Starting a company
Starting a company can be tricky - what do you need to get started? What do you need to know before launch? Read our expert guides and articles to help get your business off the ground.Join our community
If you’re in the process of, or thinking about, starting your own company you’ve come to the right place.
We have a whole host of business guides and expert advice to help you get started. Whether you need help writing your business plan or coming up with a viable business idea, we’ve got something for you.
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How to start a company
If you’re wondering what you need to do to get started Here’s what we suggest you do…
1. Write a thorough business plan
Start off by putting together your idea. Consider all aspects of the business, from customers and the market to funding and your resource needs. A strong business plan will set you up on the right road.
2. Research your market
As part of your research ask a lot of questions…
- Are you entering a very competitive market?
- Is it saturated by big players?
- Are customers getting what they need from the competition?
- Are there areas you can compete and win on – such a expedited delivery, cost, or product innovation
These are all questions you should be able to answer once you’ve researched your market and have started putting together your business plan.
3. Look at the finances
Funding is a major topic for new businesses. Are you able to fund your new company yourself, or will you be looking to investors? You can find all of our finance-related articles in our dedicated business finance hub.
4. Register your business
Whether you’re planning on becoming a sole trader, limited company or partnership you’ll need to register your business with HMRC. This will involve different steps, depending on your business type.
5. Attract customers
Once you have everything in place and you’re ready to start trading, it’s time to launch your business and start generating customers. Marketing strategy here you come… As a jumping off point, here are some marketing ideas for new businesses.
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What type of company should I set up?
The business type you choose will depend upon your individual business circumstances and, to some degree, your personal choice of how you run the company. If you’re unsure, check out our intro guide to sole trader vs limited company.
Your decision will affect the steps you need to take when starting your own company, where and how you operate, and whether you’ll take on any staff. Are you launching a startup or running a small business? Do you plan to trade online?
If you’re unsure about how you’re planning to structure your business, now is a good time to read up on business models for startups
Who can start their own company?
The answer is almost anyone. Though starting a company and making your company successful are two very different things. The latter will take some careful planning and research.
Do I need a business bank account?
If you’re a limited company you’ll need a business bank account. If you’re a sole trader or partnership, you won’t. However, many sole traders find it useful to have a dedicated bank account for their business so it’s easy to keep your personal and business finances separate.
Do I need business insurance?
Yes. Maybe. This will depend on whether you have employees, what you’re selling, and how much exposure to the public for the running of your business. You can find out more about the different types of insurance, including what’s essential and what’s not, here.