Start Your Own Business in Southampton

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

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

Free start-up pack

Everything that you will find on the site is free or very low cost and includes our free start-up pack, a series of factsheets which cover all of the key considerations, relevant templates, links to other useful resources and our free downlodable 'Start & Grow Your Business' book .

We have been helping new start-ups as well as exisiting business owners for the past 18 years and in Southampton since 2005.

Accordingly, we have amassed an enormous amount of relevant useful business information which we are happy to share with you free of charge.

Friendly Advice

We hope that you find the site useful and wish you the very best of luck on your exciting journey. If you are unsure of where to start, we suggest that you get a feel for what is going on locally by having a look at the following pages:

If you offer services that could help local business owners, we would be happy to point them in your direction! Add your details (FREE!) here.

FREE Start-Up Pack

Our FREE start-up pack contains everything that you need to get you started.

It is a common trait amongst entrepreneurs to just want to 'get on with it'. However, if you want to maximise your chances of success, it is worth putting in time and effort before you start to ensure that you have set-up correctly.

  1. Start-up checklist
  2. Step-by-step guide
  3. Business plan template
  4. Personal budget planner
  5. Cashflow forecast template
  6. Marketing plan template
  7. Guide to business networking
  8. Start-up map
  9. Web & SEO Checklist
  10. Start-up map

Download Pack
Free start-up pack
One-time registration required but this unlocks all of the free resources on the site.


Start Your Own Business In Southampton
Start Your Own Business In Southampton

This free 180 page book is packed with information and contact details designed to help you start or grow your business successfully.

We have been running SYOB for over 10 years now and have accumulated an enormous amount of information which could make the difference between success or failure.

Starting a business is easy but keeping it going and making a profit is a completely different proposition. The good news is that there are tried and tested 'rules' which have consistently proved to work.

As the old addage says 'you don't know what you don't know'!

Download Now

Latest Start-Up Articles

Keep up to date with the most recent business thinking from around the world

We try to keep our eyes open for useful and interesting news stories and useful resources which could help if you are starting up or running a small business. Hopefully, this will save you the time and trouble! The latest additions are...

How to Use Pay-Per-Click to Help Grow Your Startup

A Basic Guide to Importing

Basic Exporting Guide

Tips to Keep Your Business Healthy

Common Start-Up Mistakes... and how to avoid them

Southampton Local Contacts

Useful Start-Up Resources
If you can help new business start ups or existing small businesses in the Southampton area, we would love to promote you here free of charge. (Add Your Business)

Southampton is a great place to set up a new business. Not only is it located in the relatively affluent south east, it has excellent communication links via train, plane, boat and road. The motorway links provided by the M27 and the M3 give easy access to Bournemouth, Portsmouth and London is a little over an hour away.

Within the city itself there is a thriving business community and plenty of business advice and support, much of which is free! Not-for-profit agencies like Enterprise First offer free start up workshops as well as access to experienced business advisers.

If you want to meet other business owners, there is a healthy selection of networking groups. The Hampshire Chamber of Commerce has a strong presence and has special packages for small businesses and new starts. National organisations such as 4Networking and BNI have local groups and these are complemented by local groups such as Solent Networking and Poddi.


4 great reasons to be part of 4Networking 1. Flexibility and reach 4N gives you access to a unique joined-up national business network. Our ‘Passport membership’ lets you choose from 5000+ 4Networking events each year. We have groups in most major towns and cities in the UK. Use your Passport to network locally, regionally and even nationally. Choose from Breakfast, Lunch and Evening meetings + join the UK’s fastest growing Facebook business group - just search on Facebook for ‘4Networking Community’. 2. A stream of business appointments Bypass gatekeepers by having three 10-minute 1-2-1s at every 4N meeting, with people you choose. Also use 1-2-1s to find trusted suppliers. 1-2-1s are one of the key elements in our relaxed yet productive meeting format, which is tried, tested and loved by our members. 3. Relaxed, fun and friendly networking At 4N, it’s easy to just be yourself. At our meetings and online we’ve created an unstuffy environment. The cornerstone of 4N’s ethos is Meet>Like>Know>Trust, as it’s the best way to gain customers, collaborations and suppliers. If this sounds like your kind of place, then become part of the 4N community. 4. A platform to demonstrate your expertise We give you so many ways to raise your profile and establish yourself as the go-to person in your field. In the room and online, being able to offer ‘4Sight’ presentations can gain you a massive audience. Plus of course, you and your business benefit from other 4N members’ advice and help. Established for over 11 years, 4Networking is helping thousands of business owners to grow their businesses. It’s business networking the British way. Register at (it takes 2 minutes) and then you can book your first meeting, to see how 4N will work for you. Browse our list of meetings here: www.4networking.bizevents. Or call our Support Desk team on 0345 123 4444.

