Set Up a Retail Outlet Business in the UK
3E Accounting takes a quick look at the ins and outs of how to set up a retail outlet business in the UK.
Whether it is high street or online, the retail industry has weathered the ups and downs of global economic shake-ups. Its façade, attributes and operations are constantly evolving to reflect consumer consumption habits. It’s a dynamic industry, and consumer optimism stayed the course despite a global pandemic. This is a robust industry, and savvy entrepreneurs should know how to set up a retail outlet business in the UK.
As an industry, the retail sector faced a lot of challenges in 2020. Supply chain logistics failed, organic footfalls dropped drastically, while lockdowns and closures were rampant. Yet, the industry survived and evolved, shifting to e-commerce to continue its survival. In 2019, it had a total value of GBP394 billion, and while the pandemic took its toll, national statistics indicate a rebound.
Retail is a type of trade where goods and services are sold to consumers. It is usually in small quantities and for their personal consumption or use. A retail outlet is a physical shop that sells these goods or services. They include convenience stores, malls, supermarkets, speciality stores, etc. While sales transactions can be done online, it is not considered an exclusively online store as it has a physical presence.
Before you venture into a retail outlet business, it is advisable to do some due diligence. A scalable business plan can identify lucrative or niche markets, competition, and marketing strategies. One way to test the market is to start with a pop-up version of your potential retail outlet. This allows you to gauge consumer reaction to your product or service.
Finding a suitable location is, needlessly to say, essential to ensure steady consumer footfall. You will also need to figure out how much start-up capital your business may need and get loans and funding. All this information will, in turn, affect your business entity structure. You can start small as a sole trader or partnership or splash out as a limited company or even a franchise.
Once you have registered for taxes and value-added tax (VAT) with HRMC, you should look into licensing and permits. Approvals here are complex and include a license to display a signboard, health and safety regulations, etc. You will also need to know about specific regulations such as the Sale of Goods Act, Supply of Goods and Services Act, etc.
Other important details to consider include logo and branding, store design, as well as having a website. Overall, you want to achieve synchronicity that acts as a strong brand ambassador for your outlet. You will also need to invest in retail software such as a POS system, merchant accounts, e-payment gateways, and inventories. Don’t miss out on fair tariff rates for your utility bills and investing in essential business insurance.
Considering how to set up a retail outlet business in the UK may seem like a daunting task. However, the right alliance can make a difference, and 3E Accounting offers all the support you may need. Along with our partners and affiliates, we bring years of tried and tested industry experience to our solutions. Contact 3E Accounting today and speak to us about our innovative company formation packages.