How to Start a Small Business

By smei

Posted 23/11/20

Starting a business can be a nerve-wracking process. Regardless of your industry or level of experience, it can be fraught with insecurity and doubt.

That doesn’t stop people doing it, of course. Nearly 680,000 start-ups were1 founded in the UK in the 2018/2019 tax year alone ‒ that’s more than 1,800 per day. According to Sifted,2 the UK is Europe’s leading start-up nation, attracting more venture capital funding in 2019 than France and Germany combined.

If you’re thinking of going it alone – congratulations! To help you on your way, here are a few things to consider before you launch.


Anyone thinking of setting up their own organisation should always carry out comprehensive research into their customers and competitors, with a time path laid out to launch the business and then move it forward. What will your objectives be, and how do you hope to meet them? What timeframes or deadlines will you work towards? How will you raise capital and market your business to your audience? Are you GDPR3 ready? By setting this all down in writing, you will have a clear focus and strategy: but do return to your business plan on a regular basis, as it will change!

Funding Your Small Business

Many start-ups don’t require a large outlay at first, but if you do need funding to get off the ground, there are several options open to you,4 from council grants for small businesses to enterprise investment schemes. It’s also worth looking into tax breaks that might be open to you, such as the Employment Allowance.5

Small Business Banking

Look around and see which is the best bank for a small business. Your chosen bank will provide you with the necessary tools as needed, such as card readers for making payments, chip and pin devices for taking payments etc., and can advise you on lending options, should they be required. A good accountant will also be a worthwhile investment and save you a lot of time.


This could be your largest outlay, depending on your profession. You need to ensure your premises are large enough to cover operations and growth ‒ and in the right location to suit your audience as well as your needs. You may also need to look into licences and permits. There are now thousands of shared workspaces around the UK ‒ the benefit is that they provide a community for start-ups and are often in city-centre locations, yet offer competitive small business rates.

Small Business Insurance

The right business insurance is essential. As well as small business insurance, you may need to look at policies for general liability, cybersecurity, public liability and employers’ liability. 2020 has shown us that we never really know what is around the corner, so speaking to a professional broker will help you ensure all your needs are covered. 

Forming and Registering Your Small Business

Once you have everything in place, you can formally set up your company by registering with Companies House.6 Most businesses register as a sole trader, limited company or partnership. In doing this, you will receive your VAT number and company number if your company and income makes you liable for VAT.

Running your own business can bring undeniable rewards: it can give you creative freedom, business autonomy, job satisfaction and financial gains. This is why so many people take the plunge. Those benefits do rely on careful planning and preparation, however.

By taking the time to get the right advice and the appropriate support, you will be in a secure position to focus on the launch and growth of your business.

Good luck! 





Posted 23/11/20

Author: smei

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