Start Your Own Business in London

Starting a business in London
Starting a business in London

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

Start Your Own Business in London 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.

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

Start-Up Steps

The sad truth is that far too many new businesses start-ups fail in the early stages and our aim is to try and make sure that you are not one of them.

To help with this, we have broken down the start-up process into simple steps which highlight the things that have worked for other start-ups and the pitfalls that you need to avoid.

You can see the full list of 'steps' at: How to Start a Business Step-by-Step

London For Start-Ups

Useful Start-Up Resources

London is without doubt one of the best places to start a business in England, if not the world. With a population of over 8 million, it is no surprise that it is a hotbed for startups, with over 80,000 being formed in the capital every year.

As an industrial centre, London has always thrived and continues to do so today. It is often referred to as the largest financial centre in the world. With all this going for it, you would think that starting a successful new business would be easy. It is true that you will have a massive catchment area and therefore masses of potential customers but, by the same token, it does also mean that you are likely to have plenty of competition. The rewards are there to be claimed but you really do need to be able to stand out from the crowd. The good news is that there is plenty of support available to help you achieve that.

To make it easier to find the right kind of assistance on your doorstep, we have created sections dedicated to each of the London Boroughs.

Barking & Dagenham | Bexley | Brent | Bromley | Camden | City of London | Croydon | Ealing | Enfield | Greenwich | Hackney | Hammersmith & Fulham | Haringey | Harrow | Havering | Hillingdon | Hounslow | Islington | Lambeth | Lewisham | Merton | Newham | Redbridge | Richmond upon Thames | Southwark | Sutton | Tower Hamlets | Waltham Forest |

Business Community

As you would expect from such a densely populated area, there is a strong local business community and network of support. The City of London Business Library is packed with useful information ranging from business start-up books to directories and reports - well worth a visit.

The Mayor of London is very supportive of business in the capital and has a vested interest in the local economy. Also, you will find that the Local Enterprise partnership for London is a great starting point for advice. The London Growth Hub in particular is well placed to help new business start-ups.

You will find a full list of organisations who are keen to help you on our London Business Advice page. If you are serious about learning how to run a successful business, taking the advice of a trusted business adviser or mentor is going to be a massive help.

Business Networking

Another great way of getting to understand the reality of being a business owner is to meet others. Not only will they have been through the same start-up process, they will have experienced commercial reality as opposed to the theory of an optimistically written business plan.

You will be pleasantly surprised to find how open many are to sharing their knowledge and to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls. We have created a page which lists
networking groups in London and, as you will see, you have plenty of choice.

The London Chamber of Commerce has a wide-reaching network of members, partners and stakeholders; they provide a number of services for the London business community.

Other groups include The London Business Network and the Federation of Small Businesses hold regular gatherings for members across the capital.

Starting-Up

We cannot stress how important it is to make the most of all the help that is available locally. The more that you can learn before you start, the greater your chance of establishing a new business that will not only survive but thrive.

FREE Local Guide

Start & Grow Your Business in London

Start & Grow Your Business in London

Packed with information and contact details designed to help you start or grow your business successfully.

We have been running SYOB for over 15 years now and have accumulated an enormous amount of information which could make the difference between success or failure.

Download Now

FREE Start-Up Guide

Packed with the information that you need to start or grow a business in London.

Start & Grow Your Business in London
  1. Checklist - easy to follow step by step guide
  2. Local Support - where to find help and support
  3. Before you start - the reality of running a business
  4. Business planning - are you ready?
  5. Market research - is there a gap in the market?
  6. Business set-up - choosing the right structure
  7. Premises - work from home or premises?
  8. Finance & funding - your funding options
  9. Accountancy & tax - tax and VAT explained
  10. Business networking - tips and local groups
  11. Getting online - online marketing, social media
  12. Employing staff - how to find and recruit
  13. Law & insurance - the key considerations
  14. Business directory - useful contacts

Get your FREE copy

One-time registration required but this unlocks all of the free resources on the site.

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
Image of startup pack
One-time registration required but this unlocks all of the free resources on the site.

