Business and enterprise

Free quality business and enterprise websites selected by our information professionals.
Our Business & IP Centre provides a range of advice and support.


Intellectual Property

Intellectual property

Intellectual Property or IP can help you protect your business ideas to prevent others from using them without your permission.

Bookable sessions for one to one Intellectual Property advice are available. For further details see our Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire page.

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Registering your business

Companies House

Information on registering your business as a limited company. Free company name search provided.


​Information on starting up and running a business in the UK, including help if you are self employed or a sole trader.

HM Revenue and Customs: self employed

​HMRC's section for people who are self employed or are considering becoming self employed.

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Tax national insurance and VAT

HM Revenue and Customs: Leaflets, factsheets and booklets

​Collection bringing together leaflets, factsheets and booklets issued by HM Revenue and Customs.

HM Revenue and Customs: Live webinars

​Live webinars are available on set dates and times. They usually last an hour and there is time to ask the presenter questions at the end. Customers will need to complete a simple registration in advance giving their name and email address.

HM Revenue and Customs: Online Learning

​Online learning is an e-course covering tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses.

HM Revenue and Customs: recorded webinars

​Recorded webinars are available at any time and can be viewed at your own pace. However, unlike live webinars they are not hosted so there is no opportunity to ask questions.

HM Revenue and Customs: YouTube channel

​Short information videos located on HMRC YouTube channel. They aim to provide reassurance and offer quick help.

Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW): business advice service

​Includes information on how business start-ups can book a free appointment with a chartered accountant.

Open Learn: introduction to bookkeeping and accounting

​Learn the essential numerical skills required for accounting and bookkeeping. This free course explains the fundamental rules of double-entry bookkeeping and how they are used to produce the balance sheet and the profit and loss account.

Turn2us:self employment benefits

​Information on benefits you may be entitled to if you are self employed.

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Writing a business plan

Business plan guidance from the high street banks

​Information about business plan content, including templates and online tools (Registration may be required)

GOV.UK: business plans

​Help page on writing your business plan. Includes a link to the Prince's Trust business plan template; and also free sample templates available through

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Raising finance for your business

Big Issue Invest

​The UK's first 'social merchant bank,' by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs.

Business Angels

​The UK national trade association representing private investors or a group of investors looking for opportunities to invest money in enterprises.

First Enterprise

Provides advice and business loans to pre-start and existing business owners throughout the East Midlands.

Fredericks Foundation

​Provides loans to new and existing businesses that have been refused finance by mainstream lenders.


​Grantfinder enables you to identify, apply for and manage funding. Featuring over 8,000 continuously updated funding opportunities. Grantfinder can only be accessed at Northampton Library, Wellingborough Library, Kettering Library, Towcester library and Brixworth libraries.

Innovate UK

​We link new ideas and opportunities with expertise, markets and finance through our network of businesses, universities, funders and investors.


​Grants for small and medium-sized rural businesses: farmers wishing to diversify; tourism projects; community groups; foresters and other rural enterprises.

Prince's Trust: business funding

​Where to find the money for your own business start-up, and which option is the best for you.

Responsible Finance

​Responsible Finance providers offer simple, affordable loans when the bank can't help.

Start Up Loans

​A Government initiative providing funding, mentoring and support to those looking to start or grow a business. Start-up Loans works with Enterprise Loans East Midlands and CWRT to support Start Up Loans applicants in the East Midlands.

​Small business advice, business ideas and information on starting a business.

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Building your online skills and digital strategy


​e-business online course.

Digital business academy

​Eight free digital online courses.

Google:digital garage

​Get the digital skills you need to grow your business.

Hootsuite: podium

​Six free courses on the fundamentals of social marketing.

Lloyds Bank: online skills for small businesses and medium sized enterprises

​Guide to basic online skills and using online services to help with your business.


​Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and more.

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Business start-up resources Northamptonshire

Buy With Confidence: Northamptonshire County Council's approved trader scheme

​Information on applying to become an approved trader to show customers that you are Trading Standards approved.

Enterprise Club: University of Northampton

​Offers advice, mentoring, training and networking to university staff and students; and also local entrepreneurs.

Enterprise Kettering

​Start up and business support service for Kettering.

Federation of small businesses: Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Rutland

​UK's largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self employed and owners of small firms.

Northampton University Business Support Team

​Support for anyone looking to start a new business:

Northamptonshire Chamber

​Represents around 1,000 Northamptonshire businesses, who employ over one third of the county's workforce.

Northamptonshire community housing network: self employment training

​Support for disabled people considering self employment.

SEMLEP (South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership)

Working in collaboration with local authority and private sector partners, SEMLEP aims to deliver the strategic infrastructure and skills projects that are essential for economic growth – new jobs and new homes – in this area.

SEMLEP Growth Hub

SEMLEP's Growth Hub offers business support to growing businesses:

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General business start-up resources national

Approved Franchise Association

​The Approved Franchise Association (AFA) was set up in 2012 to support the rapidly growing UK Franchise Industry. Set up as a self-regulatory, voluntary body, the AFA exist to serve members, future franchisees and the franchise industry in general.

Business advisory service

​An energy comparison service to help you find the cheapest utility prices in the energy market.

Business companion

Information for businesses and individuals that need to know about trading standards legislation.

CITB (Construction Industry Training Board)

​The CITB supports the skills needs of the British construction sector.

Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT)

Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT) is a not-for-profit organisation committed to supporting individuals, start ups and businesses.

Intellectual property basics

​Series of videos helping businesses understand IP and some of the areas around it.

Kick Off In Business

​Offer free, short courses to give you an insight into self-employment, help you launch your own business, and give you the help and support you need to grow your business.

Lawyers for your Business

​Scheme run by the Law Society offering a free consultation on legal requirements relating to your business.

Plunkett Foundation

​Community businesses trade primarily for the benefit of their community. The Plunkett Foundation provides support and resources for community businesses.

Press Gazette: company profiles

​Searchable database listing over 5 million UK limited companies

Prince's Trust

​Supporting business creation by 18 to 30 year olds.

Start-up Britain

​National campaign by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, harnessing the expertise and passion of Britain's leading business people; aims to celebrate, inspire and accelerate enterprise in the UK.

The Business Community

​The Small Business Toolkit by The Business Community is a published book that you can access for free and read online or download as a PDF. It is a collection of articles to help improve and enhance the success of any small business looking to grow.

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Social enterprise resources

Co-operatives UK

​Basic information on establishing co-operatives.

Funding central

​Grant funding, loans and contract search website.


​A partnership between the University of Northampton and Exemplas: a support service for the social enterprise sector providing information, specialist advice, training, consulting, coaching and mentoring to new and existing social enterprises and social entrepreneurs.

Social enterprise East Midlands

​A partnership of organisations from the community, voluntary, enterprise, government and regional development sectors of the East Midlands.

Social enterprise UK
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Business office space


​Details of thousands of serviced offices in the United Kingdom.


​A commercial property brokerage company offering all kinds of office space, these include flexible, serviced or conventional spaces across Northamptonshire. A completely free service to help you find the office space suited to you.

Office Genie

​Designed specifically for small businesses, startups and freelancers; search all the main types of office space for rent and then compare available space on a like-for-like desk cost basis. - Northamptonshire

​Directory of serviced office space in Northamptonshire

Prime Office Space

​The Prime Office Space search facility allows you to search for serviced, managed, temporary, flexible and traditional office space to let.

Skyline Offices

​Search all types of office space nationally, whatever the size of your business; whether you need a single desk, or space for 100 desks.

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Business networking organisations

Cognates Online Networking

To create collaborative business networking groups that are accessible and fun. Where members not only find work for each other but develop on personal and professional levels without undue pressure.

Digital Northampton

​Digital Northampton is a collaboration between local digital businesses, the University of Northampton, and Northamptonshire County Council designed to support digital innovation in and around Northampton.

Kettering Business Network

​Business community for businesses based in Kettering, Desborough, Rothwell, Burton Latimer and surrounding villages.

Love Corby

​Love Corby offers business networking and information about Corby and the surrounding area.

Make it your Business

Events delivered all over the country, where women can meet established local female entrepreneurs, learn from their experiences and network with other local aspiring female entrepreneurs.

National Enterprise Council

​Support network for all pre-start, new and established businesses

North Northants Business Network

​The North Northants Business Network acts as an interface between the business community in Kettering, Corby, East Northants and Wellingborough, North Northamptonshire Council and both the education and charity sectors.

Northamptonshire Chamber

​Represents around 1,000 Northamptonshire businesses, who employ over one third of the county's workforce.


Oundle Business

​Monthly social networking evenings discussing business matters and local issues.

The Business Community

​A supportive community of around 150 small business owners with regular networking groups in Northants and the surrounding counties.

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