Starting my own business: What do I need to know?

Here, we look at the basic considerations to reflect on before starting up.

There is no denying that starting your own business is a big step. It’s a new chapter, with plenty of risks but potentially even more rewards. There is a lot to think about and you certainly shouldn’t go into this process blind. Taking that into account, keep on reading to discover everything you need to know about starting your own business.

Rules and regulations

There is only one place to begin and this is gaining an understanding of all the regulations, taxes and licenses that are in place for your new company. Doing a bit of research on your own is advised, but it is also a good idea to consult with your accountant and lawyer, as they will help you to set up a business structure that is compliant with the law. There is nothing worse than disobeying regulations. If you were to pay the wrong amount of tax or fail to obtain the correct licenses, then you could find yourself on the end of a hefty fine and your reputation would be damaged before you have even started.

What sort of company are you setting up?

You also need to decide whether you want to set up as a limited company or sole trader. This is vital because it will impact the financial and legal responsibilities laid at your door, as well as the amount of tax you will need to pay. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with both. Registering as a sole trader is a lot easier, and you will keep all the profits after tax, however, you will bear all of the financial and legal responsibility. On the other hand, if you set up as a limited company it will take more time and setting up is more expensive, but it is less of a risk. You will be paid as an employee if you go down this route and you can opt to take dividends.

See also: The complete checklist on starting a business the simple way

What’s in a name?

You will need to give a lot of consideration to your business name as well. You are going to be stuck with this name forever; rebranding is not easy, and it will cost an enormous sum of money. So, take the time and make the effort to find the right name for your business, and make sure that there is a web domain that is available. You need to give a lot of consideration to what the name says about your business.

How to get funding

Aside from this, funding is of paramount importance. In an ideal world, you would have all of the cash you need to launch your new company yourself through self-funding, however, for most people this is not possible and you will need to seek funding from elsewhere.This could be through seeking an investor, getting a bank loan or asking any friends or family members if they would be willing to help. You should also find out if you are eligible for any business grants. Needless to say, business grants aren’t handed out to simply anyone, and they can be tough to come by. Yet, you shouldn’t simply assume you won’t be able to secure one; explore the possibility first and then if you cannot get the grant, you need to put together a plan to secure an investor or a bank loan.

Don’t forget your insurance

Last but not least, another pivotal factor to bear in mind is your insurance requirements. If you expect suppliers or customers to enter your premises you will need public liability insurance. If you have any staff, then you will also need to have employers’ liability insurance. These are requirements by law, and while they may be expensive, it would be a lot worse if the unthinkable happened.

All in all, if you are to start up your own business, then there is no such thing as too much research. You have to be prepared and hopefully this article will have given you the starting point you need.

NCC Home Learning are a complete resource for adult home learning – you can learn more about starting up a business with one of their specific courses.

Further reading on starting a business

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie

Alan was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc (previous owner of before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the...

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