FREE Start-Up Pack

Image of startup 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

London Key Contacts

Useful Start-Up Resources

Here is a list of the key businesses and organisations who are keen to help you.

Pros Assist can ensure that you can concentrate on running your business, leaving us to ensure that your obligations are met, and advising and updating you along the way, so that you always know where you’re up to. We help you navigate the many statutory requirements that come with setting up a new business, including all the procedures from HM Revenue & Customs and Companies House, allowing you to concentrate solely on running your business. Pros Assist is an accountancy firm with a gifted team of qualified practicing accountants with each office headed by highly experienced directors. With decades of experience in private practice and various industry sectors, advising sole traders and partnership clients alike, the directors lead each of their Pros Assist team in offering expert advice in all matters relating to taxation and profit, offering wide ranging business support, advising clients on project viability, business planning and funding.
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Are you looking for a personalised web design and digital marketing agency? With so many brands offering quick and easy website platforms, many start-ups see these as a quick and affordable way to get a website. But will it get seen? Will it be found in the top spots of organic search? Unlikely! As with all things that look easy, there is an art and a science behind it. Perfect Layout Digital Marketing is a website design agency and digital marketing company based in Romford. Our aim is to create a visible online presence for all our clients, not just a pretty looking website. We offer affordable packages that enables your website to alter as your business evolves. If you want a website that will bring you leads, call us and let us help your business generate new revenue.
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We provide entrepreneurs a full turn key business growth solution - A GROWTH ECO SYSTEM. From one to one advisory and mentoring sessions with our Business Strategy Experts, through to participating on Business Propellers unique and part funded Entrepreneurs Enterprise Programme. Business Propeller offers the ambitious business owner the opportunity to gain knowledge, share experiences and grow influential networks from seasoned professionals, who have all owned, started and led their own multi-million pound businesses. Our services are tailored to the entrepreneurs immediate needs and challenges, focusing on short and medium term goals, utilising business tools to get their business on a Fast Track growth strategy. Working with early stage start-ups through to SMEs with a turnover of up to £5 million, we create long term value and sustainable growth.
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The Business First Steps will help you turn what you love into multiple income streams. Business First Steps can help you package your passion and create new products and services from what you love and enjoy. You do not have to leave your job to package your passion, just work it alongside what you currently do. Whether you are starting out or already in business, Business First Steps will help you develop your idea into viable and relevant products and services that meet current needs in the marketplace. We will help you develop the right structure for your business and set you up so you can start doing what you truly love and enjoy. We also provide follow-on support for up to twelve months so you have someone cheering you all the way and work stress-free too.
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London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capitals largest independent networking and business support organisation. Representing the interests of thousands of companies, we connect thousands of business people every year and offer our members a wide range of practical and professional services. Address: 33 Queen Street, London, EC4R 1AP
Startups.co.uk is a great resource for anyone thinking about starting a business and the site includes a series of pages that feature the best places in Britain to start-up. This page is dedicated to the City of London
London Small Business Centre is one of the leading enterprise agencies in the capital providing funding, workspaces, training and face-to-face advice and mentoring to aspiring and thriving entrepreneurs. We’re for the person who wants to start their own small business and be their own boss. It’s for the person wanting a career change, the person wanting to take control, chase their dream and make an impact. Formerly known as East London Small Business Centre, London Small Business Centre is for the visionary who doesn’t settle, doesn’t compromise and isn’t afraid to take that leap of faith which is necessary to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
We write bespoke business plans with full market research and financial forecasts for a fixed rate of
THINKING ABOUT STARTING A BUSINESS? There’s a lot to consider when starting a business, and setting up a viable enterprise requires careful planning and research. You will need to know if your idea is feasible; if it will make you enough money; how to prepare your business plan; where to find customers; whether to register as Limited company, work as a sole trader or another form of business; where to go to raise finance; how to comply with legal requirements and a lot more! Research shows that new entrepreneurs taking advantage of professional advice, training and support are likely to perform better in the early stages than those who don’t. Business for London’s FREE Introduction to Starting a Business Seminar provides the ideal opportunity to discover what’s involved in running a business, ask questions and decide whether it’s the right route for you. After you have attended the seminar you will be able to access a whole range of start up support services specifically designed to guide, inform and inspire you to be successful in business. Additional services include: dedicated advice and guidance from our experienced Advisers who can help you get to grips with the essentials such as business planning, marketing, raising finance and managing cash flow and accounts.
