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How to Start a Business in Greater Manchester

Free start-up resources and useful local contacts.

Improve your chances of success!

How to Start a Business in Greater Manchester

Starting a business in Greater Manchester

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

Start Your Own Business in Greater Manchester 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 Greater Manchester

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!

Starting a Business in in Greater Manchester

Business advice and support

"Two heads are better than one."

Whether you have been trading for some time, are new to the market or are just thinking about starting a business of your own, it has been proven that your chances of success are considerably improved if you seek support from an experienced business advisor or mentor. You can find out more about both options at Business Advice in Greater Manchester and Business Mentors in Greater Manchester.

Funding and grants

Running out of money is one the most common reasons why businesses fail. This risk of this happening to can be avoided (or minimised) by careful planning and cashflow forecasting. If you need additional funds to start or keep your business going, you can learn more about your options and download our free funding factsheet at: Greater Manchester Business Grants and Business Funding

Business networking

Does the idea of business networking fill you with delight or dread? Either way, it can be beneficial for both your business and you as an entrepreneur. See Business Networking in Greater Manchester for details of local groups and our free Networking Factsheet.

Business premises

Working from home is appealing to many new business owners but not practical for many others. Even if you are running a business by yourself, you might like to consider the option of 'hot desking' or co-working in one of the many flexi-workspaces that have emerged in recent years. Find out more at: Greater Manchester Co-Working and Business Premises.

Finding new customers

Paying customers are the lifeblood of any business. Knowing how to find, satisfy and retain them is vitally important and best achieved with the help of experts in the field.

Accountancy, tax and law

While starting a new business is very exciting, this should not disguide the fact that there are some very important legal responsibilities that must be considered. See: Bookkeeping, Accountancy, Financial Planning and Law

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 Greater Manchester

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 Greater Manchester

Key Contacts in Greater Manchester

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

Greater Manchester 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

Fertile Frog
At Fertile Frog our team has an individual commitment to teamwork and group effort. We love to work together towards a common goal. Fertile Frog are here to support your business growth through means of Internet presence, marketing and corporate branding. Wether you are a start up entrepreneur business idea, a long established corporate company, a group of companies or even a sole trader. We have multiple solutions to help you.


Davies McLennon
We are chartered accountants based in Stockport We are Chartered Accountants based in Stockport, close to Manchester, offering accountancy, tax planning advice, payroll services and business consultancy to small and mid sized businesses. We have a special package for business startups. If you are looking for an accountant see the Eight Great Reasons why you should talk to us. We are interested in helping our clients grow, and become more successful and profitable. Click here for a free report with ten very practical ideas on how you can grow your business. Our web payroll service is unbeatable value for money at just £1 per employee per month. Its also an easy and convenient way to work.


North West Cyber Resilience Centre
The North West Cyber Resilience Centre is a not for profit, police led partnership approach to protect small businesses from online crime. As a not-for-profit initiative, we provide a targeted programme of crime prevention activities to increase the take-up of effective cybersecurity measures to safeguard the North West business community. Our skilled team of Ethical Hackers are trained in the latest trends used by cybercriminals, so they can help protect your business. Awareness Training; We can train your staff to be your strongest defence against phishing attacks by equipping them with the information they need to identify, report and stop any attempts before any damage can be done. Internet Investigations; We can search the web for any freely available information out there about you or your business that could be gathered by criminals in an impersonation attempt against your customers. Vulnerability Assessments; We can assess your network by scanning for known vulnerabilities that may give access to attackers and provide you with recommendations on how to mitigate the risk of an attack.


Business Growth Hub - Starting a Business
No matter where you access your finance from, be it the bank, start-up loans, crowdfunding or elsewhere, you must have a sound business plan and at least one year’s cash flow projection – which is where we can help. Your business idea doesn’t need to be original, but you have to offer something new. Whether filling a gap in the market, or building on an existing offering. Our service is designed to encourage and support entrepreneurs like you and growing businesses, to create prosperity and ultimately create jobs. Business Growth Hub, 90 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester M1 5JW


Greater Manchester LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership)
The GM LEP sits at the heart of Greater Manchesters governance arrangements, ensuring that business leaders are empowered to set the strategic course, determine local priorities and drive growth and job creation within the city region. It is central to the wider partnerships established between local government, businesses and educational institutes, and the public, private, voluntary and community sectors.


