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Finance and funding

Setting up a bank account

The websites of all the major high street banks have information covering setting up a bank account and details of free banking services for new businesses. Some offer online account opening. A number of websites enable you to compare business bank accounts so that you can see any extra features like access to accounts packages and business guides. Consider whether you want:  

  • internet banking 
  • a savings as well as a current account  
  • a business loan or overdraft facility
  • debit and credit cards

if you're setting up business with others, you'll need to decide who can authorise financial transactions

Be clear about what is offered as a free banking service and what you have to pay for. For example, overdraft facilities are unlikely to be included in your free banking package.  

What if you're currently unemployed?

New Enterprise Allowance (NEA)

The New Enterprise allowance is available to people who've been claiming Jobseekers Allowance for 26 weeks or more.  It includes access to a business mentor and, if you can demonstrate business viability you will access to support that includes a weekly allowance and a loan worth up to £2,274. Contact your local Jobcentre Plus.

Age 50+ - free support

Free help is available to start your own business from the Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise (Prime). Support includes initial advice, mentoring from successful entrepreneurs, training courses and networking events. Go to or phone 0845 862 2023.

Loans and other funding opportunities

For help and advice about funding opportunities, try the following:

  • Start up loans for people who are over 18 - they have to be paid back within five years - more from GOV.UK.
  • Boost Capital is designed to provide fast, flexible financing to SME (small and medium size enterprises) owners who need funds quickly. 
  • Coast to Capital - Local Enterprise Partnership - keep an eye on what've going on locally to support new businesses
  • Fredericks Foundation is a charity that helps disadvantaged people to set up or expand their own business. They provide business support and microloan funding for people who can't access finance through the usual channels. For start-up businesses they offer up to £10,000.
  • UnLtd's Millennium Awards provide practical and financial support (£500 to £15,000) to social entrepreneurs. 
  • If you have social objectives you might be eligible for lottery funding. For example, Awards For All funds (up to £10,000) small community based projects across the UK.

Looking after your money

Bytestart's guides include:



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