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Start Your Own Business in Kent

Free start-up resources and useful local contacts.

Welcome

Start Your Own Business in Kent

If you are thinking about starting a business in Kent or would like to grow your existing business, you have come to the right place!

Start Your Own Business in Kent contains resources and the information that will help give your venture the best chance of success. It also highlights organisations who offer friendly business advice and services that you need.

We have been helping start-ups and existing business owners in Kent since 2005 and a list of key local contacts can be found below.

Starting a business in Kent

Popular resources

There is plenty of help locally but where can it be found? We would love to point you in the right direction.

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in Kent

Download the 2021 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. links to key contacts such as HMRC, Companies House etc. are contained along with a useful step-by-step checklist.

Start Your Own Business in 2021
Read more about what our Free guide contains and how you can download it.
Starting a business in Kent
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Key Contacts in Kent

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

Education

Social Enterprise Kent
Social Enterprise Kent offers advice and support to social enterprise startups. To help you and your team develop new skills to grow your business, we also provide high-quality training in our venues in Ashford, Margate and Folkestone. Whether youre looking for courses to be compliant with the legislation and regulations, or management training to develop a high performing team, we have the courses every startup, and small business requires. From interactive one-day workshops, productive online training, to full-blown qualifications awarded by the Institute of Leadership and Mangement, you can build a skilled workforce. To chat about your latest social enterprise startup or training for your business, give us a call. Its the perfect opportunity to assess whether were right for each other. How does that sound? Lets get the conversation started today on 01227 469970.
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Networking

Muesli Mafia Cereal Networking
The Kent Invicta Chamber Muesli Mafia Ceral Networking provides an informal business 2 business networking breakfast in a congenial and relaxed atmosphere where local business people can get together, enjoy mutual fellowship, share their good news, views and discuss topics of mutual interest. Members are from all types of businesses. Events are held at the Ashford International Hotel, Mercure Maidstone and Mecure Tunbridge Wells.
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Marketing

Custom Marketing Resources
Marketing your business at every opportunity is crucial today, ensuring your potential clients instantly understand the benefits your business has to offer them. Creating a professional image and linking the different parts of your promotions to one another is not an option, it is vital. It is not surprising then, that one of the most essential areas for new and existing businesses to get right, is the area of creative design and marketing. Custom Marketing Resources are professional, experienced and qualified to provide design for marketing, printing and websites. Just take a look at this website and see for yourself - and see what others have said about Custom Marketing Resources too. Unique creativity comes from listening, asking questions, understanding and making experienced decisions to find the best solutions for your business. Skill and judgement are the major players when it comes to the art of image creation. We offer an hour long conversation about how to set up your business andor how to market your business. One call does it all - creative design, logos, ads, artwork, printing, websites, PR, copywriting, even van liveries and carrier bags if that is what you need!
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Advice

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce
Kent Invicta Chamber is the ultimate business support network in Kent. The Chamber provides, Membership services, Business Advice, International Trade services, Representation and much more. Covering the County of Kent the Chamber is perfectly placed to promote, support and facilitate business across the Count We are the main Chamber of Commerce for Kent and the only British Chamber of Commerce affiliated chamber in Kent. We have a full range of both paid and free, local authority funded business support. Which services are free depends on which local authority you are a resident of or pay business rates in as funding varies in each Local authority. A full range of our free and paid services can be found here http:www.kentinvictachamber.co.ukbusiness-advicelocal-business-support
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Online Marketing

Whitefish Marketing
Welcome to Whitefish Marketing! We are a specialist Digital Marketing agency based in Kent, servicing clients throughout UK and abroad. Our core services focus on helping clients to grow traffic to their website, improve sales leads that come in, and to increase brand loyalty and retention of their existing customer base for future repeat business. We call this our ACQUISITION, CONVERSION, and RETENTION services. With our experienced team of digital marketing professionals, we know we can enhance your online visibility to increase your bottom line figures. Our marketing promise is – “we won’t accept your business unless we are 100% confident we will add value to your company”. Offering you specialist services such as: - Professional Web Design and Development - SEO (search engine optimisation) - PPC (Whitefish Marketing are an official Google PPC Partner) - Social Media Marketing - Email Marketing - Content marketing and blog writing - Digital Public Relations - and much more... We are there to provide business with a compete Multi-Channel-Marketing campaign bespoke to your needs and budget. The choice and flexibility is yours. We work remotely from our offices in Kent, but will gladly arrange face-to-face meetings as required. Our friendly and professional team will always be on hand to help Call us today for a frank and no obligation discussion to see how Whitefish Marketing can measurably help your business grow 01303 720 288.
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Directory

