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How to Start a Business in Devon

Free start-up resources and useful local contacts.

Improve your chances of success!

How to Start a Business in Devon

Starting a business in Devon

If you are thinking about starting a business in Devon or would like to grow your existing business, we would love to help you.

Start Your Own Business in Devon contains resources and the information that will help give your venture the best chance of success. It also highlights organisations who offer friendly advice and the services that you are likely to need as a new startup or local business owner.

Grants | Networking groups | Business advice | Mentoring | Co-working spaces

Starting a business in Devon

Free Startup Resources

Getting it right from the start can help to prevent problems later.

To help you with this we have created a vast selection of resources and they are all completely free!

If you're considering starting a business or already running one in Devon, this web page is designed to provide you with valuable information and resources to support your entrepreneurial journey. Located in the southwestern part of England, Devon offers a diverse economy, stunning natural landscapes, and a vibrant business community.

Demographics of Devon

Devon is home to a thriving population and offers a range of business opportunities. As of the latest available data, the estimated population of Devon is over 1.1 million residents. The county comprises a mix of urban and rural areas, providing a diverse market for businesses.

Major Towns and Cities

Click on name of each location to find local help and resources.

  • Exeter: Exeter is the county town of Devon and a bustling city with a population of over 130,000 residents. It is known for its strong economy, excellent transport links, and vibrant cultural scene. Exeter offers a wide range of business opportunities across various sectors, including technology, tourism, education, and healthcare.
  • Plymouth: Plymouth is a historic coastal city in Devon with a population of over 260,000 residents. It is a major commercial and cultural hub, known for its maritime heritage and thriving marine and defense industries. Plymouth provides a supportive environment for businesses to thrive, with opportunities in advanced engineering, marine science, creative industries, and tourism.
  • Torbay: Torbay, also known as the English Riviera, is a popular tourist destination in Devon. It consists of the towns of Torquay, Paignton, and Brixham, with a combined population of over 135,000 residents. Torbay offers opportunities in the tourism, hospitality, and leisure sectors, with a focus on beach resorts, entertainment, and cultural events.
  • Newton Abbot: Newton Abbot is a market town in Devon with a population of over 25,000 residents. It has a strong retail sector and serves as a gateway to the Dartmoor National Park. Newton Abbot offers a supportive business community and opportunities in various industries, including retail, manufacturing, and professional services.
Local Authorities in Devon

Understanding the local authorities in Devon is essential for navigating regulatory requirements and accessing relevant services. Here are some key local authorities in Devon along with their website links:

  • Devon County Council : The official website of the Devon County Council provides information on local government services, permits and licenses, business support, and economic development initiatives.
  • Exeter City Council : The Exeter City Council's website offers resources for businesses in the area, including information on planning and building regulations, business rates, and local events and networking opportunities.
  • Plymouth City Council : The Plymouth City Council's website provides guidance for businesses on starting and growing in Plymouth. It offers information on licenses and permits, business rates, and support programs available to entrepreneurs.
  • Torbay Council : The Torbay Council's website features resources and services for businesses operating in Torbay, including information on local planning, licensing, and economic development initiatives.
Business Support Organisations in Devon

Devon offers a range of business support organisations dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. Whether you need assistance with funding, mentoring, networking, or general guidance, these organisations can provide valuable resources. Here are a few noteworthy business support organisations in Devon, along with their website links:

  • Business West : Business West is a leading business support organisation that offers a wide range of services to help businesses in Devon succeed. Their offerings include business advice, access to funding, training programs, and networking events.
  • Heart of the South West Growth Hub : The Heart of the South West Growth Hub provides support and guidance to businesses across Devon. They offer a comprehensive range of resources, including access to funding, business planning assistance, skills development, and sector-specific advice.
  • Devon Chamber of Commerce : The Devon Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based organisation that aims to promote and support businesses in the region. They offer networking events, business mentoring, advocacy, and access to valuable business resources.
  • Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership : The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership is a collaborative organisation that works to drive economic growth and create opportunities for businesses in Devon. They provide access to funding, business support programs, and strategic guidance for businesses looking to grow and succeed.

We hope this guide serves as a valuable resource for starting or running a business in Devon. Explore the websites of local authorities and business support organisations for further information and assistance. Best of luck on your entrepreneurial journey in Devon!

FREE startup workshops

If you are thinking about starting a business, our FREE three-hour ONLINE workshop is definitely for you!

