Scalable Success: 10 Profitable Business Ideas for Aspiring Entrepreneurs in the Entertainment Industry

Scalable Success: 10 Profitable Business Ideas for Aspiring Entrepreneurs in the Entertainment Industry

Understanding Financial Statements: Three Key Statements and Their Interconnected Harmony

Understanding Financial Statements: Three Key Statements and Their Interconnected Harmony

How to Write a Business Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Write a Business Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Write a Business Plan for a Sole Proprietorship

How to Write a Business Plan for a Sole Proprietorship

Starting your own business as a sole proprietor is an exciting journey, offering unparalleled flexibility and control over your professional destiny. Yet, navigating this path successfully hinges on having a clear, well-structured business plan. This essential document serves as your roadmap, outlining your vision, strategy, and the practical steps needed to bring your business to life. Here’s how to craft a business plan that lays the groundwork for your sole proprietorship's success.

Key Components of a Sole Proprietorship Business Plan

A robust business plan for a sole proprietorship encompasses several critical sections:

Executive Summary: Your executive summary should succinctly encapsulate your business concept, target market, and competitive advantages. This section is crucial as it sets the stage for the detailed plan.

Company Description: Offer an in-depth overview of your business, including its structure, the products or services you provide, and your overarching goals. This section lays out the essence of your business and its purpose.

Market Analysis: Conduct a comprehensive analysis of your target audience and competitors. This research is essential for carving out your niche in the market and developing strategies to serve your customers effectively.

Organization and Management: Describe your business's organizational structure and any external support, such as freelancers or consultants, you plan to utilize. This section outlines how your business will operate and scale.

Marketing and Sales Strategy: Detail your approach for attracting and retaining customers. This includes your marketing channels, promotional tactics, and sales processes.

Service or Product Line: Clearly explain what you're offering, focusing on the benefits to your customers and why there's a demand for your product or service.

Financial Plan: Include comprehensive financial projections, such as revenue forecasts, cash flow statements, and a break-even analysis. This section is vital for understanding the financial viability and planning for profitability.

business plan for sole trader

Tailoring Your Plan to a Sole Proprietorship

Emphasize Personal Branding: As a sole proprietor, your personal brand is intrinsically linked to your business. Your plan should reflect how your personal strengths and network contribute to your business's unique value.

Build in Flexibility: One of the strengths of a sole proprietorship is its ability to adapt quickly. Your business plan should include flexible strategies that allow you to pivot in response to market demands or challenges.

Utilizing Resources and Tools

In the journey of drafting a comprehensive business plan for your sole proprietorship, leveraging the right tools and resources can streamline the process and enhance the quality of your plan. Here are two crucial areas where the right resources can make a significant difference:

Recommended Tools and Software

The market is replete with tools and software designed to simplify the business planning process, from formulating your executive summary to projecting your financials. Utilizing these can save you time, provide structure, and even offer insights you might not have considered. Some top recommendations include:

Business Plan Software: Platforms like Plannit AI or Bizplan offer guided experiences through the planning process, with templates and financial forecasting tools that make it easier to create a professional plan.

Financial Modeling Tools: Software such as Excel or Google Sheets, with templates for cash flow statements, profit and loss forecasts, and break-even analysis, can help you craft detailed financial projections.

Market Research Resources: Tools like Statista or Google Trends can provide valuable data on market trends and consumer behavior, informing your market analysis section.

Project Management Apps: Applications like Trello or Asana can help you organize your business planning process, set deadlines, and track progress.

Seeking Professional Advice

While tools and software can streamline the planning process, the insight and guidance from experienced professionals can be invaluable. Consulting with financial advisors, business mentors, or industry experts can offer several benefits:

Financial Planning: A financial advisor can help you create realistic financial projections, advise on funding strategies, and identify potential financial pitfalls.

Business Strategy: Business mentors or consultants with experience in your industry can offer strategic advice, critique your business model, and suggest ways to enhance your competitive advantage.

Legal and Regulatory Guidance: For questions about the legal structure of your sole proprietorship, intellectual property, or regulatory compliance, consulting with a legal expert is essential.

By combining the power of the right tools and software with the wisdom and experience of professional advisors, you can create a business plan that not only lays a strong foundation for your sole proprietorship but also positions it for long-term success and growth.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Sole Proprietorship Business Plan

Creating a business plan for a sole proprietorship is a critical step in setting up your business for success. However, even the most diligent entrepreneurs can fall into common traps that potentially hinder their progress. Being aware of these pitfalls can help you navigate your planning process more effectively and set a solid foundation for your business growth. Here are key mistakes to avoid:

1. Overlooking Detailed Market Research

One of the most significant oversights in business planning is insufficient market research. Understanding your target market's needs, preferences, and behaviors is crucial for tailoring your products or services effectively. Moreover, a deep dive into competitor analysis allows you to identify gaps in the market you can exploit. Avoid making assumptions without data to back them up, and invest time in gathering insights that will inform your business strategies.

2. Underestimating Financial Needs

Many sole proprietors underestimate the capital required to start and sustain their business until it becomes profitable. This can lead to cash flow problems, which are a common reason for business failure. When drafting your financial plan, include detailed projections for startup costs, operating expenses, and a buffer for unexpected costs. It's better to overestimate your financial needs and have surplus funds than to find yourself in a financial bind.

3. Neglecting a Marketing and Sales Strategy

Assuming that your product or service will sell itself is a critical mistake. A comprehensive marketing and sales strategy is essential for attracting and retaining customers. This strategy should outline your target market, marketing channels, promotional tactics, and sales process. Without a clear plan for how you will reach your customers and convince them to buy from you, even the best business ideas can flounder.

4. Ignoring the Need for Flexibility and Adaptability

The business landscape is constantly changing, and what works today may not work tomorrow. Your business plan should not be so rigid that it cannot accommodate changes in the market, customer preferences, or new opportunities. Incorporate flexibility into your plan, allowing you to pivot or adjust your strategies as necessary to respond to unforeseen challenges or take advantage of new trends.

5. Skipping Professional Advice

Even if you're a seasoned expert in your field, seeking advice from financial advisors, legal consultants, or business mentors can provide valuable insights you might have missed. These professionals can help you identify potential flaws in your plan and offer solutions you hadn't considered. Skipping this step could mean overlooking crucial aspects of your business that could lead to problems down the line.

