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

Starting a Sports Shop Business in the United KingdomTurning a passion into a business is something that everyone enjoys. After all, the golden rule of becoming successful in business is to love what you are doing. Saying that, starting a sports shop business can be a great venture for anyone who loves a sport or adventures and fitness in general.


The United Kingdom is one of the most promising locations for the sports business. Statistics show that approximately 40.7% of male adults and 31.7% of female adults participate in sports activity every week. Also, seeing the way how sports have been commercialized in the United Kingdom, it comes as no surprise that sports contribute £39 billion to the economy. Couple that with the supportive environment for companies and the extraordinary policies, and you only get some exciting things to look forward to.

What is a Sports Shop Business?

A sports shop business is a business that sells sporting goods and services. It can supply sports items, apparel, equipment, etc. Furthermore, a sports business can include services such as personal trainers, sports news services, coaches, etc. In other words, a sports shop business can sell anything that is related to sports and outdoor activities.

Sports Shop Business Trends and Ideas

If you are thinking of starting a sports shop business, you probably are hunting down ideas that could help you kick off a successful entrepreneurial career. We researched to find some great ideas that could be promising in the United Kingdom:

Sports Retail

Let us start this list with the traditional sports shop. Starting a sports retail could be for anyone who wants to make money by selling things. The United Kingdom is home to many popular sports, such as football, cricket, basketball, etc., and you will never be out of supplier or customer if you want to start retail. Factoring in the competition, you can also sell items for fishing, adventure sports, etc.

Sports Podcast

This may not be a traditional business plan, but starting a sports podcast business can be the real deal. Of course, many fans like to watch live events on TV,  but that is not always possible. Furthermore, you can provide audio highlights, analysis, sports stats, recaps etc. You can easily start a sports podcast business with a laptop and a microphone, and a little knowledge of audio editing. As your brand becomes stronger, you can start selling your own items like merch.

Sports Club

If you can make a significant investment, you can attract quite a huge customer base with a sports club. The club can focus on various sports or activities and should have every piece of equipment to facilitate the desired activities. Most of the revenue of a sports club is based on subscriptions, but you could also open a retail store to sell the items that the members may need. On the other hand, you can organize special workshops and coaching classes at your club.

Sports Coaching Classes

Who doesn’t want to be better at sports? You can train both adults and kids if you are good at a specific sport. Furthermore, the sports coaching type of business seems to flourish during vacation days when a lot of kids are off school. The United Kingdom being one of the best countries for athletes, you will also be helping your students to achieve their goals. To start, you may need to arrange for ground or temporary camps, and for some promotion, as you will need to prove to your prospects that you are very good at the sport.

Sports Photography

No, you don’t have to film the Premier League to generate profit with sports photography. From local tournaments to parents wanting lasting records of their kid’s goals, many moments can be captured. Furthermore, you may need to capture video footage highlight reels to commemorate matches or even to help athletes apply to their clubs of choice. Also, you can expand your business by partnering with business magazines and newspapers or starting your own blog.


If you didn’t know, the global esports market is expected to become a $1.5 billion market in 2021. Video games have become even more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, and companies as big as Apple and Netflix have started to take steps in the esports sector. Furthermore, many popular sports video games regard the United Kingdom as one of their biggest markets. From the sale of video games to the organization of events and esports tournaments, you will just never fall short of participants, audiences, customers, and sponsors if you know what you are doing.

Steps for Starting a Sports Shop Business in the United Kingdom

After the trends, we see the actual process of starting a sports shop business in the United Kingdom. You could do it yourself or take help from United Kingdom company incorporation professionals.

Research the Market

Before starting your business, it’s essential to know about the demands of your product and your competition. You must research what other sporting goods shops offer and see where you can provide a new product. Also, consider the most popular sport in the area. However, don’t forget to cater to sports that may not have enough representation. But make sure that enough people actually pay for the sport for you to be able to sell your goods.

Choose Your Niche

Many sporting goods offer everything from every store, but if the market is competitive, you may need to stick to a niche. This will allow you to cover every aspect of a particular sport and, at the same time, not worry about an ultra-large inventory or significant investments. Niches can be specific; for example, football, badminton, or you can focus on a section, like kids’ sports or youth sports.

Develop a Business Plan.

A business plan is a description of your business goals and how you plan to achieve those goals. It is a roadmap for success.

In your business plan, you need to include a mission statement, a summary of your business activities, a unique selling point, and the products and services you would like to supply. Don’t forget to include the financial projections, including the budget and the expected profit margins.

Find the Right Location

This goes hand in hand with market research. As much as what you sell is important, where you decide to sell your products is equally important. The best place to start a sporting store would be somewhere people play sports, like playgrounds or parks. Make sure there is good foot traffic and accessibility. At the same time, with the help of technology, you don’t need to be limited to a physical area. You can start ecommerce and sell from your website.

Register Your Company

Registering a Company in the United Kingdom can be made even more effortless with the help of a company registration services provider. To register, you first need a company name and decide on a company structure. You can choose between a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a limited liability company. The requirements vary for each company structure, and they give you different benefits.

Here is a complete guide to company registration in United Kingdom.

What Licences Do I Need to Start a Sports Shop Business in the United Kingdom?

The licences really depend on the type of business you want to open. So, it is always essential to talk to a lawyer or a corporate service provider to understand everything you need. Here are some licences you may need based on the operations you conduct from your store:

  • Notification to process personal data from the  Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
  • Public space surveillance (CCTV) license
  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Financial Services Authority (FSA)  for carrying out regulated financial activities or offering consumer credit
  • Consumer Credit License
  • Money Laundering Registration
  • Pollution Inventory Reporting
  • Protected wreck site license for diving, surveying, digging and anchoring near a legally protected wreck in Wales.
  • Permission to award a degree (All UK) for sports coaches
  • Approval of courses leading to external qualifications
  • Premises License
  • Temporary Events Notice (England and Wales)
  • A Temporary Event Notice is for carrying out a ‘licensable activity on unlicensed premises.
  • Goods vehicle operator license (England, Scotland & Wales)
  • License to broadcast and use copyrighted music on the radio
  • Massage and special treatments, therapist registration (England & Wales)
  • Pleasure boat license (England, Wales & Northern Ireland)
  • Business boat license (England, Scotland and Wales)
  • Shotgun and firearm certificates
  • Pavement or street display license (England and Wales)
  • NLA Media Access Limited business license to make copies of newspaper articles for business use.
  • Adventure activities license (England, Wales and Scotland)
  • Boat masters license (All UK)
  • Riding establishment license (England, Scotland & Wales)
  • Marine dredging license (Northern Ireland)
  • Safety certificates: sports stands (England, Scotland and Wales)
  • Authorization to issue horse passports (All UK)
  • Sports ground safety certificate (England, Scotland and Wales)
  • Small commercial vessel certificate (All UK)



The biggest reason for starting a sports shop business in the United Kingdom is people’s love for sports itself. The government policies and people’s purchasing power also help, but it can be difficult for you to get started.

3E Accounting is a leading company registration services provider that can help you in every step of setting up your sports business. We provide you with the guidance and assistance you need to start legally operating your company. Contact us, and we will help you register your company and taxes and also acquire all the licences you need without any hassle.

Starting a Sports Shop Business in the United Kingdom