0141 226 5252

featured property

Glasgow City Centre


Captcha Code


  • Stelmain
  • Baltic Chambers
  • 50 Wellington Street
  • G2 6HJ

Guide to Starting Your Business in Scotland

1 August 2019

Scottish bank notes

Previously here at Stelmain, we championed the advantages of starting up your business in Glasgow. We’ve even provided readers with a handy checklist of things to look for in a Glasgow office space to make their job easier! What we haven’t done, however, is talk about starting a business in Scotland as a whole — this is because we’ve focused solely on Glasgow. This is because we have office space in Glasgow and we are dedicated to seeing the city continue to be the most prosperous business hub in Scotland. However, Glasgow grows as Scotland grows, and we think Scotland is a pretty fantastic place to start a business. As such, we thought we’d put together a short guide to starting a business in Scotland.

Remember that you are not alone

The first piece of advice is for you to remember that you aren’t alone. The UK as a whole is a great place for entrepreneurs and start-ups, with plenty of infrastructure and systems in place to help. Scotland, however, has even more funding, support, tax incentives, etc, in place to give new businesses the help they need to grow and flourish. Mygov.scot is especially useful as it features a wide range of useful information on the following areas:

  • Tax
  • Business law
  • Funding opportunities
  • Working from home
  • Common pitfalls/mistakes
  • Starting a business in a recession

This resource also has a range of video diaries from successful Scottish businesses, so you can learn the ropes from people a few steps ahead of you that have proven themselves. Business Gateway is also a fantastic resource, especially with regards to the legalities around naming your company. They also offer more specific advice for women in business.

Scottish Enterprise

Scottish businesses are lucky to have Scottish Enterprise as a business resource. This organisation is designed to assist with funding and grants and to aid in the development of the skills and workforce required to help local businesses grow and thrive. Scottish Enterprise can help with business development, training, and even with preparations for Brexit and how you can minimise any disruption it might cause for your business .

Consider Where in Scotland Best Suits Your Business’s Needs

Glasgow’s busy Buchanan Street

While we wrote a blog a few months ago entitled ‘Why Glasgow May be Better than Edinburgh for Your Business’ we would never argue that Glasgow is the best place in Scotland for all businesses. Scotland is a rich, diverse country, and the people and resources available in each city, town, mountain, and valley all vary massively. Perhaps your business idea is so new and guaranteed to impress people that you simply need to attract the maximum number of customers. In that case, Glasgow is clearly the best option for you as it has the largest city centre and the highest population.

However, you shouldn’t presume that the bigger the city, the bigger the profits, as there is also higher rent and higher competition. And it may make more sense for your business to be based outside of Glasgow or Edinburgh. For instance, if your business idea is tourism related and relies on easy access to the highlands and the central belt, it may make the most sense to establish your business in Sterling. If you need access sorely to the highlands and the north of the country then Inverness is the obvious choice.

Don’t be Afraid to Spend a Little Longer Figuring Out Your Market

This advice holds for any business starting up in any country, but it’s too important to leave out of this blog and it follows neatly from the previous point. Remember that you can’t really stop your business or take a pause once you’ve taken out a loan, rented your property, and started marketing/advertising. If you start your business sprinting in the wrong direction, you could waste a lot of time and money trying to attract the wrong audience; if you take the time to research your audience first of all (age, gender, income, quirks, locations, preferences) you can mitigate the heavy losses incurred by many starter businesses.

Of course, there will always be an element of risk to starting a business — and you will need to jump into it at some point, but don’t confuse courage for foolhardiness. You can make a brave first step for your business without risking too much. Take the time to research on your own, but don’t be afraid to talk to the professionals. Scottish Enterprise offers a free International Market Research Service and there are other small services available if you take the time to look — you just may need to pay for some of the data.

One of the best free data resources is Google, as it offers search volume data for free. Search volume is the number of people who have searched for a specific term on Google each month, and it can break down these searches by location, allowing you to get an idea of the location-specific appetite for your product or service. Thinking about starting a vegan restaurant in Edinburgh? Find out the search volume for search terms like ‘vegan restaurants in Edinburgh’. It’s unlikely that search volumes will give you all the information you need, but they can at least give you some idea and they help you figure out exactly what to call your products and services on your website.

