Start Your Own Business in London

FREE Start-Up Book

Start Your Own Business In 2018
Start Your Own Business In 2018

This free 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'!

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FREE Resources and Local Contacts

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

Start Your Own Business in London 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.

Free start-up pack

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 and our free downlodable Start Your Own Business book.

Every year, over 400,000 people start a business in the UK and, apparently, at any one time, up to a fifth of the working population would like to join them. If this is you, we would love top help turn your dream into reality by sharing some of the information that you will need to make your venture a success.

We have been helping new business start-ups for the past 18 years and this London section has been in place since 2005. Accordingly, we have amassed an enormous amount of relevant useful start-up information which we are happy to share with you free of charge. This will enable you to learn from those who help start-ups and from the lessons learned by people, just like you, who have already set up on their own.

Local contacts

We hope that you find the site useful and wish you the very best of luck on your exciting journey. If you are unsure of where to start, can I suggest that you get a feel for what is going on locally by following the links on this page. They will give you an idea of what advice and support is available in the area. Also we have pages dedicated to networking, free advice, funding, and grants

If you would like to know the proven steps that can make the difference between business start-up success and failure, our popular FREE start-up pack contains a step-by-step guide, templates, factsheets and a copy of our unique business start-up map.

Alternatively, we have also created our own new business 99 point start-up checklist which will give you a clear overview of the key subjects which need to be mastered on your road to success

Start-Up Success

The sad truth is that too many new ventures do not even reach their first anniversary. However, the good news is that this does not have to be the case. Running your own business is not an easy option but many of the pitfalls can be avoided with some careful research and planning in the early stages. This site has been designed with the sole aim of increasing the survival rate locally by raising awareness of both the right and wrong ways of starting a new business and promoting the businesses and organisations in London who would love 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

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
Free start-up pack


One-time registration required but this unlocks
all of the free resources on the site.

Latest Start-Up Articles

Keep up to date with the most recent business thinking from around the world

We try to keep our eyes open for useful and interesting news stories and useful resources which could help if you are starting up or running a small business. Hopefully, this will save you the time and trouble! The latest additions are...

A Basic Guide to Importing

Basic Exporting Guide

Tips to Keep Your Business Healthy

Common Start-Up Mistakes... and how to avoid them

Bookkeeping tips for start-ups and self employed

London Local Contacts

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


What a 'capital' idea!

London is without doubt one of the best places to start a business in England, if not the world. With a population of over 8 million, it is no surprise that it is a hotbed for startups, with over 80,000 being formed in the capital every year.

As an industrial centre, London has always thrived and continues to do so today. It is often referred to as the largest financial centre in the world. With all this going for it, you would think that starting a successful new business would be easy. It is true that you will have a massive catchment area and therefore masses of potential customers but, by the same token, it does also mean that you are likely to have plenty of competition. The rewards are there to be claimed but you really do need to be able to stand out from the crowd. The good news is that there is plenty of support available to help you achieve that.

To make it easier to find the right kind of assistance on your doorstep, we have created sections dedicated to each of the London Boroughs:

Barking & Dagenham | Barnet | Bexley | Brent | Bromley | Camden | City of London | Croydon | Ealing | Enfield | Greenwich | Hackney | Hammersmith & Fulham | Haringey | Harrow | Havering | Hillingdon | Hounslow | Islington | Lambeth | Lewisham | Merton | Newham | Redbridge | Richmond upon Thames | Southwark | Sutton | Tower Hamlets | Waltham Forest | Wandsworth |


Business Advice

You can find a fuller list on our London Business Advice page.

Business Networking

See more on our London Business Networking page.

Business Funding

See more on our London Business Funding page.

