The Steps You Need to Know to Start A Business

The Steps you Need to Know to Start A Business

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New businesses are registered daily in the UK. In 2021 alone, there were over 750K of them registered in the country. It’s a burgeoning market for start-ups and businesses out there. However, even though making it all official is a crucial step in getting started, it doesn’t ensure success. Only 40% of companies survive over the first three years. Why? Because launching a profitable business demands thorough planning and preparation.

Before you begin, you must have done some solid groundwork outlining your concept and unique value proposition (UVP), how you intend to organise and promote your business, and how you will manage its finances.

In this blog, we are providing a checklist for Starting a Business in the UK. We will lay out easy-to-follow steps to start a business from scratch and hit the ground running!

Try Out Your Business Idea

Your business idea should address an issue that people have, close a market gap, and add value over the long run. This is the first step to what is needed to start a successful business. Have a think, what problem does your idea solve, or what need does it fulfil?

Your business idea should address an issue that people have, close a market gap, and add value over the long run.

Start by doing a SWOT analysis to determine the viability of your idea. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats constitute a SWOT analysis.

Try Out Your Business Idea

You may find the aspects of your organisation that are doing well by doing a SWOT analysis. These are your crucial success elements, and they provide your company an edge over the competition. You can ensure that you preserve these strengths so that you don’t waste your competitive edge. Finding strategies for utilising and enhancing these strengths is necessary for business growth.

SWOT analysis can also help you analyse your weaknesses that make your business less competitive than others. You may recognise these features and reduce or enhance them before they become an issue. It’s crucial to be honest while performing a SWOT analysis regarding your business’ flaws so you can effectively address them.

Develop A Brand For Your Business

Your market research will reveal how your rivals are positioning themselves. Utilise this information to establish a distinctive brand.

Your company name and logo are the two primary identifiers at this initial stage of the process. Later on, further branding components might include a webpage and marketing materials.

Your business’ name and logo are what give life to your vision.

Your business’ name and logo are what give life to your vision. Utilise our Business Name & Domain Search Tool, which has a catalogue of all names out there and is designed to help you secure your business name and domain. It’s critical because the name serves as an initial and lasting impression of your business. Being original and true to yourself and having a brand aligned with your own views and beliefs will position your business for success.

Create A Business Plan

This step is crucial towards setting up a business, whether in the UK or elsewhere. An overview of what you’re going to accomplish and how you’re aiming to do it may be included in a business plan.

It helps you concentrate on the direction your business must go in order to accomplish its objectives and persuades others that your business is a wise investment, which is especially crucial if you want to position your business to attract investment or raise finance.

Your business plan should include dedicated space for a Business summary, Business idea, Marketing and sales strategy, Management structure, Business Operations, and Financial projections. It is important to keep the reasons why you set up your business and your aims in mind when writing a business plan. It is good to review a plan yearly and this is a great way to focus your analysis.

Select A Structure For Your Company

To Start a Business in the UK, you need to register it first, and for that, you need to know the legal requirements. Below is a list of the different legal structures a business can take when being formed.

Sole Trader- a person who works by themselves and owns and manages their own business. You retain all of the earnings after taxes, and registration is free. It is the most typical business form for individuals who operate alone, such as freelancers, designers, and artists.

Limited Company (LTD)- This is a business that has a distinct legal status from its owners and directors, it is a completely separate entity. As the business goes into contracts and accrues corporate obligations, it reduces your personal accountability. This implies that you are not forced to sell personal property to pay off debt since the money you make belongs to the corporation and must be withheld as a wage and/or dividends.

Partnership- Like a sole trader, except both the partnership and the individuals need to register for self-assessment. If one partner goes, the partnership must end.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)- In regards to registration and accounting, it is comparable to a private limited corporation, but liability is divided among partners.

Determine Costs And Financing Sources

In your business plan, you will include the expenses related to launching and maintaining your business. To determine precisely how much you’ll need to spend, it’s important to take a step further and categorise these charges.