Marine & Industrial Transmissions Ltd
Operating from two bases in the North and South of England, the MIT Group serve clients throughout the UK, maintaining and repairing a wide range of service transmissions and driveline systems. Visit their website to see the full range of services they have to offer.
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Networking

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce
Kent Invicta Chamber is the ultimate business support network in Kent. The Chamber provides, Membership services, Business Advice, International Trade services, Representation and much more. Covering the County of Kent the Chamber is perfectly placed to promote, support and facilitate business across the County. Address: Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, TN24 0LH, 01010
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Networking

FSB Kent & Medway
FSB Kent & Medway is the local branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). It was formed in 1974 as the National Federation of Self Employed and represents the interests of small and medium-sized businesses locally and nationally. They offer a great package tailored to your needs if you are thinking about starting a business in the area. Contact: Alison Parmar Development Manager Alison.Parmar@fsb.org.uk
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Advice

Kent County Council - Start a Business
This page on the kent county Council website lists some useful places to find information on how to get started.
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Advice

Kent County Council - Grow Your Business
A useful section on the Kent CC website. It contains dedicated pages for: Business loans and grants; Doing business with KCC; The opportunity to sign up for email updates; Ask Phil business advice; Start a business; How to deliver services on their behalf; Business awards and events; Chambers of Commerce; Grow your business abroad; and information about the Kent and Medway Growth Hub.
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Advice

Ask a Kent Librarian
If you need help with research or a library service, our librarians are here to answer your questions. You can chat with a librarian in real time or send us your question and wait for the answer. Its a bit like going into a library and asking a question in person, but can be done from your computer or mobile device. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but Kent librarians are only available Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm (excluding public holidays).
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Advice

Locate in Kent
Locate in Kent provide free support for businesses to locate and grow in Kent.
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Advice

Ask Phil
Kent & Medway Growth Hub offer free advice, information and guidance that will help you to start, grow or improve your business. To get things started you can either fill in a Call Back request using a form on thee page or use the Ask Phil Live Chat facility. Or you can call us using the phone number above.
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Advice

Kent Invicta Chamber - Starting a Business
The Chamber Business Support team provides an extensive range of services for people starting or running a business. If you are unsure which event is right for you call us on 01233 503838 or visit our Business Advice page at: http:www.kentinvictachamber.co.ukbusiness-advice
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Advice

The National Centre for Micro Business
Through the NCMB you have access to practical workshops to get you in a position to better help yourself. Understand what is an entrepreneur, what it means to be your own boss – The NewMe™ and put a plan into action. Through the NCMB you have access to learning, teaching, training programmes together with practical workshops to get you in a position to help yourself.
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Advice

Visit Kent
Visit Kent offers free on-site business advice as well as a range of customer care courses and training workshops.
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Advice

Kent Business Advisers
We have proudly helped businesses in Kent achieve their goals and aspirations since 2005. We can provide you with the support and guidance to grow and improve your business.
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Advice

Kent International Business
Kent International Business (KIB) is a Kent-wide initiative which aims to encourage Kent businesses to export and access overseas markets and to provide information, advice and support to help them do so. KIB is led by Kent County Council in partnership with various business support organisations in the county. KIB is also backed by a range of commercial organisations.
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Advice

Kent County Council Business Advice Services (Trading Standards)
From start-ups and small businesses to importers and manufacturers we can help you navigate complex regulations to protect your businesses and support good customer service. We offer a free telephone consultation with one of our officers to discuss your needs. During the consultation, which can last up to 30 minutes, we will identify how we can help you. Depending on your requirements this can range from free signposting to guidance and advice tailored to your business or a full package of support. Any costs will be discussed during the consultation.
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Advice

Kent & Medway Growth Hub
The Kent and Medway Growth Hub forms part of the South East Business Hub, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s overarching business support programme, which also supports local hubs in East Sussex and Essex, Southend and Thurrock. We help new and existing businesses find the most suitable type of business support available in their area.
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Advice

Visit Kent - Business
As a Kent business, there is a range of support available to help you grow your business in the way that you want to.
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Advice

