Starting a Business

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.

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 intellectual property to make sure nobody copies it without your permission.

Turn your idea into a business

  1. Research your market - identify potential customers. Talk to them and find out if your idea is meeting a real need.
  2. 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.
  3. Find partners and suppliers - think about who you're going to work with to develop and sell your idea.
  4. Set up your business - work out which legal structure is right for you, and whether you want to sell shares.
  5. Get funding - explore different sources of business finance, from bank loans to government-backed schemes.

You might be able to get support and financial help from Job Centre Plus if you're unemployed.

To find out more visit

Starting your own business requires careful planning, research and preparation. Find out more about the steps that you will need to take to turn your idea into a business.


Write a business plan »

You will need a business plan to raise finance. Here's advice on how to write a business plan, including templates and samples.

Where to get start up advice »

Discover the many networks and groups for young businesses which can offer practical advice, ideas and connections.

Finance options for new businesses »

A bank loan is not the only way to raise money for your startup business. Learn more about other potential sources of finance.


Set up and register a new business »

Everything you need to help you start up a new business, including how to set up and register a company.

Start a business from home »

It's simple to start a business from home and more people are doing it. Find out what you need to do to get started.

Start out with a business mentor »

A business mentor can give you honest and constructive feedback, as well as useful contacts and valuable experience.