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How to Start a Business in Cornwall

Free start-up resources and useful local contacts.

Improve your chances of success!

How to Start a Business in Cornwall

Starting a business in Cornwall

If you are thinking about starting a business in Cornwall or would like to grow your existing business, we would love to help you.

Start Your Own Business in Cornwall contains resources and the information that will help give your venture the best chance of success. It also highlights organisations who offer friendly advice and the services that you are likely to need as a new startup or local business owner.

Grants | Networking groups | Business advice | Mentoring | Co-working spaces

Starting a business in Cornwall

Free Startup Resources

Getting it right from the start can help to prevent problems later.

To help you with this we have created a vast selection of resources and they are all completely free!

Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur or already running a business in the area, this web page is designed to provide you with valuable information and resources to support your journey to success. Cornwall, located in southwest England, offers a vibrant business environment with a diverse range of industries and stunning natural beauty.

Demographics of Cornwall

Cornwall is a county known for its beautiful coastline, rich heritage, and unique culture. As of the latest available data, the estimated population of Cornwall is around 565,000 residents. The county encompasses several major towns and cities that contribute to its economic growth and cultural identity.

Major Towns and Cities

Click on name to view more information and find contacts in each area.

  1. Truro: Truro is the county town of Cornwall and has a population of approximately 19,000 residents. It serves as the administrative, cultural, and commercial center of Cornwall, offering a mix of retail, tourism, and professional services.
  2. Newquay: Located on the north coast of Cornwall, Newquay is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning beaches and vibrant surf scene. It has a population of around 22,000 and boasts a thriving hospitality and leisure industry.
  3. Falmouth: Situated on the south coast of Cornwall, Falmouth is a picturesque town with a population of approximately 31,000. It is renowned for its maritime heritage, creative industries, and university campus, providing opportunities in education, research, and innovation.
  4. St. Austell: Nestled in the heart of Cornwall, St. Austell has a population of around 20,000. It is a significant commercial and retail center, with a focus on industries such as china clay mining, tourism, and renewable energy.
Local Authorities in Cornwall

To navigate the business landscape effectively, it's essential to be familiar with the local authorities that govern different aspects of running a business in Cornwall. Here are the key authorities in the county along with their website links for further information:

Business Support Organisations

Cornwall provides a range of resources and support networks for businesses at every stage of their journey. Whether you need assistance with funding, advice, networking, or general guidance, these organisations can be instrumental in your success. Here are a few noteworthy organisations dedicated to supporting businesses in Cornwall, along with their website links:

We hope this guide provides you with a solid foundation for starting or running a business in Cornwall. Explore the rest of our website for more detailed information, guides, and additional resources that will help you on your entrepreneurial journey in this vibrant county. Good luck!

FREE startup workshops

If you are thinking about starting a business, our FREE three-hour ONLINE workshop is definitely for you!

Open to everyone, our sole aim is to increase your chances of success. We do that by explaining:

The reality of running a business; the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them; which legal status is likely to be most suitable; funding, grants and managing your money; business planning and cashflow forecasting; finding and keeping customers.

Free startup guide

Start Your Own Business in Cornwall

Download the 2024 edition of our Free Start Your Own Business guide

An interactive step-by-step guide which also includes all of the most important subjects covered in an easy-to-read way with links to useful online articles and relevant contacts.

The idea of starting your own business can be incredibly exciting and who can blame you for being tempted?

However, the sad truth is that far too many new enterprises fail in the early stages. Our aim is to make sure that you don’t become one of them.

This guide explains the key start-up subjects in simple English.

There is also plenty of help available in the area and much of it is free - please do make the most of it.

Read more about what our Free guide contains and how you can download it.
Starting a business in Cornwall

Key Contacts in Cornwall

'You don't know what you don't know' is a phrase that is so applicable to starting a new business.

Cornwall is a great place for start-ups but your chances of success are dramatically improved if you make the most of the support that is available locally. Click on logos to visit their websites.

