Costs For Starting a Business in the UK

In the past 3 years, the UK has seen a massive number of new businesses starting up. While many of these are smaller businesses and online, the areas they are in are extremely diverse. In short, it has been a good time to start a business, despite what many people think about the current economic climate. More recently, the looming menace of inflation has cooled many people’s spending habits, but efforts are being made by Downing Street to curtail inflation. And with fuel prices also beginning to slowly come down, consumer confidence in the UK will likely return soon also.

If you have a great idea or plan to start a business and are ready to take the plunge, inevitably your first questions will likely centre around startup costs. In this blog, we will examine the current cost estimates that are out there to start a business and how they might play into your decision to take the plunge.

First Things First

The amount of initial startup funds a business needs depends on several factors but always these two:

  1. The industry type and,
  2. The location of the business (a physical location will cost much more than setting up an e-commerce site, for example).

The average business, according to figures from the Company Warehouse needs around £5,000, simply to launch. Many businesses will then go on to spend close to £23,000 on average in their first year. So, while the initial costs may not necessarily be daunting to some people, the added-on costs throughout the year are. And because of this, only 42% of SME’s survive beyond 5 years. Therefore, budgets need to be strict and tight from the outset!

Why are startup calculations so vital?

Think of having accurate startup cost estimates like dealing with a snowball as opposed to an avalanche. Knowing your startup costs will help you:

  • Know whether you can even afford to launch your business overall,
  • Explore various revenue opportunities if you do not have enough to self-fund your business entirely,
  • Demonstrate to any investors that you are financially responsible,
  • Determine the long-term financial viability of your business idea,
  • Know if you can afford staff to help you launch your business smoothly and,
  • Calculate a budget for all parts of your business, including advertising, supply and insurance.

Brick and Mortar Store v Online Store

Setting up a traditional storefront may always have been someone’s dream, but today the allure of online shopping is seeing this tradition become quite antiquated. The movement toward online shopping was well and truly cemented prior to 2020 and only grew stronger with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Setting up a physical location means paying for all the utilities, insurance, staff wages and benefits, displays, upkeep and cleaning etc. It’s a great deal to financially commit to. Whereas an online store simply requires connectivity, a website and some e-commerce solutions to essentially automate the shopping experience for the owner and online customers alike. Of course, the physical human interaction isn’t there, but it is easy to see why a move to online shopping has been an easy one for many businesses.

Start with Stock

While this may appear to be an obvious statement, it cannot be stressed enough that a lack of inventory from the get-go means your business may never even begin. Before you even register your business, you should have stock! Then, examine your business model and consider whether you can make it a time-sensitive model. This means opening your store for an “exclusive” amount of time to create scarcity and desirability of your products. What it also does is give you an idea of what stock levels you will need to maintain in the future.

Consider your website costs

This cost applies to all businesses these days, including traditional brick-and-mortar establishments. Your website needs to be created, monitored, secured and optimised, which means opening your wallet or purse.

Squarespace websites cost start at around £18 per month, but to start your website you’re likely looking at close to £1,000 or more. The popular option lately has been to use e-commerce website builders like Shopify, which charge around £20 per month.

The beauty of e-commerce website builders like Shopify is that you don’t have to purchase a domain name or worry about several other online logistical headaches, like payment options. But it limits exactly how big you can grow and how creative you can be with your site.


Another startup expense to consider, as a flow from website costs, is what you’ll need to spend on marketing and branding. Money will need to be spent on:

  • Web design (as mentioned),
  • Graphic design (logos, branding guides etc.),
  • Content creation (ideally content that is SEO optimised),
  • Social media posts and ads,
  • Signage for brick-and-mortar establishments and,
  • Any other marketing materials like posters, brochures etc.

Marketing is also an area you don’t want to necessarily be cheap with either. An effective digital marketing strategy from the outset may cost a pretty penny to begin with. However, the amount of revenue that can be generated long term will likely turn out to be money well spent. Marketing decisions can prove to be extremely consequential, so it is best to not take them lightly, nor hire the wrong person (or a firm) for them.

Registration Costs

This may depend on the industry your business will be in, but this may need to be considered as an initial cost also. Typically, registering as a sole trader in the UK is free. But registering as a limited company may cost up to £100. The same goes for partnership-styled businesses. If you need an address to register your business, here at Clyde Offices we provide a Glasgow registered office for your business.