4Networking

4 great reasons to be part of 4Networking 1. Flexibility and reach 4N gives you access to a unique joined-up national business network. Our ‘Passport membership’ lets you choose from 5000+ 4Networking events each year. We have groups in most major towns and cities in the UK. Use your Passport to network locally, regionally and even nationally. Choose from Breakfast, Lunch and Evening meetings + join the UK’s fastest growing Facebook business group - just search on Facebook for ‘4Networking Community’. 2. A stream of business appointments Bypass gatekeepers by having three 10-minute 1-2-1s at every 4N meeting, with people you choose. Also use 1-2-1s to find trusted suppliers. 1-2-1s are one of the key elements in our relaxed yet productive meeting format, which is tried, tested and loved by our members. 3. Relaxed, fun and friendly networking At 4N, it’s easy to just be yourself. At our meetings and online we’ve created an unstuffy environment. The cornerstone of 4N’s ethos is Meet>Like>Know>Trust, as it’s the best way to gain customers, collaborations and suppliers. If this sounds like your kind of place, then become part of the 4N community. 4. A platform to demonstrate your expertise We give you so many ways to raise your profile and establish yourself as the go-to person in your field. In the room and online, being able to offer ‘4Sight’ presentations can gain you a massive audience. Plus of course, you and your business benefit from other 4N members’ advice and help. Established for over 11 years, 4Networking is helping thousands of business owners to grow their businesses. It’s business networking the British way. Register at www.4networking.biz (it takes 2 minutes) and then you can book your first meeting, to see how 4N will work for you. Browse our list of meetings here: www.4networking.biz/events. Or call our Support Desk team on 0345 123 4444.

Business Propeller

We provide entrepreneurs a full turn key business growth solution - 'A GROWTH ECO SYSTEM'. From one to one advisory and mentoring sessions with our Business Strategy Experts, through to participating on Business Propeller's unique and part funded 'Entrepreneur's Enterprise Programme'. Business Propeller offers the ambitious business owner the opportunity to gain knowledge, share experiences and grow influential networks from seasoned professionals, who have all owned, started and led their own multi-million pound businesses. Our services are tailored to the entrepreneurs immediate needs and challenges, focusing on short and medium term goals, utilising business tools to get their business on a 'Fast Track' growth strategy. Working with early stage start-ups through to SME's with a turnover of up to £5 million, we create long term value and sustainable growth.

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.

London Business Advice

London Business Advice provides support across London on all aspects of running a business, from start-up advice to business growth and business planning. We can help you:

Merranti Consulting

For a startup company, things can move quickly, and this is where Merranti Accounting comes in. We can help you in the process of starting your own business by always being available and flexible. We understand that occasionally, you may need more assistance, which comes at no added cost as we work solely on fixed fees. Merranti can assist with: • Business Registration • Management Accounts • Cash Flow Forecasts • Tax Returns • Self Assessments • VAT • Business Planning • Bank Finance Reports • Start-up Finance • Investor Reports • Business Formation HMRC Registration

Perfect Layout

Are you looking for a personalised web design and digital marketing agency? With so many brands offering quick and easy website platforms, many start-ups see these as a quick and affordable way to get a website. But will it get seen? Will it be found in the top spots of organic search? Unlikely! As with all things that look easy, there is an art and a science behind it. Perfect Layout Digital Marketing is a website design agency and digital marketing company based in Romford. Our aim is to create a visible online presence for all our clients, not just a pretty looking website. We offer affordable packages that enables your website to alter as your business evolves. If you want a website that will bring you leads, call us and let us help your business generate new revenue.

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.

Business First Steps
Business First Steps is the one-stop shop for SME business start-up. We provide the tools to start, develop and grow a business. Our services include idea generation, business plans, start-up packages, brainstorming sessions and much more. 8458387912

Business for London
THINKING ABOUT STARTING A BUSINESS? There’s a lot to consider when starting a business, and setting up a viable enterprise requires careful planning and research. You will need to know if your idea is feasible; if it will make you enough money; how to prepare your business plan; where to find customers; whether to register as Limited company, work as a sole trader or another form of business; where to go to raise finance; how to comply with legal requirements and a lot more! Research shows that new entrepreneurs taking advantage of professional advice, training and support are likely to perform better in the early stages than those who don’t. Business for London’s FREE Introduction to Starting a Business Seminar provides the ideal opportunity to discover what’s involved in running a business, ask questions and decide whether it’s the right route for you. After you have attended the seminar you will be able to access a whole range of start up support services specifically designed to guide, inform and inspire you to be successful in business. Additional services include: dedicated advice and guidance from our experienced Advisers who can help you get to grips with the essentials such as business planning, marketing, raising finance and managing cash flow and accounts.

