4 Key Steps to Setting Up Your Own Business

When the pandemic hit in 2020 things changed, arguably forever… As we all fought to adapt and address a wealth of issues, from safety to supply chain, there was one outcome that no one predicted – creativity, innovation and the impressive rise in new businesses. 

Across the world, people who found themselves out of work or confined to their homes decided to take a chance or follow a dream. From products that could be made easily at home, like face masks or candles, to the rise in virtual assistants, many embraced scrappy entrepreneurialism, in a way that has been likened to the wartime ‘Blitz spirit.’

Recent data has revealed that more than 340,500 businesses were registered in the UK between January and June 2021, an increase of a huge 32% from the same period in 2019; and the picture isn’t dissimilar here in Jersey, as we saw the highest ever year-end number of live companies on the register (34,523). According to Locate Jersey, the increase in local employment can also be attributed, at least in part, to a growing number of islanders establishing their own businesses. 

So, as the economy in 2022 and beyond looks hopefully towards growth – and as we all strive to embrace new attitudes and innovative ways of working – I’m sharing the start-up basics. 

Here are the four key steps you need to take when setting up your own business. 

Secure Your Business Name

Figuring out a name for your new business can be a lot fun, but remember to do your research. If you want to trade using a specific name, make sure that name isn’t already registered. You don’t want to invest in things like design, branding or web domains only to find that your name is already taken. 

You can check registered business names on the Jersey Financial Services Commission website. You’ll also find lots of useful information there, as well as some of the legalities around whether your proposed business name complies with their guidance and regulations.

Apply For A License / Register Your Business 

Once you’ve checked that your business name is available, it’s time to make it yours! 

If you are setting up as a sole trader, you need to apply for your business licence with your business name. The Jersey Financial Services Commission will consider your application and contact you to discuss any issues or to arrange payment, once your business licence is granted.  

Even if you are not using a special business name, and are looking to trade under your own name, you still need to apply for your business license. 

If you are setting up a limited company, you first need to register your company with the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Once the registration is complete, you can then go on to apply for a business licence.

When your business license is granted, you’ll receive a certificate of proof. 

Understand Your Social Security Contributions And Taxes

As a business owner or self-employed person, paying your own social security contributions – and the correct amounts – is now your responsibility. 

There are some initial options to choose from when becoming self-employed, so it’s important to do your research before committing to payments, as the option you choose will impact your contributions. 

You can find lots of helpful advice in this Contributions guide for newly self-employed people

Don’t forget that employing staff has different financial implications for your business. If you plan to employ others, you will also need to pay ITIS (tax) and Social Security contributions for your staff.

Engage An Accountant 

Taxes, social security contributions, annual earnings, start up plans – when you start a new business, there is a lot of terminology that you likely have never heard before. And on top of the responsibilities of establishing and growing your fledgling business, there are a lot of financial obligations that all of a sudden become your sole responsibility. It can be daunting, if not fairly overwhelming, for many. 

Engaging with an accountant in the early days of your business can really help you start as you mean to go on. Finding a trusted partner can help you better understand your financial picture; establish best practice; discover the right business software – and, of course, free up your time as a business owner to embrace creativity and do what you do best. 

And despite what you might think, working with an accountant as a small business owner needn’t be expensive. 

So, what are you waiting for? Book a discovery call with one of our experts now to see how we can help you make your dream businesses a reality and boost your business:life balance. 

Sean O’Flaherty FCA, FCCA


If you’re looking for a right-hand man to help navigate your business journey to success, Sean is your guy. As one of Rosscot’s fantastic Directors, Sean takes a hands-on approach in supporting our clients efficiently, giving peace of mind supported by our brilliant team.


Why not have a quick call to discuss your requirements and find out if we’re a good fit.