Starting a business
Starting a business requires careful planning, research and preparation
There’s help available to support you when taking your first steps in business from a range of organisations locally and nationally. Take a look at the opportunities below to see which offer best fits with your plans to start your own business. Find out about start-up business funding on our grants and funding page.
If you are looking to set up a food business, please visit our dedicated food business page.
GOV.UK is the Government's online resource for businesses. It contains essential information, support and services for start-up businesses, including advice and information if you are planning to run your business from home.
There is also information to help with starting or running your own business if you are currently out of work.
HMRC provides free webinars, emails and videos on a range of topics, including help and support if you’re self-employed, and with self assessment, VAT and employing people.
HMRC also has a dedicated online community for new businesses and self-employed individuals to get help and support.
The Intellectual Property Office provides information to help you protect your intellectual property.
Funding for start-up businesses
Start-Up Loans provide Government-backed personal loans for business purposes. They are available to individuals over the age of 18 who are eligible to start a business in the UK. Generally, loans of up to £25,000 are available at a fixed rate of interest and are repayable over 1 to 5 years.
Delivery partners for the loans in the East of England are listed below. In addition to helping applicants prepare their business plan and cash flow forecast, the delivery partners are responsible for assessing final loan applications and providing ongoing mentoring support to successful applicants.
If you are currently claiming Universal Credit and would like to set up your own business, Jobcentre Plus can provide advice and support to help you start a business.
Local sources of support
The Business and IP Centre Cambridgeshire supports entrepreneurs, inventors and small businesses through Intellectual Property and Market Research advice sessions, and workshops on a range of business support topics.
If you are currently claiming Universal Credit and would like to set up your own business, Jobcentre Plus Work Coaches can provide advice and support to help you start a business.
The Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge offers a range of interesting resources for entrepreneurs to help you start your business successfully through its Entrepreneurship Centre.
Other start-up support
FSB has a step-by-step guide to setting up a business available to download from their website.
The British Franchise Association (BFA) provides advice and training if you are thinking of joining a franchise.
The Plunkett Foundation offers advice and support to anyone thinking about setting up a community business.
The Prince’s Trust works with 18 to 30-year-olds, helping to turn big ideas into a business reality through their Enterprise programme. You could benefit from training and mentoring support, funding and resources.
UnLtd finds, funds and supports social entrepreneurs, helping social enterprises start up and grow.
Service-leavers, veterans, military spouses, reservists and cadets (18+) who would like to start up a business can contact X-Forces Enterprise for advice and support.