Start Your Own Business in Dorset

If you are starting a business in Dorset, you have come to the right place!

Start Your Own Business in Dorset contains masses of free resources and the useful information that will help you get your new venture off the ground. It also highlights local organisations who offer friendly business advice and services that you need.

Everything that you will find on the site is free or very low cost and includes our free start-up pack, a series of factsheets which cover all of the key considerations, relevant templates, links to other useful resources across the world and our own series of Start Your Own Business books.

Dorset Locations Covered

Alderholt  |  Beaminster  |  Blandford Forum  |  Bournemouth  |  Bournemouth Tc  |  Bridport  |  Broadstone  |  Christchurch  |  Christchurch Bc  |  Colehill  |  Corfe Mullen  |  Dorchester  |  Dorset  |  East Dorset Dc  |  Ferndown  |  Gillingham-Dorset  |  Lyme Regis  |  North Dorset  |  North Dorset  |  Poole  |  Poole Bc  |  Portland  |  Purbeck Bc  |  Shaftesbury  |  Sherborne  |  Sturminster Newton  |  Swanage  |  Verwood  |  Wareham  |  West Dorset  |  West Moors  |  Weymouth  |  Weymouth & Portland Bc  |  Wimborne  | 

Free Local Resources

Local resources and contacts sorted by classification

Here you will find a collection of FREE resources defined by topic as well as the contact details for many local businesses and organisations who are keen to help you.

Accountancy & Tax | Bookkeeping | Business Advice | Business Funding | Business Grants | Business Networking | Business Opportunities | Commercial Law | Communications | Design & Branding | Education & Training | HR & Staff | Insurance | I.T. | Marketing | Mentoring | Office Services | Online Marketing | Photography | Print | Property & Working from Home | Web Design

Start Your Own Business Book - 2017

Start Your Own Business In 2017
Start Your Own Business In 2017

This 150 page book is packed with start-up information and contact details designed to help you start your business successfully.

We have been running SYOB for over 10 years now and have accumulated an enormous amount of information which could make the difference between start-up success or failure.

Starting a business is easy but keeping it going and making a profit is a completely different proposition. The good news is that there are tried and tested 'rules' which have consistently proved to work.

As the old addage says 'you don't know what you don't know'!

Download Now

FREE Start-Up Pack

Our FREE start-up pack contains everything that you need to get you started.

It is a common trait amongst entrepreneurs to just want to 'get on with it'. However, if you want to maximise your chances of success, it is worth putting in time and effort before you start to ensure that you have set-up correctly.


  1. Start-up checklist
  2. Step-by-step guide
  3. Business plan template
  4. Personal budget planner
  5. Cashflow forecast template
  6. Marketing plan template
  7. Guide to business networking
  8. Start-up map
  9. Web & SEO Checklist
  10. Start-up map

Download Pack


Contents:
The key important dates, legal and HMRC requirements; a simple to follow step-by-step guide; relevant fact-sheets; business plan, cash flow forecast, personal survival budget and marketing plan templates; our own very popular start-up map; contents of our Start Your Own Business CD-Rom; and a Powerpoint presentation to accompany the business plan.

Recommended Local Partners

We are extremely grateful to our recommended local partners, without whom this site would not exist. They have been good enough to support us and are equally as keen to help you too. Where appropriate, please do make the most of the services that they provide (and say that you found them here!).

WSX Enterprise
BANKING | Wsx Enterprise

We work with small and medium sized businesses, social enterprises and other organisations across the south of England from our operational bases in Dorset and South Hampshire. Our team includes expertise in starting up & growing your business, ongoing business support, enterprise, business mentoring, skills, sustainability, innovation and design.
South Coast Design
DESIGN | South Coast Design

South Coast Design is Dorset's award-winning graphic design, web design and corporate branding company. Our team will work tirelessly to create an iconic brand for your company with our extremely popular and cost-effective branding packages, that contain everything your new business needs to swamp the competition. We can help with logo design, flyers, brochures, exhibition visuals, product packaging, stunning social media pages... and much more! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email us at info@southcoastdesign.co.uk or fill out the contact form on this website. Good luck with your new business, From the South Coast Design Team.
Networking Mummies Dorset
NETWORKING | Networking Mummies Dorset

Networking Mummies is a dynamic, local business community created to support and encourage entrepreneurs and self-employed people. Our understanding of the challenges involved in juggling family life with starting or building a business mean we are especially focused on offering accessible opportunities for mums (or dads!) who work for themselves to share skills and ideas and get recommendations and endorsements. Membership is free, as are many of our events. We welcome new members at any stage of their business.
The Cartridge Family
OFFICE | The Cartridge Family

Inkjet & laser cartridges, fax film, ribbons, memory sticks & data storage media, paper, printers and printer accessories. We also collect empty cartridges and pay for certain types. We also sell unused/unwanted inks or toners on your behalf and return up to 50% of the sale price to your account.
South Coast Design
WEB | South Coast Design

South Coast Design is Dorset's award-winning graphic design, web design and corporate branding company. Our team will work tirelessly to create an iconic brand for your company with our extremely popular and cost-effective branding packages, that contain everything your new business needs to swamp the competition. We can help with logo design, flyers, brochures, exhibition visuals, product packaging, stunning social media pages... and much more! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email us at info@southcoastdesign.co.uk or fill out the contact form on this website. Good luck with your new business, From the South Coast Design Team.


