Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Web Design Business in the United Kingdom

Starting a Web Design Business in the United KingdomWhen you mention web design, what comes to your mind is creating an attractive website. Starting a web design business in the United Kingdom means you’ll deal with different facets, including user experience, search engine optimization, and technical details. This service aims to facilitate the growth of the client business by making it an online presence. Want to learn more? Follow this guide on starting a web design business in the United Kingdom.


Industry Practice for Starting a Web Design Business

Starting a web design business in the United Kingdom is one of the most sorted services. The United Kingdom’s web design sector is the second biggest globally and the largest design industry in Europe. The mainstream operators offer an assortment of web design, interface design, search engine optimization, and related facets of code writing.

Some of the bespoke web design services include designing the appearance, layout, and, in some instances, the content of a website. For appearance, it relates to the colors, font, and images used. The layout refers to how the information is structured and categorized. Most web designers maintain simplicity so that the user can have a seamless user experience.

The two most common methods for designing websites that work for both desktop and mobile include responsive and adaptive design. The content moves dynamically depending on screen size; adaptive design involves fixing layout in layout sizes that match common screen sizes.


Business Registration Process

The success of your web design business will depend on the quality of services you offer to customers. Before you even start, it is preferable to have a portfolio website; this will allow you to show off your unique style and skills to potential clients.

Decide on Your Niche Area

When starting a web design business in the United Kingdom, it is important to zero down to a specific niche. For you to do that, here are some ideas to help define your specialty.

  • Provide WordPress maintenance services (theme updates, plugin)
  • Design the entire, complete website projects for new businesses
  • Concentrate on a specific type of website design (e-commerce, membership sites)
  • Transform websites from other platforms to WordPress
  • Centre on redesigns retrofits
  • Work with particular sectors: government, B2C, small business

Remember to clarify your service offerings, for instance, complementary services such as social media management, content creation, and online advertising.

Develop a Business Plan for Starting a Web Design Business

Every successful entrepreneur always has a business plan that clearly shows where the business is moving. Your business plan must define your business vision and identity, set your financial goals and targets, and define your long-term goals around your products. Ensure that your plan elaborates on who your ideal clients are.

Price Your Services

When setting up your price, it has to be competitive and profitable. It’s better to charge for value instead of time; therefore, you have to figure out which pricing model works for your business. When you decide on per-project price, you’ll steer clear of conversations about how every last minute is spent and price negotiations based on particular features. Therefore, it is advisable to review other web designers’ pricing models to guide you. You can add project costs like plugins, software licenses, copywriting, and stock images.

Additionally, you can always do a pre-work to confirm client fit. This will help you reduce re-work and avoid gifting clients with ‘free’ work and steer clear of projects that are not the right fit for you. Finding out whether the client has a solid grasp of key factors involved in creating a successful web design is crucial.

Have Your Business Name

When your business has a name, customers would want to associate it with a brand name. Therefore, when choosing your name, take thoughtful consideration of the business name. It has to be unique and simple to pronounce. Check this guide on company registration in the United Kingdom from the government website and any other rules and regulations.

Register Your Business

Setting out your web design business as a legal entity will sit well with your potential customer. When you plan to register your business, you can incorporate a limited partnership or a limited company. The company incorporation process is done at the Companies House in the United Kingdom. Once all your legal and statutory documents have been verified, the departments issue you a registration certificate.

Advertise Your Business

The moment you have registered your business and have a business name, promote your business to potential customers. You can always begin with word of mouth within the area you’re operating. Subsequently, you can create business cards and flyers and distribute them to businesses and individuals. Moreover, you can promote your business through magazines, newspapers, and blog articles. Creating your social media platforms is also another way you can advertise your business. You can run ads to promote contents that relate to the services you offer.

Secure Legal and Administrative Requirements

Having a business entity allows you to register your business and get a registration certificate. Once you have the certificate, you can check with the local authorities to determine which licensing or permits your web design business will require. Securing insurance coverage for your business is equally important. You can opt for the following insurance coverage.

  • Professional Indemnity: this policy covers those who provide specialist advice, designs, plans, or recommendations. It covers you against the cost of compensation to clients.
  • Public Liability protects claims against you and your business from third parties for injuries and property damage during work.
  • Employers’ Liability: protects the compensation cost if an employee gets injured or ill on your premises.
  • Develop Your Website

When your business has an online presence, you can showcase your services and attract your ideal clients. Ensure you include your contact information, portfolio, testimonials or success stories, and the services you provide. You can go as far as including any certifications or specialized training. Your website should be easy to navigate and optimized for searchability.

Hire the Right Team

You can build a team of trusted power partners to offer complementary services that work in sync with yours. Assembling the right team means you have to hire qualified and experienced people. You can collaborate with local partners who specialize in IT, SEO, and social media photography. Likewise, you can assemble a go-to list of virtual partners, including hosting providers and third-party software solutions.

Invest In Capable Hardware and Software

If you decide on starting a web design business in the United Kingdom, you must invest in the right tools for creating graphics, modifying photos, and documenting work. Ensure you invest in the best computer; find the right software and camera, among other things. Again, you can invest in the right working environment for a smooth transition in delivering your services.


Licenses, Permits, and Regulations for Starting a Web Design Business

As a web designer, you’re required to comply with the current legislation regarding the website. The legal website requirements frequently change in the United Kingdom, and you must be aware of intellectual property and privacy.

Web Design Contracts and Intellectual Property

When starting a web design business in the United Kingdom, ensure you have a clear, written agreement between you and the client. The client must assign you any intellectual property for the website.

Font Licensing

Most licenses permit designers to use fonts to create designs and documents on their computers but not necessarily embed them. In other words, they have no right to share the font with unlicensed users.


Fair Use

The principle of fair use is in place to prevent copyright law from hampering free speech, and freedom of the press and to avoid excessive legal action for accidental or minor breaches of copyright. As a designer, you get a chance to include quotes and excerpts from published works if they acknowledge the author and source and validate the level of use.

You can always look for a corporate service provider such as 3E Accounting when you need assistance in licensing and issues of copyrights.


Creating Websites For Third Parties

Certain things are crucial if you’re designing a website for others

  • Make sure that the rights of the licenses issued are appropriate. For instance, the copyright to the site content may be passed to the client once payment is made. This will also include licenses for more generic code or modules that the designer builds or uses.
  • You must obtain the appropriate licenses when sourcing material elsewhere or where third-party technologies are being used.
  • Moral rights: if the developer is to be credited for the work. It is the moral right to reserve the right to remove the credit if the site is later developed in a manner that would discredit the original developer.

Starting a Web Design Business in the United Kingdom

If you plan on starting a web design business in the United Kingdom, you can contact 3E Accounting.