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How to Start a Business in Hertfordshire

Free start-up resources and useful local contacts.

Improve your chances of success!

How to Start a Business in Hertfordshire

Starting a business in Hertfordshire

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

Start Your Own Business in Hertfordshire 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 Hertfordshire

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

Hertfordshire, located in the East of England, offers a vibrant business environment, strategic location, and a supportive business community.

Demographics of Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire has a diverse population. As of the latest available data, the estimated population of Hertfordshire is over 1.2 million residents. The county is known for its economic prosperity, excellent transport links to London and other major cities, and a mix of urban and rural areas, making it an attractive location for businesses.

Major Towns and Cities in Hertfordshire

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

  • Watford: Watford is a major town in Hertfordshire, with a population of over 90,000 residents. It is known for its vibrant town center, shopping destinations, and cultural attractions. Watford offers business opportunities in sectors such as retail, hospitality, and professional services.
  • St Albans: St Albans is a historic city in Hertfordshire, with a population of over 140,000 residents. It boasts a rich heritage, picturesque streets, and a bustling market. St Albans presents opportunities in sectors such as tourism, education, and technology.
  • Hemel Hempstead: Hemel Hempstead is a town in Hertfordshire, with a population of over 95,000 residents. It has a thriving business community, modern infrastructure, and excellent connectivity. Hemel Hempstead offers opportunities in sectors such as manufacturing, logistics, and technology.
Local Authorities in Hertfordshire

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

  • Hertfordshire County Council : The official website of Hertfordshire County Council provides comprehensive information on local government services, planning permissions, business rates, and economic development initiatives. They offer guidance on starting a business, provide access to grants and funding opportunities, and support business growth in the county.
  • Hertfordshire Growth Hub : The Hertfordshire Growth Hub is a resource hub for businesses in the county. They offer guidance, workshops, networking events, and access to funding and support programs to help businesses thrive and succeed.
  • Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce : The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce is a membership organisation dedicated to supporting businesses in Hertfordshire. They provide networking opportunities, business advice, training programs, and access to resources to help businesses grow and flourish.
Business Support Organisations in Hertfordshire

Various organisations in Hertfordshire offer valuable support and resources for businesses. These organisations can assist you at different stages of your entrepreneurial journey. Here are some prominent business support organisations in Hertfordshire:

  • Stevenage & Hitchin Chamber of Commerce : The Stevenage & Hitchin Chamber of Commerce supports businesses in Stevenage, Hitchin, and surrounding areas. They provide networking events, business advice, training programs, and representation for businesses in the region.
  • Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) : The Hertfordshire LEP drives economic growth and development in the county. They collaborate with businesses, local authorities, and educational institutions to foster innovation, support infrastructure projects, and promote business opportunities in Hertfordshire.
  • Women in Herts : Women in Herts is a network that empowers women in business across Hertfordshire. They offer networking events, mentoring programs, and resources to support women entrepreneurs and professionals.

We hope this comprehensive guide serves as a valuable resource for starting or running a business in Hertfordshire. 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 Hertfordshire!

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 Hertfordshire

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 Hertfordshire

Key Contacts in Hertfordshire

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

Hertfordshire 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.

Property

STANTA Business Centre
Only need a small office? Want short-term space? STANTA Business Centre is the answer…. Office space to rent in the STANTA Business Centre is charged as an all-inclusive monthly fee (that also covers gas, electricity and business rates) with only one month’s fee charged as a deposit. And renting offices from STANTA has a number of additional benefits: - easy in, easy out office space with no long term lease commitment - easy access to the M1, M25 and A1 - free membership of St Albans Chamber of Commerce for the first year - a large Board Room with Wi-Fi to use (as well as a smaller meeting room) and free onsite business advice - toilets with showers on each level & disabled access (via lift) and unallocated free parking for bikes and cars - no maintenance charges & CCTV security and alarms - high-speed broadband access - suites available from 50 sq ft to 900sq ft (suitable for 1 to 14 people) But perhaps the most unique feature of taking office space at STANTA is the business community within STANTA Business Centre: a mixture of long-standing licencees and newcomers, every STANTA business looks out for the other tenants, taking in parcels, borrowing or lending the proverbial cup of sugar (or milk), passing on local news of interest and of course doing business with each other! If you would like to be part of this thriving community, please click here to see the current availability or call us on 01727 837760.
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Accountancy

