Starting a business can be a challenging and risky venture, but it can also be extremely rewarding. The United Kingdom (UK) is a great place to start a business, offering a range of benefits and tools that can help entrepreneurs to succeed.
In this blog, we will explore 11 benefits of starting a business in the UK, including its strong economy, access to a skilled workforce, supportive business environment, and global connections. Whether you're living in the UK or you're from overseas, here's why the UK might be an ideal location for you to build a successful business.
The UK has a strong and diverse economy, and according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it's the fifth largest in the world. It is home to a range of industries, including finance, manufacturing, and creative services. This provides businesses starting in the UK with a range of opportunities to tap into and ensures that the economic environment is stable for them to grow.
Access a skilled workforce
The UK has a highly educated and skilled workforce, with around 44% of the population aged between 21 - 64 holding a university degree. This makes it easy for businesses in the UK to find talented and skilled employees that can help to develop and grow their company.
The UK government is committed to supporting businesses and helping them to succeed. It offers a range of support and resources, including funding, grants, and advice through organisations such as the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the British Business Bank. New UK businesses may be able to tap into these resources and support services for help with their venture.
Global business reach
The UK is a global hub for trade and investment, with a long history of international commerce and trade deals. Your UK business can utilise these connections and ease of trade to access international markets.
Innovation and entrepreneurship
The UK has a strong tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship, with many successful businesses and start-ups coming out of the country, such as Virgin, Unilever and HSBC. This makes it a great place to start a business that is looking to disrupt an industry or bring something new to the market.
Infrastructure and ease of doing business
The UK ranks highly on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index, making it relatively straightforward to set up and run a business in the country. It has a well-developed legal system and infrastructure, and the government provides a range of support and resources to help businesses succeed.
Investment and funding
There are numerous options for businesses to access funding in the UK, including venture capital, angel investment, and crowdfunding.
The UK has a robust legal system that provides businesses with protection and support. It is known for its transparent and fair legal processes, which can help to give businesses confidence and stability when operating.
The UK has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in any developed country, making it an attractive place for businesses to operate. This can help businesses to keep more of their profits and invest in their own growth.
Quality of life
The UK is known for its high quality of life, with a range of cultural, recreational, and educational opportunities. It is a great place to live and work and can be an attractive location for you to live or visit as an individual.
Ease of starting a business
The UK has one of the most straightforward processes to set up as a business, and there are multiple business types to choose from, such as:
- Sole traders - individuals who run their own business. They’re considered to be self-employed. Visit our blog to learn how to set up as a sole trader.
- Partnerships - multiple individuals running a business who are all considered as self-employed.
- Limited company - companies that are publicly registered and require directors. They’re considered separate legal entities to the owners and pay corporation tax. Visit our blog to learn how to set up a limited company in the UK.
- Limited liability partnerships - multiple individuals who publicly register a company. They’re considered separate legal entities, but the owners pay taxes through self-assessment.
What do you need to start a business in the UK?
Getting started with a business in the UK requires you to prepare and plan for several things, such as:
- Business idea - The first step is to have a clear idea of what you want to sell or the service you're offering. You should conduct market research in the UK before proceeding with any idea.
- Business structure - You’ll need to choose a business structure, such as those we’ve listed above. This will determine the type of information you’ll need to provide and how your business works.
- Business address - Having a UK business address is almost always a requirement. If you’re renting an office, you may be able to use this address. Many companies, however, opt to use a virtual business address instead due to the ease and other benefits they offer.
- Licences and permits - Depending on your business, you may need certain licences or permits to operate, such as food safety.
- Business plan - While it's not a requirement, having a business plan may help you to get the ideas in your head down on paper, making it easier to share this with investors and employees to guide your decision-making.
- Investment or funding - Whether this is your own funds or an investor, if your business idea requires funds to operate, you’ll need to organise this prior to launching your operations.