If you can help local start-ups and small business owners in Dorset, we would be delighted to help you reach them. Add Free Listing

Dorset Local Contacts

Useful Start-Up Resources
If you can help new business start ups or existing small businesses in the Dorset area, we would love to promote you here free of charge. (Add Your Business)

Dormen - Dorset Business Mentoring

The Dorset Business Mentoring Programme (Dormen) provides one-to-one mentoring support for small businesses across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole. We are working with about 170 clients at the moment and, since it started in 2005, the programme has supported over 1300 businesses, ranging from sole traders to medium sized companies. We currently have a team of around 100 male and female mentors who are all volunteers. Whilst mentoring does not work for everyone or every business, feedback from our past clients shows that the majority were very satisfied with the experience of working with their mentors and found it beneficial both to their businesses and personally – particularly in terms of helping them to focus on priorities, reviewing business strategy and pursuing their plans with greater confidence. Indeed, research shows that mentored businesses survive considerably longer, and are more likely to grow, than un-mentored businesses. Mentoring is a relationship between two parties, where one (the mentor) gives the other (the client) guidance and support to achieve agreed objectives. Mentors cannot work miracles but they can use their business experience to help clients review their operations and future plans, and act as a sounding board. They can also provide encouragement and support to help clients achieve those plans. However, they do not provide business advice or consultancy. Dormen Business Mentors are experienced business and professional people who give their time and expertise voluntarily. They are trained in business mentoring and kept up to date with recent developments in business knowledge and skills through our continuing programme of development. If you are a small developing business, a Dormen mentor may be able to provide you with help from a business person who has been there and done it! A business can be referred to the scheme by a recognised business support body, such as Business Link or a bank, or you can request a mentor yourself. The programme has been developed through a partnership of local authorities, public sector agencies, private sector agencies, private sector institutions and Higher/Further Education establishments.

Dorset Growth Hub

WSX Enterprise has worked in partnership to secure a 3 year business support programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The core services of the existing Dorset Growth Hub (funded by the DLEP through BEIS) will be at the heart of this delivery, providing the web platform, telephone advice service and initial diagnostic (this local information is supplemented with links to content on external sites such as www.gov.uk ) Additional support on offer will be provided through dedicated strands of activity including: - pre-start and start-up support - supporting growth - improving digital capabilities - accessing finance - mentoring The programme is led by WSX Enterprise and the Dorset Growth Hub with a range of support partners. The main consortium partners are WSX Enterprise Ltd, The Arts Development Company, Dormen, Silicon South, YTKO (incl. Outset & GetSet for Growth) The Partnership includes the following Local Authorities: North Dorset, Christchurch and East Dorset, Weymouth & Portland, West Dorset, Bournemouth Borough Council, Borough of Poole, and Dorset County Council.

FSB - Special Start-Up Membership

The FSB Business Creation package has been specially designed for those looking to start up, or have recently started a small business. Tailored benefits will help you get your business off the ground and we’ll be with you each step of the way. Join today for £129.

Start Up Britain

StartUp Britain is a campaign by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. They offer inspiration, resources and guidance to help people start and grow their own business.

Dorset Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Dorset Chamber of Commerce represents businesses of all sizes and sectors from across the County of Dorset and beyond delivering the very best services, business information and advice. We hold over 100 events and training courses every year and strive to give all its members the opportunity to learn, meet new contacts and promote their business through networking or sponsorship opportunities. Acorn Office Park, Ling Road, Tower Park, Dorset BH12 4NZ. E-mail:contact@dorsetbusiness.net 01202 714800

Dorset For You
Advice and guidance to assist you in setting up your business in Dorset.

Dorset Growth Hub
WSX Enterprise has worked in partnership to secure a 3 year business support programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The core services of the existing Dorset Growth Hub (funded by the DLEP through BEIS) will be at the heart of this delivery, providing the web platform, telephone advice service and initial diagnostic (this local information is supplemented with links to content on external sites such as www. gov.uk ) Additional support on offer will be provided through dedicated strands of activity including: pre-start and start-up support; supporting growth; improving digital capabilities; accessing finance, and mentoring. The Enterprise strand is a dedicated team to help pre-start and young businesses with a range of interventions including short workshops and more in depth courses as well as one-to-one support from an Enterprise Specialist. The programme is led by WSX Enterprise and the Dorset Growth Hub with a range of support partners. To access support contact #talktotony on 03454 586480 or visit www.dorsetgrowthhub.co.uk 03454 586480

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership
The Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a business led private and public sector partnership that aims to promote local economic growth and prosperity. Acting as a strategic gateway to funding, Dorset LEP supports and delivers projects of long term economic benefit for all in Dorset. Business support activity is directed through the Dorset Growth Hub which offers access to a wide range of business advice and support services. For more information visit www.dorsetgrowthhub.co.uk or call 03434 586480. 03434 586480

FSB Wessex Region
As experts in business, we offer our members a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in government. Our mission is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. Local branches for: Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch; Central South Hampshire; Isle Of Wight; New Forest; North Hampshire; Portsmouth and Rural Dorset Contact Neil Eames on 07920 846684 07920 846684

Institute of Directors
IoD South West covers one of the most active and vibrant regions in the UK, representing more than 2,000 members spread across six local branches – Bath & Wiltshire, Bristol, Devon & Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset. The chair of the IoD Dorset branch, committee and IoD staff represent and support local members and leads inspirational and valuable business events in Dorset.

Invest in Dorset
Invest in Dorset is a team of economic development professionals across Dorset dedicated to helping companies and investors identify investment and expansion opportunities in and around Dorset. It helps provide businesses support tailored to their needs, whether it is by providing information, making introductions and helping them form a network or helping to find suitable premises. Whether you are thinking about starting a new business, expanding your operations, relocating, or seeking a UK base, Invest in Dorset can help you. Invest in Dorset will ensure you get the best advice on current financial assistance and all the support you need to be as successful as you want to be.

Start Up Funding

Photo of Dorset courtesy of under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.