BNI Hampshire

BNI is a professional organisation that allows only one person from each trade or profession to join a chapter. With over 7,800 chapters, and 211,000 members, it is the most successful business referral organisation in the world and has been for over 32 years. Once you have joined, there is no conflict in passing leads, and none of your competitors can participate! Here is what some of our members say: “I was amazed to make my annual membership fee back within a month of joining BNI” HR, Southampton “17 years of BNI membership and I am still getting 55% of my business from it” Accountant, Fleet “A member from BNI in New Zealand contacted me to do some work for them on a house in Havant they had been left and wanted to sell. It turned in to 10 more referrals for my fellow members” Gardening Company, Romsey When starting my own business, I missed the support I used to get from my employer and colleagues. My BNI Chapter are now like my family - they motivate, inspire, encourage and challenge me. Therapist, Fareham


We are an established local firm of accountants who have served the small business community in Hampshire and the surrounds for many years. We deal exclusively with start up and young, growing businesses and have over 100 years of combined experience in this field. Consequently, we have little doubt that you will conclude we know all there is to know when it comes to providing sound advice and services to new entrepreneurs covering bookkeeping, accounting, business tax, company tax, VAT, payroll and all other relevant financial and corporate matters. What neither you or we know though is the most important thing of all - are we the type of people and personalities youd be happy to have on your team? Why not judge for yourself by meeting us for a free initial consultation; its the only way to find out and it wont cost you anything!

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 Book now:

Enterprise Connexions Southampton

We meet at the DoubleTree by Hilton @ (Bracken Place, Chilworth, Southampton SO16 3RB) 6.30am to 9.00am Thursdays biweekly Attendance fee for this business meeting is £15.00, which includes a breakfast. Our business meetings are structured for business owners who understand the benefits of successful collaboration and being part of a team. During our meeting, you will have the opportunity to introduce your business to your prospective sales team through an elevator pitch for 60 seconds. Our existing members intuitively understand the value of a virtual expert support network. They know it helps their own clients, and to furthers their own business objectives. If these concepts chime with your own business philosophy, come along to one of our business meetings hosted by Enterprise Connexions and experience first-hand, how being part of such a business group can enhance your business.

Enterprise First

Starting up your own business? Would you like some free support? Since 1981 Enterprise has been helping people start their own companies and develop their existing businesses. As a not for profit company with sponsorship from the public and private sectors we can offer free support and funding guidance. We are also a member of the National Enterprise Network. Free, confidential, and independent advice is provided from our team of experienced accredited business advisers. Contact us on 0845 458 7535 or e-mail us ( if you would like to discuss your idea with one of our advisers. This is completely free of charge and without any obligation. Funding Enterprise First are the Virgin StartUp loan delivery partner for the South East. If you are looking for finance to start your business please do get in touch.

FIMA Digital

FIMA Digital was established in 2013, and since then has grown into becoming a reputable SEO company in Southampton, with clients all around the UK and globally. The company is committed to helping start up businesses in making more from digital marketing with in-house SEO training offered, as well as bespoke online marketing strategies designed to generate more business via the web. The company specialises in online lead generation, PPC (Google Adwords), and search engine optimisation (SEO services).

FSB - Special Start-Up Membership

The FSB Business Creation package has been specially designed for those looking to start up, or have recently started a small business. Tailored benefits will help you get your business off the ground and we’ll be with you each step of the way. Join today for £129.

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.

Inspiring Enterprise

Inspiring Enterprise helps unemployed people and graduates in North Hampshire and South West Surrey develop the skills and confidence they need to build their own business or social enterprise. We understand that starting a business or community enterprise isn’t for everyone. But we also know there are people out there who just need a chance and have what it takes to make a success of their own life or change the lives of those around them. Being a socially funded project, we are required to have a few criteria for the people and projects that can receive our support.

MH Photography

Corporate photography is, quite literally, good for your image. As the saying goes People buy from people they know like and trust after all IMAGE IS EVERYTHING. My passion is to help you look approachable and professional, whether that is for a social media account, your website or your literature images. I do this by creating natural and relaxed headshots of your directors and staff in their office environment. This enables your visitors to put a face to a name which helps them with getting to know you and your staff. To save you time, I come to you for the photo shoot. The choice of background can be a local location, a workplace environment and can be individual or group-based. By using a plain, natural or work environment background as required we ensure that you stand out.

