Find Business Grants
Banner image

Start Your Own Business in Highland

Free start-up resources and useful local contacts.

Welcome

Start Your Own Business in Highland

If you are thinking about starting a business in Highland or would like to grow your existing business, you have come to the right place!

Start Your Own Business in Highland contains resources and the information that will help give your venture the best chance of success. It also highlights organisations who offer friendly business advice and services that you need.

We have been helping start-ups and existing business owners in Highland since 2005 and a list of key local contacts can be found below.

Starting a business in Highland

Popular resources

There is plenty of help locally but where can it be found? We would love to point you in the right direction.

Click to go to
in Highland

Download the 2021 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. links to key contacts such as HMRC, Companies House etc. are contained along with a useful step-by-step checklist.

Start Your Own Business in Highland
Read more about what our Free guide contains and how you can download it.
Starting a business in Highland
Would you like to have your business featured here (only £10 per YEAR)?
Find out more information on our partnership opportunities

Key Contacts in Highland

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

Utilities

Work from Home Business Opportunities
My name is Peter Gow. I have been self-employed since 1997 showing people, who are serious, how to earn money, save money or both. If the idea appeals to you too, please have a look at my site and learn more.
(+)

Accountancy

The Long Partnership
The best time to talk to an accountant is when you first think about starting or buying your own business. The next best time is now. A little bit of time and money invested in timely advice could save you thousands of pounds and make the difference between success and failure, particularly if start-up funds are limited. We’d love to get to know you better & take some of the work off your plate. Call to book a FREE consultation or request a call back today!
(+)

Design

Jules Akel
I’m Jules Akel, designer of wonderful things that tell persuasive stories. Brand design that is influential, effective and typographically delicious. This includes all that is needed to promote the brand—identity, advertising, packaging, brochures, books, websites, maps, tickets, posters, whatever is needed to communicate to the brand’s allure to its different audiences. You can look at all this creativity if you visit www.akel.co.uk; it is worth the visit, promise. After seeing all this exciting work, why not telephone me for a thoughtful chat: 07 802 753 193. If you become one of my clients you could qualify for umpteen bottles of Dalwhinnie whisky—a truly worthwhile reward, don’t you think? You will soon discover that I am a very useful contributor to your prosperity.
(+)

Advice

Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Our vision is to make the Highlands and Islands a highly successful and competitive region where increasing numbers of people choose to live, work, study and invest.
(+)

Advice

Find Business Support in Scotland
We're here to help you find the business support you need. We have gathered together information and support for all company sizes and sectors across Scotland. What is FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot? This service was established to help Scottish businesses find the public sector support they need. Information is available for businesses of all sizes – from those thinking about starting a business to large, well established companies. This website is supported by an enquiries and referral service. You can contact us by submitting an enquiry or calling 0300 303 0660. Our lines are open from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. Landline calls cost up to 10 pence per minute, mobile costs can vary from 3 pence per minute to 40 pence per minute depending on your operating provider (source: Gov.uk). Why was this website created? This site intends to help Scottish businesses find the right information, advice and support at the right time. We will continue to add information and develop FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot and the referral service. We aim to provide all businesses with quick and easy access to all business support services provided by public sector organisations in Scotland. Who runs FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot? This is a partnership service. It started as a collaboration between Business Gateway, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland. We will eventually include all organisations who receive public funding in Scotland. We currently include services from the following partners.
(+)

Advice

The National Library of Scotland
The National Library of Scotland is one of a number of organisations that are here to help you with your business. We can: Guide you through the COBRA resource. COBRA stands for Complete Business Reference Advisor, and it is an excellent way to find out the basics about running a business. You can even use this resource at home if you register with us, which is free to do and just takes a few minutes Introduce you to our other business information resources and explain what each one can offer, from company data and market size, to market research and trends analysis Guide you towards a very large collection of books and articles all about running a business, marketing and management, and innovation and entrepreneurship. Get in touch by emailing enquiries@nls.uk to find out more.
(+)

Advice

CREATE - Highlands & Islands Centre for Enterprise and Innovation
Whether it is just an idea, a small enterprise or still in its early stages, CREATE is geared up to support any new business start-up. The CREATE team houses entrepreneurial experience of starting up both businesses and charities and, with the added support of our Entrepreneurs in Residence; our legal partners, Harper Macleod; and accounting partners, Johnston Carmichael, we can provide the right support to help you turn an enterprising idea into a business.
(+)

