Starting a business while employed legal in the UK


Several people aspire to start their own business, but they feel stuck in a full-time job. They intend to break the chains which hold them to employment and prevent them from doing something different.

Besides, it is quite challenging to set up a new business. It is unchartered territory, and you need to consider many factors before venturing into the unknown. In a scenario where you work full-time for a company and plan to set up a new venture, such pressures can be quite intense.

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Before taking an important decision to start a new business while in employment, we highly recommend going through your job contract to check for unfavourable clauses. You may watch out for any terms and conditions that may prohibit you from starting any business while working for the organization. Moreover, there is a possibility of some conflict of interest too.


In such a situation, you may consult the HR department of your company. Usually, responsible HR handles such inquiries with the utmost care by ensuring confidentiality. You needed to be extra cautious about finding out that you don’t breach your employment contract inadvertently. It is the last thing that you would like to happen and face unwanted termination notices.

If you don’t have so much time to research all the ifs and buts, we suggest you download our entrepreneurship guide here, which provides several more tips for people like you who intend to begin their freelancing career.


Several stealth startup aspirants never discuss their business ideas with their bosses. They quietly keep working on their business ideas. They put in their papers the moment they feel that their new business can support them financially. It may seem to be an attractive way of going about your new business but let me tell you that it is not a correct strategy.

We always recommend aspiring entrepreneurs to discuss with their bosses. Remember that starting a new business can change your employment status. You may not keep your activities confidential for long. If you register yourself as a director of a limited company, it becomes public information. An apprehensive employer can search about you on the Companies House website and find the truth about your new business almost instantly.

But nowadays, employers are becoming supportive of their employees who have business insights. They even help employees in realizing their dreams. It is becoming more of an exception than a rule to support staff running side-projects. You may try to explore your work benefits. Ask your employer if they can allow flexible working hours or reduce the number of working hours. They may agree it will not affect your day to day work.


It is natural to feel excited about starting your own business, and you would like to share your experiences with someone. It is your individual decision to tell your co-workers or not. They may not be supportive or discourage such behaviour. They may also be jealous of you, and it could lead to conflicts. However, it may be precisely the opposite as well. They may support and encourage you and help out of the way. You need to take a call as per the circumstances.


You may be super excited to leave your full-time job to devote more time to your business. But don’t forget that you are still working for that company. It would help if you showed full respect to your colleagues and bosses. Never work on your business idea during office hours. Never burn the bridges. Keep good terms with your colleagues and employers. You don’t know what will happen in the future, and you may have to fall back upon the same set of people for support in an emergency.


It may be quite challenging to juggle between two jobs. Ensure a balance between work and life by finding time for your loved ones, friends, family members.

If you work overtime, you may damage both your job and business. If you devote more time to one of the two, you are sure to harm the other. If you somehow fail in business and want to rely on the job where you have been underperforming. It will be so stressful. That’s why you should maintain a work-life balance that suits you. You may choose to devote a week a month or evenings or weekends. Whatever it is, ensure to allocate some time for family and yourself to relax and recharge.

GM Professional accountants have offices located in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

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