Useful Links

Government sites
For Tax and VAT, this is a surprisingly useful site providing good advice for the smaller businesses and the self-employed. Well worth visiting if just setting up in business or self-employment.
This provides information for limited companies in the UK, including name searches and basic information.  If you want the company forms only, go direct to
Health and Safety Executive site giving advice on health and safety issues.
The Dept of Trade and Industry website has a wide range of business trading information, European and world import and export, business grants, and various industry specific issues.
The ‘small business service’ arm of the Dept of Trade and Industry
Directory of all the public services on one site - everything they think you need to know about the government of the UK.  For local government information (some 65 departments etc), try
The National Statistics Office website – useful for research and information on the economy, industry, and census etc - updated regularly.

Business Information
The British Chamber of Commerce website, the national voice of local business providing a range of services including international trade, training and cost-effective commercial services.
The Federation of Small Business website - the leading political lobby for small businesses in the UK.
The UK Patent Office website.

Business News
The Financial Times - up to the minute news, information and analysis on the economy, business, investment, etc.
The Reuters website for the latest news, business, financial and investing news, including personal finance.
The BBC for the latest general and financial news

Business Start-Ups
A comprehensive website dedicated to new businesses.
Practical advice for business, aimed mainly at new or growing businesses (managed by the DTI).
An independent organisation aiming to foster success in young people to start and develop their own businesses. Also hosts a national competition for start-ups to accelerate young business ideas. Free advice for 16 to 30 year olds.
Provides the latest information on how Shell Livewire assists people aged 16-30 who are looking to start their own business.
Offers a simple 4-step grant search service. It has comprehensive, up-to-date information on business grants currently available in only a few seconds. It contains regional information on around 5,000 capital grants.