External business support and advice

London Business Hub

London Business Hub brings together the capital’s vast business support offer into a single online portal with an aim of helping businesses navigate the support that is right for them. The support is free and impartial and includes a huge range of resources from planning, starting and growing a business to overcoming business challenges and obstacles.

Sign up to Business Hub

The British Library

Supporting entrepreneurs and innovators from that first spark of inspiration to successfully launching and growing a business.

Find out more about The British Library Business and IP Centre

Help to Grow

Management course and digital support programme.  Learn new skills, reach more customers and boost your profits with Help to Grow. 

Help to Grow

London & Partners’ Business Growth Programme

London & Partners’ Business Growth programme is offering FREE impartial and tailored business advice and support to SMEs based in London.

The programme provides access to:

  • A dedicated business growth advisor – Minimum 12 hours tailored advice and guidance
  • Mentors – Access to experienced and commercially successful experts
  • Local business support – Introduction to a full range of London & Partners’ professional service providers
  • Focused workshops and events in London – Opportunity to learn from expert advisers and peers
  • Supply chain development – Opportunity to collaborate with larger corporates with major operations in London seeking access to innovation by opening up supply chains.

Further details about the business growth programme.

Small Business Research + Enterprise Centre

Small Business Research + Enterprise Centre provides free practical business information, international market research and company data both remotely and on site.  It is open to anyone in the UK starting, running or growing their business.  There is both a free and subscription membership.  There is a varied programme of free webinars on practical business topics and 1-2-1 advice sessions staffed by qualified business advisers.

Find out more about the Small Business Research + Enterprise Centre - City of London

The Start Up Loans Programme

The Start Up Loans programme is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is delivered by The Start Up Loans Company (SULCo), a subsidiary of the British Business Bank.

It aims to encourage entrepreneurship in the UK, increase the rate of business creation and improve survival prospects.

More specifically, the programme offers loans (from £500 to £25,000, at 6% interest) alongside free mentoring and support to individuals who are starting a new business or who have been trading for less than two years.

Find out more about Start Up Loans.

Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF)

A £100m initiative by the Mayor of London to help support high growth SMEs across the capital.

Find out more about GLIF

Time to Pay service

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

You are eligible if your business: 

  • pays tax to the UK government 
  • has outstanding tax liabilities

For more information on Time to Pay, please visit GOV.UK. If you think you are eligible for support through Time to Pay, you can call 0800 0159 559 to get practical help and advice.

BGF - growth funding for ambitious businesses

BGF is a dynamic investor of equity capital in growing companies, backing entrepreneurs and innovators in the UK and Ireland.

Find out more about BGF

Finance and Leasing Association

Find out more about FLA 

Mercia - Meet the Funder

Virtual ‘Meet the Funder’ event is on every Friday from 9am – Midday,

Find out more about Mercia

Entrepreneur Handbook

The Entrepreneur Handbook is a useful guide if you are starting a business.

informi website

informi is a useful website for small business starting a business.

Setting up a social enterprise

For advice on starting a social enterprise that helps people or communities, including legal structures such as community interest companies and co-operatives, visit the GOV.UK setting up a social enterprise page.

Useful guides and resources

Cobra - online business resource

Cobra - Complete business reference adviser including opportunities, markets, financial and legal information. Cobra is a continually updated information resource for anyone who is running a small business or thinking of setting up a business. You will find practical information and advice such as:

  • start up business ideas and profiles
  • guides to business support in different areas of the UK
  • business legal library covers laws and regulations applicable to small businesses
  • help to write a business or marketing plan and information on conducting research into new markets
  • market synopses provide guides to trends and opportunities in a number of market sectors.

Enterprise Nation

Expert advice and support for small businesses.

Find out more about Enterprise Nation

Guides on running a business from home

See the GOV.UK website for home business guide (pdf), running a business from home, finance and support for your business. or support if you’re self-employed

Guides and templates for writing business plans

Writing a business plan guide on the GOV.UK website.

The ultimate guide to business accounting

The ultimate guide to business accounting from Sage.

Virgin Start-Up

Beneficial information covering requirements for starting and scaling your business.

Find out more about Virgin Start-Up

Sage Advice United Kingdom

Start-up wisdom for smarter businesses.

Sage Advice United Kingdom - Wisdom for smarter businesses

My Growth Pod

Provides complete business growth support services to Pre-Start, Start Up and SME’s businesses.

Find more information about My Growth Pod here

Business checks and regulations

Better Business for All

Better Business for All (BBfA) is a collaboration between business and regulators to enable simpler and more consistent compliance with relevant regulations. The BBfA website provides a one-stop-shop for businesses to check what is relevant to you and what to do about it.

HMRC enquiries: Complete guide for small businesses from the FSB

FSB guide to dealing with HMRC enquiries takes businesses through the process, including how long they take, what you need to do and how you can protect your business.

Get help with tax and the HMRC

Get help with tax from the GOV.UK website