Stock, premises and business rates, licences and insurance, promotional materials, financial and legal advice, taxes and national insurance, office material like stationery etc., are a few of the initial expenditures to consider.

Knowing precise costs will allow you to explore the funding sources accordingly. For more on this, read our guide to financing a new business in the UK.

Learn About The Relevant Rules And Regulations

About a third of small-to-medium companies (SMEs) see red tape as a hurdle to success. However, things don’t have to be this way. The knowledge you need to get beyond these hurdles may all be accessed for free online.

The business section of GOV.UK website provides comprehensive information on all you need to know. While some of it may not be applicable to your business, the majority of it will. Knowing this information prior to making a business transaction is essential for your success as well as to prevent a fine or other severe penalties.

Obtain a License or Permit

You might need to get a licence or permit in order to conduct business lawfully in the UK.

Finding out what sort of licence you require is the first step. The Licence Finder on GOV.UK can help you with this. You can use this tool to locate the appropriate person within your local government.

The sort of licence you’re seeking, as well as any associated fees, will determine the cost of your licence. You might additionally need to provide documentation of an accredited qualification to get the licence or permit.

Determine Your Workplace

If at all feasible, consider starting off by working from home since commercial properties are a significant expenditure. This is a simple choice if you’re beginning a digital business such as graphic design or freelance writing. This may enable you to save on commercial lease and business rates. On your tax return, you’ll also be allowed to deduct a portion of household expenses, including energy, heating, lighting, broadband, and council tax.

If you are unable to work from home, using a co-working facility or shared business centre may help you save expenses. This also entails affordably hiring a desk or tiny office space inside a bigger establishment.

Determine your workplace

Start Marketing Your Business

Out of all the steps to setting up a business, marketing can make or break your business in the end. Therefore, before investing any significant money in creating or maintaining your unique value proposition, it’s a good idea to validate it. This way, you can be certain that when you debut, your offerings will appeal to and be purchased by your target market.

Marketing can make or break your business

It’s pretty common for business owners to launch into marketing their business and spending hefty sums on their branding and marketing collateral. It’s therefore incredibly important that you ensure that you’ve done your research ahead of this and your logo, branding and name isn’t infringing on any other business’.

Make sure to utilise our business name registration service for the UK to rule out any potential infringement of intellectual property.

It’s ideal if you already have a following as a result of creating pre-launch content. However, it’s totally fine if you don’t. The moment to develop one is now.

You may promote your company in a variety of methods, including word-of-mouth promotion, networking events, advertising in local publications and online, among many others. Digital marketing is now often the most effective way to get consistent results. More than half of marketing executives’ overall budgets were spent here in 2022. It goes to show the value of marketing in realising business goals.

Get Adequate Business Support

Even though starting and owning a business in the UK is exciting, the daily grind may be demanding. It is reported that a third of business owners look for guidance and information on managing their operations on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, about 40% of business owners sought out strategic experts to aid with expansion.

Finding the correct assistance can be essential for overcoming obstacles and avoiding potentially expensive errors.

Fortunately, expert counsel and business assistance are widely available. Start.Biz offers comprehensive assistance towards setting up a business.

At Start.Biz we help prospective and existing business owners with start-up packages and other services which support them and their business as they look to grow.


  • Use a SWOT analysis to try out your business idea.
  • Make sure your business name, logo and overall branding are good and unique.
  • Create a business plan that includes a Business summary, Business idea, Marketing and sales strategy, Management structure, Business Operations, and Financial projections.
  • Choose a structure for your company. This could be Sole trader, Limited company, Partnership, or Limited liability partnership
    Make a list of all your potential expenditures and figure out the source of funding for them.
  • Research the relevant rules and regulations for your business.
  • Check whether you need a licence or permit for your business type.
  • Determine whether you are going to work from home, lease a dedicated space, or get a place in some shared facility.
  • Market your business and establish a following. Use digital and traditional marketing methods.
  • Draw upon the services of a professional business support provider. It will make things a lot easier for you.

