I recently had the pleasure of catching up with a lovely friend of mine who lives too far away to visit as frequently as we would both like. She shall remain nameless, but I can tell you that she is a journalist turned novelist, famous for her acting and has now found success writing and publishing a piece for theatre. There is no end to her talent!
Following these exciting ventures my nameless friend is now thinking of setting up a business as well. The idea is presently only in her mind, and she asked me for advice on how to start-up. ‘Start-ups’ are a BIG thing right now. Everyone has their plan and everyone wants to shake that daily 9-5 grind, whether it’s to holiday on a beach, study volcanoes or simply spend more time with the family. Everybody is capable of succeeding on their own. Most people, however, get stuck at the first hurdle.
For this post, I’m taking you back to the start. This is all you need to do to begin. If you need more information, simply drop me a line and I’ll get blogging.
To get started you will need a good old fashioned piece of paper and a pen; perhaps a couple of coloured pens if you’re feeling arty.
The reason for the pen and paper is that we spend too much time staring at computer screens. Additionally, if you’re like me, it is much easier to get your ideas down using pen and paper without trying to make my idea look like I want it to using the paintbrush tool and a laptop mouse?!
Pen and Paper
If you already have a name then you’re one step ahead. If you don’t have a name then you will need to decide on this before you continue.
When you have chosen your name you need to see if this name is available. Start out by looking for this name as a domain name. (A domain name is the web address you plan to use for your business: i.e. www.lkrosa.com)
To check if your domain name is available you could use: www.123-reg.co.uk or www.uk.godaddy.com or simply put ‘buy domain name’ into Google and check what hits you get.
In most cases you can put ‘mynewshopnameexample’ into the relevant box and the search will return with a list of available sites such as:
mynewshopnameexample.com – AVAILABLE
mynewshopnameexample.co.uk – AVAILABLE
mynewshopnameexample.biz – AVAILABLE
and so on.
AVAILABLE is good. The more domain names that are available, the more likely that nobody has already registered this name with Companies House.
So, when you decide that you want to buy the domain ‘mynewshopnameexample.com’ you simply select it, add it to the basket and then – before you buy it – open a new browser window to use the WebCHeck at Companies House.
Put your proposed business name into the box labelled ‘Company Name’ and check the box ‘current / recently dissolved names’ and press search.
- If there is no other similar name then you are okay to continue.
- If the SAME name comes up – this has already been registered with Companies House so you should choose another.
- If a SIMILAR name pops up, you will have to check this out in further detail. Usually if the business type is different, then this is not deemed to be an issue – i.e. nynewshopnameexamplerecruitment vs. mynewshopnameexampleretail. But you will have to check this out carefully before you commit to buying the domain.
Based on the assumption that your name was completely original and nobody has thought of it before, then you should head back to your basket and buy this domain. This will secure it whilst you’re playing around with other paperwork.
Click back onto Companies House and get your company registered here as well so noone else can decide that your name is exactly what they have been trying to think up and register it themselves in the meantime.
So, you now have an online company. Please comment and let us know what you plan to do next with yours!