A well-crafted business plan is your roadmap to success as a sole proprietor, but it's essential to be mindful of common pitfalls that can derail your efforts. By conducting thorough market research, accurately estimating your financial needs, developing a solid marketing and sales strategy, maintaining flexibility, and seeking professional advice, you can avoid these mistakes and build a strong foundation for your business. Remember, the goal is not just to start a business but to sustain and grow it into a successful venture.

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One-Page Business Plan Templates

One-Page Business Plan Templates for Entrepreneurs

Susan Ward wrote about small businesses for The Balance for 18 years. She has run an IT consulting firm and designed and presented courses on how to promote small businesses.

business plan for sole trader

Having a business plan is a must , whether your goal is to start a one-person freelancing business or a multi-million dollar enterprise. However, if you are looking to start a simple product or service business as a sole proprietor or one-person corporation you don't need a 50-page business plan . A shorter plan will suffice. A quick and easy one-page business plan templates can get you started. 

If your business is a partnership  or requires multiple employees, you may need a more robust business plan. Similarly, a one-page plan will not be sufficient if you are in need of  debt  or  equity financing  and wish to impress financial institutions or potential investors. Lenders and investors will require you to provide more in-depth information in the plan such as:

  • Your relevant industry background, business, and management experience 
  • A more thorough description of your target market , proof of sufficient demand for your products or services, and how you will meet that demand and turn a profit
  • Thorough analysis of the competition and how you will compete in the marketplace
  • Detailed, realistic financial projections , including projected income statements, cash flow projections, and  breakeven analysis
  • An in-depth operating section with details on facilities, leases, equipment, and staffing.

Step-by-step guidance on how to write a business plan  can lead you through each section of a full-sized plan.

Keep in mind that a business plan is a living document and you can always start with a one-page plan and enlarge it with additional detail as required. You may be able to articulate the business overview, vision , objectives, and concise action items in a single page, but you might want more detail in the financial and marketing sections. For example, you might want to add an extra page to your pricing strategy section for income and  cash flow statements and another for breakeven analysis in advertising and promotion.

Structure of a Business Plan

A one-page business plan needs to provide concise answers to several basic questions that must be addressed such as:

  • What is the need for your product or service?
  • What is your competition and how will you differentiate yourself in the marketplace ?
  • How will you make money, for example, in terms of sales versus expenses?
  • How will you market your business?
  • How will you get started? What are your  capital  requirements?

How to Use the Templates

The sample templates can be copied into a Word, Excel or similar office document by selecting the text and using copy/paste—using Windows, outline the text to be selected with the mouse, and hit CTRL-C to copy and CTRL-V to paste. 

One-Page Business Plan Template for a Service Business

This template is suitable for freelance businesses that provide services, such as consultants, graphic designers, landscapers, and delivery services. For a one-page plan, the answers to questions should be one or two sentences.

One-Page Business Plan Template for a Product Business

This template is suitable for businesses that sell products, such as food services, beauty products, and bike shops. For a one-page plan, the answers to questions should be one or two sentences.

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Trading Business Plan

business plan for sole trader

Starting a trading business can be challenging because you have to build contacts, negotiate, and whatnot. But amidst worrying about all these things, planning is the last thing you want to worry about.

While anyone can start a new business, you need a detailed business plan when it comes to raising funding, applying for loans, and scaling it like a pro!

Need help writing a business plan for your trading business? You’re at the right place. Our trading business plan template will help you get started.

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Free Business Plan Template

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How to Write A Trading Business Plan?

Writing a trading business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan:

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary is the first section planned to offer an overview of the entire business plan. However, it is written after the entire business plan is ready and summarizes each section of your plan.

Here are a few key components to include in your executive summary:

Introduce your Business:

Start your executive summary by briefly introducing your business to your readers.

Market Opportunity:

Mention your product range:.

Highlight the product range of your trading business you offer your clients. The USPs and differentiators you offer are always a plus.

Marketing & Sales Strategies:

Financial highlights:, call to action:.

Ensure your executive summary is clear, concise, easy to understand, and jargon-free.

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2. Business Overview

The business overview section of your business plan offers detailed information about your company. The details you add will depend on how important they are to your business. Yet, business name, location, business history, and future goals are some of the foundational elements you must consider adding to this section:

Business Description:

Describe your business in this section by providing all the basic information:

Describe what kind of trading company you run and the name of it. You may specialize in one of the following trading businesses:

  • Retail trading
  • Wholesale trading
  • Export-import
  • Dropshipping
  • Describe the legal structure of your trading company, whether it is a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or others.
  • Explain where your business is located and why you selected the place.

Mission Statement:

Business history:.

If you’re an established trading business, briefly describe your business history, like—when it was founded, how it evolved over time, etc.

Future Goals

This section should provide a thorough understanding of your business, its history, and its future plans. Keep this section engaging, precise, and to the point.

3. Market Analysis

The market analysis section of your business plan should offer a thorough understanding of the industry with the target market, competitors, and growth opportunities. You should include the following components in this section.

Target market:

Start this section by describing your target market. Define your ideal customer and explain what types of services they prefer. Creating a buyer persona will help you easily define your target market to your readers.

Market size and growth potential:

Describe your market size and growth potential and whether you will target a niche or a much broader market.

Competitive Analysis:

Market trends:.

Analyze emerging trends in the industry, such as technology disruptions, changes in customer behavior or preferences, etc. Explain how your business will cope with all the trends.

Regulatory Environment:

Here are a few tips for writing the market analysis section of your trading business plan:

  • Conduct market research, industry reports, and surveys to gather data.
  • Provide specific and detailed information whenever possible.
  • Illustrate your points with charts and graphs.
  • Write your business plan keeping your target audience in mind.

4. Products And Services

The product and services section should describe the specific services and products that will be offered to customers. To write this section should include the following:

Describe your products:

Mention the trading products your business will offer. This may include product categories, product range, product features, product sourcing, etc.

Describe each service:

Mention the trading services your business will offer. This may include:

  • Logistics & shipping
  • Warehousing & storage
  • Distribution & fulfillment

Additional Services

In short, this section of your trading plan must be informative, precise, and client-focused. By providing a clear and compelling description of your offerings, you can help potential investors and readers understand the value of your business.

