Set up a business

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

Set up a business - overview

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules when you start up. Learn how to set up a business.

Business names - overview

A good business name can be a powerful marketing tool. Discover how to choose a company name and how to register your business name.

Buy a franchise - overview

Buying a franchise gives you a ready-made brand, with an established trade mark and successful format. Find out why it can be a winning format.

Small business support - overview

When you start your own business, you'll face tough challenges and decisions. We share some of the key sources of free and paid-for advice.

Buying a business - overview

Buying a business can be less risky than starting one from scratch. Discover the pros, cons and potential pitfalls of buying a business.

Female business owner starting a business

How to start a business

How to start a business: everything you need to know, from choosing a business name and registering a company to writing a business plan.

Female business owner registering a new business

How to register a business

How to register your business with Companies House, how to register as a sole trader and how to register your business name as a trade mark.

Person holding up paper with words 'OPEN'

Forming a business - checklist

When forming a business make sure you get it right from the start. Check the key considerations and legal requirements to prevent expensive mistakes.

A sign on a wall outside business premises

Q&A: Displaying company names

You must display your company name at its registered office and at the place where it keeps its company records for inspection, says Andrew Millet.

A man poses for a photo outside his single-member company premises

Q&A: Single-member companies

The register of members of a single-member company must contain an express statement to the effect that the company has only one member.

Piece of paper with 'Franchise' written in red ink with a list written underneath

Essential guide to 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.

'TIME TO FRANCHISE' written on a tablet with various items surrounding it

How and why I became a franchisee

Actress and singer Daniele Coombe owns the Exeter franchise for Monkey Music, for pre-schoolers. She explains how and why she became a franchisee.

A blue folder on a desk with the word agreement on it

Q&A: Franchising agreements

Laura Clarke, associate solicitor at WBW Solicitors, answers key questions about franchise agreements and says the agreement needs to be in writing.

Business person’s hands holding a pen and working out figures on a calculator

Buying a business

Buying a business can be a big step forward, but there are pitfalls. Find out how to complete the purchase and check the real state of the business.

A man completes the contract to buy a business

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.

A shopper examines some shoes being sold online

How to set up an online store

Josh Barling is joint owner and CEO of eCommerce agency Sellerdeck. He shares his top tips for setting up an online store.

A social enterprise works with young people

Q&A: Social enterprises

Unlike even the most ethical of other start-ups, social enterprises have environmental or social values at the very core of everything they do.

A mature business woman mentors a younger woman

Q&A: Mentoring

Running your own small business can be lonely and it can be difficult to know what to do when faced with new challenges unless you have a mentor.