How to start a retail business
Dream of running your own shop? Read our business guide before you get started
- What is a retail business?
- Who is the retail industry suited to?
- Finding the right business premises
- How much does it cost?
- Rules and regulations for retail businesses
- Tips for starting a retail
- Test your business idea (opens in a new tab)
- Register a company (opens in a new tab)
- Apply for a business loan (opens in a new tab)
What is a retail business?
The retail industry is vast. Retail covers everything from the tiny village shop where the owner knows every customer by name, to the giant department stores on London’s Oxford Street. The industry ranges from shops you can walk into, to ecommerce shops you can browse with a mouse and keyboard, with every market stall and mail order catalogue in between.
We live in a consumer-driven society, where shopping often constitutes more of a hobby than a genuine need to purchase products. However, despite the healthy contribution to the economy that the UK retail sector provides, consumers are becoming more and more convenience driven, with the internet and superstores often providing an easier alternative to hunting out bargains on the local high street.