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What do I need to start a business?

  • Blog
  • 27 March 2017

Deciding to start your own business is exciting. It represents a major challenge that can lead to a satisfying career of being your own boss and doing things your way.

But what do you need in order to start your own business?

What do I need to start a business?

What do I need to start a business?

An idea

First and foremost, you need to know what your business will be. What will differentiate you from any competitors and how competitive is the market you’re entering?

What sort of business you run, and the sector you’re in can impact the sort of premises you need. It can also determine the insurance and specific permits or licences that are required to run your business.

For example, deciding to open a bar will require premises with specific features (or the space to install them). You will then also need to get a licence to serve alcohol or sell food.

Register your company

You need to register your company as a legal entity. This involves registering your business with Companies House and defining what sort of business you are. For example, a sole trader or business partnership.

This influences how your businesses finances are managed, how they are linked to your personal finances and how any responsibility is assigned for business debt or accounting. This is important if you’re a business partnership and responsibility is split between your partners.

A location

You need to know where your business will be run from. For example, if you’re a tradesman this could simply be a business run from home. However, in this case you need to be aware of the importance of insuring your works van and its contents. You should also have proper liability insurance in place, should something happen on a job that causes damage to a client’s property.

If you don’t plan to run your business from home, you should make a decision where you will run your business from. You can either rent or buy premises for your business, or you might want to separate your home and work life by renting a desk in a shared office space.


If you’re planning on selling or producing anything you should have suppliers – people who will either provide stock for your business to sell or the materials you need to make products yourself.

For example, this could be finding a brewery to supply your alcohol if you open a bar, or liaising with local fruit and veg producers if you open a restaurant or cafe.

Your type of business and how you acquire items to sell can have a huge influence on the sort of equipment you need and how your business processes payments. For example, a retail environment will require access to cash and card payments, while a design firm might invoice clients and receive payment via bank transfers.

How can FSB help you to set up your business?

There are many elements to consider when setting up a business, which can vary entirely based on the sort of business you wish to run.

FSB Business Creation provides people looking to establish their own business with access to a range of services designed to help and support new start-ups.

These services include access to:

  • Help with company formation
  • A dedicated help and advice line
  • Insurance services
  • Payment services
  • Networking support

To find out more about how you can benefit from FSB Business Creation, get in touch with a member of the team or visit our FSB Business Creation page.