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In partnership with Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce


For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Choosing premises - checklist

The type of business premises you choose can have a big effect on your productivity, your employees' happiness - and your business overheads. Here's how to make the right choice

  • Identify the type of premises you need for your business (eg office, retail or light industrial premises).
  • Consider whether you can work from home or a co-working space.
  • Consider how accessible the premises need to be for customers, visitors and for employees travelling to work (eg parking, roads and public transport).
  • Decide where you would like to be located. Do you want to be in the centre of town, on a light industrial estate or an out of town shopping centre? Do you need to be near suppliers, similar businesses or employees?
  • Determine your space requirements.
  • Plan the type of layout you will need, taking into account workflow, the working environment (eg lighting and ventilation), and health and safety.
  • Consider how important the appearance of the premises is, and how this will affect your business' image.
  • Determine what infrastructure you need (eg utilities, cabling and security).
  • Consider how likely your premises requirements are to change in future, for example, if your business grows.
  • Consider any possible restrictions on your use of the premises (eg planning permission).
  • Decide what tenure will suit you best: a licence, a lease or outright freehold purchase.
  • Decide how flexible you are prepared to be in acquiring premises which need to be adapted or improved to suit your particular needs.
  • Decide how much you are prepared to spend on acquiring the premises and paying continuing rental and running costs.
  • Use contacts, commercial property agents, local business organisations, websites and publications to find potential premises.
  • Consider employing a professional adviser, such as a local chartered surveyor, to help find suitable premises and negotiate the deal.
  • Make sure you factor in all the costs before settling on a premises and check the contract terms carefully.