We understand the challenges of starting up a new business. We’ve brought together a wealth of practical knowledge and comprehensive guides to help you get off to the right start.

Is self-employment right for me?

Before you start working for yourself, it's a good idea to consider all the implications of being self-employed, including:

  • The advantages and disadvantages
  • The qualities you’ll need to succeed
  • Legal and financial responsibilities.
Find out moreif self-employment is right for me?

Starting up your own business

When you take the time to plan and prepare your business before starting up, you boost your chances of success. We’ll take you through:

  • the first stages of planning, organising your finances
  • important bodies to contact
  • how to make an impact in your sector.
Find out moreabout Starting up your own business

Writing your business plan

You’ll find it helpful to put together a business plan to plot the future of your business – from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future, and how you intend to get there. We take you through:

  • how a business plan helps you plan
  • important things to include
  • the basics of writing your plan.
Find out moreabout Writing your business plan

Understanding your market

It’s essential to understand what your customers want – and what the competition offers. We cover:

  • why market research is important
  • different types of market research
  • how to improve your market awareness.
Find out moreabout understanding your market

Financing a start-up

When starting your own business you may need to find financial help to get it off the ground. See what options are available to you.

Find out more

Ten steps to start-up success

Take the time to plan and prepare, and your business will be more likely to succeed. Our ten simple steps include:

  • doing your groundwork
  • using free publicity
  • being ready to adapt.
Find out moreabout Ten steps to start-up success

Finding the right property

The right premises are often a vital part of a successful business. We help you look at the key issues including:

  • finding a property that suits your needs (what to look for)
  • buying versus leasing
  • legal essentials and surveys.
Find out moreabout Finding the right property

The legal essentials

By understanding, from the outset, the laws that may affect your business, you can save time and money in the long run. We look at the legal basics you’ll need to:

  • set up your business
  • name your business
  • run your business.
Find out moreabout The legal essentials

Business mentoring

Could your business benefit from the support of a business mentor? MentorSME, a free online service, enables you to find local independent mentoring organisations.

Find out moreabout Business mentoring opens in a new tab

Open a business account

To open a business account with us, please visit our business accounts page. 

Business accounts