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Set up a business - step by step

1. Will your business idea work?

First of all, you will want to know if your idea for a business will work in the real world.

You can do this by understanding:

  • Exactly you will sell / what service you will provide
  • Who will buy your product / service
  • How you will reach your customers
  • How much customers will pay for your product / service

For more information, see Market research 

It can be daunting setting up in business, are you the right type of person to run a business?

For more information, see Considering starting up

2. What kind of business should you set up?

Setting up a business does not necessarily mean you will need to set up a company. You can be self-employed and not have "company" status.

The structure of your business will mainly depend on the type of business you will be running and the level of financial risk you want to take.

Find out more, see Overview of business structures

3. Plan your next steps

It is useful to have an understanding of what you will do next when setting up your business. An easy way of managing this is with a business plan.

A business plan is an easy to follow document that will describe your business and its objectives. There will be several sections to complete, depending on the purpose of your plan. Many business plans are written to secure funding, others so that owners can simply measure performance and success.

For more information, see Prepare a business plan

4. Register your business

Depending on which type of business you choose to set up, there will be requirements to register for:

  • Self Assessment
  • VAT
  • Corporation Tax
  • PAYE (for employers)
  • HMRC

Find out more, visit HMRC: Business or GOV.UK: Setting up a business

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