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We're here with practical information for your business. Learn about business planning, running a business and more.


For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Setting up your payroll - checklist

If you take on employees, you will need to set up a payroll system to make sure you're fulfilling your legal obligations. Here's where to start.

  • Ensure that you are registered as an employer with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and register for PAYE Online.
  • Decide who will be responsible for managing PAYE; consider whether you will operate PAYE yourself, use the services of a payroll agency or your accountant.
  • Invest in appropriate payroll software: check it is compatible with HMRC's 'Real Time Information' reporting requirements and how it could be linked into your accounting system.
  • Set up a payroll timetable: include the dates for making payments to employees, HM Revenue & Customs, and handling year-end PAYE filings and employee documents.
  • Clarify the legal rules, and your contractual agreements, covering sick pay and maternity, paternity and adoption pay, pension contributions and any deductions from pay.
  • Check employees' data is accurate and complete; gather any missing information ready for submission to HMRC.
  • Establish a system for dealing with new employees, employees leaving, sickness, maternity, paternity and adoption leave.
  • Implement a system for calculating additional pay (eg bonuses and commission) and any taxable perks (eg company cars).
  • Decide how expenses will be handled.
  • Put in place security measures to protect the confidentiality of payroll information and guard against fraud.
  • Make contingency plans (eg if your computer system fails) to allow you to handle payroll and filings on time.
  • Use your payroll system to generate useful management information (eg employee costs, individual employee's records).
  • Keep up to date with payroll rules by reading HMRC mailings; if necessary, contact the employers' helpline or your professional adviser.

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