Starting Up

One of the first things you need to think about when you start up is how you want to structure your business. The structure you choose will have an impact in a number of areas; the way the business can raise money; the way decisions are made; your personal liability if the business incurs debts or fails; the records that need to be kept and the amount of tax and national insurance that you have to pay.

The different company structures available include Sole Trader, Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and Limited Company (Ltd). Make sure you do the research so that you make an informed choice on the right structure for you and your business.

Documents you might need

Protecting your ideas

At the heart of your business will be your product or service; the brilliant idea you’ve been working on for months or even years. But before you announce it to the world, make sure your idea - or ‘intellectual property' – is protected and can’t be stolen by competitors or ‘passed off’ by someone else.

If you're in discussion with someone else in the course of developing your product, make sure you have a non-disclosure agreement in place to prevent them from sharing confidential information about your ideas with third parties.

Documents you might need