Minerva Marketing

With more than 20 years’ experience as a Marketer, mostly in small and not-for-profit organisations, Claire prides herself on having a very practical approach to marketing strategy and planning. Since taking the decision to work freelance, Claire has worked alongside clients to – amongst other things – conduct marketing audits, plan new ventures and raise social media profiles. Claire is happy to work on a retainer, project or day-by-day basis, to fit around a clients’ needs. She will also offer a free initial consultation to help scope the possibilities. “I tend to find most of the clients I work with have come to the conclusion that they might need some marketing but don’t know where to start; that’s where I come in!” Claire says. “I love to be useful and it gives me a real buzz when I can make a difference.” Claire also has an address book full of specialist contacts, so if you need to call in a web-designer, photographer or printer, she will be able to make some recommendations. Claire is a History & Politics graduate who achieved the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Postgraduate Diploma in 2001. She is a Chartered Marketer. Get in touch with Claire by email: or phone: 07957 28811, or follow her on Twitter @MinervaMkting

New Forest Enterprise Centre - Business Units

No delay - move in today. Whether you choose a workshop, an office, or both, you can move in striaght away. No legal costs, no long term commitment. The Centre is designed specifically for new and small businesses, comprising 36 offices and 35 light industrialworkshop self-contained units. We have constantly upgraded our facilities to ensure our Licensees enjoy a safe environment in a well maintained building. Being surrounded by woodland makes the location very attractive, though there is plenty of free parking. We work hard at keeping the site looking good, mindful that our image and our Licensees’ are one and the same. We believe that setting high standards benefits everyone, and we’re encouraged that our Licensees go out of their way to help us achieve that. Each unit is equipped with services to allow you to start work immediately. Fast, fibre-optic broadband is available. Access is 24 x 7 x 365. Most units have a water supply, and drainage. Energy is supplied by the Centre, and invoiced monthly. Our website has details of availability and prices, but if you’d like to discuss your needs do call us on 02380 667700.


Do you have a business idea and passion that you want to turn into a reality? Are you currently self employed and need to update your knowledge about running your business? Radian EST invite you to ‘Go Your Own Way’! See our website for more details.

Solent Business Centre

Centrally located near Southampton City Centre and with easy access to the M27 motorway, our Solent Business Centre is ideal for growing and established businesses. with managed office space, workshop and storage facilities all available. With 92 units in total, over 6 floors, the centre is a hub for small, medium and large businesses. Business Support and Advice is always on hand, and throughout all of our 4 linked centres we encourage our tenants to network and connect for even more business opportunities. Solent Business Centre also has the benefit of free, onsite car parking; reception services; conference and training space; Internet access and an onsite cafe. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week, Solent Business Centre is the ideal city base for your growing business, so call or email us to discuss your business today. Solent Business Centre offers office space or workshop rental from as little as £148 per month (excluding VAT). Licence fees are inclusive of: - The Central Reception - Rates (Non-domestic, Water & Sewerage) - Buildings Insurance, External Repairs & Maintenance - Cleaning & Maintenance of the Common Areas - Waste Disposal FLEXIBLE OFFICE SPACE WITH ADVICE & SUPPORT FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Solent Business Growth Network

Solent Business Growth Network, known as SBGN, consists of a group of experienced business owners in the Southampton area who have joined together to offer support to new and existing businesses. Their members are carefully chosen to ensure that the best possible level of help can be provided. Services include a comprehensive 6 month support package for start-ups.

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.

Southampton Solent University

Solent University operate Enterprise programmes to support students and recent graduates who are keen to explore the possibility of starting a business. This can include training, guest speakers, business games, mentoring and funding.

University of Southampton

Southampton University operate an incubator to assist new businesses who plan to offer an innovative product or service. The Southampton SETsquared Business Acceleration Centre is located at the University of Southampton Science Park in Chilworth and are happy to help high-tech, high-growth businesses get off the ground.

West Itchen Community Trust

West Itchen Community Trust supports residents and businesses located in the sO14 postcode area. It is a social enterprise and is keen to hel;p regenerate the local economy. Oneway that his is achieved is by offering a free business support service called SO14 Enterprise Service. If you live in the area or are thinking about starting a new business in SO14, you can take advantage of one-to-one business coaching, free workshops and access to finance.

FSB Wessex
FSB Wessex 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: Neil Eames Development Manager Contact via website or e-mail.

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 0845 603 5638

Solent LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership)
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (Solent LEP) is led by the business community and supported by four university partners, the further education sector, three unitary authorities, eight district councils, one county council and the voluntary and community sector, all of whom are actively working together to secure a more prosperous and sustainable future for the Solent area. 02392 688 924

University of Southampton Science Park
Office space, lab space, business incubator and commercial property development sites in a landscaped science park, 1 hour from London. Southampton Science Park is a 45-acre development in a prime Hampshire location - just a mile from the M3 motorway and 1 hour from London. The Science Park provides high quality office and lab space in attractive landscaped surroundings. It is home to science and technology based companies of all sizes, from fast growing start-ups to international household names. 023 8076 7420

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