The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

Pexa Ltd receiving the Queens Award For Enterprise from the Lord-Lieutenant Mr Ed Anderson.

Pexa Ltd receiving the Queens Award For Enterprise from the Lord-Lieutenant Mr Ed Anderson.

Image of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise logo

Award Cycle

  • Winners are announced on 21 April (HM The Queen’s birthday) and the new application round opens on 1st May
  • The closing date for applications is midday on 10th September
  • Shortlisted applicants are informed and asked to provide verified commercial figures in October
  • Winning organisations and unsuccessful applicants are informed in March

Key Facts

  • The 2020 application round closed on 10th September 2019. Winners will be announced on 21st April 2020.

  • The 2021 QAE round will open on 1st May 2020; entries must be submitted before 10th September 2020.

  • There are four Award categories which UK businesses, charities and public authority units can apply for:
    • Innovation
    • international trade
    • sustainable development
    • promoting opportunity through social mobility
  • Applicants do not need to be an exporter in order to apply for Innovation, Promoting Opportunity and Sustainable Development.
  • Applicants can – and often do – apply for more than one Award category.
  • UK subsidiaries of foreign owned companies can apply if they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • It’s free to enter although some shortlisted applicants may be charged a fee by their independent accountants/auditors to verify the commercial figures.
  • The QAE Awards Office are there to help, so please get in touch or refer potential applicants to them so that they can respond to any queries on the Awards.
    Helpline telephone number: 020 7215 6880 available Monday – Friday 9-5pm – or Email: They aim to respond to your enquiry within two working days.

QAE History

  • The scheme was instituted by Royal Warrant in 1965 and was originally called the Queen’s Awards to Industry
  • In 2000, it became The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise


  • To be eligible for a Queen’s Award a company must
    • be based in the UK
    • have at least 2 full-time UK employees or part time equivalents
    • file its Company Tax Returns with HMRC
    • be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services under its own management
    • demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility
  • Each award category has additional criteria
  • Awards are free to enter
  • Applications have to be submitted online.


  • Winners are invited to a Royal reception at Buckingham Palace

  • The Grant of Appointment and a commemorative crystal trophy are presented to winners at their company by the Lord-Lieutenant for the County, Mr Ed Anderson
  • Winners are able to fly the Queen’s Award flag at their main office, and use the emblem on their products and marketing materials for five years
  • Winners have reported benefiting from worldwide recognition, increased sales and exports, greater press coverage and a boost to staff morale
  • Winners have potential opportunities to work with Government on developing and testing policies and initiatives

Additional Facts

  • The aim of the awards is to promote business excellence and drive growth
  • Nearly 7000 companies have won a Queen’s Award so far
  • JCB, a construction equipment manufacturer, has won 30 Queen’s Awards between 1966 and 2016, making it the company who has won the most Queen’s Awards
  • The Queen makes the Awards on the advice of the Prime Minister, who is assisted by an Advisory Committee that includes representatives of Government, industry and commerce, and the trade unions
  • Unsuccessful entrants receive feedback on both the strengths and guidance about how to improve future entries

The Lord-Lieutenant is keen to encourage entries for the following year. For more information, including the links to the online application and nomination forms visit