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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.

May promises swift action on mental health at work

30 October 2017

May promises swift action on mental health at workA new report on mental health in the workplace, Thriving at Work, has prompted a swift response from Government and business groups.

The independent review has found that 300,000 people a year are leaving their jobs each year due to mental illness - costing employers up to £42 billion annually.

The report, from Lord Dennis Stevenson, a long-time campaigner for greater understanding and treatment of mental illness, and Paul Farmer, ceo of Mind, includes 40 recommendations for the public and private sector.

Prime minister Theresa May said: "We need to take action. That's why I am immediately asking NHS England and the Civil Service - which together employ more than two million people - to accept the recommendations that apply to them. With so many of our leading businesses leading the way in this area … I am sure that the private sector will follow suit."

The prime minister has written to key business groups, including the CBI, the Institute of Directors (IoD) and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to encourage them to implement the recommendations in their organisations and across their networks.

Mike Cherry, FSB chairman, said: "We welcome the efforts of the reviewers in attempting to understand the small business perspective … Owning and running a business brings with it different challenges and pressures that can impact an individual's mental health.

"Small businesses and the self-employed are keen to work with Government and others to meet that challenge. There is a collective responsibility shared by Government, business owners and each of us as individuals to work together to destigmatise mental health and create an open environment where we can all talk about and take care of each other's mental health."

Stephen Martin, IoD director general, said: "This report adds some much-needed Government backing to the calls for more open conversations about mental health at work. The review … shows that mental health is not just a moral issue, but a business one too.

"Official statistics suggest that 127 million hours of work were lost in 2015 due to mental health related absence. Even when poor mental health isn't forcing individuals to take time off work, it's affecting their performance in work."

There are many resources available to employers to help them tackle mental health in the workplace, including an IoD portal on Mental Health in the Workplace, an FSB hub, Wellbeing in Small Business and new guidance for employers from Acas.

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