, we can ensure direct contact with investment panel members as well as transparent, timely decision-making.

Stage 5 – Concept and Business Plan Approval

The endorsing body will have an initial consultation where you can pitch your concept and business plan. If the endorsing body feels that it is appropriate to take the proposal forward then they will spend time with you to fully understand your model, the cashflows, and other requirements they deem necessary to make sure your concept has the best prospect of being endorsed.

Stage 6 – Full KYC and Due diligence

The endorsing body will need to know everything about you and the source of your funds. This process will normally run concurrently with Stage 4.

Stage 7 – Visa Application

Having successfully passed stages 4 and 5 and secured an endorsement, we will prepare your Innovator visa application and submit it to the Home Office. The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the evidence that must be provided in support of an Innovator visa application. We will ensure that your Innovator visa application is professionally presented, technically correct and approved first time.

Stage 8 – Approval & Mentoring

Once your Innovator visa application has been approved by the Home Office, you will be able to enter the UK to start deploying your investment funds and developing your business concept. We will continue to support you until ILR is achieved after 3 years. Via our trusted partners, we can also provide full wealth, tax management and education consultancy services for UK schools and universities, if these services are desired.

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