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How to Start a Business in Somerset

Free start-up resources and useful local contacts.

Improve your chances of success!

How to Start a Business in Somerset

Starting a business in Somerset

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

Start Your Own Business in Somerset 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 Somerset

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

Somerset, located in the South West region of England, is known for its stunning landscapes, historic landmarks, and vibrant market towns.


Somerset has a diverse population of approximately 560,000 residents, offering a mix of rural and urban communities. The county attracts tourists with its picturesque countryside, seaside resorts, and charming villages, creating opportunities for various business ventures.

Major Towns and Cities in Somerset
  • Bath : Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist destination. With a population of over 90,000 residents, it offers a mix of historic architecture, cultural attractions, and a thriving hospitality sector.
  • Yeovil : Yeovil is a bustling market town in Somerset with a population of approximately 45,000 residents. The town has a strong manufacturing and engineering presence, making it an attractive location for businesses in those sectors.
  • Taunton : Taunton, the county town of Somerset, has a population of around 70,000 residents. It serves as a hub for retail, leisure, and administrative activities, offering a range of business opportunities.
Local Authorities in Somerset

Local authorities can help you understand the business landscape and provide access to useful resources. They are responsible for numerous business related subjects such as health & safety, planning, business rates, and often have a department dedicated to economic development.

  • Somerset County Council : Somerset County Council is the local authority responsible for a range of services in the county. Their website provides information on business rates, planning and development, licensing, and community initiatives.
  • Mendip District Council : Mendip District Council covers towns and areas such as Frome, Shepton Mallet, and Wells. Visit their website for local business support, planning permission, and community services.
  • South Somerset District Council : South Somerset District Council serves towns and areas including Yeovil, Crewkerne, and Chard. Their website provides information on business rates, licensing, planning, and economic development.
  • Sedgemoor District Council : Sedgemoor District Council covers towns and areas such as Bridgwater and Burnham-on-Sea. Visit their website for business support, planning guidance, and local services.
  • North Somerset Council : North Somerset Council serves areas including Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon, and Portishead. Their website offers resources on starting and growing a business, planning applications, and local initiatives.
  • West Somerset Council : West Somerset Council covers towns and areas such as Minehead and Watchet. Visit their website for business support, planning information, and community services.
Business Support Organisations in Somerset

In addition to the local authorities, Somerset offers access to various business support organisations that can provide valuable guidance and resources. Consider exploring the following organisations:

  • Somerset Chamber of Commerce : Somerset Chamber of Commerce is a business support network that aims to foster growth and prosperity in the county. Their website offers resources, events, networking opportunities, and business support services.
  • Heart of the South West Growth Hub : The Growth Hub provides support for businesses across Somerset and the wider South West region. Their website offers information on funding, training, and business advisory services.
  • Somerset Business Agency : Somerset Business Agency offers free advice, support, and training to help businesses start, grow, and succeed in Somerset. Visit their website for information on funding, business planning, and networking opportunities.
  • Somerset Enterprise Centres : Somerset Enterprise Centres provide affordable office space, meeting rooms, and business support services for start-ups and small businesses. Their website offers details on available facilities and support programs.

We hope this comprehensive guide serves as a valuable resource for starting or running a business in Somerset. Exploring the websites of Somerset County Council, Mendip District Council, South Somerset District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, North Somerset Council, West Somerset Council, Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Heart of the South West Growth Hub, Somerset Business Agency, and Somerset Enterprise Centres will provide you with further information, guidance, and assistance. Best of luck with your entrepreneurial endeavours in Somerset!

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 2021

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 Somerset

Key Contacts in Somerset

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

Somerset 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.


West of England Growth Hub
The West of England Combined Authoritys dedicated business support service, the West of England Growth Hub, provides small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) with tailored one-to-one advice and access to finance, support programmes and expert guidance. We combine all national and local business support in one place and bring together the best public and private sector partners and suppliers so its easy for you to find what you need. And our friendly team of dedicated Enterprise Advisors are on standby to answer your queries and facilitate your needs.We offer the same level of free, impartial support to businesses from all sectors. No matter what stage your business is at, or how small, well help you achieve your ambitions with tailored advice and guidance.


Somerset Chamber of Commerce
Somerset Chamber provides a range of opportunities designed to help you promote and develop your business to other members. TEstablished in 1994, the Somerset Chamber works hard to support local businesses and specifically our 500 strong network of member businesses covering all industry sectors from sole-traders to multi-national corporations. Combined with local Town Chambers, the Somerset Chamber represent over 2000 businesses across Somerset. Address: Equity House, Blackbrook Park Avenue, Blackbrook Business Park, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 2PX


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.


Community Council for Somerset
The Community Council for Somerset is a charity and company limited by guarantee. We offer support and advice for individuals and groups wishing to set up a small business or social or community enterprise. We offer governance and legal structure advice, help with investment options and grant funding, business and financial planning and networking and promotion opportunities.


North Somerset Enterprise Agency
Since 1987 the North Somerset Enterprise Agency has actively supported thousands of local businesses by offering them free advice, information and training services. We offer a wide range of support for those who are thinking about working for themselves and for those already running their own small or medium sized company. Accredited business advisors are available to provide one to one advice sessions on an ongoing basis both from our premises based on Oldmixon Crescent or at your own premises if you prefer. Our business information officers can provide you with up to date details of legislation affecting your business, events and training opportunities and have a wealth of local contacts to help you. We are also an access point for the government business support service Business Link. Contact us for further details on this service.

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