Start-up support for businesses
Starting a new business can be both an exciting and daunting prospect but we recognise that start-up businesses play an important role to our local economy.
Start-ups offer not only job creation but also innovation and new ways of working. If you would like to discuss your start-up plans and learn what support is available, please contact our business support team.
Our business support team will deliver a monthly start-up enterprise club for individuals either starting a new business in Swansea or have commenced trading in the last 2 years. The sessions will be facilitated by local business experts on a wide range of topics which are specific to starting a business.
Attendees can also access our free online training materials, advertise their business on our It's Local Swansea Business Directory and become members of our business networking group.
Business Wales offer a range of start-up and business planning support. This includes online resources, one-to-one support, training, workshops and specialist support.
The start-up section of the Business Wales website contains an extensive list of factsheets and self-assessment pages to help you identify whether self-employment is the right choice, whether you're ready to launch your new enterprise and which areas you need to consider when putting your plans together.
If you are aged between 18-30 you may qualify for the free Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme. The programme includes classroom workshops, access to business mentors and support in identifying finance.
In addition to establishing your cash flow forecasts, pricing points and personal survival budgets there may be direct financial support available to you. We have a dedicated page focused on business finance: Financial support
The New Enterprise Allowance is a government scheme designed to support individuals in receipt of certain benefits into self-employment.
In addition to receiving an allowance for up to your first six months, you will have access to a business mentor who can provide advice and guidance at the start of your business journey.
To access this service speak to your local Job Centre Plus Work Coach.
The Development Bank of Wales was set up by the Welsh Government to support the economy of Wales by making it easier for businesses to obtain the finance required to start up, strengthen and grow.
Funding available ranges from £1,000 to £5m and is available to businesses from start-up upwards. Interest rates will vary between 4-12% but are fixed for the term of your arrangement.
The British Business Bank provides unsecured personal loans from £500 to £25,000 to start or grow a business. Loans are fixed at 6% interest per annum with repayment periods of between 1-5 years. This scheme is backed by UK Government and includes 12 months of free mentoring.
Purple Shoots can provide business loans for Welsh entrepreneurs. Applications are invited from individuals and businesses that have a viable business idea but have been unable to secure finance. Micro loans of up to £3,000 are available to start-ups and existing businesses at a higher than market interest rate.
Whilst the majority of start-ups are unlikely to require significant premises, the nature of your business may mean that you require dedicated premises rather than working from your home. A list of available premises is available via the listing on our land and property pages.
Working from home
If you are using your home as a base for your business, you may need to consider whether you are permitted to do so.
If you are in rented accommodation, either through the council or privately, you should check with your registered landlord before starting trading. Similarly, if you own your property you should contact your mortgage provider to ensure that there are no restrictions on you operating a business from home.
Changing the function of space in your home may require planning permission in certain circumstances. The extent to which this space has been changed may dictate the actions you need to take. For further details on whether planning permission is required, see: Planning permission: a guide for business (Welsh Government)
If your business is based at home, you do not normally need to pay business rates providing your only use a small part of the property and/or sell goods by post. Further details on business rates when working at home: Business rates: working from home (GOV.UK)
If you are looking to acquire business premises that are liable for business rates, you can check the premises rateable value: Find and check your business rates valuation (Valuation Office Agency)
Once you have acquired your business premises, you will need to register for business rates.
Registering with HMRC
Becoming self-employed, being a sole trader and working for yourself may have implications for your declarable income. To check your employment status and whether this requires specific registration with HMRC, see the following online guide: Working for yourself (GOV.UK)
As a new business, networking and meeting other businesses can be an important tool in growing your business. Our advice and support pages contain details of local business networks: Further advice and support