Starting up a business

Guide – Starting up a business

Part 1 - Start with an idea

Start with an idea

If you’re thinking of starting up a business, you’ll first need to come up with a realistic idea that you can turn into a product or service. Find local support, including help with developing business ideas by calling the 24 hour free help desk and we will guide you in the right direction.

Register your idea

You might have already come up with an idea for a business you think there’s a market for, or invented something you think people will want to buy. Find out how to register your idea to make sure nobody copies it without your permission.

Turn your idea into a business

  • Research your market – identify potential customers. Talk to them and find out if your idea is meeting a real need.
  • Develop and plan – test your product or service with real customers, make changes, and test it again. Keep doing this until you’re sure there’s a demand for it.
  • Find partners and suppliers – think about who you’re going to work with to develop and sell your idea.
  • Set up your business – work out which legal structure is right for you, and whether you want to sell shares.
  • Get funding – explore different sources of business finance, from bank loans to government-backed schemes.

If you’re unemployed, you might be able to get support and financial help from Jobcentre Plus.

Contact the Free Advice Help Desk for advice and support on starting or growing your business

Telephone: 0333 566 0013 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

Help Desk advisors are also available online by clicking on Live Chat


part 2 - Research your market

Part 3 - Develop your plan

Part 4 - Find partners and suppliers

Part 5 - Set up your business

Part 6 - Get funding

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