Accountancy

Whyfield
Whyfield is very much a modern firm of accountants. Their Truro-based team are highly accredited and highly regarded throughout Cornwall, Devon and across the UK. They're Making Tax Digital experts and have helped hundreds of businesses make the switch over to systems that show how your business is performing in an instant! They offer everything you’d expect from an accountant, from bookkeeping and payroll to VAT returns and year end accounts, so you won’t be short of choice when it comes to support. They’re also experienced business advisors who help turn ideas into thriving start-ups. As a relatively young firm, who set up in 2014, they are perfectly suited to help new start-ups navigate the usual hurdles of starting a business. In fact, they’ve grown considerably since opening their doors and have won a whole host of awards along the way, so you couldn’t be in better hands if you’re looking to start up and grow your business. If you're looking for great value service and a modern thinking accountant, look no further! Get in touch with their team for a free 30-minute chat to see how they can help you: 01872 267 267b
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Mentoring

South West Business Mentors
If you are thinking of starting a business or have already started one and need some assistance, then a specialised team of experienced business mentors is available to assist you to start or manage your business as follows: 1. To give assistance in the various business facets, e.g. Finance, marketing, production, administration, sales, export, personnel etc. 2. To work on a one-to-one basis by way of face to-face meetings or via email. 3. To give guidance and training in marketing and selling techniques. 4. To assist in applying for funding by way of business plans etc. 5. Our organisation is not funded by the Government or other funders and is run by experienced business volunteers. 6 There is no set time limit imposed by the mentoring and it could continue as long as the mentee requires assistance. 7. Fees: There is a one off introduction fee of £25 for the initial meeting after which there are no fees.
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Web design

Paddle Creative
Accelerate your new business with the help of a marketing expert, ready to guide you through the best options. Starting a business can be a daunting prospect, but getting the marketing element right is one of the most crucial aspects in making your start-up successful. Your brand needs to resonate with your new customers, and you need to ensure you get yourself in front of enough potential customers. The best way to accomplish this for most companies is through successful online marketing via a range of channels, that work in tandem to create a marketing machine. Matt Connelly runs Paddle Creative in Cornwall and has a long track record in helping businesses like yours grow. I have helped businesses thrive in a wide range of sectors, and varying stages in their development. I take a ‘360 approach’ and aim to develop a wholesome marketing strategy aligned with your goals and budget to ensure your business is a success. From branding and business cards to new websites and digital marketing, Paddle Creative is here to help your business move forward. Contact Paddle now and discover affordable marketing solutions designed around your business.
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Advice

Business Cornwall
Business Cornwall has a section dedicated to local startup stories and useful information. Business Cornwall is Cornwall's leading business news publication and website.
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Advice

Cornwall Trade & Investment
Find out how Cornwall Trade & Investment can help new and existing businesses in the county. Access free support and/or download their setting up a business guide.
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Web design

PB&J Web Design Ltd
With specialists in Web Design, Web Development, SEO, Digital Marketing, Branding, Copywriting and more we have got your covered for everything you could possibly need for your digital journey. To do this, we like to make sure we get to know your business inside and out, so we always start our partnership with you with an informal conversation over a coffee. This way we can to get to know more about you, your business and your goals, to make sure that we know exactly what you are wanting to achieve with your online campaigns and how we can get you there. Everyone has different budgets and at PB+J Web Design we completely understand. We will tailor your strategy to your budget and make sure you are spending your money in the best places to achieve the best return on your investment.
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Property

Hocking Associates
A Falmouth-based team of independent chartered surveyors and valuers, Hocking Associates should be your first port of call if you are considering investing in property in Cornwall. We offer a wealth of expert surveying services and professional advice for residential property purchases, along with decades of local housing market expertise. Contact us for a no-obligation chat today.
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Grants

Cornwall Community Foundation
The South West Enterprise Fund is a new funding stream aiming to support a variety of young Cornish people who do not have the initial starter funds to get their business ideas off the ground.The fund is for 2 sets of young people:Those who have already shown some initiative in getting their new business off the groundThose who have an idea and need some funding to get their idea off the ground.To be eligible for a grant you must: Be resident in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly Be aged between 18-30 years old Be able to demonstrate your business idea and know what products or services you want to provide or have been trading for under 2 years.Grants range from 200 to 2,000, donations will vary depending on individual requirements.As part of the application process, the applicant will be asked some questions about their business, the journey taken up until now, how their business will benefit the local community, how it will impact their family life, how will they make a profit and, if appropriate, how they intend to grow the business.Please visit our website for more details: https://www.cornwallcommunityfoundation.com/grants/south-west-enterprise-fund/
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Networking

