Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Garden Shop Business in the United Kingdom

Starting a Garden Shop Business in the United KingdomA Garden shop is a steady business with favorable demand. If you’re still in doubt whether starting a garden shop business in the United Kindom is feasible, just think about why more garden centers are opening every season. Home gardening is a popular pastime, and the number of individuals getting hooked on the hobby is increasing. DIY garden sheds and plant nurseries are getting famous for making home gardening easier and less costly. If you’re looking for signs to finally start a garden shop, this is it!

However, if you’re hesitant because of all the complexities of starting a business, your reasons are understandable. But the times are modern, and you now have more access to resources, information, and support. To help you in starting a garden shop business in the United Kingdom, here is a guide to company registration in the UK. Here we organized the fundamental information you need, outlining industry practices, business registration process, licenses, and permits.


What Is a Garden Shop Business

Garden shops sell plants and various gardening essentials, like soil, pots, seeds, rake, shovel, and more. Sometimes, garden shops even stand as a cafe selling organic coffee or as other unrelated business. Some of the most common garden shops in the market are plant nurseries, garden centers, and DIY garden shops. People call them different things, but they are the same at offering plant supplies and options for professional, home, and DIY gardeners.

Plant nurseries focus more on propagating and growing plants. There are plant nurseries that sell only to other businesses and retailers that sell directly to customers. Garden centers are retailers of plants with a wider variety of products and facilities than plant nurseries. On the other hand, DIY garden shops focus more on providing affordable tools and solutions to home and hobby gardeners.

Since the early 2000s, there has been an up and down movement in demand for garden shops. Consumer behavior and other industry trends influence the garden shop sector, and thus affecting gardening interests and activities. Examples of these factors include housing market trends, garden activities coverage on TV and radio, and the demand for smaller and cheaper gardening items. The recent increase in the demand for garden shop products resulted from the need for a home activity in the pandemic.

Moreover, there are various organizations that keep the interests of both business owners and consumers in the industry. The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is a community that offers opportunities to discuss issues and provide industry representation in the media. The Garden Center Association (GCA) offers industry participants a channel to exchange ideas and communicate. Others like the Garden Centre Retail and Haymarket Media Group publish journals, advertisements, and news about current industry trends and innovations.


What Do I Need to Start a Garden Shop Business?

Ideal Location

As is in any business, finding the right location to set up your business is critical. It is ideal for locating your garden shop in an area where there is a constant flow of passersby or traffic. This will add exposure to your business while also being accessible to customers. A commercial area would be advantageous, or an area where garden centers concentrate. Placing yourself with your competitors may be risky, but it will give the customers options if some things are not available in other shops.

Products and Services

The variety of products and services you will offer will depend on different factors. Some of these are garden shop space, your target niche if you offer your facilities for use, whether you grow the plants yourself, and capacity. For example, if your target market is suburban homeowners, you want to sell vegetable or flower seeds and seedlings or offer to develop their plots or landscaping. You can also sell other products like pet and aquatic products, pots, containers, decorations, and protective equipment.


Starting a garden shop business in the United Kingdom can cost from £7,000 to £70,000, depending on what type of business you choose. To properly manage your capital, it is helpful to create a budget for your expenses. It is also advisable to keep a record and running total of your spendings so you can account for where your capital goes. This way, you are conscious of your cash outflows and manage them properly.

Marketing Plan

You can always take up the traditional marketing strategies in business. There are the posting of ads, going door-to-door, and word-of-mouth marketing. Further, you can also offer loyalty programs with a point system for every transaction. You can also take on a more modern approach and use social media channels, and even set a business website to reach bigger markets.


How to Register a Garden Shop Business?

Registering your business allows the state to fully and legally recognize your company in the United Kingdom. Your business registration will be with the Companies House for state recognition and with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom (HMRC) for company taxes. Other registrations may be required depending on your company size and later on as you grow. These include registration for an at-home business or employer registration.

It is most important to register with a state authority so that you avoid any legal issues and add credibility for adhering to state laws. Since most garden shops are small businesses, you can set it up as a sole trader. As a sole trader, you get to keep all the profits after taxes for yourself. To register as a sole trader or self-employed, all you have to do is get a National Insurance (NI) number.

Moreover, you may also register as a limited company, which offers additional protection like the separation of your private and corporate properties. To register, you have to file with the Companies House and incorporate. To do that, you have to choose a company name, declare your company address, appoint a director, and create the memorandum and articles of association.

You can complete all these processes by yourself. The authorities like HMRC and Companies House have online platforms where you can complete the registration steps easily and remotely. However, if you do not have the time or are facing issues, you may also acquire company incorporation services. With professionals handling your company formation process, you can focus more on planning your startup while also ensuring the completeness of the process.


Licenses and Permits in Starting a Garden Shop Business

Because you’re servicing the public, your business has to comply with the different state and safety regulations. For example, if you’re a plant nursery and grow your own plants for commercial purposes, your local authority may require you to apply for producer authorization. Additionally, you have to be aware of the potentially harmful and poisonous garden plants that may cause skin irritations and allergies. Organizations like the HTA have a guide for the practice of labeling and displaying these kinds of plants.

If you also store, use and sell pesticides, you need to have a BASIS Certificate of Confidence for Nominated Storekeepers. There are also legislations that cover how specific seeds for selling should be labeled. For example, the Seed Potato Classification Scheme lays down how you should label potato seeds. And if you’re in retail, you have to observe the wide range of legislation protecting the consumer’s interests.

Moreover, since some garden shop businesses also have unrelated activities, those may also need licensing or permits. For instance, if you also sell pets in your shop, you have to acquire a pet shop license and relevant qualifications in animal care. If you have a cafe and you play background music there, you need a Music License from PPL PRS Ltd. Additionally. You must comply with the food safety regulations and register with the local environmental health department. Some places like Wales require establishments to display their hygiene ratings from the food hygiene inspection.


Garden Shop Registration Support in the UK

Company startup is taxing and sometimes even complicated. If you need garden shop registration support, you just need to get in touch with experts who have the experience of handling all these legal matters. 3E Accounting is a corporate service provider that’s internationally recognized for successfully incorporating hundreds of companies all over the world. Our services extend to small and medium enterprise registration and provide for many other company needs.

Starting a Garden Shop Business in the United Kingdom

Work with professionals to turn your business goals into reality. Contact us to register your garden shop business in the United Kingdom!