University of Kent Hub for Innovation & Enterprise
The University of Kents business incubation and support unit is devoted to helping start-up ventures and early stage companies to increase survival rates. The Hub for Innovation and Enterprise is a purpose-built incubation space for entrepreneurship and enterprise in Canterbury and offers a professional working environment with business support to assist new businesses.
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Advice

Kent International Business
International trade can help businesses grow. There has never been a better time to consider exporting. Kent International Business (KIB) is a Kent-wide initiative which aims to encourage Kent businesses to export and access overseas markets and to provide information, advice and support to help them do so. KIB is led by Kent County Council in partnership with various business support organisations in the county. KIB is also backed by a range of commercial organisations.
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Advice

Thames Gateway Kent
Local authorities and other Thames Gateway Kent partners offer a range of services to support businesses in their area. The following links provide more information.
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Funding

Kent Investors Network
Arguably the biggest challenge in leaving your secure well-paid job behind and starting out on your own is funding. You have rent to pay, food to eat and a business to launch! Unfortunately, unless you’re already well off, you will need to go through a difficult phase of not earning and needing to spend money on material, coders, marketing and more. This first phase is the ‘bootstrapping’ phase. You cannot raise money on an idea or a business plan. You need a lot more. If you are seeking investment, Kent Investors Network welcomes you to get in touch. We’re also growing our investor base so if you are interested please contact christina@inen.global.
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Funding

Kent Investors Network
KIN comprises a group of experienced business people who co-invest, assist and when requested advise growing companies. Since its formation KIN has built up strong links with various institutions in Kent including Kent County Council, its enterprise investment initiatives and leading lawyers, accountants and M&A advisors in the County.
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Networking

Supply My Business
Supply my Business is a community of small businesses in Kent that want to do more business locally. We are the one place where you can find all the quality local suppliers you require for your everyday business needs and at the same time supply your goods and services to help meet the needs of local businesses just like yours.
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Marketing

Kent Live
Kent Live covers breaking news, features, What’s On, events and sport for readers across all areas of Kent and parts of east Sussex. It has regularly attracted more than four million page views per month since its launch in 2016. Part of the Reach PLC group, our newspapers are the award winning Kent and Sussex Courier, Sevenoaks Chronicle, Isle of Thanet Gazette, Dover Express and the Folkestone Herald.
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Marketing

Kent Excellence in Business Awards
An awards scheme staged and produced by KM Media Group and Kent County Council to recognise and reward excellence in businesses in Kent and Medway. The Kent Excellence in Business Awards have a high profile, so winning this accolade will say a lot about the quality of your organisation and the strength of your management team. These awards attract a wide range of entries from across a variety of sectors - but the winners all have one thing in common – they are truly excellent at what they do and have proved this in their entry.
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Marketing

Business Vision Live
For more than a decade, Kent Vision LIVE has been helping businesses from across the South East to become more successful. As the South Easts premier business showcase, the event brings together over 3,000 visitors and 250 exhibitors every year, with the aim of creating new customer, supplier and partner relationships to make your business even better.
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Marketing

Kent Online
Kent Online includes a section which contains the latest business news across Kent. There are interesting articles as well as the opportunity to advertise or promote your events.
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Directory

Into The Blue
In addition to our range of thrill-seeking adventure days, Into The Blue offers activity breaks, romantic getaways, hotel retreats, glamping holidays and city breaks. So if there's a destination on your bucket list or you've ever fancied escaping to a log cabin or tree house for a weekend, we have options to suit everyone's tastes. Our variety of breaks can all be found on our website.
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Education

Kent Adult Education
Have you ever considered taking a course in Business Management? From Social Media for your Small Business and Applying for Loans to Strategies for Small Businesses, whether you’re starting from the beginning or need an accredited qualification, we’ve got it covered. Improve your employability and business knowledge with a Business course from Kent Adult Education. From learning the ins-and-outs of Microsoft Office and Bookkeeping to Search Engine Optimisation and Website Development, we have the Business courses to help you achieve your goals. All of our business courses are run by tutors with extensive industry experience who will be able to help you get the most from your learning, and take away a valuable skill which will benefit you and your business.
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Desktop Artists studio
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FREE business listing in your area.

We are delighted to promote suitable businesses and organisations completely FREE of charge. Your coverage can contain: logo, company name, brief description, special offers, telephone number and link to your website.

Start-up Steps

We have created a collection of start-up steps 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 'steps' at: Startup Steps