Revealed: Real Costs of Starting a Business in Britain

  • New research shows it could cost £30,000 to open a business.
  • Retail businesses can expect to see an outlay of £172K in the first year, while tech start-ups need around £380K to get going.
  • Business premises is the biggest first year expense, accounting for up to 50% of the budget needed to get going.

2018 is the year of the entrepreneur, with the highest number of would-be business owners ever set to take the plunge and take a chance on their dream. But whether it’s opening a grocer’s, or launching the next big tech start-up, the cost of setting up alone is still a concern for many.

New research, carried out exclusively by business energy price comparison site Quotemyenergy, has revealed the average outlay for starting up your own business over the first year, wherever you are in the UK. With first year costs starting from £30,000. The costs of setting up each type of business have been compiled, so everyone knows how much they need to save before becoming CEO.

From Business to Business

No two companies are the same, but different types of business influence what likely first year outlays could be. Going it alone from a desk in a co-working space. From the most budget friendly to the businesses you’ll need to scrimp to set up, the most popular dream gigs and their costs were found to be:

Solopreneurs – £30K outlay for the first year: ‘Solopreneurs’, or those going it properly alone, have it the cheapest, with an estimated first year outlay of £30K. With office rental coming at around £3.5K for a seat in a co-working space, or less for savvy entrepreneurs, the biggest expenses a solopreneur will need to budget for in their first year will likely be company set-up, insurance and building a website to advertise their services – a must in today’s market!

Retailers – £172K outlay for the first year: Owning a retail business, from grocery store to boutique fashion store, is a popular dream in the UK, but those backing themselves to get into this line of work should be aware they’ll likely need some start up capital, as setting up a retail business costs around £172K. Renting retail premises and storage space can cost anywhere upwards from £37K, while buying your store space is a six figure sum. Stock, tills and employees are also expenses prospective retailers will need to factor in, including the hidden cost of employees’ NI payments and insurance.

Tech Entrepreneurs – £380K outlay for the first year: There’s a lot of money to be made in tech today – but anyone looking to make some, may need to spend it first. Office rentals for even a small team could account for up to 50% of that estimated budget, while employee salaries, insurance and equipment are another huge budgetary consideration. However, tech-savvy entrepreneurs may be able to save money by building their own websites!

Business Budgeting

Unless you’re a solopreneur going it alone from the comfort of your own home, office premises are likely to be your biggest first year expense, with prices starting at £30K for one co-working space.

Employees are likely to be the second biggest drain on your purse strings, with basic salaries also added to with NI considerations, employee insurance, potential recruiter fees, and equipment for your new team. Just registering your business alone is also likely to pump up the cost, with an estimated cost of £340.37 just to get your business up and running.

Build Your Own Business Plan

Quotemyenergy noticed that there was a real demand for a business calculator, but ones that existed online simply allowed prospective business owners to add in the costs for every aspect of starting their business manually. This was not helpful for those who do not know how much it costs to register a business or set up an office. This new tool collates data from government, business and retail sources to provide an estimate of how much investment may be needed over the first year of setting up your dream business – whether it’s a small coffee shop or a tech giant.

Whatever your dream or budget, you can find out for free how much it would cost to set up your dream business using the calculator here.

Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on learning, writing, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.

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