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Start a business

Research

Find out whether there's a market for your product or service. The Tees Valley Combined Authority has information about key business sectors in the Tees Valley.

Tees Valley Business Hub provides useful resources, including business support articles.

Set up your business

If you're thinking of starting your own business in Middlesbrough, taking time to develop a business plan is key to success. GOV.UK has example business plans and cash flow templates to help you understand what you'll need to do, how to register for tax with HMRC, and which type of business structure to set up.

The government's Business Support Service gives free advice to new and existing businesses. It offers information on national and local business support schemes, grants, and loans. You can get in touch with the Business Support Service by calling 0800 998 1098, or emailing enquiries@businesssupportservice.co.uk. Find out more about the Business Support Service.

Business and IP Centre Tees Valley offers free one-to-one support to start-ups and existing businesses. The services available include:

  • business mentoring
  • intellectual property awareness (copyright, trademarks, designs, patents)
  • access to a wide range of online databases including: market research, grant finder, business factsheets, premises identifier

Teesside University's business support service helps innovative businesses with big ideas and ambitions.

Middlesbrough-based Enterprise Made Simple offers support and guidance on setting up a business, training, and finding finance. Visit the Enterprise Made Simple website to book a one-to-one appointment.

Marketing your business

Attending networking events provides a wide range of opportunities to build up your contacts and expand into new markets. The Invest in Middlesbrough website lists upcoming business events. Organisations which provide business support may have mailing lists you can sign up for, to find out about events, as well as news and advice.

You can also ask your start-up support agency about how to market your business using social media.

Finance

The business support agencies listed above can offer advice about financing your business. There are also a range of loans and grants available.

Ask your business adviser for more information about the government's Start Up Loans programme. You can borrow up to £25,000, repayable over 1 to 5 years. You'll also get 12 months of free mentoring.

Starting a franchise

You're likely to need finance to secure a franchise and get it up and running. The British Business Bank offers finance to support buying a franchise. Find out more about franchise finance.

Social enterprises

The Key Fund covers the North of England and has £4.5million to invest in supporting the growth of social enterprise in communities. Wanting to launch a great business idea? Want to buy premises? Looking to grow? The Key Fund might be able to provide the investment needed in your social enterprise. Visit the Key Fund website to find out more.

Business networks

The Federation of Small Businesses and the North East Chamber of Commerce provide support, networking, and protection for small businesses who join as members.