Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Furniture Shop Business in the United Kingdom
Starting a furniture shop business in the United Kingdom can be a very challenging endeavor. For one, you will be competing with various big and well-established chains, retailers, and catalog shops. Additionally, furniture buyers in the UK have certain preferences and styles for the products they choose and buy. To succeed in this business, you have to create the most advantageous plan and execute it strategically.
If you are thinking of starting a furniture shop business in the United Kingdom, you may be up for a tough yet exciting pre-startup period. To make the process more convenient for you, we outline here the fundamental information you’ll need in planning and registering the business. Here is the guide on starting a furniture shop business in the United Kingdom which explains the industry practice, company registration in the United Kingdom, licenses, and permits.
What Is a Furniture Shop Business
Furniture shops retail movable furniture and accessories direct to consumers. Currently, big furniture brands like IKEA, Argos, Amara, and the likes dominate the furniture retail market in the UK. Moreover, the market is very diverse- the brands are differentiated to cater for distinct purposes, aesthetic appeals, materials used, size, quality, cost, and durability. Furniture buyers want different things, and so you need to capture and deliver what your niche market wants to successfully compete with other businesses.
Furthermore, furniture shops are organized differently to showcase what values they specialize in providing. Different types of furniture shops include lifestyle stores, traditional stores, consignment, branded or designer, and discounted department stores. Lifestyle stores offer almost everything new homeowners would need to furnish their house. Branded and designer furniture shops, on the other hand, provide for a particular taste and style, with assured quality and durability. Meanwhile, discounted department stores sell remaindered items or products with slight defects at very low prices.
The demand for furniture in the UK is high. In 2020, the UK recorded a GPB 14.4 billion earnings in the furniture and furnishings sector. And with the ever-developing online platforms enabling a better and more convenient buying experience, the sector is doing well still even with the pandemic limitations. Therefore, new entrants such as yourself need not worry about whether the business is feasible, as long as you can offer innovative ways to market and deliver your furniture products.
What Do I Need to Start a Furniture Shop Business?
Depending on the type of furniture shop you want to start, you’ll need around £4,000 to £10,000 as startup capital. This amount covers the initial rental of your shop, purchase of inventory, tools and equipment, insurance, marketing initiatives, and other miscellaneous expenses. Another crucial but optional startup outlays include acquiring business advice and company incorporation services in the UK. You can choose to skip these additional expenses if you’re on a tight budget, but having the security of professionals will add confidence to your decisions and strategies.
Moreover, to ensure a good start to the business, properly conduct your research, branding, registration, licensing, and promotional. Your research should include an in-depth analysis of existing trends and market behaviors. The results of your research should be able to help you plan your competitive advantage and product offering. More importantly, include an assessment of the area you plan to locate your business in. Your location can influence how rigid or relaxed you need to go in your marketing and promotional.
Next, plan the business’s details. Find a niche that will best give you an advantage, given your budget, capacity, and location. You can choose to sell only a specific kind of furniture, like pure sofas or dining sets. Or you can opt to offer a wider variety with a certain style like a collection of wood furniture. But remember that offering more products also means needing a bigger space to store the items.
To widen the reach of your business, you can strategize the setup of a virtual store. You can create a website or sell it on Amazon or eBay. A website can mean more work for you, but it’s a good channel to exhibit and develop your brand. Selling via Amazon and eBay, on the other hand, requires less technical work, but imposes substantial fees and may not be very cost-effective for a starting entrepreneur.
How to Register a Furniture Shop Business?
Company business registration is another critical step in starting a furniture shop business in the United Kingdom. Fortunately, the process is pretty straightforward, and you can even complete the transaction online. However, if you want hassle-free registration, you may also do it with the help of a trusted corporate service provider in the United Kingdom.
To set up as a limited company, your company needs at least one shareholder or guarantor. You also have to appoint a director and a corporate secretary. For documents, you need to prepare the memorandum of association and the articles of association.
Upon registration, you will have to pick a company name that’s not yet used, reserved, or trademarked by another company. On the site or with the help of your agent, you can check whether your name is unique and acceptable. After that, you have to identify your SIC code, which classifies your business according to what you do. Finally, you will have to register your official address, then submit the necessary documents.
Most of the time, business owners simultaneously register corporation tax upon their registration with the Companies House. You can register separately for corporation tax with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) online, by post, or with an agent’s assistance. Upon registration, you will need to declare your company registration number and the date of start of business. At the end of the transaction, you will learn the taxes you will have to pay and their corresponding deadlines.
Licenses and Permits in Starting a Furniture Shop Business
The UK does not impose strict licensing requirements to start a furniture shop. However, if your business is selling second-hand furniture, you need to acquire a license from your local authorities. This requirement applies if the dealing of second-hand items is your principal revenue-generating activity, and not just incidental. If in doubt whether or not this licensing applies to your business, you may inquire with your local authority or inquire with your agent.
Further, there are regulations you have to be aware of when conducting your business. For example, if you are offering credit payments for the purchase of your furniture, you will have to apply for a credit authorization from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You will also have to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if you require and keep computerized records of an individual’s personal details. This is to give your customers protection for the use of their personal data.
Additionally, as you are selling products to consumers, your business is subject to the legislation covering retail outlets. This includes truthfully describing the goods and services in ads and other marketing campaigns, with a clear display of retail prices. And if you also sell your products online you have to follow the guidance on legal obligations to consumers. This guidance is found on the Trading Standards Business Companion website.
Company Incorporation Support in the United Kingdom
Starting a furniture shop business in the United Kingdom is a lot of work- the legal matters and the business side of it. The good thing is, you don’t have to do it all alone! 3E Accounting is an internationally recognized company formation specialist. This means that the firm has a team of professionals for all your incorporation and business registration needs.
With our company registration services, you can focus more on the more important activities like planning and strategizing. We can take on all the legal proceedings of starting a business, and you don’t even have to worry about missing any critical parts of the process. Our agents are trained and competent in handling business formations in a wide array of industries.
Contact 3E Accounting today to acquire the incorporation and business registration services of top qualified professionals in the United Kingdom.