What you need to start a service based business

Computer at a tidy working from home desk or office space

Congratulations – you’re about to take the leap into the world of entrepreneurship! Setting up your own business is rewarding, exciting, and let’s be honest quite overwhelming at times. It’s an adventure! But where do you begin? How do you start a business?

Upsource works with a lot of start up businesses, and in our experience these are the MUST haves for your new service based venture:

A business plan

This will be your guiding star as you develop your business – your road map from inspiring idea to successful business. It doesn’t have to be a 5 year plan written in stone, but it’s a great way to prepare for issues down the road and set a goal for what you want to achieve.

A financial plan

This will help you set goals, and really create a plan of what you’re going to do and how you’re going to get there and help you make the best decisions for your business as you grow. Refer back to it regularly so you can see if you’re on track, or whether you need to recalibrate.

ICO registration and licences

Do you need to register with the ICO? They have a handy self assessment tool for whether you need to or not (it’s mandatory for all UK freelancers). You may need to register as Anti-Money Laundering, see the gov.uk guide for whether this applies to you.


Insurance will help protect you and your business from mistakes, stock or premises damage and potential legal costs. Some clients and suppliers will need proof of insurance before they will work with you.

Business Banking

Keeping your business and personal finances separate will make your tax returns so much easier – your bookkeeping VA and accountant will thank you!

Domain names

You might not be ready to create a website yet, but once you’ve named your business, it’s worthwhile to register the domain name too, to make sure no one else nabs it! We would really recommend registering your personal name domain too, you never know when it might come in handy. Set up a domain registered email address and choose the right business package from Microsoft or Google, “yourbusinessname”@google.com just doesn’t look professional.

Privacy Policy and T&Cs

Your Privacy Policy is a legal requirement – data protection is integral to every business and is one of the key requirements of GDPR.

Your T&Cs will state really clearly what you’ll be delivering and when, how you’ll handle any complaints, cancellations and refunds, so you and your clients know exactly where you stand.

If you’re setting up a new business and feel like you need some help getting your foundations and processes in order, get in touch and Caroline will match you with the right Virtual Assistant to support you.

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