If you are thinking of starting up a new business venture, or are an existing company looking to grow or explore new opportunities, a good place to start is our Open for Business web page where you can view / download an information pack that will guide you through what you need to do to ensure that you are compliant with the law.
Gov UK is the government's official source of advice for businesses and the self employed. Their website is packed full of help and advice covering topics such as VAT & Tax Returns, employing staff and international trade.
At the regional level, New Anglia LEP has set up the New Anglia Growth Hub Bringing together a range of local and national business support from hundreds of sources, the Growth Hub is a free to access ‘one-stop shop’ where you can find help on subjects ranging from finance to exporting, resource efficiency to contract opportunities. Their Business Growth Advisors are also on hand to offer support and guidance. Tel: 0300 333 6536
The HMRC website offers a number of digital platforms through which they provide business support.
'Starting your own Business' is a free e-learning tool that provides advice on tax and National Insurance issues. The package, which incorporates learning checks and videos, can be completed in bite-size pieces and covers various subjects including:
The HMRC also run a variety of webinars (online presentations) to help businesses get things right from the start. Each last around an hour and attendees can choose between a pre-recorded webinar (available at any time) or a live and interactive webinar, where they can ask questions and get answers from their HMRC host. Businesses can also sign up for a free email service, offering tax related help and support.
The New Anglia Growth Hub team will be happy to put you in touch with the most appropriate agency. However, if you want to make that first move, then Enterprise Agencies such as MENTA (see below) and NWES who offer, amongst other services, an opportunity to sign up to a Start & Grow programme that provides tailored support to sustainable, multi-person businesses looking for start-up finance, are on hand to offer support and guidance.
MENTA is based in Bury St Edmunds. They provide business services and advice for established businesses and start-ups in Suffolk and Norfolk. If you require affordable business skills training or impartial, confidential business advice, mentoring or coaching; office space or networking opportunities go to MENTA or call 01284 760206. Are you thinking of starting a business or have been your own own boss for less than 12 months? MENTA's three, FREE Start Right workshops will provide you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to establish a new business. For workshop dates and locations go to Business Advice for Start Ups or call 01284 760206
The Invest in Suffolk website contains a wealth of information for businesses that are either looking to move into or grow within Suffolk.
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is the county's largest independent private sector forum which can support your business throughout its lifecycle - from starting up in business, development, growth and beyond.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is making a difference by supporting sustained growth and higher skills across the economy. Their newsletter will keep you informed of new ideas and initiatives such as the National Loan Guarantee Scheme, all designed to help business growth.
Research by Department for International Trade has found that companies who exported overseas benefited from, amongst other things, an injection of fresh ideas and innovation, an upgrading of products and services, and improvements in their profile or credibility. To find out how you can develop your exports contact visit their website or contact them on 0845 641 9955