Start a part-time business

Steps to consider when starting a part-time business

Guide

You should consider a number of issues when you start your own business, even if it is only on a part-time basis.

1. Are you ready to start up?

There are lots of reasons to consider starting a business but you need to be sure that you are ready. You'll need to assess your own skills and where you might need some extra development or support - for example, looking after the business' finances.

You should also think carefully about the product or service that you want to sell, the audience you're selling to and what you have that makes you stand out from the crowd.

2. Choosing the right legal structure for your business

You will need a formal legal structure for your business. This can take the form of anything from a sole trader to a limited company. When you have decided the structure, you will need to register with HM Revenue & Customs and (if it is a limited company) with Companies House. See legal structures for businesses - an overview.

3. Business premises

You may have decided to run your business from home but you need to be aware of the implications of this as there are tax, health, safety and security issues. You might find that separating your work area from your living area will maximise efficiency. See starting a business from home.

If you decide not to work from home, see choosing business property.

4. Financing your business

Your business will start out small and you will still need to fund both the set-up and the development of your business to help it grow. Creative thinking and planning your finances might save you money and make it less costly than you think to start your own business - see business financing options - an overview.

5. Business plan

It is essential to have a realistic, working business plan when you're starting a business. A business plan is a written document that outlines your business objectives and how you plan to achieve them. It describes a business, its strategies, the market it is in and its financial forecasts. It has many functions, from securing external funding to measuring success within your business. See write a business plan: step-by-step.

For further information see ten steps to a successful start-up.

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