Start-up advice and finance

Starting your own business requires careful planning, research and preparation. This section will guide you to where you can find help and advice on starting and setting up a business. There is information on how to set up and register a company, and on the steps that you will need to take to turn your idea into a business.

Where we step in


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.


The business finance guide >

The Business Finance Guide sets out the full range of finance options throughout the lifecycle of business growth.

Funding and support for new ideas >

There are many forms of financial help that aim to support companies as they innovate and generate new ideas. Find one to help you.

Tax relief and incentives for business >

Learn about the growing number of sources of finance, from crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending to tax breaks and incentives.


Recruiting and hiring staff >

Whether you are a first-time employer or taking on extra staff, there is practical guidance and financial assistance to tap into.

Taking on an apprentice or trainee >

A growing number of companies are taking on apprentices. Find out how your business can benefit from hiring an apprentice.

Do more online

Building your website >

Your website is the way your customers and clients find and learn more about you. Here’s advice on how to make it as good as it can be

Getting started on social media >

Social media is a valuable means of finding your customers online. Here’s some practical support to help you get started

Marketing online >

There’s a dizzying array of options for promoting your business and services on the web. Here are some tips to get you started.

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