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Starting your own business

Thinking of starting your own business or becoming self-employed? There’s a lot to think about – keeping accounts, business banking and submitting a tax return, VAT and national insurance. If you have people working for you, you’ll also need to know about your responsibilities an employer. You’ll perhaps also need to think about business premises and creating a business plan.

Fortunately there are lots of organisations out there that can provide you with advice and support you need to get your business idea off the ground. 

Leeds Chamber and the Federation of Small Businesses are two of the obvious places to start. The Chamber offers a host of money saving services for small business, together with events, networking opportunities, training and mentoring services. The Federation of Small Businesses advises its members on things like employment law, health and safety, finance and legal protection. Membership gives you access to invaluable networking opportunities.

The Business & IP Centre Leeds, based at the Central Library, provides a range of useful services for existing businesses, start-ups and inventors. These include business to business mailing lists, market research, guidance on patents, trademarks and copyright plus access to guidance on British Standards for goods and services. The centre also runs free business start-up workshops and an inventors group.

Leeds Enterprise Network brings together the expertise of business start-up services provided by Leeds Beckett University, Leeds City College and Leeds College of Music. As well as expert advice, they also offer a range of office services for start-up businesses, including meeting rooms, training and development programmes, space for co-working and a registered business address.

If you are looking for business premises, you can use our online property search service to look for retail, office or industrial premises in Leeds. The council also rents shop units and industrial units. For more information click on Council owned land and property for sale or to let in the list of ‘related pages’. 

Through COBRA – the Complete Business Reference Adviser – you can access a whole range of information about starting and running a business, industry regulations, the skills and qualifications you might need if you are self-employed or the national minimum wage if you employ people.

People receiving benefits may qualify for New Enterprise Allowance, providing some money and support to help you start your own business. Contact your local Job Centre Plus for more information.

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