So, there you have it. While much of what we have outlined for you today is quite nebulous, it’s important to know that starting your own company, and starting it successfully will require quite an amount of money. As mentioned, conservatively these estimates start at around £5,000 but will likely balloon well beyond that, and quickly. To avoid the costs of starting a business eating up your dreams, it’s important to be prepared, know what you can afford and have a sound business plan, at a minimum.

Lance WilliamsLance Williams
15:54 04 Jul 24
Very easy set up process, great address for buisness , looks better than a home address in my opinion
alan wattalan watt
13:13 28 Jun 24
Very pleased so far with Clyde offices. very quick and easy to set up and they keep you informed of any developments.
Stuart GraceStuart Grace
11:06 30 May 24
Very efficient and friendly service. Excellent value for money. Strongly recommend this service. Have used this service as my ltd company registered address and hence get correspondence forwarded to my home address.
Business 83Business 83
21:16 16 May 24
Very easy sign up, clear and fast communication with competitive pricing. Just joined and hoping the service is as good as the sign up process.
Muhammad ADMuhammad AD
09:29 16 May 24
Great service, great rates and quick admin staff replying to emails and sending through stuff very quickly. 10/10 would recommend if looking for a virtual address in Glasgow for business or private company purposes.
Morag WebsterMorag Webster
07:39 03 May 24
I recently signed up to Clyde Offices and so far I couldn't be happier with the experience. From the moment I initially enquired about their services to signing up, their communication has been prompt and efficient. The sign-up process was incredibly easy and straightforward.
Calum PatersonCalum Paterson
06:16 03 May 24
Recently joined Clyde Offices and the whole process has been so easy. From signing up to the initial engagement from the team, the whole process couldn't have been better. would highly recommend.
SA PietrzakSA Pietrzak
16:05 24 Apr 24
I would like to recommend Clyde Office for friendly and professional service. The set up process was easy and straightforward.
Tom McDonaldTom McDonald
19:25 18 Apr 24
Great Service and very easy to use.
Teresa RTeresa R
13:43 18 Apr 24
Only recently joined, however, I am really pleased with the ease of joining, the promptness of engagement and the general engagement received. Thank you.
08:00 12 Apr 24
Setting up a new registered address for my business was so stressful with all the other challenges a new business faces. Clyde Offices took all the stress out of it. The service was so simple to use and we're very happy with the ongoing relationship.
Y. R.Y. R.
10:13 11 Apr 24
The registration with Clyde Offices was easy and efficient and the fee was very reasonable. I've been with them for a few weeks now and have been very happy with the service. Responses to a couple of queries I had were prompt and resolved easily. I would happily recommend this service.
esther iesther i
11:45 28 Mar 24
Really happy with the service so far very proactive and happy to help us with whatever we need
10:56 28 Mar 24
I am totally enjoying the services. This is one of my best decisions I made beginning of 2024.
Eryk SzyminiakEryk Szyminiak
11:02 26 Mar 24
I recommend it, easy access to the website and unrivaled low cost... '
Kerry HarveyKerry Harvey
12:22 21 Mar 24
Not long started using this s service and so far amazing. Easy set up and very fast.
Ian HoughtonIan Houghton
12:37 11 Mar 24
Excellent service. Centrally located Well priced
a ea e
09:40 04 Mar 24
Speedy on-boarding process, efficient mail notifications and friendly reception
19:43 15 Feb 24
Very fast service , address sent via email immediately after purchase. Attentive staff and customer service
Tom GairTom Gair
09:39 09 Feb 24
Found these guys, easy to follow online instructions. Quick to set up. Very fast response times to welcome us on board. Not yet used their services, but I'm sure they will be great!
Jordan SmithJordan Smith
13:49 01 Feb 24
Mark MunroMark Munro
14:50 29 Jan 24
Quick and easy to set up, very competitively priced with good support and friendly follow-ups.
Team NeonTeam Neon
09:40 26 Jan 24
Great service!
Michelle LydenMichelle Lyden
16:59 25 Jan 24
Clyde Offices provided us with a consistent and really good service for almost 4 years. Gerry was always at the end of the phone to help us with our queries. I would recommend Clyde Offices if you are looking to add value to your office needs, i.e. outsources answering service etc.
David HeriotDavid Heriot
