What you need to do to set up depends on your type of business, where you work and whether you take people on to help.
Most businesses register as a sole trader, limited company or partnership.
It’s simpler to set up as a sole trader, but you’re personally responsible for your business’s debts. You also have some accounting responsibilities.
If you form a limited company, its finances are separate from your personal finances, but there are more reporting and management responsibilities.
Some people get help from a professional, for example, an accountant, but you can set up a company yourself.
A partnership is the simplest way for 2 or more people to run a business together.
You share responsibility for your business’s debts. You also have accounting responsibilities.
Rules for your type of business
You may have other responsibilities depending on what your business does.
Check if you need:
- licences or permits, for example, to play music, sell food or to trade in the street
There are also rules you must follow if you:
- sell goods online
- buy goods from abroad or sell goods abroad
- store or use personal information