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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.

Revealed: the best place to run a business in the UK

4 August 2020

Belfast tops the list of the best cities in the UK for running your own business, according to new research on business costs.

Utility Bidder has studied a range of common business costs - from salaries and broadband fees to office rents - to find the cheapest and the most expensive places to run a business.

In the UK, the findings show that the most affordable cities for business owners are: Belfast, Liverpool, Southampton, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Aberdeen has the highest average annual salary at £35,000 outside London (at £37,000) while Liverpool has the lowest average salary at £26,000.

Belfast has the cheapest monthly internet cost at £28 a month, followed by Southampton and Glasgow (£29). Bristol, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and London have the highest monthly internet cost at £32.

Belfast has the cheapest average annual office cost per square foot at £34. Unsurprisingly, London has the most expensive business office occupancy costs, at an average of £113.20 per square foot.

For UK entrepreneurs thinking of expanding overseas or even relocating, the study of business costs around the world shows that the most affordable cities for businesses are: Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Bratislava and Helsinki. Belfast comes eighth in the global list.

Office space is most affordable in Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Valencia, Porto and Bratislava. The cheapest cities for salary are: Mexico City, Budapest, Warsaw, Porto and Prague.

Budapest offers the cheapest corporate taxes - at just 9%. But the UK's 19% corporation tax rate ensures that UK cities are in second place when it comes to low business taxes.

Overall, the most expensive cities are: San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Boston and Geneva.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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