Business Visas offer motivated business people who are seeking to come to the UK in order to set up, take over, or represent a business temporary access, as well as offering a route to the more permanent Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) further down the road. While the popular Entrepreneur Visas for graduates and established business people have closed and are no longer open to application, there are still a number of available routes for those seeking to run a business in the UK.

In order to receive a Business Visa, you must meet several requirements, including specific criteria for each individual visa application. Generally, the business requirements include proof of intention and ability to run a business, meeting the English language requirements, and an endorsement from an authorised endorsing body.

Types of Business Visa

Innovator Visa

The Innovator Visa is one of the routes available for business people who would have previously applied for the Entrepreneur Visa. If you are seeking to either set up or take over a UK business, this route will grant you 3 years of stay in the UK with the option to extend and eventually work towards Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Requirements for this visa include; having at least £50,000 available in investment funds and a viable business plan that will be able to grow and support the UK economy or proof that you are qualified and able to run an already established business. This is on top of the more general requirements such as age, English Language ability and a relevant endorsement.

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Start-Up Visa

The Start-Up Visa is another option for those looking to set up UK-based businesses. This visa is similar to the Innovator Visa in terms of requirements, however, you will only be granted 2 years in the UK and will have to switch to an Innovator Visa if you wish to seek ILR.

This visa is strictly for start-up businesses, those who are looking to take over an existing UK business should apply for an Innovator Visa.

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Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

This route is available to representatives of overseas businesses who seek to set up UK branches. You must have the authority to make executive decisions for the new UK branch of a company, even though the headquarters are outside of the UK. This option offers 3 years in the UK with the option to extend for a further 2 years.

This is also a popular option for journalists, broadcasters, and foreign correspondents who work for a publication based outside of the UK.

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Entrepreneur Visa

The Entrepreneur Visa route is now closed, as has the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa. While these popular routes are no longer available, there are other options available for those seeking to set up a business in the UK.

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UK Business Visa requirements

Generally, you must be able to meet the English language requirements, be 18 or over, and show proof that you are able to carry out the necessary requirements to set up or run a UK-based business. Additionally for the Innovator Visa and Start-Up Visa, you will need an endorsement from an authorised endorsing body. You can view a list of approved bodies on the Home Office website.

For further information on how to meet the requirements for your specific visa, contact QC Immigration. Our team will ensure that you meet all relevant criteria and help you successfully submit your application.

Indefinite Leave to Remain through a Business Visa

The Innovator Visa and Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa lead to 3 to 5 years of stay in the UK with extensions. After you have stayed in the UK for the qualifying 3 to 5 years, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This will secure your right to reside in the UK permanently and open an eventual path towards British Citizenship.

Those on Start-Up Visas can switch to Innovator Visas after 2 years in order to achieve the minimum 5 years of stay required for ILR applications.

How QC Immigration can help

QC Immigration is a team of experienced legal professionals with decades of experience in immigration law. We have a long track record of working with many successful business people to secure their Business Visas. We will take a tailored and personal approach to each client, ensuring you have a well-presented application that highlights that you have met all of the relevant requirements.

Maximise your chances of a granted Business Visa application by working alongside a team that has an impressive track record for helping business people settle in the UK. We can be phoned on 0203 637 8633 or emailed at You can also book a consultation.


What are the costs for my chosen Business Visa?

The costs for your visa will vary depending on what visa you are applying for. There could be further changes in cost depending on your situation and whether you have any dependants. While it is not a requirement, it is also strongly recommended that you bring on legal assistance to ensure your visa is granted at the initial application, as any refusals leading to the appeals process can be time-consuming and costly.

Can I bring my family to the UK?

You can bring family members, known as dependants, to the UK on your Business Visa so long as you can prove that you have the financial means to support them. Adult dependants may also have to prove that they can support themselves. Please note each dependant will incur additional application fees.

My Business Visa has been rejected, what’s next?

If your chosen Business Visa has been rejected, you may be able to appeal the Home Office decision depending on the reasons for refusal. For this, you will need an extremely convincing case that clearly highlights why they should overturn their decision. It would be highly beneficial to bring on a legal team to ensure that this process is carried out properly.

My endorsing body has lost or withdrawn its status, what’s next?

If an endorsement has been withdrawn or the endorsing body loses its status, the Home Office may curtail the previously endorsed Start-up or Innovator Visa. They may do so immediately, with a set time of notice, or they may not curtail your leave at all. If you no longer have an authorised endorsing body, you should secure a fresh endorsement from a new one as soon as possible.

Need more information?

Learn more about how we work and support you through the UK Immigration Application Process.

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What do our users say

Thank you very much for your contribution and good job you have done for me and my family. Today, I feel that thanking you is not enough. You will remain in our hearts and we will always have this deepest and sincere regard for you, as you have always shown your kindness and your work have been appreciated by the whole family.

Long Residence Settlement (10 years) client – Mauritian

Qiyin is an extremely diligent and thorough immigration lawyer. She took the time to fully understand my case and application for the highly skilled migrant program. She was very careful to consider both the short and longer term issues related to my application and provided very balanced and frank advice. My highly skilled migrant visa was successfully renewed thanks to her advice and help. I highly recommend her.

Tier 1 (General) visa client – Singaporean

I would like to thank you for all the hard work you’ve done for us in the past few years! I am now finished with the whole process and had my UK Citizenship ceremony. We couldn’t have gotten this far without you!

Entry Clearance Settlement (Spouse) visa client – Canadian

Thank you for all your help. I got the visa this morning and look forward to going on holiday. See you again in 30 months for the next visa.

PEO same-day service (Spouse leave to remain) client – Thai

We are so glad that our friend recommended you to help with our ILR application and we have no doubt it may have been a different story if we were applying without your support! We appreciate your professional approach and knowledge on immigration matters and wish your business well in the future (we are sure you will be very successful). Have no doubt we will be using your services for our application for Citizenship.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (Spouse) client – Russian

The QC Immigration team has proved an absolute star on the immigration front and my son’s fiancée is now happily settled, thank you again.

Partner (Fiancée) Settlement Visa – Brazilian

Many thanks for all your work on our application, especially since I contacted you on short notice! I contacted you on Sept 22nd and we signed up with you on/around Sept 27th! So we pulled this all together a little over 3 weeks.

Premium Service (Fiancée) Partner visa client – American

You have exceeded our expectations by saving us so much time and money when organising this! Thank you for also co-operating with our investment manager and accountant to ensure everything ran smoothly.

Tier 1 Investor (Super Premium Service) client – Chinese

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client - Dutch

EEA Permanent Residence client – Belgian

My family and I were very emotional receiving the good news today. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely recommend you to our European friends who are planning ahead after Brexit!

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client – Dutch

My family and I were very emotional receiving the good news today. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely recommend you to our European friends who are planning ahead after Brexit!

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client – Dutch