Business & IP centre

Events for new businesses

The Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire supports entrepreneurs, inventors and small businesses from that first spark of inspiration to successfully launching and developing a business.

The Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire is part of the British Library Business & IP Centre national network.

The Centre runs workshops and also information and advice sessions on:

  • self employment
  • intellectual property
Business support activities

Useful websites

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property

Intellectual Property or IP can help you protect your business ideas to prevent others from using them without your permission.

Bookable sessions for one to one Intellectual Property advice are available. For further details see our Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire: support activities page.

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Registering your business

Companies House

Information on registering your business as a limited company. Free company name search provided.

  • Companies House

​Information on starting up and running a business in the UK, including help if you are self employed or a sole trader.

HM Revenue and Customs: self employed

​HMRC's section for people who are self employed or are considering becoming self employed.

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Tax national insurance and VAT

HM Revenue and Customs: Leaflets, factsheets and booklets

​Collection bringing together leaflets, factsheets and booklets issued by HM Revenue and Customs.

HM Revenue and Customs: Live webinars

​Live webinars are available on set dates and times. They usually last an hour and there is time to ask the presenter questions at the end. Customers will need to complete a simple registration in advance giving their name and email address.

HM Revenue and Customs: Online Learning

​Online learning is an e-course covering tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses.

HM Revenue and Customs: recorded webinars

​Recorded webinars are available at any time and can be viewed at your own pace. However, unlike live webinars they are not hosted so there is no opportunity to ask questions.

HM Revenue and Customs: YouTube channel

​Short information videos located on HMRC YouTube channel. They aim to provide reassurance and offer quick help.

Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW): business advice service

​Includes information on how business start-ups can book a free appointment with a chartered accountant.

Open Learn: introduction to bookkeeping and accounting

​Learn the essential numerical skills required for accounting and bookkeeping. This free course explains the fundamental rules of double-entry bookkeeping and how they are used to produce the balance sheet and the profit and loss account.

Turn2us:self employment benefits

​Information on benefits you may be entitled to if you are self employed.

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Writing a business plan

Business plan guidance from the high street banks

​Information about business plan content, including templates and online tools (Registration may be required)

GOV.UK: business plans

​Help page on writing your business plan. Includes a link to the Prince's Trust business plan template; and also free sample templates available through

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Raising finance for your business

Business Angels

​The UK national trade association representing private investors or a group of investors looking for opportunities to invest money in enterprises.

First Enterprise

Provides advice and business loans to pre-start and existing business owners throughout the East Midlands.

Fredericks Foundation: Northamptonshire

​Provides loans to new and existing businesses that have been refused finance by mainstream lenders.


​Subscription grants and policy database which holds details of more than 7,000 funding opportunities.
Please note: Northamptonshire Libraries does not subscribe to this website.

New enterprise allowance

​Can provide money and support to help you start your own business if you're getting certain benefits. Contact Jobcentre Plus to apply or find out more.

Prince's Trust: business funding

​Where to find the money for your own business start-up, and which option is the best for you.


​Aimed at entrepreneurs in general: the website contains a free search engine for finding grants (registration is required).

Start Up Loans

​A Government initiative providing funding, mentoring & support to those looking to start or grow a business. Start-up Loans works with Enterprise Loans East Midlands and Midlands Community Finance and CWRT to support Start Up Loans applicants in the East Midlands.

​Small business advice, business ideas and information on starting a business.

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Building your online skills and digital strategy


​e-business online course.

Digital business academy

​Eight free digital online courses.

Google:digital garage

​Get the digital skills you need to grow your business.

Hootsuite: podium

​Six free courses on the fundamentals of social marketing.

Lloyds Bank: online skills for small businesses and medium sized enterprises

​Guide to basic online skills and using online services to help with your business.

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Business start-up resources Northamptonshire

Business File Directory

​Fully searchable database of over 9,600 companies located in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Buy With Confidence: Northamptonshire County Council's approved trader scheme

​Information on applying to become an approved trader to show customers that you are Trading Standards approved.

Enterprise Club: University of Northampton

​Offers advice, mentoring, training and networking to university staff and students; and also local entrepreneurs.


​Start up and business support service for Kettering: funded by Kettering Borough Council and delivered by the University of Northampton.

Federation of small businesses: Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Rutland

​UK's largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self employed and owners of small firms.

Northamptonshire analysis

​Gateway to information and intelligence about Northamptonshire; aimed at anyone who is looking to find out more about their local community and the county in general.

Northamptonshire Chamber

​Represents around 1,000 Northamptonshire businesses, who employ over one third of the county's workforce.

Northamptonshire community housing network: self employment training

​Support for disabled people considering self employment.

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General business start-up resources national

BBC: running a business
Business advisory service

​An energy comparison service to help you find the cheapest utility prices in the energy market.

Business companion

Information for businesses and individuals that need to know about trading standards legislation.

Intellectual property basics

​Series of videos helping businesses understand IP and some of the areas around it.


​A free programme of online business support including video tutorials and downloadable templates.

Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME)

​Supporting business creation by the over 50s.

Prince's Trust

​Supporting business creation by 18 - 30 year olds.

Start-up Britain

​National campaign by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, harnessing the expertise and passion of Britain's leading business people; aims to celebrate, inspire and accelerate enterprise in the UK.

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Social enterprise resources

Co-operatives UK

​Basic information on establishing co-operatives.

Funding central

​Grant funding, loans and contract search website.


​A partnership between the University of Northampton and Exemplas: a support service for the social enterprise sector providing information, specialist advice, training, consulting, coaching and mentoring to new and existing social enterprises and social entrepreneurs.

Social enterprise East Midlands

​A partnership of organisations from the community, voluntary, enterprise, government and regional development sectors of the East Midlands.

Social enterprise UK
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Business office space


​Details of thousands of serviced offices in the United Kingdom.

Office Genie

​Designed specifically for small businesses, startups and freelancers; search all the main types of office space for rent and then compare available space on a like-for-like desk cost basis.

Prime Office Space

​The Prime Office Space search facility allows you to search for serviced, managed, temporary, flexible and traditional office space to let.

Skyline Offices

​Search all types of office space nationally, whatever the size of your business; whether you need a single desk, or space for 100 desks.

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