How do I survive until my business is off the ground?

Find support

Most businesses need assistance at some stage in their development. This is especially true of businesses in the early days.

There are a number of sources of help, including:
  • start-up schemes run by local enterprise agencies and others
  • schemes for young starters such as Shell LiveWIRE and Prince's Trust
  • schemes for starters aged 50 plus, eg PRIME
  • schemes for women starters including Women in Business, and everywoman
  • schemes for starters from ethnic minority communities including the African Caribbean Business Network and the Asian Business Network (ABDN)
  • financial advisers
  • accountants

Bear in mind that you will almost certainly have to pay for the specialist knowledge and advice from financial advisers and accountants. You can search for an independent financial adviser on the Independent Financial Adviser Promotion website.

It is a good idea to have an accountant for your business. Although having an accountant is an additional expense, it is a good investment. For more information, see our guide on how to choose and manage an accountant.

The Prince's Trust is an initiative to help young people to succeed in business. The Trust offers advice, opportunities and financial assistance. Find out how the Trust can help you on the Prince's Trust website.

Another body that helps new businesses is Shell LiveWIRE. This organisation aims to encourage young people aged between 18 and 30 to start up their own business. Find out what help you can get on the Shell LiveWIRE website.

If you're receiving Jobseeker's Allowance and want to get back into employment by starting your own business, find out how New Enterprise Allowance can help you on the Directgov website .

You may also be entitled to Working Tax Credits. These are payments to top up the earnings of working people on low incomes, including the self-employed. You can find out about Working Tax Credits by calling the HMRC Tax Credits Helpline on Tel 0845 300 3900.

If you find that your business is unable to pay the taxes it owes to HMRC, contact the HMRC Business Payment Support Service. Their team will review your circumstances and discuss temporary options tailored to your business needs, such as arranging for you to make payments over a longer period. You can contact the HMRC Business Payment Support Service Helpline on Tel 0300 200 3835.

Subjects covered in this guide


Prince's Trust Helpline

0800 842 842

HMRC Newly Self-Employed Helpline

0845 915 4515

HMRC Tax Credits Helpline

0845 300 3900

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