Starting a business in London is very easy because there is practically no bureaucracy and taxation is clear and not very high. In the World Bank ranking “Ease of Doing Business”, the UK ranks eighth out of 190 countries.
The problem is the high cost of setting up businesses such as bars, stores, restaurants, etc. On the other hand, it is true that if the investment costs are very high, the economic returns, if the business works, are very high in relation.
This is not the place to discuss tax and legal issues related to the type of business you want to open. You will get this information from your accountant, and based on this information you will make the most appropriate decisions. The accountant is very important. Before you entrust anyone, I recommend you to ask for references from a businessman who already runs a business in London.
Recently, the digital sector has seen remarkable development and London has become an extremely interesting city for new companies. There are many startup incubators and accelerators, the most famous and innovative being the 14 million square foot Here East Campus, built on the site of the 2012 Olympics media center in East London. This campus houses all services for startups, from acceleration programs to incubation services, from education and training to entrepreneurship, from prototyping and new technology requirements to funding opportunities.
As for opening a business in London which is always in vogue, the matter is more complex. Most of the commercial spaces in the best areas of the city are already in the hands of large chains (both food and non-food). Those that are still available are managed by specialized real estate agencies that rent only to people who have proven themselves in the industry (they do not rent to improvised entrepreneurs, so to speak).
As a rule, they require a deposit or a bank guarantee of several months, in addition to the payment of the brokerage fees and the current monthly rent. So, to open a business in London, you can easily spend hundreds of thousands of euros.
An interesting opportunity for small business owners in the food service sector is street food, which is very popular in London. This type of business can be set up at a much lower cost. In all the markets, street markets and on all the corners you can find stalls, vans offering a wide variety of cuisines, from Japanese to Mexican, from Chinese to Spanish, from Thai to Argentinian, from Moroccan to Greek and so on.
To start a business in London, in this sector, it is necessary to follow a simple bureaucratic procedure that, above all, is affordable for any budget. The first step is to register your business, and after completing some small bureaucratic procedures, you will be ready to operate in a few days. At this point, you’ll need to rent a space, for example at one of the street markets that are open to the public seven days a week. The cost of renting a standard space to place a gazebo or van varies depending on the location, type of structure chosen, and size of the space. To get an idea of rental rates, you can visit the website: Appearhere
If you want to start this type of business in London but do not know where to start, you can join the national catering association NCASS, which will support you in all stages from project development to opening your business. In addition, you will always be informed about all the events that affect your sector and you will be able to get the best advice on all the issues about your business.
This is the page on the UK government website where you can find information if you need funding to start your business.
Regardless of how you decide to open a business in London, I recommend that you first live there for at least six months/year and in the meantime work as an employee, possibly in the sector in which you want to open your business. This way you can firstly improve your English skills and secondly get to know the city well and understand if and where your idea can work.