Ricson Accountancy Services
We are a small family run business who are specialists in dealing with sole traders and small limited companies. We are a forward thinking company with cloud based solutions to give you up to date access to your company information. We want to work with you to free up your time to build your business and spend time with family & friends
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Education

Rebel Business School
We make business possible. Our FREE business courses show a new way of thinking and practical ways to get your business idea off the ground and how to sustain and thrive as a business. Whether you are at the beginning of your start-up journey, or you are an already established business, our course will give you the information, inspiration, and practical advice to teach you how to build and evolve your business.
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Advice

Advice for Business Start-Ups in Hertford
Being a Business Start-Up can be a nerve-wracking experience, with so much to do and so many questions you need answers to. The good news is, you dont need to do it completely alone. There are a surprising amount of local and national organisations willing to give valuable advice, help, support and mentoring for new business owners, and a lot of it is free.Our advice is to therefore take full advantage of the support these organisations are offering. Weve compiled a list of some of the best providers of advice for business start-ups in Hertford.
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HR

eRecruitSmart
We are disrupting the recruitment space and partnering with UK companies who value their employees and understand the importance of hiring the right people to grow their businesses. eRecruitSmart provides job advertising and recruitment software and are one of the UKs leading online recruiters with access to over 12 million candidates. For maximum exposure, vacancies are published on a huge network of high traffic job boards. We work with all sectors of business and industry and are proud to be the only holder of the ISO 9001:2015 standard in the flat fee recruitment industry. As an ISO 9001:2015 accredited company, our communications with both candidates and clients are documented and audited, so you can be assured of receiving the highest standards in customer care with a commitment to transparency. To have a well-run, profitable business you must get the right people in place. This is done by having the biggest and best reach of applicants to fill your roles. And here at eRecruitSmart we work with you to achieve that objective. We will add value to your business by helping you to recruit the smart way.
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Office Services

Enterprise Hertfordshire
Need start up advice, help with your business plan, funding, sales or marketing. Overwhelmed with everyday administrative tasks. Reluctant to take on staff for budgetary reasons. Wish you had more time to focus on developing your business. We provide administrative support and consultancy services for charities, SMEs, social enterprises, sole traders and start-ups on an ad hoc basis at affordable prices. Please contact us for a quote. Our services include: Book keeping Data entry Word processing Invoicing and payment collection Website build and updates Startup advice Business plans and projections Help securing funding Business development Market research and surveys On and offline marketing Branding and PR HR solutions Operational reviews Strategic consulting
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Advice

Stanta - Herts Start Up Programme (HSUP)
Herts Start Up Programme (HSUP) offers 12 hours of advice and training and the good news is that this is at no cost to you! If you havent yet registered your business, you can attend an initial meeting to receive advice on the next best routes forward, including registering your business. Once this is done, you can choose how you use up the 12 hours by attending any of our training courses and a follow up one to one business advice meeting. St Albans Enterprise Agency Ltd, Suite 19STANTA Business Centre, 3 Soothouse Spring, St. Albans, Herts AL3 6PF
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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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Online Marketing

Choice Digital
RESULTS-DRIVEN SEO AND WEBSITE CONVERSION SOLUTIONS FOR HIGH END SERVICE PROVIDERS The team at Choice Digital combine over 10 years of expertise in delivering SEO and website marketing solutions with one goal: to help you win more clients online. FREE AUDIT If you think choice digital might be a good fit in helping you win more clients online – and if you qualify – we would first recommend you apply for a custom Website Audit for your business, free of charge. That way, we can then have a valuable conversation about how well your website is currently optimised for the search engines, and you will also receive advice on immediate and actionable steps to effectively gain and convert more high-value enquiries. If we mutually agree that your business can benefit from our SEO and website conversion solutions, we will then put together a personalized proposal complete with price and expectations.
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Advice

Hertsmere Council - Starting a Business
Are you thinking of starting a business? The Hertfordshire Start-up Programme, is for pre-start, start-up and businesses under 3 years. This FREE programme gives residents and businesses in Hertfordshire access to 12 hours of free business start-up support worth 1400.
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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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Advice

