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The most suitable finance option for your business depends on many things, including:
A bank loan is far from the only way that you can raise money to fund your startup business. For some businesses, particularly new riskier ventures, equity investment raising capital through the sale of shares in a business may be most suitable. For equity finance, there is a growing number of business angels prepared to back new businesses.The government provides generous tax relief to investors who want to support new businesses.
For less risky types of businesses, debt finance may be more appropriate. If you are struggling to obtain a loan to start a new business, you may wish to consider applying for a start-up loan. For alternatives to the high street banks for both equity and debt finance you could consider raising funding through alternative finance providers such as peer-to-peer lenders or crowd funding platforms.
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Whether you're taking the first steps or have been trading for a while and looking to grow, a Start Up Loan can help you achieve your business goals with:
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Looking to register your new business? There are many factors to consider and choices to make which are fundamental to your new business.
There are a wealth of resources available to help aid your decision, which are provided by some of the most trusted organisations in the country. Read through the below to learn more:
Overview of the regulations and requirements for setting up a business
You must choose a business structure when you start a business. Take a look at the options.
All limited companies in the UK, and overseas companies with a branch or place of business in the UK need to be registered with Companies House.
How to register a new business and create an HMRC online account
Guidance from HMRC on what you need to do for tax and National Insurance purposes when you start up a business as a self-employed person, a partnership or a limited company
All the rules about running a private limited company
Information and guidance and events
The ICAEW has a service to help you find a chartered accountant near you.
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Why you need a business plan?
A business plan is a written document that describes your business. It covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts.
Your business plan is the key document to set out what aims and objectives you have and how to get there.
A business plan helps you to:
You'll need a business plan if you want to secure investment or a loan. It can also help to convince customers, suppliers and potential employees to support you.
With a clear strategy objectives and goals that you are looking to achieve, and how you'll measure your progress, your business will continue to stay true to its path to growth.
The following website resources provide a series of guides and templates and help on how to write a business plan, along with checklists on how to make a success of your business and how to support the beginning of your business.
The links provided are from some of the most trusted and respected business information and support organisations in the country.
A good small business plan defines exactly what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve it.
You'll find it helpful to put together a business plan to plot the future of your business from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future, and how you intend to get there.
RBS provides plenty of business planning tips and advice.
A pdf download of ICAEW's guide on writing a business plan
A pdf download from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
Guides for start-ups and new businesses
New Enterprise Allowance offers support with developing your business plan, as well as financial and mentoring help.
The British Library IP Centre has a wide range of business planning resources
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Many businesses start with just one person, known as a ‘sole trader'. If you set up as a sole trader you'll be self-employed, which means you'll be your own boss.
You'll also be responsible for:
Whether you set up as a sole trader, partnership or limited company, your business is likely to involve working with more people to develop and sell your idea - including partners, suppliers, and distributors.
Finding a co-founder with relevant skills and knowledge that are different to yours lets you focus on what you're best at.
For example, you might be selling a product you invented or a service that uses a particular skill or talent you have, but not have any hands-on experience of running a business. If so, you might want to work with someone who has business and management skills and can look after things like financial planning and recruitment.
Consider working with several partners in a team. You'll be able to share responsibilities including risk, getting funding, expertise and sharing contacts.
Whether you're making a product and you need raw materials or supplies and equipment to run your service, many businesses need to work closely with suppliers.
Search online and talk to other businesses. Draw up a list of potential suppliers. Get estimates, then go and talk to them so you can:
You'll need to agree on payment terms with your suppliers and get them in writing. This includes your ‘trade credit' period (how many days you agree to pay invoices within), and whether they can offer you discounts for things like buying in bulk or quick payments.
You'll also need to find suppliers for the equipment you'll need to run your business, including your information technology (IT) systems.
If you're planning to sell your product in shops and expand outside of your local area, you'll need to work with a distributor. If you're selling overseas, consider working with a freight forwarder who can deal with exporting your goods.
You can also attract customers and increase awareness by setting up a website for your business. Search online for resources, as well as local web design and development companies you can work with.
You may also be able to sell your product or service directly through your website.
The RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) guides to small business property has information about buying, leasing, maintaining or extending business premises.
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