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Essential Guide to Starting your Business in Northern Ireland

Our Corporate team advises Entrepreneurs and Businesses across Northern Ireland throughout their entire life-cycle; from start-ups through to expansions. We can provide advice on corporate governance, shareholder agreements, investments, acquisitions and disposals of businesses. 

That’s why we understand that while starting a new business is an exciting step – it can also be very challenging. So what are these issues and how can a business deal with them? And how can you best manage your business plan going forward to mitigate risk?

Wilson Nesbitt Corporate Partner Max Nesbitt expertly navigates the lay of the land by highlighting the some key considerations you should think about to ensure success when starting out in Northern Ireland.

Setting up your business plan

Turning an idea into a business takes a lot of planning and research. Creating a business plan is key to taking the next step. Consideration should be given to start-up costs, working capital and industry specific requirements. Many new business will make a loss in their first year and so it is critical to forecast your requirements and regularly review the position.  

Choosing the right business structure

There are many ways to establish a business including becoming a sole trader, limited company or a partnership and each offers something slightly. It is important to take advice from your accountant and/or solicitor when creating your business structure as they will be able to advise you on the best structure given your personal circumstances and the nature of the business you are seeking to establish. 

Funding your business

Funding is critical and is often what can accelerate an idea into a business. Initially new business may start with savings and informal arrangements with friends and family but this may not be sufficient. There are many financial institutions, non-profits and government schemes available to help new business get on their feet with new business loans and grants. 

Protecting your business idea

There are different ways of protecting your business ideas, some apply as a matter of law like copyright other you must apply for like patents or trademarks. It is important to consider protecting your idea as this may impact on your future growth, funding arrangements and the value of the business. 

Who you will work with

Creating a team of trusted advisors is an important step in establishing your business. Your advisors will not only be able to help you navigate the pitfalls of establishing a new business but will be able to use their contacts and resources to provide further support to grow your business. 

Where to go for additional help

There is a lot of support for new business including start-up incubators, non-profit organisations, your advisors and industry governing/trade bodies to name a few. Many of your concerns or issues will not be unique to you and with some help can be resolved, here are some helpful NI based business resources; 

Learn how to write a Business Plan

Business support & Funding Opportunities

Help to get started

Legal Support

Often legal support in the early stages can be overlooked or thought of as an unnecessary expense. However, early legal support can often prevent or reduce the risk of issues that may arise as your business grows. Many of these issues arise where there are differences of opinions between business owners, investors or key employees/suppliers which can have catastrophic consequences. Ensuring proper governance, funding, employment and supplier arrangements are in places will provide a platform to grow your business and mitigate risks.  

Get in Touch

Max and our Corporate team act and advise a broad portfolio of Business owners across Northern Ireland, offering them joined-up, holistic legal advice on strategic and practical issues affecting all stages of their businesses lifecycles- from SME start-ups to Expansions, Mergers and Acquisitions.

If you require advice on a Corporate matter, contact Max and our expert Corporate team on 02890 323864 or make an email enquiry.

Get in touch

To find out more about how we can help you with your query, please contact us.