11:08 11 Jan 24
Super easy to set up, very competitively priced and friendly follow-ups.
Gillian's WalksGillian's Walks
14:01 30 Dec 23
Quick and easy to set up. Great to have an option like this locally.
12:41 07 Dec 23
I was looking for a mailbox provider as I am studying and I live abroad. I found Clyde Offices and they were very helpful in answering my questions. Very reasonably priced and would allow me to receive a few parcels. I highly recommend them and I will be using them for many years. The staff were very attentive and friendly.
Julie MurphyJulie Murphy
15:16 06 Nov 23
This is a great idea if you have your own business but would like an address in the city centre on top of, or instead of your own address or other location.Allows you to advertise as being based in the city centre.Anytime I had to contact the offices the staff were great and very helpful. I didn't need to contact them much at all because the process is so easy and straightforward.
Charles RidleyCharles Ridley
08:55 20 Oct 23
Really easy to get set up and competitively priced service.
William KimmetWilliam Kimmet
23:25 19 Oct 23
Very good and very cheap rental
Jon ChristieJon Christie
11:25 10 Oct 23
Can't fault the service; long may it continue. A good choice for most I would think
Stacy MairStacy Mair
09:56 10 Oct 23
Clyde Offices were very helpful and informative when setting up an account with them, they provide the full service at competitive prices and no additional fees.
j caldwellj caldwell
16:47 21 Aug 23
Setting up my virtual business address with Clyde Offices was so quick and easy to set up in minutes. They also were in email contact to make sure everything was ok and if I needed any other services from them just to make contact with them. I couldn't be happier with the service I received. Thank you
Levati LearningLevati Learning
14:13 21 Aug 23
Very good experience working with the team at Clyde Offices. They have been helping us out for over 5 years now and couldn't survive without them.
Joanna “C.”Joanna “C.”
16:12 14 Sep 22
A vastly superior service from Clyde Offices than any of the corporate virtual offices I have used in the past. A fab team, very efficient and friendly, always very helpful. I would recommend them one hundred percent. Great Central Glasgow location if you ever need to visit.
Audrey JenkinsAudrey Jenkins
04:00 03 Jul 22
I hired a mailing address through Clyde Offices for two months and the service was hugely helpful during that time. I rented some camping equipment for my hiking trip and could only find it for mail delivery; because I flew in from the USA, I needed an address in Glasgow and it so happens their office is very near the train station so this plan worked out perfectly as I set out Monday morning for my trip via train. In addition to easy communications and set up, the service worked with me on my order so that delivery time and pick up were arranged and I had no issues arriving and picking up as planned despite an awkward delay between delivery and pick up. My box was also large, which was certainly an inconvenience for them to hold for a week, but they understood my situation. I recommend Clyde Offices if you are seeking a mailing address in Glasgow.
Kathleen RobertsonKathleen Robertson
09:33 21 Mar 22
I have found Clyde Office to be 100% committed to all work that they carry out for people. Very helpful polite and trustworthy.
Ralph FlemingRalph Fleming
14:44 20 Mar 22
Alan and the team have been a real find for me. They do my reports and deal with all my mail for me. They automatically scan my mail over to me so that I can pick it up on the go, I could not recommend them enough for a small business like me. It's true what they say if you don't have an admin person then you are the admin person!
Austin PowellAustin Powell
17:56 19 Mar 22
Clyde Offices provide me with an incredible service that is invaluable. They help me manage my business. I use for call answering, mailing address and also they help with some of my admin via the virtual assistant service. 5 stars for sure.
Hunter StellaHunter Stella
18:45 16 Mar 22
Sign up was straightforward, and got a virtual mailing address confirmed within minutes. Would recommend.
Glasgow ClinicGlasgow Clinic
11:57 16 Mar 22
Amazing service for a new startup. Understands my business needs and always happy to offer solutions. Professional staff at the end of the phone every time.
hondo madhohondo madho
15:19 14 Mar 22
The staff are professional and timeous in their communication to customers.They give you confidence to work anywhere in the world and they handle your administration in a fantastic way.....keep it up...