How to Start a Company in the UK with £1000 or Less: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Start a Company in the UK with £1000 or Less: A Comprehensive Guide

Starting a business with very little money in the UK can seem daunting, but with careful planning, resourcefulness, and determination, it is possible to turn your entrepreneurial dream into reality.

Many budding entrepreneurs are curious about how to start a business with a limited budget of £1,000. The truth is, that large amounts of capital are often unnecessary and there are lots of resources available to you. We’ve put together an extensive guide to help you navigate this challenging but rewarding journey.

Types Of Businesses You Can Start With £1,000

Starting a business with £1,000 in the UK is challenging but feasible with the right approach and business idea. The options are extremely broad, but here are some of the more popular types of businesses you can start with £1000:

1. Freelancing / Skills Based Services

  • Writing and Editing: Offer content writing, copywriting, or editing services. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr can help you find clients.
  • Graphic Design: If you have design skills, you can create logos, marketing materials, or social media graphics for businesses.
  • Web Development: With coding skills, you can build websites for small businesses. Tools like WordPress can help you create professional websites without high costs.
  • Business Consulting: If you have expertise in a particular field, offer consulting services like business mentoring to small businesses or startups.
  • Life or Career Coaching: Provide coaching services to individuals seeking personal or professional development. Use Zoom or Skype for virtual sessions.
  • Academic Tutoring: Offer tutoring services for students in subjects you’re knowledgeable about. Use platforms like Tutorful to find clients.
  • Language Lessons: Teach a language you’re fluent in. Offer lessons online via Zoom or Skype.

2. Online Retail

  • Dropshipping: Start an online store without holding inventory. You can use platforms like Shopify to set up your store and AliExpress to source products.
  • Handmade Goods: Sell handmade items like jewellery, crafts, or artwork on Etsy. Use social media to promote your products.

3. Content Creation

  • Blogging: Start a blog on a niche topic. Use WordPress to create your site and monetize it through ads, affiliate marketing, or sponsored posts.
  • YouTube Channel: Create videos on topics you’re passionate about. Use a smartphone and basic editing software to produce content. Monetize through ad revenue and sponsorships.

4. Home-Based Services

  • Cleaning Services: Offer cleaning services for homes or offices. Invest in basic cleaning supplies and advertise through local community boards or online classifieds.
  • Pet Sitting or Dog Walking: Provide pet care services for busy pet owners. Use platforms like Rover to find clients.

5. Fitness Training

  • Personal Training: If you’re certified, offer personal training sessions. Use public parks or clients’ homes to avoid rental fees.
  • Yoga or Fitness Classes: Conduct group classes in local parks or community centres. Promote your classes on social media and local bulletin boards.

6. Event Planning

  • Small Events: Plan and coordinate small events like birthday parties, baby showers, or corporate meetings. Start by offering your services to friends and family.
  • Wedding Planning: Assist couples with wedding planning. Build a portfolio with a few low-cost or free events to showcase your skills.

7. Home-Based Bakery

  • Baked Goods: Bake and sell cakes, cookies, or pastries from home. Ensure you comply with local food safety regulations. Promote your products at local markets or through social media.

8. Gardening and Landscaping

  • Garden Maintenance: Offer services like lawn mowing, weeding, and planting. Start with basic tools and expand as you grow your client base.
  • Landscaping: Provide more extensive landscaping services if you have the skills. This can include designing gardens, building patios, and installing water features.

1. Validate Your Business Idea

Action: Ensure there’s a demand for your product or service.

  • Conduct market research: Use free tools like Google Trends, social media surveys, and forums.
  • Identify your target audience: Define your ideal customer and their needs.
  • Evaluate competitors: Understand their offerings and identify your unique selling point (USP).

Cost: Free (just time and research).

2. Choose a Business Structure

Action: Decide on the legal structure of your business (it is best to get advice from a local accountant)

  • Sole Trader: The simplest one, but you are personally responsible for any debts.
  • Partnership: Shared responsibility between partners.
  • Limited Company: Separate legal entity, more complex but limits most personal liability.