5. Sales And Marketing Strategies

Writing the sales and marketing strategies section means a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your clients. Here are some key elements to include in your sales & marketing plan:

Unique Selling Proposition (USP):

Define your business’s USPs depending on the market you serve, the equipment you use, and the unique services you provide. Identifying USPs will help you plan your marketing strategies.

Pricing Strategy:

Marketing strategies:, sales strategies:, customer retention:.

Overall, this section of your trading business plan should focus on customer acquisition and retention.

Have a specific, realistic, and data-driven approach while planning sales and marketing strategies for your trading business, and be prepared to adapt or make strategic changes in your strategies based on feedback and results.

6. Operations Plan

The operations plan section of your business plan should outline the processes and procedures involved in your business operations, such as staffing requirements and operational processes. Here are a few components to add to your operations plan:

Staffing & Training:

Operational process:, equipment & machinery:.

Include the list of equipment and machinery required for trading, such as office equipment, warehouse equipment, transportation vehicles, packaging & testing equipment, etc.

Adding these components to your operations plan will help you lay out your business operations, which will eventually help you manage your business effectively.

7. Management Team

The management team section provides an overview of your trading business’s management team. This section should provide a detailed description of each manager’s experience and qualifications, as well as their responsibilities and roles.


Key managers:.

Introduce your management and key members of your team, and explain their roles and responsibilities.

Organizational structure:

Compensation plan:, advisors/consultants:.

Mentioning advisors or consultants in your business plans adds credibility to your business idea.

This section should describe the key personnel for your trading business, highlighting how you have the perfect team to succeed.

8. Financial Plan

Your financial plan section should provide a summary of your business’s financial projections for the first few years. Here are some key elements to include in your financial plan:

Profit & loss statement:

Cash flow statement:, balance sheet:, break-even point:.

Determine and mention your business’s break-even point—the point at which your business costs and revenue will be equal.

Financing Needs:

Be realistic with your financial projections, and make sure you offer relevant information and evidence to support your estimates.

9. Appendix

The appendix section of your plan should include any additional information supporting your business plan’s main content, such as market research, legal documentation, financial statements, and other relevant information.

  • Add a table of contents for the appendix section to help readers easily find specific information or sections.
  • In addition to your financial statements, provide additional financial documents like tax returns, a list of assets within the business, credit history, and more. These statements must be the latest and offer financial projections for at least the first three or five years of business operations.
  • Provide data derived from market research, including stats about the industry, user demographics, and industry trends.
  • Include any legal documents such as permits, licenses, and contracts.
  • Include any additional documentation related to your business plan, such as product brochures, marketing materials, operational procedures, etc.

Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily find the necessary information.

Remember, the appendix section of your trading business plan should only include relevant and important information supporting your plan’s main content.

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This sample trading business plan will provide an idea for writing a successful trading plan, including all the essential components of your business.

After this, if you still need clarification about writing an investment-ready business plan to impress your audience, download our trading business plan pdf .

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Frequently asked questions, why do you need a trading business plan.

A business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful trading business. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your business.

Overall, a well-written plan can help you make informed decisions, which can contribute to the long-term success of your trading company.

How to get funding for your trading business?

There are several ways to get funding for your trading business, but self-funding is one of the most efficient and speedy funding options. Other options for funding are:

  • Bank loan – You may apply for a loan in government or private banks.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) loan – SBA loans and schemes are available at affordable interest rates, so check the eligibility criteria before applying for it.
  • Crowdfunding – The process of supporting a project or business by getting a lot of people to invest in your business, usually online.
  • Angel investors – Getting funds from angel investors is one of the most sought startup options.

Apart from all these options, there are small business grants available, check for the same in your location and you can apply for it.

Where to find business plan writers for your trading business?

There are many business plan writers available, but no one knows your business and ideas better than you, so we recommend you write your trading business plan and outline your vision as you have in your mind.

What is the easiest way to write your trading business plan?

A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any trading business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software .

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Creating a Business Plan for Your Sole Proprietorship


You have a brilliant business idea that's ready to take flight. But as a sole proprietor, you face unique challenges when it comes to business planning. It's not about following a cookie-cutter template; it's about finding a solution that fits your needs. You're not working with a team of experts; you are the expert.

We shall speak about various aspects of product-market fit, operations, finance, operations, and many other details that must be documented. Here are a few things to remember while crafting a business plan for sole proprietorship.

Collectively, these will be the foundation and vision documents to run the business. You can use it to raise funds or pitch to potential business partnerships. 

Let’s evaluate the importance and contents of each section.

Business Plan: Executive Summary

The first and foremost step for creating a sole proprietorship business plan is to list down every aspect of the business to create a blueprint. It must include the executive summary of the business from the first step to the last, which you can use as a checklist to start successful operations. 

An executive summary of the business includes a brief overview of your business idea, including its name, location, and your products or services. It’ll also have details about your target customers, unique value propositions, and financial projections. Furthermore, the summary must also include the desired online and offline marketing and promotion channels. You can also include the required capital needs and the channels for raising the required capital.

Market Analysis 

Market Analysis

Once you have created the executive business summary, the next step is to execute extensive market research to ensure your business’s presence is noted and successful. It is more than likely for the current market to have operational businesses like yours already, which may offer you crucial data on market trends. You can analyze your direct competitors, understand how they market and promote their business, and set a demographic for your target customers. 

Once you have identified your target customers and demographics, you can create multiple sub-business plans to communicate how your products and service offerings will fulfill their needs. Furthermore, you can execute a SWOT analysis to assess your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

Marketing and Sales Strategy

Creating a business plan and streamlining the products or services are vital steps in creating a business plan but must be followed by a comprehensive marketing and sales strategy. A marketing plan includes strategies to create an extensive online and offline business presence. Outline your marketing plan, including your brand, pricing strategy, and promotional efforts, with the overall budget you have in mind for marketing. 

Once you have the marketing plan and goals listed, follow them with comprehensive sales strategies. Analyze the sales target by listing the number of products or services you want to sell in a specific period. Furthermore, include information about the sales channels and the pricing policy, which will help you streamline your profit margin in every sale. 

Product or Service Line

Product or Service Line

Your business will be as successful as the quality of products or services you offer to the customers. The products and services must align with the chosen demographic and should fulfill their needs. However, it is equally important to communicate relevant information about the features, benefits, and pricing of the products or services to the customers. The information should also include your product/service life cycle and any future development or expansion plans. 

