Guide

Starting a business: first steps

Last updated: 21 September 2017

Different business options

Running a limited company

This GOV.UK guide on running a limited company includes information on:

  • directors' responsibilities
  • keeping company and accounting records
  • completing an annual return

Invention-based business

If you're an inventor with an idea you might want to turn it into a business. Business Gateway has a guide on how to set-up an innovation start-up business. If your idea comes from an existing business, the new business is called a 'spin-out'.

Support is available for businesses that want to grow by innovating.

Buy an existing business or franchise

You don't have to start a business from the beginning - you could buy an existing business or franchise. This guide from Business Gateway will help you to understand:

  • the actual business you're considering buying
  • obligations to staff
  • the details of contracts and agreements

Family businesses

Another option is setting up a family-run businesses. This Business Gateway guide includes information on:

  • the advantages of running a family business
  • managing conflict
  • pay and benefits

Starting a co-operative

If you're thinking about setting up a co-operative, Scottish Enterprise has information about the Co-Operative Development Scotland (CDS). CDS gives advice to new and growing co-operatives and employee-owned businesses. It can help you:

  • choose the best business model
  • guide you through the process
  • access funding and legal models

Set up a business partnership

Visit GOV.UK to find out about how to start a business partnership. This includes information on:

  • naming a partnership
  • registering with HMRC
  • partnership tax returns
  • legal responsibilities
Starting a business: first steps
Different business options