Cost: Registering as a sole trader is free. Setting up a limited company costs £12 online.

3. Register Your Business

Action: Officially register your business (your chosen accountant will help with this)

  • Sole Trader: Register with HMRC for self-assessment.
  • Limited Company: Register with Companies House.

Cost: £12 (for limited companies).

4. Create a Business Plan

Action: Outline your business strategy.

  • Executive Summary: Brief overview of your business.
  • Business Description: Detailed description of your product or service.
  • Market Analysis: Insights from your market research.
  • Organisation and Management: Structure and team (if any).
  • Sales Strategies: How you will attract and retain customers.
  • Funding Requirements: How much money you need and how it will be used.
  • Financial Projections: Basic forecast of revenues, costs, and profits.

Cost: Free (just time and research).

5. Set Up a Business Bank Account

Action: Separate your personal and business finances.

  • Choose a bank offering free business banking for startups.
  • It is wise to compare accounts to find the best one.

Cost: Free (many banks offer free business banking for the first 12-18 months).

6. Develop Your Brand Identity

Action: Create a brand that resonates with your audience.

  • Business Name: Unique and memorable.
  • Logo and Brand Colours: Professional design can be done cheaply using online tools.
  • Website: Essential for credibility, use platforms like WordPress or Wix.

Keep this simple, it is far too easy to be bogged down on the brand and website. You can even skip this step depending on your business, but a professional logo and the most basic of website presence is often helpful.


  • Logo: £0-£50 (Canva, Fiverr).
  • Website: £50-£100 (domain and DIY website hosting).

7. Register for Taxes

Action: Ensure compliance with UK tax laws (your accountant will help you with this)

  • VAT Registration: Required if your turnover exceeds £85,000 (currently)
  • Self-Assessment: Register with HMRC if you’re a sole trader.

Cost: Free.

8. Set Up Accounting and Bookkeeping

Action: Keep track of your finances.

  • Use free or affordable accounting software like Xero or QuickBooks.
  • Maintain records of all income and expenses.
  • Get the app on your phone
  • Track your numbers at least weekly!

Cost: £0-£10/month to start.

9. Create a Marketing Plan

Action: Attract and retain customers.

  • Social Media: Use free platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • Content Marketing: Start a blog or create valuable content to attract your audience.
  • Networking: Attend free local business events or online webinars.

Cost: Free (primarily time investment).

10. Launch and Iterate

Action: Start your business operations and continuously improve.

  • Soft Launch: Begin with a small audience to gather feedback, learn and develop.
  • Iterate: Use customer feedback to refine your product/service.

Cost: Varies (start small to manage costs effectively).

Example Budget Breakdown

ExpenseCost (£)
Business Registration12
Logo Design50
Website (domain + hosting)100
Marketing (initial)50
Accounting Software0
Accountants Fee300

Additional Tips

  • Use Free Resources: Utilise free business advice from organisations like the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) or local Chambers of Commerce. When you’re ready, you can then get more formal mentoring and consulting from a business coach if you need extra support.
  • Minimise Overheads: Work from home or use co-working spaces. We don’t need fancy offices just yet!
  • Grants and Loans: Research available grants or low-interest loans for startups. If you’re looking to go down the loan route, reputable and ethical solutions like Virgin Startup are worth considering.

If you maintain a lean approach, you can certainly start a business in the UK with £1000 or less. Focus on validating your idea, keeping costs low, and iterating based on feedback to build a sustainable business over time. Don’t forget to make sure you find a great local accountant to make sure you are compliant with the relevant company and tax legislation in the UK (or your local jurisdiction).

CJPI Insights
CJPI Insights
CJPI Insights Editor

This post has been published by the CJPI Insights Editorial Team, compiling the best insights and research from our experts.

Related Posts