The product or service line you have created must be flexible enough to incorporate customer feedback or change to fit the dynamic market demand better. For example, suppose more customers are seeking to buy the category of products or services you offer online. In that case, your product or service line must follow a process to enlist them online and execute the sales. 

Organization and Management

In a sole proprietorship, you will be the sole owner and have full control over all the aspects of the business. However, with numerous steps in turning your business idea into an operational business, your business plan must have ideal strategies for organizing and managing all the activities from start to finish. For example, if you need raw materials daily, streamline the supply chain and the cost price range for the raw materials. 

Depending on the nature of the business, you may find the management overwhelming for a single individual. Sole proprietorships include the management of various aspects such as accounting, taxation, bookkeeping, payments, etc. Hence, you must analyze your skills and seek the assistance of experts for better management. The business plan should include information about the experts. 

Operational Plan

Day-to-day operations are crucial for a sole proprietorship business to fulfill customer orders promptly and create goodwill. The operational plan must include factors related to your business’s day-to-day operations to ensure that the business runs smoothly. The plan must include the operational location, the facilities to manufacture/store products or services, and the required equipment. 

Furthermore, your business may need raw materials (and their suppliers). The operational plan must include information about the suppliers to outline your production or service delivery process. The operational business plan must provide details if you want to hire other employees to help in the operations. 

Financial Projections

Financial Projections

Finance is a vital aspect of a business. It includes effectively recording all transactions in applicable ledgers such as balance sheets, profit and loss accounts, cash flow statements, etc. Furthermore, the financial aspect of the sole proprietorship also includes creating financial projections related to monthly, quarterly, and annual sales and revenue. 

Furthermore, you should detail your revenue and profit goals and outline your pricing strategy. Don’t forget to estimate expenditures, revenues, and profit targets for specific sales. 

The general practice is to create projections for three scenarios, bad, good, and best, to be prepared irrespective of how market conditions change. If you’re making certain assumptions like cost of capital, growth rate, etc, please note them, too.

The appendix in a business plan is a specialized section that includes anything that the sole proprietor feels must be additionally included. These may include any registration, legal, regulatory, and compliance documents. Furthermore, you may also include the resumes of all the applicants for employees you want to hire to analyze them at a specific time in the future and hire the ideal ones. 

India has various Small Business Development Centers offering aspiring entrepreneurs guidance and resources. These centers often provide templates and workshops for creating business plans. You can also visit the websites of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to get real-time updates about the regulatory and administrative compliance for sole proprietorships. Various online platforms, such as Skydo or MyonlineCA , offer business plan templates tailored to the Indian market. You can consult their expert CAs to understand everything about a sole proprietorship business and to create an ideal business plan detailing all the business growth opportunities. 


Creating a business plan for your sole proprietorship is crucial in setting clear objectives, strategies, and expectations for your venture. While sole proprietorships are relatively simple, a well-thought-out business plan can help you clarify your vision, secure funding (if needed), and guide your business toward success. 

Remember that a business plan should be tailored to your business idea, goals, and growth opportunities. While these resources can provide valuable guidance, it's important to customize your plan based on your unique circumstances and market research. Additionally, regularly update your business plan to reflect business and market conditions changes.

Q1. How can a sole proprietor ensure the quality and adaptability of their product or service line?

Ans: Communicate essential details about features, benefits, pricing, and product/service life cycle. Stay flexible and responsive to market demands and customer feedback.

Q2. What role does the marketing and sales strategy play in a sole proprietorship business plan, and what key components should be outlined?

Ans: The marketing and sales strategy is vital for creating a strong online and offline business presence. This plan should include details on branding, pricing strategy, promotional efforts, and the overall marketing budget. Additionally, the sales strategy should outline sales targets, channels, and pricing policies to ensure profitability. Together, they form a comprehensive approach to promoting and selling products or services.

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What Is a Sole Proprietorship?

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Sole Proprietorship: What It Is, Pros and Cons, and Differences From an LLC

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Investopedia / Theresa Chiechi

A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business that has just one owner with no separation between the business and the owner. The owner receives all profits but is also liable for all debts and losses.

The owner of a sole proprietorship pays personal income tax on profits earned from the business. Many sole proprietors do business under their own names because creating a separate business or trade name isn’t necessary.

Also referred to as a sole trader or a proprietorship, a sole proprietorship is the easiest type of business to establish or take apart, due to a lack of government regulation. As such, they are very popular among sole owners of businesses , individual self-contractors, and consultants. Most small businesses start as sole proprietorships and either stay that way or expand and transition to a limited liability entity or corporation .

Key Takeaways

  • A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business with only one owner who pays personal income tax on profits earned.
  • Sole proprietorships are easy to establish and dismantle due to a lack of government involvement, making them popular with small business owners and contractors.
  • Most small businesses start as sole proprietorships and end up transitioning to a limited liability entity or corporation as the company grows.
  • One of the main disadvantages of sole proprietorships is that they do not have any government protection, as they are not registered. This means that all liabilities extend from the business to the owner.
  • Sole proprietors report their income and expenses on their personal tax returns and pay income and self-employment taxes on their profits.

Understanding Sole Proprietorships

If you want to start a one-owner business, the simplest and fastest way is through a sole proprietorship. A sole proprietorship begins when you begin conducting business. It doesn’t require filing federal or state forms and has few regulatory burdens, making it an ideal way for self-employed people to start out.

A sole proprietorship is very different from a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC) , or a limited liability partnership (LLP) , in that no separate legal entity is created. As a result, the business owner of a sole proprietorship is not exempt from liabilities incurred by the entity.

For example, the debts of the sole proprietorship are also the debts of the owner. However, the profits of the sole proprietorship are also the profits of the owner, as all profits flow directly to the business owner.

Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Sole Proprietorship

The main benefits of a sole proprietorship are the pass-through tax advantage, the ease of creation, and the low fees for creation and maintenance.

  • The tax benefits. Income generated from a pass-through business is only subject to a single layer of income tax and, in some cases, may be eligible for a 20% tax deduction. Along with slashing the corporate tax rate, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 added a tax break for pass-through entities that essentially allows them to deduct up to 20% of qualified business income. That deduction can result in huge savings and runs until Jan. 1, 2026—unless extended by Congress.
  • With a sole proprietorship, you do not need to fill out a tremendous amount of paperwork, such as registering with your state. You may need to obtain a license or permit, depending on your state and type of business. But less paperwork allows you to get your business off the ground faster.
  • The tax process is simpler because you do not need to obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can obtain an EIN if you choose to, but you can also use your own Social Security number (SSN) to pay taxes rather than needing an EIN.
  • With a sole proprietorship, you also don’t need a business checking account, as other business structures are required to have. You can simply conduct all your finances through your personal account.