Business Launchpad
Support for young people aged 16-30 to start and develop a business. Free introductory workshops. Free One to One business counselling. Accredited training such as short courses and workshops. Low cost Business Start-Up Units.

Capital Enterprise
Capital Enterprise is a body of connectors, influencers, investors and policy-makers, collaborating to serve and super-charge London’s start-up scene. Together we are committed to making London the best place in Europe to start and scale a business. Startups We plug you into an ecosystem where your ideas can thrive and your business can grow. Members We unite the major enterprise players to deliver prosperity, share knowledge and influence policy. Stakeholders We leverage the power of London’s enterprise community for the good of the capital.

Centa Business Services
Centa provides a range of services aimed at new entrepreneurs and established firms and we have over 30 years' experience of providing impartial advice and hands on support in Central London. We offer business services that include office and workshop space, start-up and growth advice, training, access to finance and expanding new business ideas. 0207 278 5757

Centa Business Services
With over 30 years experience of providing impartial advice and hands on support to start-up and trading businesses; from securing finance, to mentoring, expanding business ideas, training and practical help to set up and run a business. Our offices, in the heart of Kings Cross London, also include conference and meeting room hire, plus office incubation and workshop spaces to rent.

Enterprise for London
If you are thinking about starting a business Enterprise for London is running one-to-one advice and training across London to help you start and grow your business. The advice team will help you develop your business skills, access finance, improve your confidence, so that you are more likely to start and run a successful business. Start-up Loans An access-to-finance programme for businesses looking to secure funding up to 10k.

FSB Greater London
FSB Greater London 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: Denise Beedell Development Manager Denise.Beedell@fsb.org.uk Contact via website or e-mail.

GLE oneLondon
GLE oneLondon is both an Enterprise Agency and a Community Development Finance Institution. Within our local region of South and Central London we provide a variety of intensive enterprise support services to new and growing businesses. In addition, we offer a variety of business finance options to help small businesses start up and grow using a variety of loan funds UK-wide. Based in London and using technology innovatively, we help business communities across the country. You can visit our dedicated websites for more information. For Enterprise Support, visit www.gle.co.uk. For Business Finance, visit www.glestartup.co.uk or www.glebusinessloans.co.uk. 0800 0320946

London Chamber of Commerce & Industry
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest independent networking and business support organisation. Representing the interests of thousands of companies, we connect thousands of business people every year and offer our members a wide range of practical and professional services. Address: 33 Queen Street, London, EC4R 1AP 020 7248 4444

London First
London First is a business campaigning group with a mission to make London the best city in the world to do business. We convene and mobilise business leaders to tackle the key challenges facing our capital. We are made up of over 200 leading employers across a wide range of sectors, supported by a small staff of experts, organisers and campaigners, overseen by a non executive board of influential business leaders.

London LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership)
In February 2012 the Mayor of London established the London Enterprise Panel, the local enterprise partnership for Greater London. The Panel is co-chaired by Harvey McGrath, former chairman of Prudential plc and the London Development Agency, and Kit Malthouse, the Deputy Mayor for Business & Enterprise. Its membership is formed of senior representatives of London's business community and three borough leaders representing London Councils. 020 7983 4420

London Small Business Centre
A leading enterprise agency in the capital that provide free training, face-to-face mentoring and access to finance entrepreneurs looking to start and grow their business. Having supported over 22,000 businesses and trained more than 13,000 people, your start-up funding of up to 25k comes with face-to-face support sessions from highly skilled business advisers. 0207 377 8821

London South Bank University Business Advice Services
If you have identified an area of the business mix that you need some support in, a particular problem that you want to solve, or an opportunity that you want to evaluate, the student-led Business Solutions Centre can help you. The Business Solutions Centre is staffed by Student Advisers who have been through a comprehensive recruitment and training process. A member of LSBU staff will supervise the Advisers.

London Youth Support Trust
Supporting Young Entrepreneurs London Youth Support Trust (LYST) was established in 2000 with a simple aim: to break down the barriers young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds face when starting their own business; these included a lack of affordable workspace, finance, advice and support. We opened an enterprise centre in Deptford in 2001 to house a small number of businesses. We provided them with an affordable business unit over a 2 year period (subsidising their rent). The centre was run by a manager who could provide business advice, mentoring and co-ordinate specialist training. We continue to offer this model of support and we currently operate from 5 enterprise centres across London.

