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Starting a business

9 August 2018

Essex County Council has been offering advice to new businesses for many years. We aim to make the information you require easy to find so you can get on with what really matters: getting started. We can also put you in touch with other people who want to help.
If you’re uncertain about what help you need and haven’t had business support before, Business Link should be your first port of call. Business Link is the government’s portal for business information. In addition to the information on the website, Business Link provides free one-to-one advice from experienced business advisors and can get you a place on workshops and seminars that cover a vast range of business topics.
The Business Information Service can also provide help in the form of useful, free factsheets. For further information call the Business Information Service on: 01245 492535 or email: 
We can also help you with those difficult first steps towards running your own business at Essex Business Support where you can find out about grants and finance, skills and training, marketing and development, as well as income tax, PAYE and other vital information.
Trading Standards offer advice and guidance to businesses in relation to the law. You can contact Essex Trading Standards for advice about specific issues, or visit the Ask Cedric website for impartial advice.

If you have a business idea

Contact Essex Innovation Programmes to get mentoring and expert advice covering matters from concept, product development, planning funding and accessing markets. 

Discussing your idea

Did you know there is an online community of business owners providing a free and impartial business support service? Find out more at VentureNavigator. 


To access a range of training including first aid, food safety, health and safety, skills for life, IT and business check out the business development unit at Adult Community Learning Essex.

Developing and growing an existing business

As an entrepreneur with an existing business you may still benefit from contacting Essex Business Support, where you can get advice about various topics like Small Business Rates Relief, how to find new markets and diversify, developing new products and how to access free legal, tax and financial advice.   

Seeking new opportunities

Of course, Essex County Council is always interested in getting better value for money for the residents of Essex. If your business provides something we might be interested in purchasing, find out about opportunities to become a supplier, advertised contracts and how to tender for work.

Other useful websites