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Start Your Own Business in Scotland

Free start-up resources and useful local contacts.

Welcome

Start Your Own Business in Scotland

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

Start Your Own Business in Scotland 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 Scotland since 2005 and a list of key local contacts can be found below.

Starting a business in Scotland

Popular resources

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

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in Scotland

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 2021
Read more about what our Free guide contains and how you can download it.
Starting a business in Scotland
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Key Contacts in Scotland

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

My World of Work - Be Your Own Boss
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. In Scotland, 99% of all private sector businesses are small to medium size enterprises – and they provide an estimated 1.1 million jobs*. What could you add to that mix?
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Advice

Visit Scotland - Supporting Your Business
Scottish tourism businesses and the fantastic work they do make up the lifeblood of our industry. The world-class standards of our accommodation providers, visitor attractions, visitor/experiences, restaurants and other businesses are why Scotland attracts so many new and returning visitors year after year.
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Advice

University of St Andrews
There are plenty of examples of successful entrepreneurs and ideas. You may find reading them sparks your own imagination and inspires you to seek out and build your own enterprise – whatever its size! Students have great ideas for ventures and with a bit of perseverance and support, turn them into successful ventures.
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Funding

Scottish Rural Network - Funding
Details of funding schemes for rural businesses in Scotland including the Scottish Rural Development Programme. Grants and support for economic, environmental and social measures to benefit rural Scotland are available through the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Networking

FSB West of Scotland
FSB West of Scotland is the local branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). It was formed in 1974 as the National Federation of Self Employed and represents the interests of small and medium-sized businesses locally and nationally. They offer a great package tailored to your needs if you are thinking about starting a business in the area. Contact: Hisashi Kuboyama Development Manager Hisashi.Kuboyama@fsb.org.uk
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Networking

Scottish Chambers of Commerce
SCC we are dedicated to promoting and protecting the interests of our member companies and to helping them rise to the challenge, seize the opportunity and succeed in the marketplace. By joining a Chamber of Commerce your company automatically becomes part of Scotlands largest business organisation, with access to an unrivalled range of services, support and advice to aid your development as a thriving member of the business community. Address: Scottish Chambers of Commerce, 30 George Square, Glasgow, G2 1EQ
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Advice

Digital Boost
Would you like you to know how your business could benefit from digital upskilling? Training, guides, tutorials, workshops, 1:1 advice and consultancy – all for free.
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Advice

Scottish Rural Network
The Scottish Rural Network website is your one-stop-shop for news, events and information about rural development. We can help you connect with other people, communities, organisations and businesses across rural Scotland and beyond.
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Funding

Business grants in Scotland: What do you need to know?
Small business grants in Scotland tend to either be funded by the Scottish or UK Government, as well as the European Union (EU). Generally, the funding is either available for any business across Scotland (or for businesses intending to be based in Scotland). Alternatively, some grants are only available to businesses working in certain sectors or specific locations.
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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