Before You Start

Before You Start

Now is the time to step back and take a long, cool look at your idea to see if it really is a potential winner.

Ask yourself some difficult questions and be honest with yourself:

Will people buy your amazing new product?
Will people want to use your groundbreaking new service?
Are you in the right place, at the right time with the right product?

But don’t just go off your instincts – carry out research to be sure there’s a market out there for what you have to offer. And try to think like your buyers, if you were a customer would you use your business?

Make sure you’ve convinced yourself. After all, if you don’t believe 100% in your plan, how can you expect them to?

Your company name

A key decision has to be your trading name. However, this isn’t just about what name will play best with your customers.

Legal restrictions exist on the use of certain offensive words in company names, as well as terms such as Royal, British, Trust and Council. It’s also against the rules to choose a name that another company has already registered. Companies House keeps a list of registered company names. Visit

Law and terminology

Now is also the time to start getting to grips with some basic company law and terminology (see for an excellent A-Z guide).

The most crucial decision is choosing the right legal structure for your business. As this is such an important decision, it is definitely worth seeking advice from a solicitor or an accountant.

You also need to consider certain types of insurance at this early stage, key policies are:

Health and sickness insurance
Professional indemnity insurance
Public liability insurance