Get Your Business Off the Ground by Following These 5 Rules

Get your Business off the ground by following these 5 rules

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Establishing your own business may be thrilling and difficult at the same time. You need to consider several things, like a good Business Plan, a budget, costs, regulations and more. In this article, we go through our checklist of 5 things to consider and to help Get Your Business Off the Ground.

Considering this checklist before starting your business may help to reduce the risks and challenges later on therefore giving you the best chance to position your business for success!

Do Market Research

Market Research will help you create a winning Marketing Plan. It is among the key factors that make market research crucial for businesses that wish to make informed judgments.

Market Research will help you create a winning Marketing Plan.

You must be aware of the needs and preferences of your customer base if you want your offerings to be well received as a way to grow your new business. You may get key facts about your competition and current products or services via Market Research. The outcomes give you information about the prerequisites of being impactful in the market.

By helping you to decide on product features, prices, and promotions up front, Market Research contributes to reducing risk. Additionally, it helps concentrate resources to where they may have maximum utility and gives you a plan to build on.

Get Adequate Funding

Access to Finance for your company is a big deal, it is arguably the most important thing if you intend to Start a New Business. You must accurately pinpoint the resources from which you can obtain capital for your company. Additionally, it is preferable to have a strategy in place in order to effectively manage a business’ budget.

Refer to our Business Finance & Funding FAQ’s page for some common funding-related questions.

Raising capital can be the largest obstacle to getting things off the ground. If you aren’t self-funding your business, you’ll need to seek out alternate ways to raise money and often business owners use several options together to launch their business.


Business loans might not be possible here as you may often not have a business’ accounts to loan against, and as a consequence you may need to look at Personal Loans to start off with. A modest loan can help you get going much more quickly, especially if you’re purchasing expensive equipment.

It makes sense to shop around, given the high-interest rates right now. Draw upon different loan provider estimates and compare them to get the best offer with an affordable payback schedule.

Grants & Other Options

There is often some grant funding available for those wanting to start their business so this is worth researching well.

Other options may include Crowdfunding, Angel Investments, Incubators etc. To know more about this, read our detailed separate blog on the subject.

It’s worth adding that it’s always a good idea to acquire accounting software in order to organise and keep track of finances and do cost calculations through revenue predictions before participating in any early-stage financing rounds. However, with Making Tax Digital (MTD) applying to all tax payers who file self assessments with income or turnover over £10,000 by April 2024 it is now vital that business owners have compatible MTD software to send digital tax returns.

Create A Business Plan

The steps you must take for the launch and growth of your business are laid out in the Business Plan. This document is crucial for giving your business a focus, attracting the right professionals, and maintaining financial health. A New Business Startup Plan assures that you present your business in the best possible light to others who are assessing it, so be sure to keep such a plan on hand and be prepared to provide it upon request.

The steps you must take for the launch and growth of your business are laid out in the Business Plan.

Spend some time preparing the essential elements, such as:

  • Your statement of purpose, objectives and aims of the business.
  • A synopsis of your company.
  • A list of the goods and services you offer.
  • A review of the potential competition currently on the market at the moment.
  • A list of the company’s decision-makers and a brief profile of each.
  • Financial Plan, so people who look over it can see the opportunity.

Many entrepreneurs skip over competitor analysis, a crucial part of developing a Business Plan. However, it could come back to hurt you in the future.

Finding a niche in the market and understanding your rivals’ strengths and shortcomings in relation to your own is the focus of competitor analysis.

It’s important to analyse competitors because:

  • You will learn how to improve your own business strategy with its assistance.
  • It will explain how you may outperform your rivals in these areas to maintain customers’ interest.
  • It will give you a strategic advantage over other businesses in your industry.

Have The Right Tools

Making the right business software purchase is vital for boosting operational effectiveness. It is a key component as you build your new business. Buy the software tools early so you can achieve your company objectives quickly.

Here are some of the best software packages that SMEs have to take into account:

best sme softwares

Quickbooks – It is a good choice for bookkeeping and accounting software. Accounting software installation will guarantee that you are in control of your funds right away.

