How to spend the £50,000 on an innovator visa (and prove it)

Before the end of the 3 year term it will need to be shown (if the £50k success condition below is chosen) that at least £50,000 has been invested into the business and actively spent furthering the original business plan as assessed in your previous endorsement. I would suggest that in many cases the most straightforward way to evidence this would be for £50,000 equivalent to go from a bank account in your (the applicant’s) name (i.e. your own personal bank account), into the company’s bank account, and then spent on specific matters which are identified in your original business plan as endorsed. These matters will need to be carefully specified and highlighted. General spending will not qualify, it must be only matters specifically referenced in the business plan. Then the invoices from the third parties who charge the sums which cumulatively amount to at least £50,000 equivalent will need to be collected into a presentable packages and referenced to the payments shown in the company’s business bank account statement.

This means that in the end you will have:

  1. Proof of you (as the applicant) having transferred the money from a bank account in your name, into the company’s bank account;
  2. Proof of invoices showing that same money being paid by the company to third parties (i.e. “actively spent”), i.e. this money must be traceable back to the minimum £50,000 which you originally transfer;
  3. Proof of the relevant invoices evidencing those sums;
  4. Proof that the invoices relate to matters which were specifically referenced in the business plan (e.g. specific software development work which was referenced).

The safest approach is that the money is money to which you (as applicant) are legally and beneficially entitled at the point that it is transferred to the company. The money should not be in the form of a loan either:

  1. to you, i.e. you should not have received it as a loan;
  2. to the company, i.e. it should not be a loan to the company; or
  3. from the company to the third party (i.e. that must be “actively spent” and not in the form of a loan).

It may be expedient to have a specific company business account set up for the qualifying minimum qualifying £50,000 investment. Otherwise the qualifying £50,000 investment pay become ‘mixed’ with sums from other sources and it then may be difficult to trace the spending back to the £50,000 which was invested by you into the business.