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Before you register your business there are a number of things you need to think about.

For example, will your idea make money? What structure will you use? Who will be your customers?

Find out more about key areas to help you prepare for starting your business.

Type of business

There are a number of different business types that you can consider. Your decision should depend on your personal circumstances, interests, finances and business objectives. Some business types that you may choose include:

Once you've decided on the type of business you'll be starting, you'll need to consider which business structure you will be operating under (e.g. sole trader, trust, partnership or company). Each business structure has different legal, compliance and record keeping responsibilities so it's important you understand the requirements for each before deciding.

Product or service

It is essential to have a good idea of what product or service you'll offer to enable you to effectively plan and market your business.

Your product or service will influence your business structure too. Depending on what you market or sell, will you only do business online, or will you also have an office space or store to run as well? This can have an impact on your business in terms of staffing, storage space, and rent costs.

Before you start a business, find out if people are interested in buying your products or services. Find out who your competitors are and whether the market can sustain your business.

Conduct some research to see whether your idea is really feasible. This will involve gathering, analysing and evaluating information to help you formulate your business goals. Finding current industry statistics, sales trends and speaking with other business owners in the industry is often a good place to begin.


Knowing who you'll be selling to can help you define your business. Do some research into your potential (or existing) customers or clients, and their habits - this means checking out who will be buying or using your goods and services, and how they normally do this.

Understanding your customer base, and how to direct them to your online business, is important. Investigate what kind of customers usually buy online, what they're buying, and how they find their goods and services.

Find out more about customers and your business.


To help you get started, has developed a checklist that contains a series of questions to guide you through the various stages of your business, including before you start, when you start, when you buy and when you run your business.

Download the Starting your business checklist.