North London Enterprise Club
As an Enterprise Club member you can: Attend our regular monthly meetings where you will have the opportunity of networking with other members; Promote your business by making a short presentation at a networking meeting Receive regular newsletters and other information by post and e-mail; Advertise in our newsletters from time to time at no cost; The right to join the North London Credit Union, an organisation offering savings and access to loans at very good rates; Join the North London Chamber of Commerce at a massive introductory discount; Benefit from in-depth business advice from Enterprise Enfield and our other partners at discounted rates or at no cost; A post in an online directory through KallMeBack.co.uk

Nwes
Nwes deliver a range of business advice, training workshops, start up loans and innovation grants. Most advice and workshop services are free. Modern Business premises on easy in easy out terms available. Call or visit the website to start developing and growing your business. 0845 6099991

NWES - London Business Support
London Small Business Centre is one of the leading enterprise agencies in the capital providing funding, workspaces, training and face-to-face advice and mentoring to aspiring and thriving entrepreneurs. We’re for the person who wants to start their own small business and be their own boss. It’s for the person wanting a career change, the person wanting to take control, chase their dream and make an impact. Formerly known as East London Small Business Centre, London Small Business Centre is for the visionary who doesn’t settle, doesn’t compromise and isn’t afraid to take that leap of faith which is necessary to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Portobello Business Centre
The PBC is an award winning enterprise agency based in North Kensington with over 25 years of experience in providing impartial business advice, training, networking and consultancy to pre-start, start-up and existing businesses. Many of our services are fully or partially subsided, eligibility criteria will apply. We have helped start numerous businesses from a variety of sectors including Innocent Drinks, Preen, Arganic, Incognito, Carrieme, 009Textiles, Mark Fahart, The Pure Package, Unpackaged, Lorella Belli Literary Agent and Karen Karam. 020 7460 5050

Red Ochre
Red Ochre works to support organisations delivering social change across the UK and worldwide. Our team has a wide range of expertise and experience in financial, managerial and technical fields. 0207 2508305

South East Enterprise
Enterprise agency offering a range of business support services, training and networking opportunities. Fully funded pre start service for all unemployed residents of Greenwich and Lewisham. Competitively priced business mentoring. Subsidised workshops are available to all comers. Call or visit the website for further details and eligibility criteria. 0208 305 2666

South East Enterprise Start-Up Advice
Take control of your destiny by working for yourself Are you thinking about starting your own business? Let us help you decide, start your business with guidance from SEE. We provide practical, impartial advice in confidence to individuals thinking about starting in business. No matter what stage you have reached with your business idea, maybe it's just a seed of an idea at the moment or perhaps you are well on the way with a fully developed plan or you are on the verge of actually starting to trade, we can offer you guidance, one to one advice and our expert advisers provide on-going support, tailored to meet your needs. Let us help you turn your idea into a practical reality.

South London Partnership
The South London Partnership is a sub-regional collaboration of five London boroughs: Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton. Working together and with partners in and beyond our area, SLP champions and seeks to build on the many strengths of South London. We are ambitious for our future – for the opportunities it can offer people and businesses and for the contribution we can make to London and the whole of the UK. Building on many years of collaborative working, SLP focuses on issues where working together can add value to what individual boroughs could achieve on their own.

Starting a business in the City of London
Startups.co.uk is a great resource for anyone thinking about starting a business and the site includes a series of pages that feature the best places in Britain to start-up. This page is dedicated to the City of London

The Business and IP Centre
The Business and IP Centre at the British Library at St Pancras has many useful free resources to help business start-ups and is open six days a week, including evenings Monday – Friday. Resources include databases, publications and industry guides, which provide essential information such as competitor analysis and intellectual property basics. Start-ups can also access free and low-cost advice through workshops, webinars and one-to-one sessions. The Business and IP Centre’s website also provides a range of articles on starting your business, protecting your intellectual property and growing your business.

University of East London
With our Start-Up series of workshops we will help you learn all the fundamentals of business start-up. On completion of the programme you should have the first draft of your business plan and a better understanding of where you would like to take things next! No experience necessary.


Add Your Business
Start Up Funding

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