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Starting Your Own Business

Starting a Business? We Can Help.

Congratulations on taking the first step towards starting your own business! Our experienced Business Support team at Derry City and Strabane District Council offer services and mentoring to support you to start a business.

  • You have a great buisness idea

Great start – You have an idea for a new business and need support to make it happen. We can help you explore your idea, test the concept, and develop it into a business proposal.  If you are confident that your business can provide something different or perform a service more efficiently then you have a solid concept and can start working on a detailed business plan.

  • Write your business plan

Every idea or business proposal needs a plan.  Business Planning is your next step to help you understand your market, competition, and personal and business finances.  You will need a business plan if you want to secure investment or a loan from a bank.  We can help, with Go For It, to support you in writing your Business Plan

  • Speak to us

Make an appointment to chat about your new business idea with a dedicated Business Advisor. We can help you with information about grant funding and support programmes currently available. Our team will also signpost to other relevant council departments and external support agencies. 

  • Preparing for your first meeting 

Now you have taken the first step, you can prepare for your meeting with My New Business - a guide through the important first stages of starting a business for NI entrepreneurs. Learn from other local entrepreneurs who spotted a gap in the market and transformed their idea into a business. 

  • Before you trade

Building an understanding of regulations and compliance is important when you are at the preparing to trade stage. Here are links to important resources Business Licensing and Permits, registrations for Hairdressers and Barbers, and Cosmetic Body Treatments and advice for Food Businesses.

Support Progammes


Here are the steps you can take to start your own business:

  • Step 1: Define Your Business Goals

    If the idea of starting a business has crossed your mind, chances are you have a product or a market in mind. Begin by establishing goals for your new business. Think about what you want to achieve and how you can make it happen.  Take the time to research existing businesses in your chosen sector. Anlayse the tactics and strategies employed by your competitors and identify areas where you can improve upon them.  If you are confident that your business can provide something different or perform the service more efficiently and cost-effective, then you have a solid concept and can start working on a detailed business plan.

  • Step 2: Write a Business Plan

    A business plan is a guide for every aspect of your new business. It covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing, and financial forecasts. You will need a business plan if you want to secure investment or a loan from a bank. The Go For It programme can assist you with developing a business plan. Our Business Officers can also match you with a business adviser in your area for one-to-one mentoring and support. Click here for more information on the Go for it Programme 

  • Step 3: Obtain Funding
    • If you're starting a business, obtaining funding is a critical step. There are various options available, including investment, grants, and loans. Derry City & Strabane District Council can provide guidance on how to secure the necessary capital to launch your business successfully. If you're in the Derry/Strabane area, council manages several internal funding programs to help new startups. To learn more about these funding opportunities and how to apply, click here
  • Step 4: Know Your Statutory or Legal Responsibilities

    From planning permission for your building, to industry-specific licensing for trading or environmental health regulations for your food business, we can help with signposting. Thre are various departments within Council who can assist with the statutory and legal responsibilities associated with your new business. 

    Contact a Business Advisor – Click here   

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