33.3 million

The number of small businesses in the United States in 2023. Together, these businesses employed 61.6 million people across the country.


There are some disadvantages of sole proprietorships, which can be impactful to the business owner. When a business is registered, it has some legal protections. A sole proprietorship provides no liability protection to the owner. By contrast, an LLC separates business and personal assets. The owner has protection against creditors seizing their personal assets, such as their home.

This unlimited liability goes beyond the business entity to the owners themselves. It can be difficult to get capital funding, specifically through established channels. Standard funding avenues include the ability to issue company equity and obtain bank loans or lines of credit. Banks prefer to work with companies that have a track record and generally view those who are starting out with a small balance sheet as high-risk borrowers. Obtaining funding from large investors can also be difficult.

Less paperwork

No need to obtain an EIN from the IRS

Quick and easy setup compared with other business structures

Low fees and costs

Pass-through tax advantage

Easier banking

Unlimited liability goes from business to owner

Difficulty in raising capital

How to Create a Sole Proprietorship

It isn't very difficult to start a sole proprietorship. That's because there aren't the usual legal hurdles that you have to overcome with other types of business organizations . In most cases, starting the entity is as easy as establishing yourself as the owner and starting up. Depending on where you live, there are certain steps you can take to formally launch your sole proprietorship.

  • Get your business license and any permits you may need. Some states require that you apply for licenses (business or occupancy) as well as permits. Check with your state or county clerk to see if you need any special paperwork to begin your business.
  • You may need to register your business under its Doing Business As name if your state requires it. If this isn't the case, you can operate under an assumed name, which can usually just be your own. Keep in mind that there are legal ramifications if you choose to run your sole proprietorship under your name.
  • Apply for and obtain an EIN. This is an important and necessary step if you're going to have any employees or file tax returns. If this doesn't apply to you, you're able to use your own SSN. Either way, it's always a good idea to check with a tax advisor so you don't make any mistakes.

If you plan to hire employees, you will need an EIN from the IRS. If you are going to sell taxable products, you will need to register for a sales tax license with your state.

Sole Proprietorship vs. LLC vs. Partnership

As noted above, there are certain distinctions between a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company, and a partnership. The chart below highlights some of the key differences between the three.

Transition From Sole Proprietor to LLC

When a sole proprietor seeks to incorporate a business, the owner usually restructures it into an LLC . For this to work, the owner must first determine that the name of the company is available. If the desired name is free, articles of organization must be filed with the state office where the business will be based.

After the paperwork is filed, the business owner must create an LLC operating agreement, which specifies the business structure. Finally, the new company must obtain an EIN—similar to an SSN, but for businesses—from the IRS.

A sole proprietorship has no separation between the business entity and its owner, setting it apart from corporations and limited partnerships.

Sole Proprietorship Tax Forms

Sole proprietors report their income and expenses on their personal tax returns and pay income and self-employment taxes on their profits. The tax forms you may need to file could include the following:

Example of a Sole Proprietorship

Most small businesses start as sole proprietorships and evolve into different legal structures as time passes and the company grows.

For example, Kate Schade started her company, Kate’s Real Food, as a sole proprietor. The company creates and sells energy bars and began as a local vendor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The sole proprietorship currently has a production facility in Bedford, Pennsylvania, and can be found in more than 4,000 retailers.

Since launching in 2005, Kate’s Real Food has grown to supply accounts across the country. In response, Schade restructured the business from a sole proprietorship to a corporation to take on investments and expand, a natural step for a growing business.

How Do You Start a Sole Proprietorship?

To start a sole proprietorship, you generally have to launch your business. It is useful to choose a company name. Depending on your business and local regulations, you may need to apply for a permit or license with your city, county, or state. If you plan to hire employees, you will need an employee identification number from the IRS. If you are going to sell taxable products, you will need to register with your state for a sales tax license.

Is Being a Sole Proprietorship the Same As Being Self-Employed?

Yes, being a sole proprietor is the same as being self-employed. A sole proprietor does not work for any company or boss, so they are self-employed.

How Do You File Taxes As a Sole Proprietor?

Filing taxes as a sole proprietor requires you to fill out the standard tax Form 1040 for individual taxes and Schedule C, which reports the profits and losses of your business. The amount of taxes you owe will be based on the combined income of both Form 1040 and Schedule C. If you have employees, there will be other forms to fill out.

Should I Form a Limited Liability Company or a Sole Proprietorship?

That depends on your business. A sole proprietorship is best suited to small businesses with low risk and low profits. Generally, these businesses don’t have a wide range of customers but rather a small, dedicated group. Sole proprietorships often start as hobbies that grow into a business.

The reasons to start a limited liability company (LLC) are the opposite of the reasons above. The business entails some liability risks , has the potential for large profits and a large customer base, and is positioned to benefit from certain tax structures.

How Do You Convert a Sole Proprietorship to an LLC?

Converting a sole proprietorship to an LLC requires you to file articles of organization with your state secretary. Also, you will have to refile your DBA (or Doing Business As) to keep your company name. Lastly, you will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS.

A sole proprietorship is a straightforward way for an individual to start a business. It does not require registering with a state authority for most situations and does not require obtaining an EIN from the IRS.

The benefits of simplicity are accompanied by some drawbacks, including all liabilities being passed through from the business to the individual and funding being harder to come by. Those risks shouldn’t pose much of an issue initially. However, as the business grows, it may make sense to transition into a different legal structure.

Internal Revenue Service. “ Topic No. 407 Business Income .”

Internal Revenue Service. “ Qualified Business Income Deduction .”

Internal Revenue Service. “ Form SS-4 & Employer Identification Number (EIN) 1 .”

U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. “ 2023 Small Business Profile ,” Page 1

Internal Revenue Service. “ Do You Need a New EIN? ”

Kate’s Real Food. “ About Us .”

Jackson Hole News & Guide. “ Tram Good: Local Product Goes National .”

Internal Revenue Service. “ Sole Proprietorships .”

