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A Comprehensive Guide to Starting Your Own Business in LCR: From Idea to Execution

Embarking on a new business venture is an exciting but challenging journey.

Before diving in, it’s crucial to ask yourself some fundamental questions:

  • Is my business idea viable?
  • What skills do I need?
  • Do I need funding to get going?

Let’s break down the key steps to ensure you’re on the right track.

1: Conducting Market Research

Two people looking at a laptop

Market research is the foundation of any successful business. Understanding your potential customers, competitors, and the wider market will allow you to really evaluate your business idea and check it will work.

  • Customers: Identify your target audience, their needs, and preferences.
  • Competitors: Analyse competitors to find gaps in the market and potential differentiators, and to check the market isn’t already saturated
  • Wider market: Consider industry trends and potential challenges.

Find out more about conducting market research here

2: Legal Structures

Choosing the right legal structure for your business is a critical decision that affects various aspects, including liability and what financial records you will need to keep for tax purposes Explore the following options:

  • Sole Trader: A simple and flexible structure with sole responsibility.
  • Limited Company: Offers limited liability and can attract external investment.
  • Partnership: Suitable for businesses with multiple owners, sharing responsibilities and profits.
  • Community Interest Company or Social Enterprise: Suitable if you’re starting a business that helps people or communities

Find out more about company structures here

3: Decide on a Business Name

When selecting a business name it is important to choose a brand that will appeal to your customers, not just something that resonates with you as the owner. It is also important to explore the legalities around your business name. For instance:

  • Check with Companies House: Ensure your chosen name isn’t already in use.
  • Research the name online: Check your chosen name isn’t in use by a business not registered on Companies House
  • Visit BIPC for Trademark Advice: Protect your brand by considering trademark registration.

Person using a laptop

4: Check Licenses and Insurances

Legal compliance is crucial for a smooth business operation. Check the licenses and insurances you need to keep your business compliant and avoid coming unstuck later:

  • Licenses: Utilise the license finder on to identify necessary licences for your type of business
  • Business Insurance: Secure coverage for building and contents, key persons, public liability, employee liability and premises if required.
  • Health and Safety: Address aspects like fire safety and compliance with gas and electrical equipment regulations.

5: Business Planning

A well-thought-out business plan is your roadmap to success. Consider the following elements:

  • Executive Summary: A concise overview of your business.
  • Market Analysis: Detailed insights into your industry and competitors.
  • Organisation and Management: Describe your team and business structure.
  • Products or Services: Outline what you intend to offer.
  • Marketing and Sales: Your strategy for attracting and retaining customers.
  • Cashflow Forecast: A realistic forecast of your business’s financial future.

Find out more about business planning and download templates here.

6: Start-up Finance

Ensuring you have adequate funding to launch and sustain your business is an important part of the planning process. Consider what your costs will be to get started and then explore:

  • Personal Savings: Utilise your own funds.
  • Loans and Grants: Explore financing options from banks or government grants.
  • Investors: Attract external investors who believe in your business idea.
  • Crowdfunding: Engage the public to fund your venture through online platforms.

You can find out more about start up finance here

Starting a business involves careful planning and consideration. By addressing these key areas, you’ll be well-prepared to turn your business idea into a thriving reality.

Through our local authority partners, place based support is available to help you on your journey. To get you started, we’ve provided templates, tools and guides here to cover the essential aspects of getting your business off the ground. Your business start up journey starts here.

Two people sat at a table

Ready to get started?

Visit the Liverpool City Region Start Up Support pages to access information, advice and support

This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority as the lead authority and delivered by the borough’s six Local Authorities.

Funded by UK Government, Levelling Up, Liverpool City Region and Metro Mayor and Growth Platform logos

Halton Borough Council, Knowsley Council, Liverpool City Council, Sefton Council, St Helens MBC and Wirral Council logos