Cornwall Chamber of Commerce
Cornwall Chamber of Commerce inspires, connects and supports all businesses in Cornwall and Scilly. We are an independent, not-for-profit organisation that works hard to improve our countys economic prosperity and represents Cornish business interests on a local, regional, national and international level. Established in 1988, we are proud to be accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce.
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Advice

The Growth & Skills Hub
Ready to take your business to the next level? Need new skills to adapt to a new way of working?With expert, independent and impartial guidance its time to make contacting the Growth and Skills Hub your next move today...
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Advice

Cornwall Council - Business Advice & Support
Cornwall Councils website contains a section dedicated to business support and advice.
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Advice

Cornwall Growth Programme
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme is the European economic regeneration programme for the region running for the period 2014-2020. The Growth Programme contributes to the EU and local ambition to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.Over a hundred projects have received funding through the programme to support business, research and development, low carbon initiatives, infrastructure, employment and training, agriculture, with the overall objective to improve the quality of life of Cornish citizens.Many of these projects are delivering until 2023, and further information can be found on our projects page.The Growth Programme is funded through the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and is worth over 600 million.
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Directory

Strippers flooring
Strippers Flooring offer professional wood flooring restoration and finishing services to customers across Sussex and Cornwall. The company has held the Which? Trusted Trader kitemark since 2014 and are certified Bona contractors, offering a high standard of workmanship and excellent results for residential and commercial clients. Call today to find out more.
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Advice

Cornwall Development Company
Here at CDC we take our responsibilities to the businesses and people we work with very seriously. In line with Government guidance our staff are now, in the main, working from home, continuing to support the economic development of Cornwall. We are still contactable through email, and via our mobile phones. All of our programmes, projects, and work continue, so please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to talk to someone. Visit our Programmes page to find out more about our work.
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Advice

Business Information Point Limited
Business Information Point have been providing tailored, small business advice in Devon and Somerset for over 20 years. During that time weve helped literally thousands of people start and grow their own business by providing free or heavily subsidised, high quality support and advice.
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Advice

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership)
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership drives activity to support business growth, create jobs and help people realise their potential.
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Networking

Cornwall Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 1988 and we are proud to be nationally Accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). We are an independent, local, not-for-profit organisation, whose main aim is to improve the prosperity and competitiveness of Cornish businesses. Address: Chamber Office, Stanley Way, Cardrew, Redruth, TR15 1SP
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Advice

Citizens Advice Cornwall
Citizens Advice can provide you with the information and advice you need for the challenges you face. Our advice and information is free, confidential, independent and impartial and includes topics as wide ranging as employment law, benefits, housing, debt, consumer rights, discrimination, family & personal, and immigration & nationality.
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Advice

Cornwall Council Business Support and Advice
This page on the Cornwall Council's website contains details of business support in the area.
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Advice

Business Regulatory Support
If you are looking to expand or grow your business, or need help exporting your products, this department at Cornwall Council has the expertise to provide this specialist advice.
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Advice

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth and Skills Hub
Work with local businesses, including self employed people and not for profit organisations to find the right guidance and support to help their business work smarter, develop and grow.
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Advice

Islands Partnership
The Islands’ Partnership (IP) is a non-profit making company that is limited by guarantee.  It is funded entirely by membership subscription together with some corporate sponsorship.  We are responsible for marketing the Isles of Scilly as a destination, and for managing the Visit Isles of Scilly brand in all its facets.
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Advice

Cornwall Development Company
Cornwall Development Company is the arms length economic development company of Cornwall Council.  It is designed to deliver a bespoke, business facing service and to deliver the economic vision and strategy for Cornwall.
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Advice

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Programme
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Programme is the European economic regeneration programme for the region. Running until 2020, it will contribute to the EU ambition to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
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Advice

Cornwall Innovation
Three Centres across Cornwall aimed at inspiring dynamic people to grow and build innovative enterprises leading to business success.
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Start-up articles

100's of free startup articles

We have created a collection of 100s of startup articles to help anyone with whatever stage they are on with their business journey. Hundreds of thousands of people have gone before you and we can learn from what they got right and avoid the things that have been proved not to work so well.

You can see the full list of 'articles' at: How to start a business