Networking

Cairngorms Business Partnership Ltd
The Cairngorms Business Partnership is a not for profit private sector led organisation that operates in the Cairngorms National Park (CNP). Our work splits into 3 key areas: • Promotion. We operate www.visitcairngorms.com that provides local businesses with over 11,000 customer click throughs each month and a range of services including the highly acclaimed ‘accommodation finder’ service. We own and operate; Visit Cairngorms iPhone app, What’s On, Park–i, advertise in press and media, manage press trips and PR activities for the area. We are also involved with partners in bringing events and conferences to the area. We maximise the benefits of social media connecting with many thousands of people on a weekly basis. Our office distributes customer enquiries to member businesses. • Development. We run the Cairngorms Business Barometer, customer feedback schemes, a calendar of business meetings, training and development days. We regularly provide member business with up to date and valuable business information so as to help and assist with business growth. We work closely with local community groups and public sector agencies seeking to enhance the area as a destination to visit and operate a business. • Advocacy. We are affiliated to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce so bringing direct business benefits to your business along with the strength of a national network. Working on behalf of local businesses we interact on a regular basis with; Scottish Government CNPA, SNH, VisitScotland, HIE, Scottish Enterprise and other public agencies. Inverdruie House, Inverdruie, Aviemore, PH22 1QH
(+)

Funding

Bute Enterprise Finance Fund
Bute Enterprise Finance Fund is a charity funded company which provides loans to businesses and organisations in Bute, Argyll, South and North Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire. Finance £10k-£200k is available with flexible repayment terms up to 10yrs. Specific emphasis is placed on businesses that will assist economic regeneration or generate and sustain employment. We can also help borrowers access other types of finance such as government funded start up loans, advise on business plans and support the growth of your business.
(+)

Advice

Business Gateway Highland
Business Gateway Highland is your gateway to expert local business advice and practical guidance. We have business advisers based in offices all over the Highland area. 81 Castle Street, Inverness IV2 3EA. Tel: 01463 896 736
(+)

Networking

Caithness Chamber of Commerce
Caithness Chamber of Commerce was first established in the 1970s by a group of local business entrepreneurs. In the late 1980s it embarked on a campaign to secure improvements to the A9, the main arterial road serving the North Highland’s area. Thanks to this far-sighted effort, only now is the region enjoying some of the arising benefits. In late 2008 a new company limited by guarantee was formed and, with initial funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise of £150,000, the Caithness Chamber of Commerce was relaunched with a full time Chief Executive and a new structure. Further staff were recruited with a three year £120,000 funding award from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Today, the Chamber is the foremost business networking organisation in the North Highlands and aims to support every type of business, from sole traders and small businesses to large corporate companies. Our members are drawn from a vast range of industry sectors including energy, tourism, retail, transport, food and drink and manufacturing. Tailoring services to members, Caithness Chamber of Commerce has developed a valuable portfolio of added value services to boost the business success of members. The Chamber also stages a number of events throughout the year to facilitate the vital interaction between business owners and managers. The annual Chamber of Commerce dinner is the highlight of the year at which past keynote speakers have included such key business leaders as Sir Tom Farmer and politicians including the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary of State for Scotland. As a Chamber member you will enjoy a range of exclusive business to business deals and benefits. Naver Business Centre, Naver House, Naver Road, Thurso, KW14 7QA
(+)

Advice

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is the economic and community development agency for the north and west of Scotland. Our purpose is to support regional development and increase the numbers of people who choose to live, work, study and invest here. We work in a diverse region which extends from Shetland to Argyll, and from the Outer Hebrides to Moray, covering more than half of Scotland’s land mass. We have offices across the region helping communities and businesses to develop and grow. An Lochran 10 Inverness Campus Inverness IV2 5NA Scotland
(+)

Advice

Starting a business: first steps
myscot.gov has a section dedicated to starting a business which talks you through the first steps, stage by stage.
(+)

Advice

mygov.scot - Starting a Business
Information on business planning, registering a company and starting a new business. Setting up - Find information on setting up a business in Scotland. Tax and registering - Find information about registering your business with HM Revenue & Customs and Companies House. Marketing your business - Information on marketing and sales for your business. Intellectual property - Find out what intellectual property is and how to protect it in the UK and abroad. Further help to start a business - Information on organisations or services that can help you start a business or help your staff learn new skills.
(+)

