Unlock Opportunities with UK Startup Visas

Written by

Shrishti Bajpai

Fact check by

Afreen Abbasi

Updated on

Jul 14,2024

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Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking to establish your startup in the United Kingdom? Picture yourself sipping tea while brainstorming your next big business idea in the heart of London or networking with like-minded innovators in Manchester but how to get startup visa in UK. Hold on, before you dive headfirst into your UK Startup Visa news, let's talk about the essential first step: securing your UK Startup Visa. 

Understanding UK Startup Visas

The UK offers several visa options for entrepreneurs, including the Tier 1 (Innovator) Visa and the Startup Visa. Here, we'll focus on the Startup Visa, which is designed for individuals looking to establish a business in the UK for the first time.

Comparison of UK Startup Visas

To help you better understand the differences between the Tier 1 (Innovator) Visa and the Startup Visa, here's a comparison table:


Tier 1 (Innovator) Visa

Startup Visa


Endorsed by an approved endorsing body.

Endorsed by an approved endorsing body.

Business Experience

Requires previous business experience.

No previous business experience is required.


£50,000 investment funds required.

No specific investment funds required.

English Language Proficiency

Proficient in English.

Proficient in English.

Maintenance Requirement

Must have enough funds to support yourself.

Must have enough funds to support yourself.


Eligible to bring family members.

Eligible to bring family members.


Eligible for settlement after 3 years

Not eligible for settlement.


Eligibility Criteria for a UK Startup Visa

To qualify for a UK Startup Visa, applicants must meet the following criteria:


You must have a genuine and innovative business idea that is endorsed by an approved endorsing body. These bodies assess the viability and innovation of your business idea.

English Language Proficiency

You must be proficient in English, either by passing an approved English language test or by having an academic qualification taught in English.


You must have enough funds to support yourself and your dependents without relying on public funds. The amount required may vary depending on your circumstances.

Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Maintenance Requirement

You must have enough personal savings to support yourself during your stay in the UK.

UK Startup Visa Endorsing Bodies

Introduced in 2019, the UK Startup Visa aims to replace the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, offering a streamlined route for talented individuals with innovative business ideas. Unlike its predecessors, this visa doesn't demand a significant upfront investment. Instead, it prioritizes the potential of the business idea and the applicant's capability to execute it.

UK startup visa endorsing bodies play a crucial role in the startup visa UK requirements process. These organizations are tasked with assessing the viability and innovation of the business idea, as well as the applicant's entrepreneurial skills. 

Recognized Endorsing Bodies

Several organizations across the UK have been authorized to endorse startup visa applications. UK startup visa endorsing bodies come from various sectors, including academia, business, and government. Here are some prominent examples:

  • Tech Nation

Renowned for supporting the UK's tech industry, Tech Nation is one of the leading endorsing bodies for the startup visa. They focus on digital technology businesses and evaluate applicants based on criteria such as innovation, scalability, and market potential.

  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE)

As Scotland's National Academy of Science and Letters, RSE plays a vital role in endorsing startup visa applications from Scotland. They prioritize innovation and encourage applications from a wide range of sectors.

  • The Bakery

This London-based innovation consultancy specializes in helping large organizations collaborate with startups. As an endorsing body, they look for startups with disruptive ideas that have the potential to revolutionize industries.

  • Seed Haus

Operating out of Edinburgh, Seed Haus is a pre-seed tech accelerator that focuses on supporting early-stage startups. They endorse founders with innovative business concepts and a strong commitment to growth.

  • The London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF)

LCIF is a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage tech startups in London. They endorse founders with promising business ideas and the potential to attract further investment.

Application Process

Once you've determined your eligibility, you can begin the application process for a UK Startup Visa. Here's a step-by-step guide:


Secure endorsement from an approved endorsing body. This startup visa UK requirements involve presenting your business idea and demonstrating its viability and innovation.

Application Submission

Complete the online application form on the UK government's website. You'll need to provide personal details, information about your business idea, and evidence of meeting the UK startup visa eligibility criteria.

Biometric Information

Attend a biometric appointment to provide fingerprints and a photograph.


Wait for a UK Startup Visa news on your visa application. This usually takes a few weeks.

Visa Issuance

If your application is approved, you'll receive a visa vignette in your passport, allowing you to enter the UK.

Collect BRP

Upon arrival in the UK, collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the designated collection point.

Applying Made Simple

The UK Government's online application entrance streamlines the method. Accumulate basic records like:

  • Substantial International id

  • Completed Application Frame

  • Trade Arrange

  • Prove of Capabilities and Encounter

  • Confirmation of Reserves

  • Restorative Report (if required)

Depending on your visa type and nationality, extra records or particular steps may well be required for UK startup visa eligibility. Counsel the UK Government's visa direction for point-by-point data.

Cost of Obtaining a Start-Up Visa

Thinking of starting a business in a new country? It's exciting, but it's also important to know how much it'll cost. We're here to help you understand the expenses involved in getting a start-up visa. Let's break it down in simple terms, so you know what to expect.

Who You Are Applying For

Applying (Outside the UK)

Applying From Inside the UK (Switching Visas)


INR 39,556

INR 53,161 

Your partner and children

INR 39,556

INR 53,161


Things to Keep in Mind for Startup Visas in the UK

Arrange meticulously but grasp the unforeseen openings that might emerge.

  • Beyond building your trade, interface with the supportive and energetic entrepreneurial community within the UK.

  • Use the assets accessible to enable your startup and explore the challenges you experience.

  • Begin your UK startup experience nowadays! With this direct, your inventive spirit, and a persistent drive, the entryway to building a world-changing business and enriching encounters is standing by.

Key Takeaways

The UK Startup Visa offers a great chance for people who want to start their own businesses in the UK. TerraTern offers personalized support, helping applicants prepare strong business plans and connect with approved endorsing bodies. If you have a good idea and meet the requirements, you can apply for the visa and start your entrepreneurial journey with support from the UK's startup community.

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At TerraTern, we adhere to a stringent editorial policy emphasizing factual accuracy, impartiality and relevance. Our content, curated by experienced industry professionals. A team of experienced editors reviews this content to ensure it meets the highest standards in reporting and publishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long are UK startup visas valid?

Start-up Visas are initially valid for two years, with the possibility of extending for another three years under the Innovator Visa category.

Do I need an endorsement to apply for a UK startup visa?

Yes, you need an endorsement from an approved UK endorsing body before applying for a UK startup visa. These bodies assess the viability of your business plan and your potential contribution to the UK economy.

Can I bring family members with me on a UK startup visa?

Yes, you can bring your partner and any dependent children under the age of 18 with you on a UK startup visa.

What resources are available to support startups in the UK?

The UK offers a wealth of resources for startups, including government grants, mentorship programs, co-working spaces, and business support services. These resources can provide valuable guidance and assistance throughout your entrepreneurial journey.

How to get startup visa in UK?

To secure a UK start-up visa, first, confirm eligibility. Prepare documents, including a viable business plan and endorsement from an approved body. Apply online, pay fees, and attend a biometric appointment if required. Await a decision from UK Visas and Immigration. Upon approval, collect your visa, start your business, and adhere to visa extension criteria if necessary.