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.

You could also join an e–learning programme called the Idea community external link, designed to help aspiring business owners make the leap to entrepreneurship across the Leeds City Region.


The Ad:venture* programme offers ERDF-funded support for businesses in their first three years of trading and new start businesses. The programme is available across Leeds city region and is aimed at those businesses with the potential to grow quickly. It involves a combination of business advice and financial support. To find out more call 0845 524 0210 or email

Leeds Chamber and the Federation of Small Businesses

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

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.

Start up loans

Start up loans are available to help people looking to set up their own business and for businesses in their first two years of trading. Backed by the government, the loans are available at fixed interest rates, with no set up or early repayment fees, and come with support from experienced business mentors.


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.

New Enterprise Allowance

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.

*AD:VENTURE - Supported by the 2014-2020 European Regional Development Fund Programme.

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