How To Start A Business in the UK

start a business in UK

The UK has experienced its fair share of economic challenges: recessions, soaring living costs, political fluctuations, and rising energy bills. Surprisingly, amidst these tribulations, an entrepreneurial spirit has been ignited.

Starting a business during a crisis might seem counterintuitive, but history has shown that many successful businesses were born out of adversity. There’s less competition, more available talent, and a plethora of untapped opportunities.

However, to navigate this complex landscape, partnering with a small business accountant like Howlader & Co. is not just advisable, it’s almost essential. They can guide budding entrepreneurs through financial intricacies and ensure compliance with the UK’s regulatory environment.

What Do You Need To Do Before You Launch?

Research Your Market

Every successful business starts with a solid understanding of its market. This entails identifying target customers, understanding their preferences, and assessing the competition. Surveys, interviews, and focus groups can offer invaluable insights.

Create a Business Plan

A business plan is a roadmap for your business’s future. It outlines your business goals and the strategy you’ll employ to achieve them. It’s also crucial for attracting investors.

Choose a Business Structure

The UK offers several business structures, like sole trader, partnership, and limited company. Each has its own tax implications and liabilities. Your choice will influence your registration requirements, tax implications, and personal liability.

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Register the Business

Depending on your chosen structure, you’ll either need to register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) or Companies House. This step is crucial for tax purposes.

Open a Business Bank Account

Keep personal and business finances separate. A business bank account also enhances credibility with potential clients and vendors.

Understand the Tax Implications

Different businesses have different tax obligations. Know the specific taxes your business will be liable for, whether it’s VAT, corporation tax, or others.

What Startup Funding Is Available In The UK?

Bank Loans

For a myriad of startups, traditional bank loans have served as the financial backbone. These loans are a testament to the credibility of the business idea and its potential profitability.

Banks typically offer substantial amounts that can kick-start or scale operations. They come with structured repayment plans, usually monthly, and the interest rates might be fixed or variable. For startups, the predictability of bank loans can aid in financial planning. However, the crux lies in securing the loan. Banks, being risk-averse institutions, require reassurance.

This is where a comprehensive business plan, detailing the feasibility of the venture and its revenue projections, becomes indispensable. Additionally, collateral might be needed, and startups should be prepared to negotiate terms or shop around to find the best fit for their needs.

Venture Capitalists (VCs)

Venture Capitalists operate at the nexus of risk and reward. These professional groups pool funds from multiple investors and channel them into startups, especially those that show high-growth potential. The tech and science sectors, given their scalability and innovative nature, often find favour with VCs. But the relationship with a VC goes beyond mere funding. They bring a reservoir of business acumen, mentorship, and invaluable industry connections.

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However, this capital doesn’t come without strings attached. VCs usually seek equity in the startup, which implies sharing ownership. They might also influence decision-making, given their stake and interest in ensuring a substantial return on their investment.

Business Grants

The allure of business grants is hard to resist for many entrepreneurs. Why? Because they are essentially “free money.” The UK government, in a bid to spur innovation and entrepreneurship, offers various grant schemes.

Parallelly, private organisations and non-profits extend grants targeting specific sectors or social causes. Since they are non-repayable, they don’t strain the startup’s finances. However, the flip side is the intense competition. These grants have stringent eligibility criteria and often require the business to showcase uniqueness, potential impact, or fulfil a distinct societal need.


In the age of digitization and community participation, crowdfunding has emerged as a democratic way to raise capital. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have democratized the funding process. Startups present their idea or product to the masses, and if people believe in its potential, they pledge money. It serves a dual purpose: raising funds and validating the product or service in the real market.
Depending on the platform, backers might receive the product, some reward, or even equity in the company. Beyond funds, a successful crowdfunding campaign builds a community of passionate supporters, crucial for brand-building and initial traction.

Angel Investors

Angel investors are high-net-worth individuals who, driven by both business acumen and a desire to foster innovation, invest in startups. Unlike VCs who manage pooled funds, angels invest their own money, often bringing a personal touch to the relationship. They can provide varied amounts of capital, depending on the startup’s stage and needs.

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What makes angel investors truly special is their mentorship. Many are seasoned entrepreneurs themselves, offering startups not just funds but invaluable guidance and networking opportunities. In exchange, they typically seek equity or convertible debt, aligning their interests with the startup’s success.

Final Thoughts

Starting a business amidst economic upheavals can be both challenging and rewarding. While the path of entrepreneurship in the UK is filled with opportunities, the journey is intricate. With the right preparation, funding, and guidance, particularly from experienced small business accountants, the dream of owning a successful business in the UK can become a reality. The key lies in preparation, resilience, and adaptability.

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