Starting a business

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Starting a business

Securing jobs, establishing or developing new business ventures provides opportunities to those on the BN(O) route to integrate and contribute into their new communities socially and economically. Here are some tips and resources if you are thinking of embarking down this route.

Write a business plan

A business plan should be the first thing done when starting a new business, it helps you to clarify your business idea, spot potential problems, lay out your goals and track your progress when your business begins to grow. It is also important for attracting investors or securing a loan from bank.

Click here to download free business plan templates and find help and advice on how to write your business plan.

Conduct market research

Conducting thorough market research is a crucial part of crafting a business plan! These resources may help you in your research in the UK:

Research and statistic from government

Office for National Statistics

Business and IP Centre also provides free access to their business databases on markets and industries, company information, advice and funding. In the South East, they have centres in Kent, Oxfordshire, Southampton and Sussex, click to find a centre near you!

Determine your legal business structure and register your business

Before registering your business, you need to decide what kind of entity it is. Your business structure affects how you file your taxes and your personal liability. Most business register as a sole trader, limited company and partnership. If your company exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders, a community interest company (CIC) can be set up.

Set up as a sole trader

Set up a private limited company

Set up a business partnership

Guidance on setting up a CIC and registering your CIC online or by post

Finding finance

There are a lots of ways to finance a start up including start up loans, business bank loans, equity investment, crowdfunding and more. Here are some options that you can consider:

Start Up Loan from British Business Bank

Social Enterprise Funding from Fredericks Foundation

The Enterprise Investment Scheme

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme

Venture capital trust

Your local authority might also have some start up funds available.

Business licences

You may need business licenses to operate in some trades or industries. Many business licences are granted by individual local authorities, typically in the area where you’ll be running your business.  In order to figure out which licenses you need. The GOV.UK website has a licence tool finder to help with that.

Where can BN(O) access business support?

Government Business Support Helpline (England) – you can email enquiries@businesssupporthelpline.org, call 0800 998 1098 or use their webchat service, to speak to an advisor, during their opening hours 9am to 6pm on Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

BN(O) visa holders in the South East can also find business support, advice and resources from the below organisations:

Besides reaching out to chambers of commerce and business organisations for resources, support and networking opportunities, you may establish your own connections by joining meetup groups or events. Simply enter information about where you are, and key words like “startup”, “business” and “entrepreneurs”, you will be able to find people with similar interest near you.

Learn more about starting a new business or expanding your existing business to the UK from the government’s official welcome pack created for BN(O)s.

If you are starting or running a business in Brighton, then Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce would like to hear from you. They help businesses to connect, grow and learn. They host networking and training events, and local initiatives to help and support people running businesses in the city. Contact Amy to find out more amy@brightonchamber.co.uk

Kent and Medway Growth Hub forms part of the South East Business Hub. They help new and existing businesses find the most suitable type of business support available in their area, including business advice, grants and finance, trainings and events, as well as other useful resources.

Hong Kong Business Hub Provides supports to Hong Kong entrepreneurs in the UK. Their Online Resource library (https://www.hkbusinesshub.net/resource-library) and YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@hkbusinesshub) offer free business webinars. They also organise networking events, mentoring programmes, business courses and provide professional service referral services.

Working for yourself doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. With the Federation of Small Businesses by your side, you’ll have all the support you need to run and grow your business. From legal advice to local networking, discover the many ways FSB membership can help your business thrive.  Join FSB today: www.fsb.org.uk/join-us.html

Besides reaching out to chambers of commerce and business organisations for resources, support and networking opportunities, you may establish your own connections by joining meetup groups or events. Simply enter information about where you are, and key words like “startup”, “business” and “entrepreneurs”, you will be able to find people with similar interest near you.

Learn more about starting a new business or expanding your existing business to the UK from the government’s official welcome pack created for BN(O)s.

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