Xero – Is another cloud-based accounting software product allowing business owners to manage their finances. It has additional reporting and accounting tools to quickbooks but can be viewed as more complicated because of that reason.

Iris – It is an effective payroll software and is important for paying yourself or your employees.

Wix – It is recommended for website building. A website may serve as the public face of your whole company, especially for modern startups. Therefore, choose your website builder carefully because it will probably affect your subsequent actions.

WordPress – Is an alternative software for website building. It is preferred by some due to its SEO qualities and has plugin features and templates.

Shopify – It is a good eCommerce building tool to complement your online retail goals. – Is a CRM software that promotes faster sales processes that may increase brand loyalty and exposure. It is advised that you implement a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system as soon as possible if your company will be engaging in any type of transaction.

HubSpot – It is a marketing software for developing and growing the brand. We advise using some type of marketing software to get started on building your brand’s awareness and attracting clients.

In addition to all these software packages, there are certain tools that you can access online for free, especially before setting up your business. Our Business Name & Domain Search Tool is one such source. It can help you easily sort out intellectual property questions related to your business name.

getting help

Get Professional Help

Entrepreneurs can never be experts in every aspect of running their new business. As the saying goes, a jack of all trades is a master of none. Therefore, making use of the expertise of seasoned professionals is useful to ensure that you get off to a good start. Help on the front of how to manage a small business, the legal and financial nuances, and a range of other things can go a long way towards your business goals.

Ensuring that your business is legally compliant is vital, therefore advice to ensure you are protected and carrying out all processes legally should be prioritised.

We sometimes think that seeking legal advice is only necessary when legal problems are at the door. Being proactive and putting in place preventive legal planning might be the greatest approach to put your company on the right trajectory.

When you seek legal advice after you’ve encountered an issue, it’s usually already too late or might have a serious negative impact on your company in the immediate and long term.

When you seek legal advice after you've encountered an issue, it's usually already too late.

By helping you steer clear of danger before you ever get into it, investing in legal professionals early on in the life of your company pays off handsomely.

An accountant and bookkeeper are other wise choices for a business to invest in. It can be particularly difficult for one person to manage every area of a business, and this is one area that can be easily outsourced and by doing so may not only give you more oversight as to your cashflow and profitability. It should also ensure that you’re abiding by the relevant laws and paying the correct amount of tax along with advising you on what you may be able to claim as expenses or claim back such as research and development.

Community organisations and mentors can also offer valuable advice and professional knowledge. They may urge you to examine your progress in order to get knowledge and advice regarding the path of your organisation. Their input may also assist you in avoiding costly blunders.

Entrepreneurs can usually locate regional businesses or community groups on internet social networks. This doesn’t mean you have to always pay out regularly for this help, by networking and meeting other business owners it’s likely that you will gain a sounding board for your business.

It is worth bearing in mind that some of this professional help could be in the way of training, having some training on how to amend your website rather than having to pay each time. A bookkeeper may offer training on how to use the accounting software to allow you to use it to its maximum efficiency.

Next Steps

By considering our checklist above you will be well-positioned to have success in your business venture.

At Start.Biz, we provide step-by-step help to businesses and help them get off the ground in the best way possible. We have a team of experts who cover all business frontiers and stand ready to help you realise your business goals!


  • Do market research. Be aware of the needs and preferences of your customer base to decide on product features, prices, and promotions up front to be able to reduce risk.
  • Raising capital is a crucial component of launching a business. If you aren’t self-funding your company, loans, grants or other sources may be useful.
  • Create a Business Plan that includes a statement of purpose, a synopsis, a list of goods and services, a review of the market, a Financial Plan, and profiles of the company’s decision-makers.
  • Small business software purchases boost operational effectiveness. Some of the best software packages include names like Quickbooks, Xero, Iris, Wix, WordPress, Shopify, and HubSpot.
  • Consider employing or outsourcing for professionals such as Accountants, Bookkeepers, Website Developers.