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Starting your business in the UK

How to set up your business via the Innovator Founder visa

If you are an international student on a Tier 4 Student Visa, you are not eligible to start a business whilst studying. However, you can still develop the business idea alongside your studies. 

Upon graduation different options are available to you whether you are looking to start a business in the UK or elsewhere. 

The new Innovator Founder visa is a single immigration route that replaces both the Innovator visa and Start-up visa from 13th April 2023. The requirements for applicants to have a minimum of £50K will be removed and their permission will count towards settlement. The aim is for simplification and greater clarity and ease of use for you as a business founder going through the application process. The new scheme is still aimed at overseas candidates who wish to establish an innovative business in the UK. 

When applying with your idea, you will still need to demonstrate that you meet the following criteria:

  • Innovation: Is there a genuine business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creatives a competitive advantage? 
  • Viability: Does the applicant have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience, and market awareness to successfully run the business? 
  • Scalability: Is there evidence of structures planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets?


There will only be government approved endorsing bodies going forward. 

More information on the Innovator Founder Visa

The Student StartUp team are here to signpost and guide you. You are also welcome to attend any of our RoutetoStartup workshops, to help you with your applications.

If you have any questions please contact us at