Open to everyone, our sole aim is to increase your chances of success. We do that by explaining:

The reality of running a business; the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them; which legal status is likely to be most suitable; funding, grants and managing your money; business planning and cashflow forecasting; finding and keeping customers.

Free startup guide

Start Your Own Business in 2021

Download the 2024 edition of our Free Start Your Own Business guide

An interactive step-by-step guide which also includes all of the most important subjects covered in an easy-to-read way with links to useful online articles and relevant contacts.

The idea of starting your own business can be incredibly exciting and who can blame you for being tempted?

However, the sad truth is that far too many new enterprises fail in the early stages. Our aim is to make sure that you don’t become one of them.

This guide explains the key start-up subjects in simple English.

There is also plenty of help available in the area and much of it is free - please do make the most of it.

Read more about what our Free guide contains and how you can download it.
Starting a business in Devon

Key Contacts in Devon

'You don't know what you don't know' is a phrase that is so applicable to starting a new business.

Devon is a great place for start-ups but your chances of success are dramatically improved if you make the most of the support that is available locally. Click on logos to visit their websites.

Web design

Vu Online
Get a website that works for your business. Easy to use. Great to look at. A website can have many functions. As a showcase for your business, a reassuring source of information for customers, a purchase point for your products or services. We take website design very seriously because we know the impact it can have on a business. It’s a given that we deliver our clients beautiful looking websites but we feel it is equally important that it works and does what it needs to do. We design and build websites that are fit for purpose and have the flexibility to grow with your business. Our method is straightforward, pragmatic and forward thinking. Startup This package suits a sole trader or small business just starting out. We’ll set you up with a website that gets you going. It will suit you if you have a limited budget right now.

Online Marketing

Out of the Box Innovations
Out of the Box Innovations Ltd., (OOTBI) have helped SMBs with their online presence since 2014. Specialist areas include content marketing, web design & development and SEO. Past clientele and industry experience include oil & energy, HSE (health safety and environment), and home improvements. OOTBI welcome global enquiries for energy and HSE marketing, as well as local enquiries from any established businesses in Devon, UK. Initial consultation and customised business recommendations will be conducted free of charge. When new clients see the business logic and valuable ideas, the business usually commences soon after.

Online Marketing

Gleave Media
Gleave Media offers a wealth of experience and analysis for all digital strategies and we deliver right first time solutions, often within short and challenging timescales. We have been embedded in the Internet Industry since 1999 so can view projects from a different perspective while our vertically integrated operation means we a flexible and responsive in a way many consultancies are not and we can deliver solutions that draw on both digital and practical systems to provide the complete ready to go operation for all growing businesses. Gleave Media employ a front-weighted process with intelligent use of analysis to provide innovative, open solutions that include the customer in the development process.


Design By Pie
Professional freelance graphic designer offering graphic design solutions to help new businesses establish and maintain a strong and clear visual message (without paying huge agency prices). The cost of hiring an in-house graphic designer or going to a large graphic design agency can be too much for some business start-ups - but that does not mean you cant have instant and constant access to fabulous and effective graphic design.

Web design

PB&J Web Design Ltd
With specialists in Web Design, Web Development, SEO, Digital Marketing, Branding, Copywriting and more we have got your covered for everything you could possibly need for your digital journey. To do this, we like to make sure we get to know your business inside and out, so we always start our partnership with you with an informal conversation over a coffee. This way we can to get to know more about you, your business and your goals, to make sure that we know exactly what you are wanting to achieve with your online campaigns and how we can get you there. Everyone has different budgets and at PB+J Web Design we completely understand. We will tailor your strategy to your budget and make sure you are spending your money in the best places to achieve the best return on your investment.

Web design

Spotty Dog Digital Marketing
We build websites and help you get found online. There's no point having a website that no one can find. Some of the services we offer: -FREE website SEO analysis -Website design -Website redesign -Search engine optimisation services (SEO) -Local SEO services -SEO audit -Content marketing services -Onpage SEO services -Devon SEO We choose to work with people we think we think we can help. Our aim is not to bamboozle you with secrecy and jargon, no, we want you to understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Transparency throughout – clear reporting, clear pricing with no hidden extras and no minimum term contracts – is our mission. Oh and great, friendly, service.


We love developing peoples ideas and watching them grow this is the exciting end of the work we do. We have been developing websites and providing design services to our clients for over 10 years. Our current services include: Logo Design & Branding, Website Design and Development, Content Management Systems, Online Shops, Website Hosting, Search Engine Optimisation. Best of all we love talking about what we do. Responsive Websites : Websites which look good and function well, on computers, tablets and on mobile phones. Be sure to ask for that when commissioning your business website. 28% of internet usage is from a mobile phone 23% increase in search queries from tablets after Christmas day. ( Call if youd like to talk.


