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The seed of an idea... BUSINESS GROWTH & FUNDING In association with Advertising Feature.

HALF of all jobs in the UK come from small and medium sized businesses. If you'd like to join this growing band of entrepreneurs, it's never been easier to set up your own business.

All businesses begin with the seed of an idea, however, it's usually a 'nothing to lose' event that spurs people in to action. You may have lost your job through redundancy or be faced with a relocation so you feel the time is right to take the plunge.

Business ideas come in all shapes and sizes: you may have a hobby that you feel could earn you money if you did it professionally or you may be interested in a franchise or taking over a small business which is on the market.

The first step is usually to sit down and prepare a business plan. Whatever you decide to throw yourself into there's never been more help to hand.

Local Chambers of Commerce are usually your first port of call and can offer help in most areas.

Firstly they can advise on how to set up your business. Toe dippers usually begin their businesses as sole traders but if you're setting up with a friend or family member you may be advised to start a partnership. It may be more beneficial for you to form your business as a limited company and then there's the question of Value Added Tax (VAT) registration. If your VAT taxable turnover is more than PS81,000 you must register for VAT, however, once registered, as well as having to charge VAT, which is redeemed by HM Customs & Excise, you'll be able to reclaim back any VAT you pay on goods and services related to your business.

Recent recommendations presented to the Government have suggested the scrapping of red tape and measures to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business.

Whether you need help setting up your company, with marketing or networking or even if you need a business mentor, Merseyside has the support to help you succeed.

Many SMEs look to grow their businesses through export markets.

Liverpool Chamber's export growth programme can provide up to 35% of eligible travel costs on organised trade missions or your own bespoke market visit.

Finance is arguably one of the most challenging aspects, however, help is now at hand and it's much easier now to attain funding thanks to a number of schemes like the North West Fund and the Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF) which offer combined funding, aimed at helping your business grow.

So, if you're a medium-sized concern looking to create more jobs, an embryonic business looking to grow, or if you're sitting at home wondering what's next, there's never been a better time to make that move.

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There's never been a better time to set up in business

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 25, 2014
Words:479
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