Watford Borough Council - Starting and Growing a Business
There are a range of specialist business support programmes available to help Watford businesses grow and Watford Council's website contains an up-to-date list of providers.
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Advice

East Herts Council - Business Support
Enabling a flourishing local economy is one of the Council's three top priorities. We have lots of information to help businesses, including how we can support existing local businesses and how we can help new businesses. East Herts Councils' website business section includes details about starting a business as well as growing a business, apprenticeships, grant funding and tourism and business.
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Advice

Dacorum Council - Business
Dacorum Borough Council have included a business section on their website. This covers: Business, licenses and permits, business rates, environment, property and land, planning and development, commissioning and regeneration. Dacorum Borough Council, The Forum, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 1DN
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Advice

Hertfordshire Growth Hub
Hertfordshire Growth Hub is the countys flagship business support provider. Powered by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, were driven to help local businesses by offering instant access to advice, resources, events and other support providers, all in one convenient place. Were part of a powerful network of 38 Local Enterprise Partnership-led Growth Hubs across England that integrate national and local business support. Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and, in some cases, the European Regional Development Fund, all Growth Hubs provide locally tailored support and advice to connect businesses with the right experts for their specific business needs. Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Limited, One Garden City, Broadway, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6 3BF
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Co-Working

Launchpad Bishop's Stortford and Ware
If WFH feels more like living in the office... why not try a modern co-working space with flexible desk and office share solutions? Try us totally free with no tie-ins for a month. Charringtons House, The Causeway, Bishops Stortford CM23 2ER & Ware Priory, High Street Ware SG12 9AL
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Advice

Enterprise Hertfordshire
B2B Marketplace: Browse and buy products and services to help grow your business from best-of- breed suppliers. Specially selected by us based on reputation, value for money, quality of service and much more. Enabling you to save time, money and hassle and get on with what you do bestFREE Business Advice: By entrepreneur with 45 years experience, building one startup into market leader in EuropeFREE Digital Marketing Starter Kit: Arrange business listings, email marketing campaigns, social media posts, customer reviews, reputation enhancement and advertising management tools to attract new customersFREE Business Performance Reports: on how your business is performing online and how it compares to competitors FREE Learning Tools: Videos and guides from well known experts on how to grow your business and succeed online
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Networking

Space For Growth Networking
Space For Growth Networking is a community of like minded business owners based in and around Hemel Hempstead. We focus on addressing the needs of businesses owners in the local area, and provide a place to grow your business and develop yourself professionally.
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Marketing

Herts Business Exchange
Starting a business is hard enough without having to search the Internet for resources and information. Here at the Herts Business Exchange, its our mission to create a resource that answers all your questions on starting your very own business. Find local Hertfordshire businesses that offer B2B services and can help you on your start-up journey. Here you can find your next Accountant or SEO expert! Make your own listing and get in front of business owners that need YOUR services.
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Law

Simmonds Austin Ryder Solicitors
Established in 1954, Simmonds Austin Ryder Solicitors is a team of solicitors with years of experience providing legal expertise to businesses and individuals. With dedicated specialists covering areas ranging from real estate and dispute resolution to private client services, the team can help with a wide range of issues. If you would like to learn more about what this law firm could do for you, visit the website today.
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Advice

North Hertfordshire District Council
North Hertfordshire District Council's website contains a section dedicated to helping local business and this includes a page about starting a new business. Starting a new business can be a daunting task. North Hertfordshire has a free service offering online and face to face support to entrepreneurs looking to start a business or in the early stages of business development. For more information and to talk to someone direct, visit: https://www.wenta.co.uk/business-advice. Additionally GOV.UK provides useful information and advice on what you need to do to set up a business. Address: Council Offices, Gernon Road, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3JF
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Networking

Viva Networking
Viva Business Networking is not just another networking group. Now in our third year we have established a strong network of companies, created an ethos of support and spirit of generosity. We are a mixed networking company with no professional lock-out. We are a networking service and help you get the business you need.
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Networking

