Start a retail business

Retail start-up support


Sourcing good advice and the right financial support is crucial to getting started in retail. There are a number of different services available in Northern Ireland to help get your retail business off the ground.

Contact your local council for start a business support. See find your local council in Northern Ireland.

Your local enterprise agency will have a good understanding of the local retail market - find out about business support programmes in your local area run by Enterprise NI.

The My New Business Directory offers a wide range of start-up resources from a business start-up checklist to e-learning modules and video case studies. Get off to the right start by using the My New Business Directory.

Extra start-up help

If you run a start-up retail business as an entrepreneur, there may be extra help available for you if you are:

  • a woman
  • over 50
  • disabled
  • from a minority ethnic group
  • a young entrepreneur
  • on a low income

See start-up support - an overview.

If you are aged 18-30 and are unemployed or working part-time, you may be eligible for the Prince's Trust. You can access low interest loans, or possibly a grant, to start a business. Find more information on the financial support available through the Prince's Trust.

You may be eligible for loan support for starting a business - find out more about Enterprise NI Start-up Loans.

Finance support

You may be able to find finance to start a retail business from your bank. You will need a great business plan and be able to demonstrate a good track record or understanding of your market - see bank finance.

Search our Northern Ireland business support finder to see if your retail start-up is eligible for any other support schemes.


You might be able to access training support to help you start out in retail - find out about Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) in retail and distribution.