Funding

Highland Council - Funding for business
We manage a fund aimed at helping businesses develop and grow, with: * A straightforward application process * Immediate release of funds on completion of documentation * Equal monthly payments by direct debit * No early repayment penalties * Pre-application and aftercare support through our associated business services Our team will also be able to assist businesses to access a number of other sources of financial assistance Business Loan Scotland (external link) will provide access to affordable finance for small business looking to access assistance in excess of £25,000 The Scottish Micro Finance Programme will be available for businesses wishing to access loan assistance up to £25,000 Investment Manager Contact for advice on a wide range of funding packages for your business Telephone: 01463 702535 Email: robin.jackson@highland.gov.uk
(+)

Funding

Start Up Loans Scotland
Start Up Loans assign all applicants to one of our Delivery Partners and, where possible, match you with a Delivery Partner who operates in your local area. The link is to a page which lists their partners in Scotland. Please note, to ensure they can effectively support you, you will only be able to work with one Delivery Partner and you will not be able to change this once you have submitted your application.
(+)

Funding

Government-backed start up loans
Government-backed start up loans are available to help people who want to start or grow a business that is less than 24 months old. The UK Government has already helped over 3,700 companies in Scotland with start up loans. The UK Government has already helped businesses in Scotland with more than £30 million in start up loans. Start up loans are a great opportunity for individuals in need of a personal loan for business purposes to fund their new business. In addition to the loan you can also receive free business support and mentoring to help with starting and growing your business.
(+)

Advice

The Highland Council
Business Gateway (external link) helps new and existing businesses grow and prosper through a combination of one-to-one support, local workshops, and specialist advice. All services are free of charge. A core team of business advisers, supported by industry specialist advisers, can help with: - Starting your business (external link) - Growing your business (external link) - Taking on staff (external link) - Accessing finance - Winning contracts (external link) - Resources (external link) - Graduate placement programme Your local Business Gateway office is your one stop shop for all small and medium sized businesses to access advice and support. Business Gateway is a national business support service developed in partnership with local authorities. It is delivered in the Highlands by The Highland Council.
(+)

Advice

Business Gateway
Starting a business - you may be planning to start a business or perhaps you’ve already begun. Find advice on the essentials, from writing a business plan to intellectual property on the Business Gateway website. It has a section dedicated to business start-up and this includes the opportunity to download your business plan template and guidance on: starting up a business, business support and advice, forming a company or business, intellectual property, naming a business, buying a business or franchise, Create business plan.
(+)

Advice

Scottish Enterprise - Starting a Business?
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's national economic development agency and a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. To deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy, we work with partners in the public and private sectors to find and exploit the best opportunities. We support thousands of companies the length and breadth of Scotland, helping catalyse the changes in our economy that will have a long-term positive impact on Scotland's business competitiveness around the world. In doing so, we're creating significantly more, better jobs, helping people fulfil their potential. Starting a business? It can be both exhilarating and challenging getting your business off the ground. Having the confidence to take that next step is often all that’s needed. Access funding, a free business plan template, and guidance on legal requirements.
(+)

Advice

Help for Start-Ups - Business Gateway
If you run a start-up business as an entrepreneur, there is a variety of help for start-ups available, and there may be extra support you can access if you come under certain categories. Much of this help takes the form of mentoring and networking - but you should also be able to access targeted advice, support and even apply for loans and grants. This guide will help explain about the sources of funding that might be available to you and where to get help, advice and training.
(+)

Advice

Highlands and Islands Social Enterprise Zone
f you’re a social enterprise there are lots of people and places you can go to for help – so many, in fact, that it can all start to get a bit confusing. The HISEZ website contains a quick and simple guide to who’s who, what they do and the kind of support they give.
(+)

Advice

Enterprising Highland - Business support
The region's highly experienced and knowledgeable business support agencies can provide help and advice on a wide range of business support related issues and matters.
(+)

Advice

Setting up a social enterprise
mygov.scot contains a really useful section if you are thinking about setting up a social enterprise. It explains the various business structures and has links to many other related resources.
(+)

Advice

The Highland Council
The Highland Council website includes dedicated pages covering: Help for your business, Trading standards, Business rates, Food safety, Health & safety, Economic development, Advice for contractors, Contract opportunities and their property work register.
(+)
Desktop Artists studio
Mobile Artists studio

FREE business listing in your area.

We are delighted to promote suitable businesses and organisations completely FREE of charge. Your coverage can contain: logo, company name, brief description, special offers, telephone number and link to your website.

Start-up Steps

We have created a collection of start-up steps 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 'steps' at: Startup Steps