Business Startup Contacts

The websites and information below can help with information about starting a business, it is by no means a complete list – there is a wealth of support and advice available. Please feel free to get in touch if you require more information or advice just call: 03000 421 163


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – The BIG scary HMRC, they are not all that bad and have plenty of useful guides and tools to help you out. They are the organisation responsible for the majority of tax collection including business and personal declarations. 

Thinking of working for yourself? – So you’ve got an idea and want to start out on your own. This booklet provides some information you may find useful.

Giving your business the best start with tax – The different types of tax and contributions you must pay depends on what you do. This booklet gives you more information on the different taxes and contributions associated with business, personal and employee status.

Business Funding

Let’s Do Business Group – Start Up Loans, Business Growth Loans, Grants and the opportunity to pick their brains about the right way to finance your business, it’s well worth picking their brains.

SMARTA Start Up Loans – Your route to government backed funds set aside specifically for people starting and growing their businesses. They offer anyone who has been trading for less than 12 months the chance to access up to £10,000, brilliant mentoring and expansive support to turn a business idea into a huge success.

Open 4 Funding – The business support funding website with the ability to specify and tailor your search ranging from grants, funds, competitions, prizes even community and social enterprise.

TIGER – 0% interest loans for businesses in Dartford, Gravesham, Medway, Swale and Thurrock.

Expansion East Kent – 0% interest loans for businesses in Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet.

Small Business Boost – 0% interest loans between £2,000 and £50,000 for start-ups, small businesses and social enterprises in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet who are seeking to expand their business and create sustained employment.

Escalate – 0% interest loans for businesses in West Kent, Hastings, Rother and Wealden.

Marsh Million Loans – 0% interest loans for small businesses and start ups in Romney Marsh.

Business Support Organisations Start Your Own Business – Six bitesized steps to guide you through turning your business ideas in to a reality. Business and Self Employed – A whole host of information, guides, advice and information, well worth a visit.

Business Toolkit – Vast opportunities to access business guides for any industry/sector, marketing databases, market research tools, funding, legal and company information including credit checks. It’s well worth using the ‘Ask A Kent Librarian’ feature they can access financial, credit and ownership details for all registered UK companies, research market sectors and build lists for your sales and marketing campaign and have access to a whole bank of step by step business guides for any business from gardening to manufacturing.

The Prince’s Trust – The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme helps you to explore whether you want to be self-employed, explore the potential of your business idea and more importantly to discover your own potential for success. Suitable for anyone aged 18-30 unemployed or working less than 16 hours per week.

Shell LiveWIRE – Offer free start up business advice, case studies and online support

Trading Standards

Offer professional advice on the following:

    • Consumer and Trader rights (including distance selling etc.)
    • Fair trading (including pricing)
    • Consumer credit
    • Sale of second hand goods
    • Sale of age restricted goods (e.g. alcohol, cigarettes)
    • Safety of consumer goods
    • Food labelling and composition
    • Weights and measures
    • Farming, animal health and welfare, animal feed
    • Business scams

KCC Trading Standards is committed to supporting businesses and understands that setting up a new business can be challenging. For the latest news and alerts sign up to their newsletter or follow on Twitter.

Economic Development – Kent District Councils

Ashford Borough Council

Canterbury City Council

Dartford Borough Council

Dover District Council

Gravesham Borough Council

Maidstone Borough Council

Medway Council

Sevenoaks District Council

Shepway District Council

Swale Borough Council

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council


A solicitor will help you identify any legal issues to protect you from them.

The Law Society of England and Wales


Not just there to do your book keeping, many accountants will help you analyse your financial records and your business to help you succeed and grow.

Institute of Chartered Accountants

Association of Chartered & Certified Accountants

Other Useful Sites:

Start Your Own Business –  Information on running your own business with a section specifically aimed at Kent

Small Business –  Information on business start up plus additional services and information that could help your business grow

Startups – Full of useful guides and stories from becoming a franchisor to an entrepreneur, from finance to marketing, over to latest news and resources all about starting up in business

Associated Websites:

Young Enterprise – Works in partnership with volunteers from local businesses to inspire and equip thousands of young people each year to learn and succeed through enterprise programmes in schools, colleges and universities.

GradsKent Designed to help find Kent-based employment for graduates and students.

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