Creating A Winning Business Plan For Innovator Founder Visa Application

Prachi Srivastava

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What is a business plan?

A business plan, in simple words, is a blueprint that includes a plan about a business idea and talks about how each aspect of the business will be executed. The plan usually includes various areas such as organisational structure, sales and marketing strategies, various analyses, financial and legal aspects and projections for the future.

A business plan is an important document when an applicant applies for an endorsement for an innovator founder visa. A general business plan vs an innovator founder visa business plan is slightly different. For the latter, the business idea and plan must show that the business will be unique, feasible and expansible from start to finish.


An innovative business idea means that the business idea must be unique and not just a different version of an existing business. In the business plan, one must answer how the business idea is innovative, which problem it solves, and if there are similar businesses in the market, then how is the individual’s business idea different? The reason why this is important to establish is because if the business is unique, then it gives the businessowner a competitive advantage.


A business plan is supposed to be achievable with the applicant’s current resources. These resources include knowledge, skill set to run a business, previous experience in a similar role or in the market and awareness about the competition and challenges. All these resources need not be possessed by the business owner but the entire team. The purpose is to show if the business owner and their team can deliver the business plan.

To prove this, one must include information about professional and educational background, target audience, financial projections, competitive strategy, and marketing and advertising strategies.


The business plan also must show that the business has plans to grow and expand in the future, both in the national and international markets. The growth and expansion are not just in terms of the target audience but also growing the team within the business. It will be wise to include specific target audiences to expand to in the future, along with other expansion plans.

Why do you need a business plan for an innovator founder visa?

A business plan for innovator visa isn’t just a document but a necessary step to prove that the business has potential in the UK. Another reason for having a good business plan is getting an endorsement from a UK endorsing body. Getting an endorsement for a business is a critical step in the innovator founder visa process.

Endorsement for a UK business is done to build trust and credibility of the business plan. Since the business is still in the ideation stage, it needs to be endorsed by a body appointed by the Government.

What is the structure of an innovator visa business plan?

Technically, there is no hard and fast rule to drafting a business plan. The business plan templates and formats can vary but must include the necessary information that shows the business owners have a thorough plan to execute the business idea.

Things you must include:

Business Summary

This section serves as the condensed version of the business plan, providing a brief synopsis of the key points. It includes the mission statement, company information (including leadership and office premises), products or services, basic financial information, and growth highlights. Importantly, it should also summarise future plans and funding requirements.

Services/ Products

This part outlines what the business will sell (products or services). It also explains the benefits of using the services/products to the customer, detailing the product lifecycle and discussing future R&D. It may also highlight the uniqueness of the product/service and how it stands out from the competition.

Organisational Structure/Roles

Here, the business’s legal structure (e.g., LLC, partnership, corporation) is outlined, and the internal structure is also detailed. Organisational charts, detailed job descriptions, and responsibilities for each team member are included. It is an essential section to work on as it shows who does what and also the reporting relationships within the company.

Market Analysis

A thorough examination of the industry that the business is entering, this analysis includes the outlook and trends, identifying the target market, and the needs of the market. One must also conduct a demographic and psychographic analysis of the potential customer base and present a detailed evaluation of potential competitors.

SWOT Analysis

In this section, the business’s internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats are discussed. This strategic assessment provides insights into where the company stands within the market context and what strategic moves could be made.

Competitive Analysis

This is an assessment of the direct and indirect competitors of the business. Identifying strengths and weaknesses, positioning, market share, and offerings is essential to establish a position in the market. This analysis demonstrates how the business will carve out a market niche and compete effectively.

Operational Plan

This explains the daily operation of the business, including production, location, personnel, inventory, supply chain, and vendors. It offers a blueprint of how the business will run and how products or services will be made and delivered.

Sales and Marketing Plan

This outlines how the business will attract and retain customers. It covers the business’s value proposition, marketing and sales strategies, communication channels, pricing, sales processes, and after-sales service. It should tie back to insights gained from market analysis.

Legal Aspects

This section details the legal framework within which the business will operate. This includes intellectual property the business will own, legal structures, insurance information, and any regulatory issues or licenses required for the business.

Financial Plan

This is a critical section for potential investors includes the business’s revenue model, projections, and funding requirements. It should have detailed income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, and a break-even analysis over a minimum of three years.

More details can be included in the business plan for the innovator visa and can vary from business to business. From a legal standpoint, only a caseworker can assess the requirements of the business to give a detailed list of required documents.

Our Corporate immigration team at City Legal provide expert legal advice to clients regarding their innovator visas and has earned commendable results.

What is the endorsement in the innovator founder visa?

An Innovator visa endorsement in the United Kingdom is a mandatory requirement for entrepreneurs who aspire to establish a business in the UK. The business concept must receive approval from an authorised endorsing body as being innovative, viable, and scalable before the individual can apply for the visa.

The “innovative” criterion mandates that the applicant’s business idea must be original and offer a novel solution to a market need or problem. The “viable” aspect requires the applicant to demonstrate relevant skills, knowledge, and experience that will ensure successful business management. Finally, the “scalable” criterion looks for potential in job creation and growth, targeting broader markets on a national and international scale.

How to find an endorsing body in the innovator founder visa?

To find a list of endorsing bodies for innovator visa UK, one should consult the official UK Government website for the latest list of approved endorsing bodies. Research each body to find a suitable match for the business idea regarding interests and sector focus. Prepare a comprehensive business plan that demonstrates innovation, viability, and scalability. Contact the chosen endorsing body to learn about their specific application process and submit the business plan for assessment. If they are convinced by the business proposal, they will issue an endorsement letter, which can then be used to apply for the Innovator Founder visa through the UK Home Office.

Do you qualify for the innovator founder visa?

It is quite tough to make an assessment on whether a business idea qualifies for an innovator founder visa or not due to its complex nature. The best way to go about it would be to take legal advice from immigration lawyers and let them assist you through the process by doing a pre-screening.

At City Legal, we have helped many individuals and businesses on different immigration routes and helped develop a solid business plan for their business ideas. If the Innovator Founder route is unsuitable for you, you can learn more about the self-sponsorship route as an alternative.

If you need our assistance, call us at 020 8175 4000 or


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