Ten essential small business links

At SmallBusiness.co.uk we receive a staggering number of questions from entrepreneurs and those looking to start their own business about the particulars of forming a company, registering an idea or name, grants and keeping ahead of the barrage of legislative changes that SME managers and owners face.

Accordingly, we have produced a list of essential links that will point you in the right direction:

  • Companies House (gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house). The main functions of Companies House are to incorporate and dissolve limited companies, examine and store company information delivered under the Companies Act and make this information available to the public. You can search for information with its WebCheck service, which offers a free searchable Company Names and Address Index on more than two million companies, and file documents online.
  • Also see: Legally registering your small business in the UK

  • Intellectual Property Office (gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office). The official Government body responsible for granting intellectual property (IP) rights in the UK. These rights include patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
  • Also see: Intellectual property considerations for SMEs

  • HM Revenue & Customs (gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs). HMRC ensures the correct tax is paid at the right time, whether this relates to payment of taxes received by the department or entitlement to benefits paid to you. You can file you calculate your tax and file your tax return online. HMRC collects and administers the following direct taxes:
    Capital gains tax, Corporation tax, Income tax, Inheritance tax and National insurance.
  • Also see: Click here for tips on tax and related issues

  • The Health and Safety Executive (hse.gov.uk). The Health and Safety Commission is responsible for health and safety regulation in Great Britain. The Health and Safety Executive and local government enforce these regulations, ensuring risks in the changing workplace are properly controlled. You can find information on forthcoming regulations and read tips about reducing risks as work.
  • Also see: Health and safety checklist for small businesses

  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants (icaew.com). The ICAEW is the largest professional accountancy body in Europe with over 128,000 members. It is a key influencer on the international stage and the leading UK body of finance professionals. You can use the tool on its website to find a chartered accountant.
  • Also see: Where to start when looking for a chartered accountant

  • The Better Regulation Executive (gov.uk/government/groups/better-regulation-executive). The BRE aims to minimise bureaucracy for businesses and front-line staff, cutting red tape across the private, public and voluntary sectors. Its website allows you to submit ideas via its Simplification Proposals forms and read updates about governmental initiatives intended to reduce the regulatory burden.
  • The Forum of Private Business (fpb.co.uk). The FPB is a non-party political organisation representing 25,000 UK-based private businesses, which in turn employ more than 600,000 people. The organisation is funded by its members and their joining fee and offers a range of services aimed at saving money for members and providing practical help with all aspects of running a smaller business. These range from ‘cheaper telephone calls and an improved internet service, to a machine (and better rates) for taking payments via credit/debit card’. The organisation also produces a range of practical business guides that can help with the day-to-day running of smaller businesses available at a discounted rate for members.
  • The Federation of Small Businesses (fsb.org.uk). The FSB is the largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. It has over 200,000 members and offers assistance and support 24 hours a day, while its lobbying arm applies pressure on MPs, Government and Whitehall. As a paid member you can use the FSB’s legal helpline, which operates 24 hours a day and last year received over 100,000 calls.
  • The British Franchise Association (thebfa.org/). The BFA represents its members, provides information and advice to businesses planning to franchise, and helps promote franchising as a concept across the country, as well as lobbying to government.
  • Also see: Investing in a franchise

  • Growth Business UK (growthbusiness.co.uk/). GrowthBusiness is an online media portal for entrepreneurs and those involved in fast-growth businesses. Features are focused on venture capital and seed funding ideas, business exits, and in-depth analyses of larger business issues

Looking for funding? Check out our Startup Funding and Grants section here.

Adam Wayland

Adam Wayland

Adam was Editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2006 to 2008 and prior to that was staff writer on sister publication BusinessXL Magazine.

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