Portsmouth city council

If you are thinking about, or in the process of, setting up your own business in Portsmouth, you won't be the first - many businesses in different sectors have started and successfully grown in Portsmouth. 

We offer a number of initiatives to help business startups, including office space, industrial workshops and storage units on flexible, monthly terms at our Portsmouth Enterprise Centres, and help with local business regulations, such as building control, environmental health, licensing and planning.

Follow the links or browse our frequently asked questions below for more information - if your query isn't covered please email business@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

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  • A range of business information is available in Portsmouth Central Library - a business startup information desk on the first floor of the Central Library
  • Get online advice on protecting your business ideas
  • For general business support enquiries phone us on 023 9284 1074
  • Enterprise First can give you the tools you need to help your new business thrive. Call 07867 357930 to book a free pre-start business MOT.
  • WSX Enterprise has experts who deliver a range of business support programmes, often working with funding organisations. For more information call 01329 223242.

Solent Growth Hub offers access to expert advice and specialist services:

  • Single point of reference for Business Support Growth Initiatives
  • One-to-one advice from Business Support Navigators by phone or in person
  • Signposting and referrals to local and national schemes supporting business growth
  • Growth Audits and expert growth advice to assess growth options/unlock finance
  • Business Growth specialist events and seminars

Email solentgrowthhub@hampshirechamber.co.uk or phone 013 2982 0898.

The government campaign Great Business has a website offering practical support, advice and inspiration to UK businesses - greatbusiness.gov.uk.

  • Call Solent Growth Hub on 01329 820 898 or send an email to info@solentgrowthhub.co.uk
  • Call the Government Business Support Helpline 0300 456 3565
  • Call the City Development Team at the council on 023 9284 1074

You can access over 115 mentoring organisations through the website mentorsme.co.uk

For general advice on business plans, visit the following:

The Portsmouth Library business service based at Central Library can offer help and support with information and advice on protecting your Intellectual Property (IP), together with trademarks, patents and copyright guidance.

Visit the library or phone 023 9283 4118 for more information.

Business to Business networking meetings are held monthly at the Mountbatten Centre. Make your own pitch, hear speakers and get networking! Contact danielle.milansinovic@portsmouthcc.gov.uk for more information.

Free monthly business networking event on the first Friday of every month at Portsmouth Enterprise Centre, Quartermaine Road - firstfriday-network.co.uk

You can find about funding for start-up businesses at:

There are also low-cost loans available from the Start Up Loans Company. Anybody living in the UK and at least 18 years of age at the time of registration, can apply for a Start Up Loan, even if they have already started a business - but they must not have been trading for longer than a period of 12 months.

The Princes Trust can help people aged 18-30 who are interested in being self-employed, through low interest loans of £5,000 with additional one-to-one support, training and mentoring.

If you are currently claiming unemployment benefit and would like to set up your own business, talk to your Jobcentre Plus personal advisor about help to become self-employed, such as the Enterprise Allowance Scheme, which provides money and support to help an unemployed person start a business.

Follow the link for more information on moving from benefits to work at gov.uk.

Businesses that have been turned down for a commercial loan can ask their bank to access the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, which backs loans to viable businesses who don’t necessarily have the security a normal loan would need.

Yes. To find out actual business rates on individual properties, details of any discounts that may apply or specific queries please email localtaxation@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

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