Starting up

New and pre-start businesses will find useful information on this page.
If your business is already established and looking to grow, or if you need help firming up your business idea, bringing your product to market, recruiting staff, and much more, head to our support and advice page for more detailed information and useful links.

Self employment and starting a business

What you need to do to set up depends on your type of business, where you work and whether you take on people to help.

GOV.UK has a wealth of information and guidance on setting up a business.

TechRound, aimed at small and micro startups, is a comprehensive resource for anyone considering starting a small business in any sector, including grants and funding, accounting and legal responsibilities as well as industry specific guides.

Boost - Startup Lancashire

Are you based in Lancashire and planning to start your own business this year? Whether this is your first startup or not, you’ll face a lot of challenges along the way from turning a great idea to a working business, accessing growth finance and learning the skills you need to run your own business.

Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, offers free, specialist support to help new startup businesses in the county survive and thrive. 

The Growing Club

The Growing Club offers funded courses for women considering the option of setting up a business. Courses look at your skills, what it means to run a business and available support.

Women completing the course and who are ready to start a business can then feed into the next startup course for 12 months of taught input and support from other women running businesses, to make sure that your business has the best possible chance of growing.


Regional Talent Engines

The Regional Talent Engines programme is a new offer that will provide a tailored programme of support to aspiring engineering and technology entrepreneurs in different regions of the UK. The programme is designed to provide you with the practical support you need to help refine your innovation and bring your vision to life. By the end of the programme you will be ready to seek further support for your new startup or pitch for your first investment to bring your innovation to market.  Apply now:

U Start

The U Start project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, aims to assist people to develop their business ideas at pre-start stage, to register new ventures, and to develop them over their earliest stages of trading.

New Enterprise Allowance

Are you over 18, and have a great new business idea? Do you (or your partner) currently receive Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support? You could get help to start up in business.

Support for co-op businesses

The Hive, delivered by Co-operatives UK in partnership with The Co-operative Bank, offers up to 10 days bespoke business support, mentoring and training for start‑up co‑ops. 

The Hive support is open to groups in the process of starting a co-operative, newly incorporated co-ops and in the early days of trading, and can help you to quickly set up your co-op, develop your business idea and become a sustainable and growing business. 

Support for new market traders

Assembly Rooms Emporium (indoor market in Lancaster) - free pitches/studio space for start ups for one month.

The Assembly Rooms Emporium provides the perfect backdrop for those selling antiques and collectables, vintage or alternative goods. The pitches can also be used as studio space for arts and crafters to make, showcase and sell their creations. The offer of one month's free trading must be followed by a minimum of two more month's trading at the regular rate.

Please contact us for availability or to be placed on the waiting list.

Festival Market (covered market in Morecambe) - discounted rates for new traders

Traders bringing a new commodity to the market are eligible for a discounted rental of just £100 per month for the first three months of trading – a fantastic opportunity for new traders to get off to a flying start and benefit from the increase in footfall during spring/summer trading. You need to commit to trading for an additional month (or for three additional months if you sign up between May and July). Commodities must be new or currently absent from the market. For details of commodities not presently available please contact us.

Charter Market (outdoor market in Lancaster) - free Wednesday pitches for new traders*

New traders applying to trade on Lancaster’s popular street market operating on Wednesdays and Saturdays can benefit from the first two Wednesdays at FREE rent (maximum of two days trading per trader). *Offer applies to new traders introducing something different to the market

For more information or to arrange a visit contact the Markets Team on 01524 582504 or email

Start-up Finance

Visit our Finance and Funding page for more information.