Startup Visa Programme

Please note that Boardroom Advisors provides startup and business advice including research, business planning and the supply of UK Directors. We do not provide immigration or legal advice ourselves but can we can sign-post you to a firm that can provide a free 30 min discussion with immigration advisors or immigration lawyers.

UK Startup Visa Programme for Entrepreneurs

The UK Startup Visa Programme has been merged with the Innovator Visa route into the Innovator Founder Visa at 13th April 2023 and Boardroom Advisors is now a legacy endorsing body. 

At Boardroom Advisors we have over 150 expert Advisors and Regional Directors who not only have experience in growing their own businesses but also have helped other businesses grow and prosper. These 150 plus advisors range across; Chairs, NEDs and experts in marketing, finance, IT, Sales, operations, strategy and managing. 

View recent case studies


3 popular business sponsorship routes compared

Self-Sponsorship Innovator Visa * Start-up Visa *
You can be a Director and 100% shareholder of your company. Although these routes do not have a shareholding requirement, some endorsing bodies ask for a portion of shares in the company before giving an endorsement. Although these routes do not have a shareholding requirement, some endorsing bodies ask for a portion of shares in the company before giving an endorsement.
Any business can qualify for the self-sponsorship route This business is for experienced business people This business is for new entrepreneurs
No Endorsement letter required Endorsement letter required Endorsement letter required
English language requirement B1* English language requirement B2 English language requirement B2
The business does not have to be innovative or unique Your business idea has to be innovative: something unique that is not already existing in the market Your business idea has to be innovative: something unique that is not already existing in the market
Valid for up to 5 years Valid for 3 years Valid for 2 years
This can be an existing or new business You cannot join a business that is already trading You cannot join a business that is already trading

* Note that the Innovator Visa and the Start-up Visa are both now incorporated into the Innovator Founder Visa

Endorsing Body

Boardroom Advisors was confirmed as an Endorsing Body for the Startup Visa Scheme by The Home Office and was supported by the UK Government’s Department of International Trade (DIT). 

We also provide business advice around Self Sponsorship (Skilled Worker Visas) and Innovator Visas

Strategic Reviews

The best place to start for successful applicants is with a strategic review. Within this, we will discuss with you all the relevant issues and agree upon your priorities and timescales. 

The strategic review will be up to 4 days work and will take place with our regional director and the advisor chosen for your business. Each strategic review is tailor made for your company but will follow this general format: 

Internal Research – This is analysing your business from within. It could be assessing your marketing plans, your business strategy and interviewing stakeholders. 

Strategic Workshop – This is where, with the company stakeholders, discussions of key matters and opportunities take place as well as confirming your main priorities and timescales. We can work flexibly within this. It could be a 4-5 hours in person workshop or across 2 x 2/2.5 hours zoom conferences.

As each business is different we will use different pertinent strategy tools. These might include, SWOT, MOST Analysis, Ansoff’s Matrix as well as others. 

Report – This will be a 100 day plan and outline based on the workshop/s. 

Follow Up Meeting – This is to meet with the successful applicant again to agree upon priorities and timescales. Here the client could request ongoing support from one of our specialists in the fields of marketing, funding, finance, sales, operations and IT.

Finance Director

6 Month and Annual Reviews

The strategic review we have developed with you, particularly the MOST Analysis, will be reviewed every 6 months for 2 years. We will analyse your performance based on projected profit and loss and cash flow so we can keep the business moving forward. 

Optional Additional Specialist Advice

An added option we can provide is specialist advice and help from our bank of experts in marketing, funding, finance, sales, IT and operations. These advisors can give you ongoing support or specific to a project. They can also work as Part-time Directors on a monthly basis as you develop your own board. Similarly, we can also help you find a full-time director. 

How we will evaluate your business

Our system for evaluating your business is by looking at whether it is Innovative, Scalable, and Viable

Innovative – We will analyse how your business plan has found a gap in the market or offers an improvement on existing market leaders. For this you must have a clearly defined Value Proposition so that you know and, more importantly, you can succinctly explain, what your business is, what it offers and why it’s better than your competitors. 

Viable – Sustainability is crucial for your business and especially at the beginning when you are developing your strategy. It must be sustainable based on its assets and expected income, against its planned expenses which can be calculated through profit and loss forecasting as well as cash flow. 

Scalable – Your business plan (annually revised) and your financial forecasts should be able to indicate your business has strong potential for growth and job creation. There must be consistent evidence that your strategic plan is producing results, be that through job creation, entering new markets and/or company growth. 

Register interest

Please click the button below to register your interest in Self Sponsorship and to receive more information:

…invaluable strategic business advice in many areas…

Ian Gosden, Managing Director, Higos Insurance

…valuable assistance in setting objectives and arranging strategy plans…

John Freshwater, Managing Director, Permaframe

…no hesitation in recommending him as a Non-Executive Director…

Colin Flaherty, Chairman, Academy of Business Strategy

…I was delighted to hear what a fantastic fit Boardroom Advisors were for my client…

Chris Budd, Founder, The Eternal Business

…he was a real asset in supporting us through rapid expansion…

Adam Ellis, Managing Director, Five Rivers

…he has had a significant impact on our approach to how we work as an agency…

Christian Harris, Managing Director, Sticky