4 Tips on How to Write a Business Plan for the 188 Business Innovation and Investment Visa

The Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) Visas are designed for those who intend to own and manage a new or existing business or invest in Australian State or Territory. The 188 visa is a state or territory nominated four year provisional visa providing a pathway to permanent residency on the subclass 888 visa. It caters for those with a substantial business or investment background who will either obtain a substantial ownership interest in a new or existing business and actively participate at a senior management level; or who are willing to invest in a designated investment in Australia.


188 Visa Requirement

One of the main criteria behind the 188 visa is the requirement to have genuine and realistic commitment to continuing and maintaining business or investment activity in Australia, particularly after the designated investment has matured. The Department will use this criteria to assess the likelihood of you meeting the overall objectives of the Business Innovation and Investment Program.


Top 4 Business Plan Writing Tips

One method to establish this genuine intention is to present a business plan. The Department advises that you are not required to present a definitive long-term business plan, but rather indicate your long-term business intentions in Australia. The proposal must be created based on your individual skills, experience and potential business opportunity. The Department will also consider any pre-existing business or personal links with Australia whether you have previously made any exploratory visits to the State or Territory of intended residence.


Your business plan should demonstrate a personal understanding and commitment to the proposal based on a thorough analysis of the business environment. Each State and Territory will have varying requirements for the business plan, however, there are several common criteria which apply across all nominating governments such as:

  • Location of the business
  • Business type, whether product or service
  • Business structure
  • Your business career and performance
  • Evidence of market research
  • Details of finance
  • Anticipated contribution to the State or Territory’s economy


Your Role Within the Business

Your proposal should demonstrate how you will maintain a direct and continuous involvement in the management of the business and that you will exercise a level of decision which will affect its overall direction and performance. You must therefore describe your day-to-day managerial and operational role within the business and establish a link between your decision-making and the performance of the business.


Successful Business Career

In establishing your overall business career, you should demonstrate a history of exercising responsibility within a business, including, for example, your level of decision-making authority, responsibility for employees and responsibility for expenditure. This responsibility must have been exercised on a continuous basis and fall within the usual scope of your role as opposed to occurring on an occasional basis. Your skills must have been fundamental to and exerted a direct influence on the operation of the business.


The Department will generally deem a business career as unsuccessful if:

  • you have become bankrupt in the last 5 years;
  • you have been involved in a business or business which have been subject to insolvency, receivership or liquidation; or
  • you have suffered recent trading losses which may be attributed to your role and decision-making in the business.


It is not intended that you fail this criterion if trading losses have resulted from external economic factors or other factors beyond your control. You may still be considered as having an overall successful business career if you demonstrate that you successfully managed the business prior to the occurrence of any such external factors and evidence that the business recovered or is recovering under your management.


Business Specifics

This requires that you provide a full description of the business activity, the products or services to be offered, the location of the business and why it was chosen, staffing requirements, required licenses or registration and proposed investment. It is important to be as specific as possible when preparing this information to provide a detailed outline of the proposed business and the logistics behind it to demonstrate your genuine commitment.


Direct Management

The degree of management and responsibility will vary according to the size of the business. For a smaller business with fewer employees, you will be expected to have held a more dominant role and responsibility in managing the business. For larger companies, it is understood that you may not have held the principal role but you must still have been directly involved in managing at least one major facet of the business to affect its overall performance.


Direct involvement will require that you were responsible for managing the whole or part of a business according to its size. If you shared any managerial responsibility with another person, it is necessary to define their role and distinguish it from yours. The Department interprets ‘management’ as involving planning, organising, directing and controlling the resources of the business. Your management responsibilities will, of course, depend on the size and nature of the business but you must ensure that you demonstrate an overall direct and continuous involvement in the management of the business.


Writing a proper and compliant business plan is the first step towards securing yourself an invitation for the 188 Business Innovation and Investment Visa. It will demonstrate be used as evidence of your genuine commitment to manage a new or existing business in Australia and provide you with an opportunity to showcase your business career.


At No Borders Law Group, we can assist you to ensure that your business proposal is compliant with the nominating State or Territory and the Department of Home Affaris to provide you with the best possible chance of obtaining an invitation. Contact our office today and speak with one of our migration lawyers for a free initial assessment.


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