Belfast business support
Set up your business in Belfast
Belfast is an ideal location for setting up your business. Whether you are facing the challenge of starting up, or locating an existing business in the city, there are a number of Belfast business support organisations which can help you succeed.
Start a business in Belfast
- Belfast City Council sponsor a range of business programmes focused on encouraging business start-ups in Belfast.
- Enterprise Northern Ireland (NI) is a network of local enterprise agencies. They offer pre-start and start-up support through the Exploring Enterprise programme.
- Invest NI have created a Council Area Profile for Belfast (PDF, 960KB) - this includes information and statistics on entrepreneurship, registered businesses and businesses by sector and size.
Locating an existing business in Belfast
- Belfast offers a unique location for existing businesses looking for a new base to set up in. Strong infrastructure, world-class telecommunication links, a highly educated workforce, a strong retail centre, modern flexible office space and support schemes.
- Belfast City Council offer a broad range of support for businesses interested in investing in the city.
- If you are considering locating a business in Northern Ireland for the first time, you can find Invest NI guidance on the main reasons to invest.
Belfast business licences and regulations
- Belfast City Council can provide advice on Belfast business regulations and licensing, including many application forms online.
- You may require a licence to operate your business in Belfast, or it may need to comply with certain regulations. Use our interactive tool to find regulations, licences, standards and trade bodies for your business.
Practical steps for Belfast businesses
- Setting up a Belfast business may require professional advice - see choose a solicitor for your business or choose and work with an accountant.
- You can use our property finder tool to search for commercial property in Belfast or find out about the services offered by the Invest NI Property Solutions Unit.
- You will have to pay business rates, a property tax used to fund both local and regional services in Northern Ireland. You can calculate your business rates with the Land and Property Services.