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How to Start a Business in Hampshire

Free start-up resources and useful local contacts.

Improve your chances of success!

How to Start a Business in Hampshire

Starting a business in Hampshire

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

Start Your Own Business in Hampshire 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 Hampshire

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 Hampshire, this section is designed to provide you with valuable information and resources to support your entrepreneurial journey.

Hampshire, located on the southern coast of England, offers a diverse and thriving business environment, with a rich cultural heritage and numerous opportunities for business growth.

Demographics of Hampshire

Hampshire is a vibrant county with a population of over 1.8 million residents. The county encompasses both urban and rural areas, offering a varied customer base and business landscape. Hampshire's diverse demographics create an exciting market for businesses across various sectors.

Major Towns and Cities in Hampshire
  • Southampton: Southampton is a major port city and the largest city in Hampshire, with a population of over 250,000 residents. It is known for its maritime history, cultural attractions, and thriving business community. Southampton offers business opportunities in sectors such as maritime services, tourism, digital innovation, and healthcare.
  • Portsmouth: Portsmouth is another significant port city in Hampshire, with a population of over 200,000 residents. It has a rich naval heritage and is home to renowned tourist attractions like the Historic Dockyard and the Spinnaker Tower. Portsmouth offers business prospects in sectors such as defense, maritime industries, tourism, and higher education.
  • Basingstoke: Basingstoke is a thriving town in Hampshire, with a population of over 170,000 residents. It has a strong economic base and is known for its business parks and technology-driven industries. Basingstoke offers business opportunities in sectors such as digital technology, life sciences, professional services, and logistics.
Local Authorities in Hampshire

Understanding the local authorities in Hampshire is crucial for navigating regulations and accessing relevant services. Here are some key local authorities in Hampshire along with their website links:

  • Hampshire County Council : Hampshire County Council is the principal local authority in the county. Their website provides comprehensive information on local government services, including business rates, planning permissions, and economic development initiatives. They offer guidance on starting a business, provide access to grants and funding opportunities, and support business growth in Hampshire.
  • Southampton City Council : Southampton City Council oversees local services in the city of Southampton. Their website offers information on business support, planning and development, and licensing.
  • Portsmouth City Council : Portsmouth City Council is responsible for local services in the city of Portsmouth. Their website provides resources and information on business support, planning and development, and environmental services.
  • Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council : Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is the local authority for the Basingstoke area. Their website offers business-related information, planning and development resources, and access to local services.
  • Winchester City Council : Winchester City Council oversees local services in the city of Winchester. Their website provides business support information, planning guidance, and access to council services.
  • Eastleigh Borough Council : Eastleigh Borough Council is responsible for local services in the Eastleigh area. Their website offers business support information, planning resources, and access to council services.
  • Test Valley Borough Council : Test Valley Borough Council is the local authority for the Test Valley area. Their website provides information on business support, planning and development, and access to local services.
  • Rushmoor Borough Council : Rushmoor Borough Council oversees local services in the Rushmoor area. Their website offers business support resources, planning guidance, and access to council services.
Business Support Organisations in Hampshire

There are several business support organisations in Hampshire that can assist you in starting and growing your business. Here are a few noteworthy ones:

  • Hampshire Chamber of Commerce : Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based organisation supporting businesses across Hampshire. They provide networking opportunities, business advice, training programs, and advocacy on behalf of businesses in the region.
  • Solent Growth Hub : Solent Growth Hub offers free advice, support, and access to resources for businesses in the Solent region, which includes Hampshire. They provide assistance with funding, business planning, skills development, and access to networks.
  • Enterprise M3 Growth Hub : Enterprise M3 Growth Hub supports businesses in the wider Hampshire and Surrey region. They offer business support services, access to funding opportunities, expert advice, and networking events.

We hope this comprehensive guide serves as a valuable resource for starting or running a business in Hampshire. Exploring the websites of local authorities and business support organisations will provide you with further information, guidance, and assistance. Wishing you every success on your entrepreneurial journey in the beautiful county of Hampshire!

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 Hampshire

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 Hampshire

Key Contacts in Hampshire

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

Hampshire 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.

Advice

Solent Growth Hub
The Solent Growth Hub offers businesses in the Solent LEP area simplified access to a range of information, advice and support services provided nationally and locally. Helping individuals, organisations and businesses - from start-ups to established operations to find funding, support initiatives and services that can best help them achieve their growth potential.
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Property

The Incuhive Space
IncuHive Spaces are the place to be for start-up and small businesses. We offer an everything under one roof approach, virtual offices and desk space rental to private offices, photo studios, in house accountants to web developers and legal experts! Join a like minded supportive community of business people! IncuHive Spaces offer business incubation and co-working centres with a creative twist, providing mentoring, investment, office space, networking and a whole host more. IncuHive Spaces are open to an unrestrained demographic, IncuHive seeks to launch the next generation of businesses across all spectrums and backgrounds. College leavers, University students and graduates or those already in the workplace looking for a change of direction; IncuHive is open to everyone. IncuHive provides a range of services to help kick start a business into profitability, from basic one to one mentoring to complete investment acceleration programs. Alongside, the start-ups can take advantage of our in-house accounting, payroll, legal, web development and much more at affordable prices exclusive to IncuHive clients. IncuHive is a business incubator at heart, although we provide a range of affordable offices space for rental to anyone interested. This said, our aim is not to fill rooms with clients, but to create a diverse and innovative business community. This is the real benefit from working in IncuHive; the buzz and excitement of the people around you. As is often said, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and we have the mix of people who will really help launch and push your business to the next level. We look forward to welcoming you to a space near you! Chandler's Ford Unit 7, Mayflower Close, Chandler's Ford Industrial Estate, SO53 4AR Southampton IncuHive Space, 182 High Street, Southampton, SO14 2BY Winchester Westgate Chambers, Staple Gardens, Winchester, SO23 8SR Basingstoke 8 Church Street, Basingstoke, RG21 7QE New Milton IncuHive - 31-33 Compton Road, New Milton BH25 6EQ
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Networking

