Where Can I Find Business Advice and Support?

Starting a business is exciting, but it’s no secret it comes with its fair share of struggles. Some you may already have planned for, but other issues may arise that you might never encounter prior to running a business!

So where can you find guidance when you need it? Scary as self-employment might sometimes be, you’re not alone. Whatever your query, there will be someone out there who can give you a helping hand.

We’ll look at where you can find business advice and support, along with the types of support you can receive.

What type of business support do I need?

If you feel you need some support but you’re unsure where to look – you’re in the right place. A good starting point is working out what sort of help it is that your business needs, such as:

  • Help with your finances and taxes
  • Different types of funding options
  • Mentoring
  • Networking and making connections

We’ll take a look at some financial and non-financial support you can receive for your UK business.

Finding financial support

Starting up is difficult, especially if you need to find a way to fund your new venture, but there are lots of schemes available to help you get off on the right foot, as well as various other things you can do. For example, you can:

  • Seek help from the government
  • Get involved in crowdfunding
  • Pitch to investors
  • Look at startup loans and funding for small businesses

We’ll take a look at a few of these examples in more detail.


Seeking government help

The Government’s Help to Grow scheme is available to give businesses advice on accessing funding, along with tips on using it efficiently (because knowing how to manage your finances is essential!).


Startup loans and grant funding

There’s a huge variety of funding options available for startups, from start-up loans of up to £25,000, to business grants provided by all sorts of organisations – and even from larger businesses.

It’s understandable if business loans aren’t for you – the thought of having to repay a lump sum of money is enough to make any small business owner shudder. It’s possible to find business grants which are often awarded to businesses and don’t need repaying.



While crowdfunding isn’t for everyone, it can be a great opportunity to market your business and receive funds all at the same time, helping you get on the right track.

You’ll post the project you want to receive funds for on a crowdfunding platform, giving individuals the chance to read your story, and choose whether or not they’d like to invest.

There are different types of crowdfunding available, for example:

  • Equity crowdfunding: Where you receive funds from a number of investors in return for shares in the company
  • Donation-based crowdfunding: A larger number of individuals donate smaller amounts, to help meet a larger goal with no financial or material gain

There are more options beyond these, so take your time to do some research and find the best fit for your needs.


Attracting investors

There are lots of ways to find investors, including through the crowdfunding platforms we described earlier. Developing relationships with investors can be a bit of a slog though, so the venture capital scheme sets out to sweeten the deal by providing tax relief to individuals who buy and hold new shares, bonds, or assets.

There are 3 schemes available, designed specifically to help small and medium sized companies attract new investment and grow. You’ll need to meet the conditions of the scheme first, so check who qualifies before applying!

You can attract investment all by yourself, especially if you have a killer pitch at the ready. Websites such as British Business Bank offer advice on pitching, along with the dos and don’ts.

There are different types of investors to choose from, for example, angel investors. It’s worth researching the different types to see what will work best for you.


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Advice on doing business overseas

Having clients and customers overseas is more common than ever, although some of the rules around exporting goods can be quite complicated. You can use GREAT for advice and guidance, along with access to live export opportunities.


Our top tip

Make sure you have a robust (and consistent!) way of recording currency exchange rates in your accounts.

Tax advice

We know how confusing tax can be, but before you panic there is lots of help out there! For instance, if you’re looking for support with submitting your Self Assessment, you can contact HMRC for basic information. If your query is a little tricky – it’s time to get an accountant who can give you more hands-on specific advice.

There are also guides that can assist you based on your business structure, such as on HMRC’s website, and even on our very own Pandle blog (we do our very best to help!).

Organisations such as TaxAid provide tax support if HMRC are unable to help, or for more general financial advice you could try MoneyHelper.


What type of tax will I need to pay?

This depends on your business structure. For example, if you’re a sole trader you’ll submit a Self Assessment return to report your profits and pay income tax and National Insurance contributions.

If you’re someone who runs a limited company then your tax reporting might be a bit more complicated depending on how you pay yourself from the business. You’ll need to submit a Company Tax Return to report the company’s profits and pay Corporation Tax, but you might also need to file a Self Assessment to report any untaxed income you receive, such as dividends.


Will I need to register to pay tax?

Yes, you’ll need to register to pay tax if your self-employed earnings are more than the tax-free trading allowance (which is currently £1,000) in a tax year. The way that you set up your business depends on which business structure you use. For example, limited companies are created by incorporating the business at Companies House.

This doesn’t always mean you’ll actually have to pay tax though.


Self-employed businesses pay tax based on their profits, so like many small start-ups you might not make a profit in your first year or two. But either way – HMRC need to be informed whether you make a profit or a loss.

How do I manage my business finances?

You’ll need to keep a record of all the transactions which take place in your business, such as invoices you send and receive, and payments to and from your accounts. This information (known as bookkeeping) can be used to create financial reports which make it easier to keep an eye on what’s happening in your business, and make more effective decisions.


Networking is great because it allows you to meet others who are in the same boat as you. You’ll likely learn from the people you meet, and you may find investors and coaches who can help your business grow, or even potential clients!

Organisations such as the Chambers of Commerce host lots of networking events, with different branches operating across the UK, for example Liverpool Chambers of Commerce and London Chambers of Commerce.

Bookkeeping software helps your small business grow, by improving your cashflow and keeping you on top of your expenses. Don’t have any? Why not take Pandle for a spin and create your free account today.

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible.

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