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For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

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.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

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.

GDPR: nine in ten small firms still not ready

6 March 2018

GDPR: nine in ten small firms still not readyOnly 8% of UK small businesses have completed preparations ahead of the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) according to a new poll.

All UK businesses have until 25 May to get ready for the new GDPR data regulations. However, a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that 33% of small firms have not yet started preparing for GDPR and a further 35% are only in the early stages of preparations.

A sector breakdown shows that hospitality and arts and entertainment have the largest number of unprepared SMEs. Over half of respondents in these industries have not yet started preparing for the changes. Small businesses in the financial services sector are the most prepared, with 82% of respondents having started or completed their GDPR preparations.

The FSB has launched a campaign - BeDataReady - to raise awareness about GDPR and support the 5.7 million SMEs in the UK. Resources include a 12-point GDPR preparation checklist.

Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: "FSB is in a unique position to reach small businesses and so we're going to step up efforts to help and support them get data ready, while continuing to make sure the Government implements the regulation in the fairest way for small firms.

"The GDPR is the biggest shake-up in data protection to date and many small businesses will be concerned that the changes will be too much to handle. It's clear that a large part of the small business community is still unaware of the steps that they need to take to comply and may be left playing catch-up."

UK information commissioner Elizabeth Denham has welcomed the campaign: "Research suggests the SME sector is less prepared than others for the changes. We know that many small businesses are keen to get it right, but with so much misinformation out there it's difficult for them to know what's right and what's not. It is therefore very welcome that FSB is running this campaign."

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