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce
Hampshire Chamber is a business support organisation. We assist businesses raise their profile, get connected to new customers and contacts, keep them up to date with relevant business information and are a voice for the business community at local and national Government level. We organise over 100 events ranging from speed networking, breakfast briefings on economic issues, behind the scenes visits, and workshops that enhance your skills. Call us for chat or have a look at our website.
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Online Marketing

Digital House Marketing & Design Agency
A House Full Of Digital Marketing Experts…. Here at Digital House, we all love digital marketing! We’re passionate about doing it better than anyone else. With Digital House you don’t just get a design agency, you get a whole team of digital experts supporting the growth of your business in the right direction. We understand your business with a passion. Our team are dedicated to our promise of delivering an increase of enquiries and to building your business to the next level. The combination of our expertise and the way we work is what sets us apart from others. We’re refreshingly honest and our customers stay with us because they want to – we have no tie-in clauses. Based in Tadley near Basingstoke, covering North Hampshire. Free Digital Insight Workshop Free digital insight workshop to get more from digital marketing. We take the mist away from what is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), AdWords, Social Media, E-Newsletters, Google Maps and Google My Business, giving you plenty of tips on how to make digital marketing work for you. Venue: Our offices at Heath End House, Tadley, RG26 3SD
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Marketing

Let's Do Marketing
Let’s Do Marketing is a subsidiary of Let’s Do Business Group that is here to help small businesses grow through marketing. Focussed on providing affordable and accessible support to new and small businesses, they offer consultancy and marketing services that can help you to achieve your big marketing ideas. Whether you’re just starting out with a brand new business or looking to grow, we can give you the guidance to create a marketing strategy that matches your goals. Let’s Do Marketing can also provide training to help you take control of your own marketing strategy, from learning new software and tools to creating award winning campaigns! Find out more about our services https://www.letsdomarketing.co.uk/ Want to chat about how Let’s Do Marketing can help you to level up your business? Get in touch at https://www.letsdomarketing.co.uk/contact or email us at hello@letsdomarketing.co.uk!
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Funding

Access business finance up to £150k
Let’s Do Business Finance offers funding to both start-up businesses and businesses wanting to grow and invest in their future. Start up finance We’re one of the official Business Support Partners of the British Business Bank and Start Up Loan Company. We can offer loans from £500 up to £25k with a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum, and that includes 12 months of free mentoring to help you get off to the best start. Could you be eligible? Find out more https://www.letsdobusinessfinance.co.uk/lets-start-up Business loans Let’s Do Business Finance are able to offer business loans to help established businesses to grow. We’re accredited lenders of the Recovery Loan Scheme under the British Business Bank, and we’re able to lend from £25,001 to £150,000 on terms from 3 months to 6 years. This business finance can be used to help you secure anything from new premises, equipment, and capital, and our team can help you to assess your cash flow and finances, build your marketing strategy and more with our built-in business support which is tailored to your needs. Want to learn more about business loans, and see if you’re eligible? Visit our website https://www.letsdobusinessfinance.co.uk/ or send us an enquiry https://www.letsdobusinessfinance.co.uk/contact-us
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Law

Insight legal
With a commitment to delivering a first class level of customer service at the forefront of everything they do, Insight Legal provide high quality software to legal firms of all sizes. Used by professionals throughout the country, the software makes a genuine difference to a solicitors working life, streamlining processes and cutting down on costs. Find out more here.
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Web design

Big Rocket
Big Rocket is a leading Web Design & Branding Agency that takes businesses to infinity and beyond. With over 10 years of experience, we are experts in taking brands to a happier, more profitable place. Big Rocket are experts in Web Design & Development, SEO, Digital Marketing E-Commerce and Branding.
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Advice

Let's Do Business Group
With the ability to help businesses across all sectors, our team can offer business consultancy services to help you achieve your goals. The Let’s Do Business Group can provide virtual business consultancy services through our team of business professionals and quality assured consultants. Whether its developing a business plan or strategy, coaching or mentoring of senior staff and business owners, or just being a sounding board our team are here to help. We offer a free initial consultation so that we understand your needs, and you get to know us. We will then agree how we will work together and our fees – this could be from a one off session, a short support programme or a longer term project. We also have access to a range of other business specialists to help you with anything from Marketing to HR – so whatever your need, we can find a solution. Contact the team today at https://www.letsdobusinessgroup.co.uk/contact-us or email info@ldbgroup.co.uk
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Directories

Hampshire County Council
Visit the business section of the Hampshire County Council website to find local support, Hampshire business directory, Hampshire Ambassadors, support for rural businesses, economic facts & figures, Invest in Hampshire, find a business premises. The Castle, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8UJ
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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