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How to write a business plan in 10 easy steps

business plan for sole trader

Does writing your first business plan sound a bit daunting? You’re not alone. Many startups struggle with this essential step in getting a small business off the ground. If you need a helping hand with writing a business plan, we’ve broken it down into ten easy steps.

Before we get started, let’s understand why writing a business plan is such an important ingredient in the recipe for startup success.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a document where you record everything you plan to achieve, state how you’re going to do it and detail the resources you’ll need to succeed. It includes information about your vision for the business, the products or services you plan to provide and financial projections.

From outlining your goals and organisational structure to explaining your marketing strategy, your business plan should keep you on track and help you avoid potential pitfalls. The document doesn’t have to be complicated but it does have to be well thought through and based on strong research.

Why do I need to write a business plan?

Writing a business plan is the first step to startup success. Research shows that business owners who write a business plan are more likely to succeed than those who don’t .

But why? How can a single document make so much difference?

  • Writing a business plan helps you think through every element of your business in advance, so there should be no unexpected surprises to derail you along the way.
  • Referring to your business plan during your first year of trading can help you stay on track, prioritise your resources and measure progress against your goals.
  • A business plan is essential if you hope to secure startup funding, such as a Start Up Loan or other investment.

How to write a business plan

Ready to get stuck in? Use the ten sections below to write your business plan and you’ll be one step closer to starting your dream business.

  • Cover page and contents
  • Executive summary
  • Mission, vision and goals
  • Products and services
  • Market analysis
  • Marketing plan
  • Organisational details
  • Financial plan

Before you start, remember, your business plan needs to be a living document: something that articulates your vision to potential investors and employees. So keep it simple and don’t use complicated jargon.

Most importantly, be realistic. Base your plan on market research and sensible financial projections. Underestimating costs or overestimating demand will only harm your chances of success, and it will undermine your credibility with potential funders.

With that in mind, let’s get started.

1. Cover page and contents

Despite the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, it’s best to be on the safe side! Prepare a smart cover page that includes your company name, a high-resolution image of your logo, your name and contact information.

Once you’ve completed your business plan, you can insert a contents page in between the cover page and executive summary to list key sections and page numbers.

2. Executive summary

The executive summary communicates the key points of your business plan. This may be the only part of your business plan that someone will read, so it needs to summarise the rest of the document in a single page and encourage them to read on.

Potential funders are busy people, so get straight to the point and use concise paragraphs . Cover the headline news about your business, namely:

  • What your business does
  • Your products or services
  • What makes you unique ( your USP )
  • The target market and projected demand
  • A brief financial overview

As this section is an overview of everything else in your business plan, you should write this last, once the rest of the content is finalised.

3. Mission, vision and goals

Why does your business exist and what do you want to achieve? You can answer these questions with your mission, vision and goals.

Your mission statement is a short and inspiring summary of why your business exists. It’s a way to communicate what you do and provide a focus for your business activities. It can even help you plan and prioritise, by reminding you of your core purpose.

For example, a commercial cleaning business might have the following mission: ‘To make businesses a better place to work by providing high-quality commercial cleaning that goes above and beyond the industry standard.’

For more inspiration, take a look at these examples of mission statements from successful businesses .

Your vision is how the world will look if you’re successful in your mission. Consider the ultimate benefit your business will bring to its customers. How do you want people to see your business?

Express the dream scenario, whether it’s to be the leader in your market or to make a difference in your customers’ lives.

For example, our cleaning company’s vision might be ‘Higher standards, healthier workplaces, happier staff’. This communicates the company’s USP (higher standards) and the benefit they bring to their customers (healthier workplaces, happier staff).

Goals are an essential part of your business plan. These aren’t just guesses about what you might like to do. Strong business goals are based on what you need to deliver in your first year of business and how you plan to achieve that.

Remember, goals always need to be SMART : specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.

For example, our cleaning firm might have a goal to recruit 24 new clients in their first year. That’s a great start because it’s definitely SMART.

Next, they’ll need to break that down into smaller, more manageable goals, to help them achieve it. For example:

  • To have a basic website in advance of launch, and online booking within three months
  • To grow a social media audience comparable to their nearest competitor within the first six months
  • To distribute flyers to 250 local businesses each month and follow up with a phone call within two working days

Each of these goals could be broken down even further to create a month-by-month work plan for the business. This makes it much easier to stay on track and prioritise time effectively.

4. Products and services

Next, it’s time to talk about what your business is actually going to sell. Whether that’s products or services, describe them in detail. Consider information like:

  • What the product or service is
  • Unique features
  • Customer need
  • Whether you’re filling a gap in the market
  • Why customers will choose you over competitors
  • Where customers will buy it
  • Where customers will use or experience it
  • Pricing strategy (what you plan to charge and why)

You want to paint a clear picture of what you’re selling, why people will choose to spend their money with you and what benefits they get as a result. Thinking this through will really help when you start to promote your business.

5. Market analysis

This, alongside your financial projections, is the most important part of your business plan. It’s where you’ll record the results of any market research you’ve conducted. And if you want to have a successful startup, market research is a must!

Below is a quick rundown of basic market research. Once you’ve conducted it, use what you’ve discovered to demonstrate the potential of your product or services. Use graphs and charts to make it easier to digest.

Identify your target market

Firstly, you need to decide who your target market is. Who exactly will buy your products or services? Are they individuals or businesses? Where are they based? What income group do they belong to? This will help you plan effective pricing, marketing and sales.

For example:

  • Young professionals aged 21-35 in the Liverpool region
  • UK-based food manufacturers
  • Cost-conscious fashion fans in north-east England

Assess the size of your target market

Next, you need to work out how many people there are in your target market and how many, realistically, are likely to become customers. There are lots of sources of information to help you, including census information and commercial reports.

Survey your target market

Market research with your target customers can provide valuable insights that will help hone your business plan. For example:

  • Do they like the product?
  • What would they be willing to pay?
  • Who else might they buy from?

There are lots of ways to solicit opinion: from online surveys to in-person focus groups. Find out about different market research techniques and choose what’s right for you.

Identify your place in the market

Once you’ve researched your target market, you need to understand your place within it. Who are your competitors? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Market analysis typically includes:

  • SWOT analysis - looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • PEST analysis - political, economic, social and technological factors that might impact your business
  • Competitor analysis - who you’re competing against and how you compare

6. Marketing plan

Once you’ve completed your market analysis, you’re well equipped to write your marketing plan.