Enterprising You
Supporting your self-employment journey Are you self-employed or running your own business and keen to grow? Not sure how to improve client retention? Know the basics but want to take your venture to the next level? Whatever you’re facing, whether financial issues, instability with work, health barriers or not knowing what step to take next; there is support available. EnterprisingYou is a government-funded programme specially designed to support self-employed individuals, including those who work in the gig economy and small business owners in Greater Manchester. You will discover your growth potential and ways to achieve your career goals through this programme. Apart from start-up owners and gig workers, we also support people who receive work from a company or an agency but are registered as self-employed or pay their own taxes. We can help you with free advice in different areas, from personal skills and career development to business finance and mentoring – we’ve got you covered. You’ve done the hard work setting up a business or taking that step into self-employment, now it’s time to go further, but it doesn’t have to be alone. Register below to find out how our programme could help you.


Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Providing first-class business support to companies of all shapes and sizes. With over 4500 members, the largest accredited Chamber of Commerce in the UK, the Chamber is located in the heart of the City Centre and has a strong presence in Greater Manchester’s ten local authority areas. Elliot House 151 Deansgate Manchester M3 3WD


Black Diamond Accountancy Services Ltd
Established in 2002, Black Diamond is an accredited service provider to the flexible labour market. Offering Umbrella and Accountancy Services, Black Diamond is perfectly placed to handle any contractor accountancy or employment requirement. Black Diamond are currently expanding. We are now able to offer our experience and expertise gained over the last decade not only to the flexible labour market but to business and individuals outside of this sector. Black Diamond are delighted to introduce: Diamond Bureau (managed and bespoke payroll bureau services), Diamond Compliance (ID verification, Anti-Money Laundering and Eligibility to work in the UK checks) and Diamond Employment (Employment law and contract advice via our business partners Peninsula). Our focus is always to work in partnership with our clients and shared business growth and success. Black Diamond continues to value the partnerships it has cultivated with its recruitment clients and are excited to expand its offerings and mirror good service to other businesses across the UK.


Invest in Manchester
MIDAS is the inward investment promotion agency for Manchester, with a strategic aim to secure significant levels of new investment for the city region to create and safeguard jobs. This is achieved through the global business marketing of Manchester key sectors and the provision of an extensive package of free advice and assistance for potential investors and location consultants. MIDAS has helped hundreds of businesses successfully relocate to or expand in Greater Manchester.


Manchester City Council - Starting a Business
Manchester City Council's website has a section dedicated to stating a new business ion the area. It includes pages about: What it means to run a business Helping you start a new business Business & intellectual property centre at central library Business events Business rates Trading standards Licensing 16-30 year olds: Try out your business idea Business premises Research and statistics Food hygiene & safety Health and safety Be prepared for an emergency Registering a business Grants for employing young people Can't find what you're looking for? How Brexit might impact your business


Blue Orchid
Greater Manchester Business Start-up and Support. Blue Orchid is one of the most knowledgeable and well-respected providers of business advice and support programmes in the UK. Established in 2001, we have a proven track record of delivering best in class start-up advice and business growth consultancy. Blue Orchid is recognised by government as innovative with our delivery programmes and are valued by the business community as entrepreneurial and driven to succeed.


AXT Accountants
Based in Cheadle, Cheshire, our dedicated team provides expert solutions to a range of businesses, from individuals to small limited companies, both locally and nationally. We specialise in providing solutions to contractors and those in the property and construction industry. At AXT, we pride ourselves on our modern and forward-looking approach. We understand that your time is precious, which is why we offer a fully digital and online service. So say goodbye to the days of client visits and traditionally long accountancy meetings – we offer convenient and effective online solutions, as and when you need them, saving you time and helping you to succeed.


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.

Online Marketing

Rocket Scynce (pronounce science)
"People call us Growth Hackers! Although the last time I checked, we called ourselves a hard-working digital marketing agency with a fully comprehensive portfolio for all your business needs. So, whether you require a wicked website, brilliant branding, dynamic design & print service, vibrant promotional videos, an appetizing mobile app, seductive social media marketing, surreal SEO, or addictive Google Ads and PPC, we could make it happen for you. Our aim is quite simple; to deliver the right solutions to your needs. And we achieve this by listening to you and understanding your requirements. No matter what you approach us for, the first thing we ask is ‘Why?’ Only then we set out to deliver that ideal solution to enable you to grow your business. Our team has all the experience and the expertise required to help you reach out to your ideal clients. We take pride in being trendy and creative with our projects. Our ‘against the run-of-the-mill' approach ensures that our projects carry our signature originality and creativity."

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