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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.

What insurance do you need for a small business?

Hannah Tonge of PolicyBee offers advice on safeguarding your business with insurance cover

Why is it important to insure my business?

A claim successfully brought against you following an accident, for example, could put you out of business. You may also face significant personal liability. In some circumstances, not having certain forms of insurance is illegal. There are a few types of insurances that could enable you to carry on trading should the worst happen. It's important for all businesses to assess risk and to seek sufficient cover; it grants peace of mind.

What insurance policies must I have by law?

If you have staff, you must have employers' liability insurance, which must be in place as soon as you take people on, paid or unpaid – including work experience placements. Also, if your business operates vehicles, then you must have third-party motor insurance.

What is public liability insurance?

It covers damage to third-party property and injury to non-staff members caused by you or one of your employees. Examples could include a visitor to your premises tripping over and suffering serious injury. Public liability insurance provides protection.

What is professional indemnity insurance?

It's for businesses that give advice or provide a professional service to clients. Professional indemnity insurance insures against lawsuits brought by clients and associated third parties, who claim that your mistake or poor advice cost them money. In some instances, it can cover the cost of rectifying mistakes and agreeing settlements with clients to avoid court altogether. It can also cover your fees if, in a dispute, your client withholds payment.

How should I insure my premises?

It's wise to insure the building, its fixtures, fittings, equipment, machinery or tools, plus, if relevant, your stock against fire, theft and flooding. Generally, most insurers offer preferable rates on this if bought with other business insurances - such as public liability insurance, for example.

What about business interruption insurance?

This can cover the additional costs of operating your business if you can't use your premises. If after a flood, for example, your office is on the third floor and is unaffected by actual water damage, but you can't reach it for two weeks, business interruption insurance would cover the additional costs of setting up a temporary office elsewhere and hiring equipment, etc. You can also insure for loss of profit if you can't trade for reasons beyond your control.

Can insurance cover me if one of my team is badly injured or seriously ill?

Key man insurance covers the cost of keeping your business running should something happen to you or an important employee. Alternatively, accident and illness insurance would pay the business a pre-determined weekly rate should a team member become incapacitated and unable to work. This could either be used to pay them sick pay or ease the burden of hiring interim cover.

How can I find a good insurance broker?

Online research can provide leads, but recommendations from people you trust are better. Look beyond price when making your choice. You need a broker with the right motivation. Will the person you first speak to look after your policy, or simply be there to close the sale? Do they have the right incentive to ensure the insurance they sell you is right for your circumstances? And will they have the knowledge of your business to help you make the right choices as your enterprise develops?

Any other tips for choosing an insurance broker?

Ask if the broker is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as an 'advised' or 'non-advised' broker. An advised broker will use their knowledge to select from a range of products based on your needs. They are also regulated to give advice about insurance and answer any questions you may have. Non-advised brokers and insurers will generally have one product to sell and cannot answer questions or give advice.

Any final words of advice for protecting my business?

It's worth investing time so you understand the cover you're being offered. There's a lot of jargon in the market and different policies have different boundaries and conditions. A good broker will talk you through the complexities, have good market knowledge and help you understand which solutions are right for you so you can make informed choices. Some day you might be really glad you did.

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