Marketing is made up of different elements which are sometimes referred to as ‘the four Ps’:

  • Product: what are you selling and what’s the USP?
  • Place: where will you sell your product to maximise access to your target market?
  • Price: what will you charge for your product to appeal to your target market?
  • Promotion: what’s your strategy for reaching your target customer?

Your marketing plan should explain how you’ll combine these different elements to stand out and maximise your appeal to your target market.

Consider your budget and how you will measure success. If you’d like to know more, check out this beginners’ guide to startup marketing .

7. Operations

This is where you go into detail about what you’ll need to deliver your product or services.

For relatively simple businesses, such as offering freelance services, this might be uncomplicated. But for other businesses, such as manufacturers or retailers, it can require more advance planning. Consider factors like:

  • Ingredients, materials and supplies
  • Suppliers and distributors
  • Routes to market
  • Technology, including accounting software such as FreeAgent

This will prepare you for the reality of setting up your business, the relationships you’ll need to develop and the potential costs you’ll incur.

It will also help funders understand how you plan to spend their investment and have confidence that you understand what you’re proposing.

8. Organisational details

This is where you record information about how your company will be structured and run. This section should provide clarity about different roles within the business. It should also give any investors confidence in your ability to deliver.

Include information like:

  • Your business structure ( limited company , sole trader or Limited Liability Partnership )
  • When you were established and began (or plan to begin) trading
  • Your management team, their roles, qualifications and experience - even if it’s just you!
  • Any actions you’ve taken as a business so far, such as registering patents or copyright
  • Your registered address and contact details

9. Financial plan

Now it’s time to outline your business finances. Investors will be reading this section carefully, so make sure to double-check your figures.

Many startups fail because of poor financial planning - such as failing to understand the impact of cashflow on a fledgling business - so this stage is really important.

As a new business, you’re likely to incur startup costs before you start making any sales, so you’ll always need enough money in the bank to keep you afloat.

A financial plan typically includes:

  • Profit and loss (income statement) - the income statement allows your reader to see your revenue and expenses. If you’ve only just started your business, this can be a forecast.
  • Cashflow statement - this is an estimate of what you expect to spend and receive over a period of time.
  • Balance sheet ( assets and liabilities ) - outline what you own and what you owe.

If you’re unclear on any of the above, it’s worth speaking to a bookkeeper or accountant.

Software such as FreeAgent can help you keep an eye on your business finances and prepare for Self Assessment.

10. Appendix

The appendix is a section where you can include additional information to support your business plan. It lets you provide extra detail for people who are interested, without making the body of your business plan too bulky.

Here, you can include numbers in more detail, your CV, legal agreements and any additional product information, such as market data, imagery, copy and designs.

Congratulations, you’ve made it. You’ve written your business plan, gone back to complete the executive summary, and you’re ready to share it with the world.

If you’re going to use your business plan to apply for funding, it’s a good idea to print a copy and professionally bind it, so it looks smart and credible.

Even if it’s just for your reference, keep a copy of your business plan to hand and refer to it regularly. Think of it as your roadmap to success.

business plan for sole trader

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How to Write a Business Plan for a Sole Proprietorship

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A business plan for a sole proprietorship is just like any other business plan. The main difference in business plans, in general, is the purpose. If you are writing a plan to organize your existing small company, focus on how your company operates and your goals for the future. If you will use it to obtain funding, your focus should be how you will make profits by supplying a commercial need.

Research Your Market

Start your research by describing your target or best customers by gender, age, income level, buying habits and residential location. Then look at your competition. Compare your company to your competition in terms of product offerings, service, prices, marketing, brand image and profitability. This gives you information for establishing the future direction you want your company to take, goals for expansion, product lines, service improvements, marketing to increase market share and ways to increase profitability. If you are a startup business, researching your market helps you develop your business idea, initiate good practices from the start and position your launch to attract the attention of your target market. It also gives you an argument that your company can fill a niche that will result in profits, which is important if you are going after funding.

Sole Proprietorship

There are special problems faced by a sole proprietorship operated by one person. The biggest problem is that you can't do everything. While examining your market, look for outside services that are geared to helping you compete with larger companies. These might be telephone answering services and business center offices that supply office space, office machines, administrative services and conference rooms. The Internet can provide inexpensive, simple-to-use marketing services and other outsourced services to expand your business reach. These are important considerations for the operations section of your business plan.

Develop Your Idea

Use your market research to solidify your vision for your company. Write a one or two sentence mission statement that addresses what you do, for whom, when, where, why and how. Then build on that. Establish in detail how the company operates, your suppliers, sales agents, cost of goods, price points, marketing strategy and growth plans. The more detailed you express this vision, the more likely you will see holes in your plan, which is one of the benefits of writing a business plan; it enables you to solve problems before you encounter them.

Research Your Costs

Make a list of every expense you encounter including rent, employees, travel, legal services, business licensing, insurance, inventory, sales costs, marketing costs and delivery costs. Business plan software is a good source of spreadsheet programs that allow you to plug in these costs to see what kind of revenues you must generate for profitability. These programs also print out a good presentation of your financial projections for use in obtaining funding.

Write the Plan

Your business plan should be shorter than 50 pages and should include the following sections: executive summary, which is written last; description of industry, including how you fit in; business model, describing your products and services; target market, describing who will buy from you and why; marketing model, describing how you will reach your target market; revenue model, estimating revenues and discussing how you will achieve those estimates; management, listing the bios and skills your managers bring to the company as well as your outside advisory board; and your financial projections, which consist of spreadsheets including a profit and loss statement, sales projections, personnel projections, cash flow and balance sheet. Include a discussion of how you arrived at these financial projections and the assumptions you used.

  • How to Write a Business Plan
  • Entrepreneur: An Introduction to Business Plans

Victoria Duff specializes in entrepreneurial subjects, drawing on her experience as an acclaimed start-up facilitator, venture catalyst and investor relations manager. Since 1995 she has written many articles for e-zines and was a regular columnist for "Digital Coast Reporter" and "Developments Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in public administration from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Free Simple Business Plan Template

Helena Young

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Written and reviewed by:. is reader supported – we may earn a commission from our recommendations, at no extra cost to you and without impacting our editorial impartiality.

