These days, nobody is satisfied with their 9-5 job, and they look for ways to source extra income. While setting up a side business serves as an income doubling means for some, others do this as a way of fulfilling goals and attaining financial independence.

Whatever reasons you may have, setting up a sustainable limited company while employed is a great way to get your feet wet in the pool of entrepreneurship. But just like you may have imagined, this is no easy feat. There are obstacles you can encounter while starting a side business in the UK.

The good thing about setting up a side business is that you still have your full-time job to serve as your safety shield in the case of any mishaps. Regardless, we are here to guide you through the journey into the world of small-scale entrepreneurship. But before we get down to work, do you know what you get out of starting a side business in the UK?

Benefits of Small Side Businesses

Not everyone really needs to venture into side hustles. You might be an employee who is satisfied with his/her full-time job, payment structure; there will be little or no reason to put in the required effort to manage a small side business. Or you could also be dreaming of becoming a boss of your own, running your business without having to stick to any fixed-wage pattern or adhering to other bosses. So, what’s in it for you?

Firstly, starting a small-scale business doesn’t translate to quitting your present job immediately and going in alone. Having a side business -while still working full-time- takes away the burden of worrying about a guaranteed source of income. This lets you devote your time to building your business from the ground up without stressing about capital.

A lot of people are not sure if they’re cut out for the world of entrepreneurship. For them to find out whether they’re ready or not, they need to go through the best teaching process; Experience.

What’s the best way to gain the first-hand experience it takes to run a business? It’s easy; setting up your own side business. This lets you garner the necessary experience before deciding if you and entrepreneurship are a perfect fit. This way, it is easier to change your mind if it doesn’t work out.

Guide to Starting Your Side Business Today

Here are some tips to help you set up a side business:

1. Plan Your Business Structure

Every business, regardless of size, requires careful planning and execution to succeed. There are important factors you should take note of before taking off:

  • Type of business you want to run as well as products and services you’re offering
  • How unique is your brand?
  • What customers out there fit the description of your target audience?
  • How tough is the competition, and how do you plan to stand out?
  • How much time and capital are we talking about?

After weighing in these factors, you can now decide what kind of business structure to employ. An example is setting up as a sole trader while employed. This doesn’t require a registered office address. Only self-assessment registration is necessary.

2. Pick a Business Name

Every business venture needs a form of identification, just like people need to know your name to easily identify you, so do the customers need to know what your business is called to correctly identify your brand.

Make sure to check if your proposed business name is not already in use so as not to lose customers to a competitor.  Avoid using offensive names and make sure to end the name in ‘Ltd.’ (Limited).

3. Develop a Website

With limited time on your side, you can’t always have the luxury of setting up a physical location for selling your products. However, there is the option of the digital shop, and this involves you picking a domain name.

Also, trading online is a new trend, so this is a good reason to set up an online store to boost your customer reach. This website should be well-designed with an alluring catalogue for interested customers.

4. Legal Factors

You don’t want to get into some kind of legal trouble because of your business venture. It’s important to understand the rules and regulations involved in starting up a business. You might need to obtain certain permits, check your employment contract for clauses that restrict you from engaging in other forms of business.

Make sure to register your business with the relevant bodies to guarantee protection to your business. 

Challenges of Setting up a Side Business

Now that you know the perks of side businesses, it’s good for you to know that there are a bunch of bumps on the way to achieving your set business plan. When setting up a small side business, having a full-time job could serve as a gift and a curse. Sure, it is the perfect safety net for your business venture, but there’s a catch; with a full-time job, you don’t need to fully commit to a new business plan because you can always fall back on your job.

What this means is that there’s every possibility you won’t put in the necessary effort and just end up changing your mind in little or no time.

The financial surety of your full-time job can also deter you from going beyond your comfort zone when setting up a side business. The fact that you already have a satisfying income could hold you back from any risks that all business-minded individuals have to take at some point in time.

Time is another huge obstacle to starting a side business in the UK. When you have to juggle between a full-time job, household chores, prepping the kids, and taking care of the family on weekends, there’s little or no time to think about putting up a second income generator.


There comes a certain time in your side business venture when you have to decide on quitting your job. Before making this decision, consider factors like income and level of responsibilities; don’t quit your job if it’s not worth it.