City Business Library - The City Business Library provides specialist information resources to start ups and business owners. It is not necessary to be a library member, but members can access some resources remotely. Topics covered include business start-up, export and market research.
The Business and IP Centre at the British Library at St Pancras has many useful free resources to help business start-ups and is open six days a week, including evenings Monday – Friday. Resources include databases, publications and industry guides, which provide essential information such as competitor analysis and intellectual property basics. Start-ups can also access free and low-cost advice through workshops, webinars and one-to-one sessions. The Business and IP Centre’s website also provides a range of articles on starting your business, protecting your intellectual property and growing your business.
Take control of your destiny by working for yourself Are you thinking about starting your own business? Let us help you decide, start your business with guidance from SEE. We provide practical, impartial advice in confidence to individuals thinking about starting in business. No matter what stage you have reached with your business idea, maybe its just a seed of an idea at the moment or perhaps you are well on the way with a fully developed plan or you are on the verge of actually starting to trade, we can offer you guidance, one to one advice and our expert advisers provide on-going support, tailored to meet your needs. Let us help you turn your idea into a practical reality.
If you have identified an area of the business mix that you need some support in, a particular problem that you want to solve, or an opportunity that you want to evaluate, the student-led Business Solutions Centre can help you. The Business Solutions Centre is staffed by Student Advisers who have been through a comprehensive recruitment and training process. A member of LSBU staff will supervise the Advisers.
Support for young people aged 16-30 to start and develop a business. Free introductory workshops. Free One to One business counselling. Accredited training such as short courses and workshops. Low cost Business Start-Up Units.
Capital Enterprise is a body of connectors, influencers, investors and policy-makers, collaborating to serve and super-charge London’s start-up scene. Together we are committed to making London the best place in Europe to start and scale a business. Startups We plug you into an ecosystem where your ideas can thrive and your business can grow. Members We unite the major enterprise players to deliver prosperity, share knowledge and influence policy. Stakeholders We leverage the power of London’s enterprise community for the good of the capital.
London First is a business campaigning group with a mission to make London the best city in the world to do business. We convene and mobilise business leaders to tackle the key challenges facing our capital. We are made up of over 200 leading employers across a wide range of sectors, supported by a small staff of experts, organisers and campaigners, overseen by a non executive board of influential business leaders.
Supporting Young Entrepreneurs London Youth Support Trust (LYST) was established in 2000 with a simple aim: to break down the barriers young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds face when starting their own business; these included a lack of affordable workspace, finance, advice and support. We opened an enterprise centre in Deptford in 2001 to house a small number of businesses. We provided them with an affordable business unit over a 2 year period (subsidising their rent). The centre was run by a manager who could provide business advice, mentoring and co-ordinate specialist training. We continue to offer this model of support and we currently operate from 5 enterprise centres across London.
If you are thinking about starting a business Enterprise for London is running one-to-one advice and training across London to help you start and grow your business. The advice team will help you develop your business skills, access finance, improve your confidence, so that you are more likely to start and run a successful business. Start-up Loans An access-to-finance programme for businesses looking to secure funding up to 10k.
With over 30 years experience of providing impartial advice and hands on support to start-up and trading businesses; from securing finance, to mentoring, expanding business ideas, training and practical help to set up and run a business. Our offices, in the heart of Kings Cross London, also include conference and meeting room hire, plus office incubation and workshop spaces to rent.
Business First Steps is the one-stop shop for SME business start-up. We provide the tools to start, develop and grow a business. Our services include idea generation, business plans, start-up packages, brainstorming sessions and much more.
StartupTuition offers a cost-effective online business startup course to help guide you through the process of setting up your own business. Access our course online and learn from our comprehensive startup course,. We cover everything you need to know to help increase your chances of startup success.