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BUSINESS and ENTERPRISE

If you’re interested in starting your own business, you’ll find these sites can help you with a range of issues, from licensing to funding, business advice to finding tender opportunities. You should also contact your local authority to find out about enterprise support near you. 

Business and self employed
Information about starting up and running a business in the UK, including help if you’re self-employed or a sole trader. An essential starting point. 

Companies House
If you’re starting up you’ll find information about if your need to register your business, check if a name is available, when to file accounts, and lots more. All limited companies in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are registered at Companies House. 

Federation of Small Business 
The main organisation for small business in the UK, the FSB promotes and protects the interests of the self-employed and small business owners within the UK. Formed in 1974, it now has 200,000 members across 33 regions and 194 branches. 

HM Revenue & Customs 
Lots of help for new businesses from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Sections include Starting A Business, Import & Export, and Register for VAT. 

Prince’s Trust 
The Prince’s Trust operates an Enterprise Programme providing money and support to help young people start up in business. The site also features an “A-Z of Young Businesses”, and a Business Finder. Useful resources and links. 

Shell LiveWire 
Established in 1982, the Shell LiveWIRE programme offers free online business advice and start-up awards of £1,000 and £10,000 funding to young entrepreneurs (aged 16-30) in the UK. The site contains lots of useful tools and links, including how to write a business plan. Registration allows access to more resources. 

TED Tenders Electronic Daily 
Opportunities for businesses to find and bid for contracts across the European Union. It is updated five times a week with approximately 1500 public pro-curement notices from the European Union, the European Economic Area and beyond. You can browse, search and sort procurement notices by country, region, business sector and more. 

UK Intellectual Property Office 
Many entrepreneurs, inventors and businesses forget about their intellectual property. The Intellectual Property Office helps you get the right type of protection for your creation or invention, no matter how big or small, from trade marks to patents, designs to copyright.

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