Top tips for setting up a small business

It seems like a crazy time to start your own business but in many ways it makes sense now more than ever. If you have the idea, the drive and the personality to drive your own business forward, then it could lead to greater job security in the short term than staying where you are. In terms of long-term prospects, owning your own business means you stand to be the principle beneficiary of your blood, sweat and tears. Can you say that about the job you are in now?

So you’ve made the decision and you are going for it. But how? If you want some tips on how to set up your business read on.


One of the first things to think about when setting up your own company is how to deal with tax. The Inland Revenue will always get their cut, and operating your new business, or as a self-employed contractor without informing them could lead to penalties. The steps you need to take will differ depending on whether you will be a sole trader, a partnership or a limited liability company. Limited companies give their owners greater protection from claims made against the company so are a popular path to take when setting up a business. Inform Companies House and give them relevant information. They will inform HMRC, who will require you pay corporation tax. The HMRC website has plenty of useful information on tax issues for small businesses.


New businesses often need external funding to get off the ground. Many great ideas need a healthy dose of someone else’s cash before they take flight. You can visit the bank manager, find a business angel investor or investigate government grants. Whatever way you seek to finance your business, you should always draw up a thorough business plan beforehand. This gives you and investors a picture of your business’ prospects and allows you to identify issues that investors might quiz you on.


The kind of premises you and your small business need depends on the type of business it is, the number of people working there and the amount of money you are making. Many businesses start at home and move to small, short-lease offices and units when they are sufficiently established or there are too many employees to fit around a kitchen table. Others, like businesses involved in food preparation, will require premises from the off.


The policies you arrange will depend on the business you carry out, as only employers liability insurance is a legal requirement (and if you don’t have an employee or you only employ close family you won’t even need this). If you have an office or shop, or you work in close proximity to members of the public you should consider Swinton public liability insurance essential. If you deal in expertise and skills, professional indemnity insurance will protect you against claims made by clients for negligent services or advice. Both types of policy can save you from huge costs, and enable your small business to go from strength to strength.