Types of business

Once you're satisfied your business idea is viable and you want to start, you face several choices about what form your business could or should take.

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Types of business - overview

You have satisfied your business idea is viable. The next step is to decide what form your business should take. We explore the options.

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Buying a franchise

Franchising allows you to set up a business following a proven formula - although you'll be subject to restrictions. Our guide to franchising.

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Market research

Market research helps you spot opportunities, reduce risks and make better decisions. How to find the information you need.

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Profile: The Ethical Businessman

Although Friska founders have big plans for their Bristol-based takeaway with a difference, as Mark Williams finds out, profit is not their only goal.

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Profile: The Flip-Flop Philanthropist

Gandys flip-flops uses some of its profits to help orphans in India – just one reason this fast-growing flip-flop brand continues to win admirers.

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Profile: The Record Breaker

Not many people have been in the Guinness Book of World Records and established their own business. Adam King is still trying to be a world-beater.

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Q&A: Business partnerships

Some people prefer to retain full ownership of a business and call all the shots, but having a partner can provide a way to share responsibility.

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Q&A: Buying a business

Buying a business can be less risky than starting one. If the business has customers, then it has income. But it will need upfront investment.

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Q&A: Ethical trading

Being an ethical business can reduce the negative impacts on people, animals and the environment. It can also boost your bottom line.

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Q&A: Family businesses

Fiona Graham of the Institute for Family Business explains why it can pay to keep it in the family when starting and running a business.

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Q&A: Should I employ a family member?

Employing a relative is quite different to recruiting someone else. There are some important tax and legal considerations which we explore here: