Starting a company Part one – Basics to starting a company

There is proof that the entrepreneurial spirit in Britain is on the rise with a record 581,173 new companies being registered with the Companies House in 2014; this is a 10 per cent increase from 2013 figures.

81 per cent of entrepreneurs said they were happier than being employed despite being busier, with only 44 per cent of these surviving in the first year*. The main reason for failure was cash flow problems, at Experian Business Express we understand this and have created a new product just for your start-up (under 24 months). With our 99 for £99 product, you get 99 credit reports along with £20 free marketing credit, click here to find out more.

Decide which type of company

These are some of the fundamental questions you should’ve answered honestly and realistically before you plan the next steps of your company.

  • How much money do you have to invest?
  • How long will it take for the company to start making profit and how will you finance yourself in the meantime?
  • How much time do you have to commit? Part time, full time or seasonal?
  • Do you want to start your company online or offline?
  • What’s your vision and aims for the company?
  • Do you need a legal structure that will limit your liability?

The list goes on but these are the basics you should know to decide whether your company is feasible to plan the next steps effectively.

Decide when to launch your new company

As the saying goes ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’, many entrepreneurs want to jump straight into starting their own company once they think they’ve hit jackpot with an idea. Of course, if you don’t grab that window of opportunity then someone else could take it; but jumping straight in without addressing key start-up tasks could mean self-destruction from the start. You should have a well thought out business plan along with a contingency plan.

There isn’t a general best time to start a company; the factors could be different for everyone and different types of companies. For some people the best time could be when they’re young and don’t have many responsibilities, for some it may be a new challenge and career change or maybe they’ve spotted an excellent gap in the market. Whatever it is for you, timing is crucial, so start your company when demand for your product or service is at its strongest. A friendly tip: this could even be during recession as some of the world’s most successful companies were started during the recession.

Boost your start up knowledge

So Newton’s apple may have hit you on the head with a brilliant idea, but do you have the skills and knowledge needed for your company to succeed? There are lots of excellent websites and organisations out there who offer free advice and resources. These include websites such as,,, your local council and banks may even offer free advice services. The best way to learn is to speak to like-minded people who’ve started their own company and can tell you about the mistakes they’ve made and what they’ve done to ensure that they succeed.

Many people advise against starting up a company straight out of University as you haven’t had the life experience, skills and learning curve needed prior to starting your own company. However, bear in mind, Alexander McQueen was fresh out of University when he started his internationally recognised brand. If you think you lack the skills and knowledge needed, there are lots of free online training courses and you may even get support from your University’s career centre.

*Stats from Barclays