Setting up a business: 5 things to get sorted

You’ve put everything in place to get started – now all you need to do is get your venture off the ground. Follow these practical steps...

You know what business you’re going to start, you’ve put the business plan and other groundwork in place, and you’ve raised the finance necessary to get it off the ground.

The next stage is launching the business itself, and there are a number of things to consider at this point.


Action point:Could it be worth sharing office space with fellow start-ups? Search serviced office options now...

Follow the steps and click the links below to ensure your venture gets off to a flying start.

1. Formally set up a company

You should have already decided on a company structure at the planning stage; now is the time to set it up. If you’re forming a limited company, you need to know how you will go about registering it with Companies House, what documents you will need to do so, and why you need company officers for your newly incorporated venture.

If you’re setting out alone, you need to register as a sole trader, learn how to self-assess your tax obligations and find out whether you need an additional licence to start trading.

Registering as a partnership is similar to being a sole trader.

2. Set up a business bank account

Setting up a business bank account is essential – you simply can’t go into business without one. Know the factors you should consider when shopping around for a business account, and what the bank will need from you when opening one. Read Startups’ guide to the main UK banks’ business accounts for a good overview of the rates and benefits on offer.

3. Purchase the necessary equipment

Most businesses will need an outlay on equipment to start up – and it’s important to shop smart. Startups’ business equipment and tools section has reviews of and guides to most of the gear needed to set up in business, including PCs, smartphones, printers and broadband.

Many start-ups, especially those in trade, will also need a van: if this is the case, read our vans for business section to find out what type of van will best suit your business as well as advice on insurance and costs.

4. Find the right business premises

The next step is finding out what premises you need. By now you should have an idea of whether you will be working from home or from external premises; if working from home, you should be aware of the pros and cons of running a cloud-based ‘virtual office’.

If you need external premises, visit our dedicated section for guides on locating, buying, renting and insuring your start-up location.

If you’re setting up in retail, location is obviously even more crucial; learn some principles about where to locate your shop and figure out what commercial classifications apply to prospective premises.

5. Take out business insurance

Protect your business against the unknown by taking out business insurance. If you’re not familiar already, bone up on business insurance terms – do you know what concealment is? Or the consequences of settling on the wrong maximum indemnity period?

What kind of business you run will determine the insurance you need, whether it be a home-based, retail or trades business; visit Startups’ business insurance comparison tool.

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