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce
Our vision is to become the leading business support and representation body in Hertfordshire. To deliver a recognised contribution to the long term, economic prosperity and success of Hertfordshire. You can choose from a variety of membership packages. Bronze is ideal for sole traders or businesses with less than 5 employees.
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Co-Working

bubbleHub
bubbleHUB is a new, high end coworking space in the heart of St Albans. A home from home for independent, driven people looking for somewhere to work productively that has a little bit of magic in the walls.bubbleHUB is the brain child of two St. Albans school dads who became friends. Co-founders, Benn & Harry have both built businesses locally and further afield. Both live in St Albans with their families and have strong ties with the local area.
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Advice

University of Hertfordshire - Start a Business
There is lots of free support available for students who are interested in starting a business or freelancing. This section of their website covers: being an entrepreneur, support for your business startup, competitions for new businesses, events for business startup, co-working space for new businesses and business services. Get in touch with the Careers and Employment team if you have any queries.
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Web design

Advert2Do
24-7 website has been designing: WWW pages, online stores, creating applications which facilitate the maintenance of websites It has been created by a team with years of experience in various branches of IT industry. The websites we create includes a diverse and wide-range of topics tailored to the needs of customers of all specialties.
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Property

Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter
At Hertfordshire IQ, were leading the development of 3 million sq. ft. of new commercial space into a zero carbon, digitally connected workplace, just 30 minutes outside London. Ideal for businesses in agri-tech, sustainable construction and clean tech, our innovation partners are keen to work with businesses of any size from start ups to SMEs and multi-national
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Co-Working

The Harpenden Collective
Join the Harpenden Collective for coworking in Harpenden. Enjoy the beautiful contemporary coworking space, ideal for businesses and freelancers. Light and bright coworking space in the heart of the picturesque town of Harpenden. Harpenden Hall is surrounded by a walled garden, ideal for outdoor meetings and Harpenden Common is only a few paces away. There are more benefits to coworking in Hertfordshire - inspiring contemporary coworking space, flexible workplans to suit your business and monthly business sessions with our in-house experts. Coworking in Hertfordshire now has a dedicated space, where freelancers, entrepreneurs and local businesses are encouraged to work together. The Harpenden Collective is a home to creative, digital and entrepreneurial highly skilled individuals, inspiring members like you. Join today and start coworking in Hertfordshire to push your business forward.
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Advice

Hertfordshire Council - Business Advice
Whether you need a quick answer about legal compliance, tailored advice for your business or ongoing professional support, Hertfordshire's Trading Standards team can help.
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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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Advice

Hertfordshire Growth Hub
The central point of access for business support in Hertfordshire. Powered by Hertfordshire LEP, Hertfordshire Growth Hub helps businesses to grow, scale-up and innovate. Hertfordshire Growth Hub is the entry point to all business support provision within the county and is responsible for the seamless coordination, alignment and collaboration of services. Working in tandem with publicly funded support services and commercial suppliers, Hertfordshire Growth Hub provides access to tailored advice, training and mentoring for SMEs to accelerate their business, from early stage growth advice through the Get Enterprising programme to scale-up support directly from the Growth Hub. Address: One Garden City, Broadway, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6 3BF
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Advice

The Hertfordshire Start-up Programme
The Hertfordshire Start-up Programme gives you access to 12 hours of free business support worth 1400 to help you start your business, survive and thrive. This can be in the form of workshops and networking, one-to-one business advice in person and online, incubation workspace usage and access to grants. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. This package of support available to you is being delivered by Wenta in partnership with STANTA.
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Advice

Hertfordshire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership)
It is our guiding principle to grow Hertfordshire smartly as a perfect place to live, work and do business and we bring together key partners from local business, academia, the third and public sectors to achieve this.Our ambition is to secure Hertfordshires place as a world-leading economy - one of the top three in the country outside London - by securing future revenue streams and the successful delivery of projects identified in our Strategic Economic Plan, a long-term blueprint for smart economic growth in the county.
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Networking

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce
Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce provides first-class business support to companies of all shapes and sizes, through a range of membership benefits and networking opportunities. Address: Zenith Court,4 Bishops Square Business Park,Hatfield,Hertfordshire,AL10 9NE
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Advice

Andrew Ludlam
Offering business advice and support across Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Business Advice is dedicated to helping local enterprises grow, develop and succeed.
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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