Types of business

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

Types of business - overview

There are more than 5.6 million business in the UK. Find how to guides for more than 180 different types of business if you are thinking of joining the small business ranks.

Bearded man stood with rows of coaches in background

How to start up a coach firm

Private coach firms may offer local bus services to fare-paying passengers, possibly on routes subsidised by the local authority, or they may take on private hire work.

Man picking lock on white and blue door

How to start up a locksmiths

Thinking of setting up as a locksmith? You'll need good practical and mechanical skills and be prepared to work in different business and domestic settings. Check out our practical guide for starting and running your own locksmiths.

Red post office sign sticking out of beige wall

How to start up a post office

Although the number of Post Offices has fallen in recent years they are still very popular life-style businesses to run.

Pint of beer on bar side underneath taps

How to start up a pub

You'll find all you need to start up and run your own pub in our practical guide.

Man in brown sweater holding record with woman in background looking for records

How to start up a record shop

There's no doubt that the internet has thrown up many challenges for record shops, but a well-run business can still succeed.

Two men unloading cardboard boxes from the back of a lorry

How to start up a removals business

If you want to offer removals services you'll need to decide who your customers will be - domestic households or commercial organisations.

Man holding black shoe in shoe shop with multiple shoes in background

How to start up a shoe shop

Shoe sales are very seasonal so an independent shoe shop needs an effective buying strategy to avoid having to discount significant amounts of stock.

Woman holding roller blade and purple helmet in sports shop

How to start up a sports shop

Sports goods retailing is very competitive and independent outlets need to make sure they have something special to offer customers - like a repair or hire service.

Man showing customer multiple different surfboards in surf shop

How to start up a surf shop

Most surf shops are located in coastal areas and are often run by people with a keen interest in surfing.

Green tack shop sign hanging down from wooden pillar

How to start up a tack shop

To run a tack shop ideally you'll be knowledgeable about equestrian matters and located in an area with lots of horses and riders.

Little girl in pink top playing with different toys in toy shop

How to start up a toy shop

Although the toy market is very competitive there's still room for well-run independents offering great service.

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.