Aegis Accounting
Ready to start your own business? But not sure what you need to put in place, whether you should be limited or a sole trader, who you need to tell, what legislation you need to comply with? Aegis specialise in small business start-ups - we can handle all the legislation for you from day one. Our popular Company Start-up Package covers all the legislative requirements in one go, and as a startup client we will guarantee to fix your accounting and company administration costs to an all-in-one affordable monthly fee for the entire year! As a client of Aegis you will enjoy day-to-day bookkeeping, monthly management accounts, VAT returns, company administration, year end accounts preparation and tax return filing - all in one FIXED monthly fee! Accounts shouldnt be taxing- and neither should accountants! Aegis look after the books, prepare the accounts and file your tax return - no fuss accounting- call now on 01395 511012 or visit our website.


Bruton-Young Bookkeeping
Hi, I'm Clare, a not so boring accountant and bookkeeper. I work with all types of trade; current clients include hairdressers, plumbers, builders, beauty therapists, electricians and many more. Most are local to Hemyock but some are not. With technology this need not be a problem. Do you need more time to work on your business rather than drowning in a sea of paperwork? I can take that paperwork and present you with digital reports about the financial welfare of your business. Your tax and VAT returns will all be submitted correctly and quickly, without any stress on your part (except of course for the paying part!). I promise to always use plain English and produce your numbers quickly and efficiently. Call or email to have a chat about your business.


Devon Work Hubs
Devon Work Hubs offer tailored business support and mentoring to hub users which is an added bonus for anyone considering taking space. Devon is a great place to grow your business idea, there are a number of different support organisations on hand to offer tailored advice and guidance throughout the journey. If you have a specific question about the Devon Work Hubs, please get in touch with Tom Satterly at Devon County Council. Tom Satterly. Economy, Enterprise and Skills. Tel. 01392 38 3000


VA Accountancy
VA Accountancy provides tailored business solutions, designed to match your business’ needs now and in the future. We work closely with our clients throughout the year to ensure a pro-active, reliable and professional service for you and your business, with no hidden surprises. Contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation meeting to discuss how we can support you and your business.


bip (Business Information Point)
Business Information Point have been helping people start and stay in business throughout the South West for over 20 years. Since setting up as an enterprise agency in 1993, we have worked tirelessly to support self-employed individuals and small businesses with our blend of practical, down-to-earth advice and interactive workshops. We're a friendly bunch, and between us we have more years of business experience than we care to admit. Being able to advise, support and inspire people to develop and grow sustainable and profitable businesses is what gets us up in the morning (and not the strong coffee, honest). Business Information Point, Okehampton Business Centre, Unit 10, Higher Stockley MeadOkehampton, Devon, EX20 1FJ


The Lonely Middle Club - From Startup Hive
Starting a business is exciting, and succeeding is rewarding, but what about the bit between? You know, that bit that’s full of self-doubt, endless repetition and feelings of being out of your comfort zone? We call it ‘The Lonely Middle’ and it’s one of the hardest parts of creating a successful business. We know, we’ve been there. So, we created The Lonely Middle Club to help you through it. Each month you get exclusive content to help give you the knowledge and inspiration to succeed. Plus, you get access to a private members-only Facebook group where you can get advice and network with small business owners who are going through similar challenges to you. If you want even more, you can download our 51 worksheets, guides, and journals all designed to do one thing, and one thing only… help you get through ‘The Lonely Middle’ and achieve your business goals. Visit our website today to join the club and benefit from our members price lock and full no questions asked money-back guarantee.


Kirsty Piercy Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistant based in Devon, in the UK. If you are looking for someone to support you to reduce your stress and give you more time for your work or home life, then I could help you. I specialise in small businesses and new start ups. I can assist you with administration, finance, travel, logistics and other ad hoc tasks or projects. I offer a free initial call to assess what you need and how I can help you. If you chose to work with me you can outsource tasks to me, I will get the task done quickly and efficiently. I work in a way that benefits busy people, so I reply quickly and in plain English.

Start-up articles

100's of free startup articles

We have created a collection of 100s of startup articles to help anyone with whatever stage they are on with their business journey. Hundreds of thousands of people have gone before you and we can learn from what they got right and avoid the things that have been proved not to work so well.

You can see the full list of 'articles' at: How to start a business