That’s all we have time for today. We hope this brief guide has helped several readers along the path towards starting up their own business in Scotland. And, if you decide to set up shop in Glasgow and you’re in need of high-quality serviced office space, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

checklist for choosing the right office space: what to consider…

15 August 2017

Choosing the right office space for your new or existing business is crucial and can have a lasting impact on its success. There are many factors to consider, which can be a little overwhelming and…

read more

Non, Semi and Serviced Offices: What's the Difference?

19 December 2017

We understand that these terms are quite ambiguous and can cause a great deal of confusion. To clarify and help you make the right decision, here is a brief overview of each type of commercial offi…

read more

​Why Choose Glasgow for Your Rented Office Space?

17 January 2018

Choosing the location of your office space can be difficult. With a population of 1,057,600, Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland, and the fourth biggest city in the UK. Let's take a few mi…

read more

Creating Structured Routine to Boost Motivation

11 February 2018

The internet is full of business articles about maximising productivity and getting the most out of your employees. There is usually some good advice in these articles, but there’s so much &l…

read more

When Should I Start Looking for a New Office Space?

16 March 2018

When should you start looking for a new office space? As Stelmain has been providing office space to businesses for over 30 years, we’d like to offer a little guidance as to when a business s…

read more

Commercial Property for Rent: Glasgow

23 April 2018

Here at Stelmain, we’re incredibly proud of our portfolio of commercial properties for rent in Glasgow. We have a large range of different properties to meet a variety of different companies&…

read more

Looking to rent a small office in Glasgow?

29 May 2018

If you’re looking to rent a small office in Glasgow, then this blog will hopefully give you enough information to make this transmission as easy as possible.

read more

Why consider flexible office space for your SME?

12 June 2018

We’ll discuss the idea of smaller contracts, expanding and optimising your office space, and what to do if your number of staff drops a little.

read more

Commercial Property in Glasgow: The Reel House

25 July 2018

We’re excited to announce that The Reel House is now open and available to any business looking to set up shop in some of the most desirable office space in Glasgow.

read more

Glasgow’s Many Universities are Great for Business

27 August 2018

Glasgow’s prestigious universities make the city such a viable option for business owners. Keep reading to find out why Glasgow’s universities are great for local businesses.

read more

Why Glasgow is Better than London (For your Business)

20 September 2018

We thought we’d compare London with Glasgow, explaining why we think Glasgow is better than London for your business.

read more

​5 Tips for Entrepreneurs in Glasgow

23 October 2018

Glasgow is a brilliant city to start a business, and we see plenty of impressive new ideas in the start-up companies who rent many of our serviced office spaces in Glasgow.

read more

Glasgow Becomes an Even Better Place for New Businesses

21 November 2018

A new grant scheme has been founded to promote young entrepreneurs in Glasgow and we’d like to shine a spotlight on it.

read more

​Big Changes to How Glasgow’s Roads and Transport System Functions

5 December 2018

A large investment designed to improve Glasgow’s connections will be a huge boon to Glasgow’s businesses

read more

5 Reasons to Relocate Your Business to Glasgow in 2019

21 January 2019

Glasgow is one of the most exciting places in the UK to live and work - here are 5 reasons to relocate your business to Glasgow in 2019!

read more

Checklist for Choosing an Office Space in Glasgow: What to Consider

21 February 2019

Need a little help choosing office space in Glasgow? Read our checklist to narrow down your search and understand the city a little better.

read more

​Glasgow Business Named One of the UK’s Best to Work For

14 March 2019

Itison is a Glasgow-based business that’s just made the Times 100 Best Companies to Work for 2019 list, which is based on direct feedback from employees.

read more

Why Glasgow May Be Better Than Edinburgh for Your Business

25 April 2019

Glasgow has its own unique character that’s pretty much impossible to resist. And it’s particularly appealing if you’re looking to set up a business.

read more

A Brief Introduction to Starting a Business In Glasgow

30 May 2019

Here are some of our top tips for getting that killer enterprise off the ground in Scotland’s most populous city.

read more

Glasgow Business Awards Return in 2019

2 July 2019

Here at Stelmain, we try to stay on top of any and all news related to Glasgow businesses. This month, we’re discussing the returning Glasgow Business Awards for 2019!

read more

​Stelmain’s Top 5 Buildings in Glasgow

19 August 2019

We’ve written a checklist to choosing an office space in Glasgow and an argument for why Glasgow may be better than Edinburgh for your business.

read more