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Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

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Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Economic confidence turns positive

16 April 2018

Economic confidence turns positiveBusiness leaders' confidence in the economy has returned to positive territory for the first time in almost a year.

The latest survey of company directors by the Institute of Directors (IoD) shows that optimism about the UK's economy is higher than at any time since Theresa May triggered Article 50 last March.

And, for the first time since withdrawal negotiations began, the UK's uncertain trading status with the EU has fallen out of the top three concerns of business leaders. Economic conditions, skills shortages and compliance with Government regulation now occupy the top spots.

While optimism about the wider economy remains low at just 1%; bosses' confidence in their own companies is much higher at 47%.

Tej Parikh, IoD senior economist, said: "The sensitivity of business leaders to their political environment highlights the imperative for clear communications from policy-makers. The wrong signals or lack of engagement can have a real impact on firms' investment and employment plans.

"We urge the Government to provide further detail on its proposals for the UK's future trading and regulatory relationship with the EU, and to iron out its initiatives to narrow the skills gap and enhance business productivity through the Industrial Strategy.

"While directors' economic confidence has edged into positive territory, there's still plenty keeping them on the fence. Positivity has been held back by rising labour shortages and the burden of complying with Government regulations, and this should remind us that Brexit isn't the only game in town."

Meanwhile, the latest British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) quarterly economic survey has also found that there has been a "slight uptick in business confidence". However, the BCC survey concludes that the UK economy is "treading water".

Dr Adam Marshall, BCC director general, said: "What growth we see in the UK economy is due principally to strong global trading conditions, rather than domestic demand, which remains muted. Uncertainty, recruitment difficulties and price pressures remain persistent concerns for businesses of every shape and size, even if short-term confidence levels remain resilient."

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