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Online information on starting a business

Starting a business

If you’re interested in starting your own business, you’ll find these sites can help you with a range of issues.  Your local library has access to many books on starting up a business and you can also search the library catalogue online for suitable books. 

Business Support in the Dudley Borough

  • Business starts here: Business start up support in Dudley. Have you always wanted to be your own boss but aren’t sure where to start? Business starts here can direct you towards the free support, information and facilities that can help turn your idea into a fully fledged business.

  • COBRA: COBRA is The Complete Business Reference Advisor- a must for anyone thinking of starting their own business. By logging in you can access start-up guides, factsheets, details of courses, qualifications and training providers, signposting to business events and much more. Dudley Libraries has a subscription so you can gain free access through our webpages. Simply login with your library card and PIN.

  • Dudley Business First
    Dudley Business First offers free and tailored services to help your business establish, grow, diversify or relocate in Dudley Borough.  Also includes a free funding and grants search to help you identify any funding available.

  • Dudley Council’s Business pages
    Includes links to local commercial property, contract opportunities, health and safety advice and more.

Black Country Business Support

  • Prince’s Trust
    The Prince’s Trust operates an Enterprise Programme providing money and support to help young people start up in business.  The site also features an “A-Z of Young Businesses”, and a Business Finder.  Also contains useful resources and links.


  • Access to Business: A local organisation that provides services supporting local people in the Black Country into employment and self-employment.


  • SWEDA Business Advice A local organisation that will provide you with the tools and resources to help you to choose the right ideas, research your market, write a business plan, submit applications for funding, and work with partners.


  • Black Country Growth Hub:The Growth Hub provides a single point of contact for businesses in the Black Country to easily access a wide range of support and expertise. They provide help with starting a new business, looking for funding or assisting businesses to achieve increased competitiveness and growth.

  • Black Country Chamber of Commerce: A membership organisation that can provide help, advice, and a range of business support services that will help you to grow and succeed. The Enterprise team offers free business mentoring from a qualified business adviser to assist you to start-up, develop and grow your business.

  • Business Solutions Centres:
    Offers start ups and businesses based in the Midlands, a single point of access to a wide range of events, workshops, business facilities, professional advisory services, consultancy and innovation support.

National Information

  • Gov UK Business pages
    An essential starting point for anyone looking to start their own business. Contains links and guides to all aspects of starting up and running a business in the UK. You can also contact the government national business support helpline for advice (local call rate applies).


  • HMRC Digital Help and Support for Businesses
    Help and advice from HMRC including online tax guides, webinars and HMRC’s YouTube channel.  

  • Companies House
    If you’re starting up you’ll find information about registering your business, checking if a company name is available, when to file accounts, and lots more.  All limited companies in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are registered at Companies House.

  • UK Intellectual Property Office 
     The Intellectual Property Office helps you get the right type of protection for your creation or invention, from trade marks to patents, designs to copyright.

  • Federation of Small Business
    The main organisation for small business in the UK, the FSB promotes and protects the interests of the self-employed and small business owners within the UK.

Funding and Finance

  • Government backed Start Up loans
    An independently managed, government-backed scheme, supported by the British Business Bank and designed to support businesses looking to start up or grow.

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