Online guides and resources for starting up

The web is full of useful support perfect for start-up business owners.

Guides on setting up a business

The complete government guide to everything you need to know, including choosing the right legal structure, picking the right premises and making sure you’re covered by the right insurance.

The Start Up Loan company also have developed this Essential guide to starting a business. For this essential guide click here.

Start Up Guides and Workshops

The Start Up Loan Company, run by the British Business Bank, has produced a series of informative guides to help you start your business.

Learn with Start Up Loans

Start Up Loans, delivered by the British Business Bank, have partnered with The Open University to provide a range of free, useful courses for start-ups. The online courses can be accessed easily by visiting the Start-Up Loans website and have been designed to suit all needs and paces of learning, from introductory to intermediate to advanced. Depending on the level of study, the courses take six, 10 or 30 hours to complete and are grouped into several key areas:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Career and leadership
  • Finance and accounting
  • Marketing and commercial awareness
  • Project management
  • Specialised learning

Business Planning Guide

This guide is to be used to formulate your plan, and will help you as you put together your plan.

Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool that allows you to design your business model and see how each aspect of your business interacts with the next – all on one easy-to-use page.

Marketing plan template

A marketing plan will help you to create a strategy for how to achieve your goals in business. Buckinghamshire Business First has put together a comprehensive template that business owners can use to create a marketing plan.

Business and employment information available at Buckinghamshire Libraries

Buckinghamshire Libraries offer a range of resources and information specifically targeted towards business and employment.

They can help you whether you are looking to start your own business, expand an existing one, or are considering a career change or seeking employment.

See the support available here >

Getting Online

Get your Business on-line with these comprehensive and easy to follow free guides >

Support from HMRC

E-learning package for those starting a business

This wide-ranging guide will help you register with HMRC and get to grips with what taxes you will need to pay, what records to keep and expense to claim and how to do so, and how to plan for your tax returns and payments.

HMRC Business Forum

Aimed at Start-Up and small business, HMRC have an online forum. Users can post questions about paying tax, tax returns and using HMRC digital service.

The questions are answered by HMRC advisers and other forum users.

YouTube and HMRC

Video guides on topics like PAYE, record keeping, VAT, completing tax returns, taking on employees, motoring costs, patents and more.

Simple record keeping and Income Tax applications

To help small businesses with record-keeping, HMRC has worked with software suppliers that have produced simple record-keeping applications, some of which meet the specifications necessary for documenting expenses or for when using cash basis. Many of the applications are free and are compatible with mobile devices.

Self-employed tax bill ready reckoner

The ready reckoner tool is for self-employed people who have no other taxable income and are entitled to a basic Personal Allowance. You fill in your estimated weekly or monthly profit and it shows you roughly how much money you’ll need to meet your Income Tax and Class 4 National Insurance bill.

Tax help facts sheets

A wide-ranging collection of downloadable leaflets, factsheets and booklets issued by HMRC.

Simpler income tax: cash basis

Using cash basis means that small, unincorporated businesses with incomes of less than £82,000 per annum only need to declare money when it comes in and out of their business. If this is you, it means that at the end of the tax year you won’t have to pay Income Tax on money you didn’t receive in your accounting period. This is opposed to traditional accounting.

Simpler income tax: simplified expenses

Simplified expenses are a way of calculating some of your business expenses using flat rates instead of working out your actual business costs. This is particularly useful where there is a mix of business and private use, e.g. motoring expenses, use of home for business.

Business records for the self-employed

The records you must keep of your business income and outgoings for your Self Assessment return if you’re self-employed.