Self Employment

Becoming self-employed can be a great way to become your own boss, manage your own time and be flexible around other commitments. However, it can be a daunting prospect and there are lots of things to consider. We’ve put together this guide to signpost you to additional support in and around Southampton, as well as online.


Support is available for self-employed individuals whose income has been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please check the government guidance for information and follow the instructions carefully:

Other information can be found here:

Useful Websites

Getting started:

Set up as a sole trader step by step guide:

Business Companion – Free, impartial legal guidance for businesses:

Simply Business – Going Self-Employed in the UK: – Is self-employment right for me?:

Register as

What is a UTR number?

Money and Benefits:

Money Advice Service – Tax and National Insurance when you’re self-employed:

Turn2Us – Self-Employment and Benefits:

New Enterprise


BT Skills for Tomorrow – free courses around work, skills, IT and business

FutureLearn – online courses in business, management and social media

Abri Create – free self-employment course currently being delivered as a webinar

Support in and around Southampton

Creative Growth Southampton – does exactly what it says on the tin; helps you reach your next business goals by offering a range of services based around: Mentoring, Networking and Training, all planned and designed to help you take your creative business to the next level.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce  – provide products, services and support to businesses across Hampshire.

Network Eagle Lab – Barclays has partnered with Southampton City Council to create Network Eagle Lab and support entrepreneurs and businesses within Southampton.

Federation of Small Businesses – As experts in business, we offer our members a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice heard in government. Our mission is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions.

Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme – Supports people aged 16-30, working less than 16 hours a week and living in Hampshire, Dorset or South Wiltshire to start up their own business. Call 0800 842 842 to find out when the next course is running.

Collabor8 – Calling all people in business, whatever stage your business is at! You no longer need to feel alone – we are here to support you as you grow. Our fantastic community of like-minded business people understand that running your own business can be a lonely place. Just like you, members of our community want to grow their businesses, form new relationships and have a good time along the way.

Southampton City Council Business Advice – The following information is to help businesses comply with legislation and to trade fairly. We can provide guidance on setting up systems to achieve compliance, identifying best practice and maintaining due diligence. In the first instance we would encourage traders to visit the Business Companion website.

Solent Growth Hub – The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Hub is the first point of contact for individuals and businesses needing FREE and impartial business support.

Abri – free self-employment courses in and around Southampton

Speed You Up Young Entrepreneur Programme

WSX Enterprise is a non for profit company which helps our Customers to set up their own businesses.

We would like to invite young people aged 16 to 25 who would like to learn about self – employment to join the Speed You Up Young Entrepreneur Programme.

If you consider self-employment route we can offer you a free of charge training sessions about Skills,  Business Ideas, Community, Business Planning as well as Marketing. For those who are interested we can offer additional sessions covering topics of your interest as well as provide 1:1 meetings with our business mentors. Even if at the end of the training you decide not to set up a business the course will provide you with transferrable skills needed in a regular employment.

The course is available to all young people aged 16 to 25 who are currently unemployed and live in Southampton. Please contact the Project Coordinator and book your place:

Self-Employment Training Courses from the WEA

How to Develop an Existing Business

A Guide to the Basics of Setting up a Business

Introduction to Starting Your Own Business

Level 2 Award in Food Safety

How to Start Your Own Business

Southampton City Council Business News E-Alert

Stay up to date with information, events and advice for businesses in Southampton by subscribing to our Business news e-alert

Solent Wellbeing Scheme

Free & confidential wellbeing program for business owners

Solent LEP have partnered with small business experts, FSB to set up The Solent Wellbeing Scheme

It’s important that under pressure business owners can access the help and support they need in the workplace and at home, which is why the Solent Wellbeing Scheme also extends to offer confidential, one to one tailored support. Times are tough and if you’re struggling with your physical or mental health, getting help quickly can make a big difference to your business as well as your personal life.

The Solent Wellbeing Scheme, open to any small business owner in the Solent area, can be accessed here. If you would like to access the one-to-one support available through the scheme, please apply online or call 02392 688055 or email

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