Your business plan is the document that adds structure to your proposal and helps you focus your objectives on an achievable and realistic target. It should cover every aspect of what your business journey will look like, from licensing and revenue, to competitor and sector analysis.

Writing a business plan doesn’t need to be a difficult process, but it should take at least a month to be done properly.

In today’s capricious business climate there’s a lot to consider, such as the impact of political challenges like Brexit. These details are especially important in today’s bad economy. Investors are looking for entrepreneurs who are aware of the challenges ahead and how to properly plan for them.

Below, you’ll find everything you need to create a concise, specific and authoritative business plan. So let’s get started turning your idea into a reality!

Click here to download your free Business Plan template PDF – you can fill in your own details and those of your business, its target market, your customers, competitors and your vision for growth.

Our below guide will give you detailed advice on how to write a quality business plan, and our PDF download above can give you a clear template to work through.

But, creating an effective business plan needs….planning! That’s where a high quality planning tool can help. business plan template

We recommend creating an account with monday to use this tool – there’s even a free trial . Doing so means you can start your entrepreneurial journey on the right foot.

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What to include in your business plan template

There’s a lot of information online about how to write a business plan – making it a confusing task to work out what is and isn’t good advice.

We’re here to cut through the noise by telling you exactly what you need to include for a business plan that will satisfy stakeholders and help develop a key identity for your brand. By the end, you’ll have a plan to make even Alan Sugar proud and can get started with the most exciting part – running your business.

Throughout this guide, we’ve featured an example business plan template for a new restaurant opening in Birmingham called ‘The Plew’. In each section, you’ll be able to see what the contents we’re describing would look like in a ‘real-life’ document.

Cover Page

What to include in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary
  • Personal summary
  • Business idea
  • Your product or service
  • Market analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Cash forecast
  • Operations and logistics
  • Backup plan
  • Top tips for writing a business plan
  • Business plan template UK FAQs

1. Executive summary

This section is a summary of your entire business plan. Because of this, it is a good idea to write it at the end of your plan, not the beginning.

Just as with the overall business plan, the executive summary should be clearly written and powerfully persuasive, yet it should balance sales talk with realism in order to be convincing. It should be no more than 1,000 words.

It should cover:

  • Mission statement  – what is your company’s purpose?
  • Business idea and opportunity – what unique selling point (USP) will you provide?
  • Business model – how will your business operate?
  • Business objectives – what are you aiming to achieve?
  • Target market – who is your customer base?
  • Management team – who are the owners/senior staff?
  • Competition – who are you competing against?
  • Financial summary – can you prove the business will be profitable?
  • Marketing strategy – what is your marketing plan and associated costs?
  • Timeline – how long will it take to launch/grow your new business?

It sounds like a lot – but don’t feel you have to spend hours putting this together. Here’s what the above information for an executive summary might look like when put into our example business plan template for ‘The Plew’:

Example of an executive summary in a business plan for a Birmingham restaurant called 'The Plew'

Startups’ business plan template example: executive summary

2. Personal summary

Investors want to know who they’re investing in, as much as what. This is where you tell people who you are, and why you’re starting your business.

Outline your general contact details first, giving your telephone number, email address, website or portfolio, and any professional social media profiles you might have.

Run through this checklist to tell the reader more about yourself, and put your business ambitions into context.

  • What skills/qualifications do you have?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What is/are your area(s) of industry expertise?
  • Why do you want to run your own business?

Here’s what our two fictional co-founders of ‘The Plew’ might write in their personal summaries for our example business plan. CEO Gabrielle Shelby, has highlighted her expertise in the restaurant industry, while CFO Freya Moore outlines her accounting and finance knowledge.

Example of a personal summary in a business plan for a Birmingham restaurant called 'The Plew'

Startups’ business plan template example: personal summary

Richard Osborne, founder and CEO of UK Business Forums, says personality is important in a business plan.

“Having a strong, personal reason at the heart of your business model will help keep you going and give you the motivation to carry on,” he affirms.

3. Business idea

This section is essentially to offer a general outline of what your business idea is, and why it brings something new to the market.

Here, you should include your general company details, such as your business name and a  one-line summary of your business idea known as an  elevator pitch. This section should also list a few key business objectives to show how you plan to scale over the next 1-3 years.

We also recommend carrying out a SWOT analysis to tell investors what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are for your business idea. Think about:

  • Strengths: ie. why is this a good time to enter the sector?
  • Weaknesses: ie. what market challenges might you encounter?
  • Opportunities: ie. what demand is your product/service meeting in today’s market?
  • Threats: ie. how will the business be financed to maintain liquidity?

In the template below, you can see a breakdown of the above information for ‘The Plew’. At the top is its mission statement: “to craft an unforgettable dining experience in a chic atmosphere.”

Example of a business description in a business plan for a Birmingham restaurant called 'The Plew'

Startups’ business plan template example: business idea

Need a business idea? We’ve crunched the numbers and come up with a list of the best business ideas for startup success in 2023 based on today’s most popular and growing industries.

4. Your products or services

Now it’s time to explain what you are selling to customers and how will you produce your sales offering.

Use this section to answer all of the below questions and explain what you plan to sell and how. Just like your business idea outline, your answers should be concise and declarative.

  • What product(s) or service(s) will you sell?
  • Do you plan to offer new products or services in the future?
  • How much does the product or service cost to produce/deliver?
  • What is your pricing strategy ?
  • What sales channels will you use?
  • Are there legal requirements to start this business?
  • What about insurance requirements?
  • What is the growth potential for the product or service?
  • What are the challenges? eg. if you’re looking to sell abroad, acknowledge the potential delays caused by post-Brexit regulations.

What insurance and licensing requirements do you need to consider?

Depending on what your business offers, you might need to invest in insurance or licensing. Our How To Start guides have more details about sector-specific insurance or licensing.

Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, and Employers’ Liability are the most well-known types of business insurance. We’ve listed some other common other licensing and insurance requirements below:

In our example product/service page for ‘The Plew”s business plan, the founders choose to separate this information into multiple pages. Below, they outline their cost and pricing, as well as sales strategy. But they also include an example menu, to offer something a bit more unique and tantalising to the reader:

Example of an product / service page in a business plan for a Birmingham restaurant called 'The Plew'

Startups’ business plan template example: product list and pricing strategy

5. Market analysis

This section demonstrates your understanding of the market you are entering, and any challenges you will likely face when trying to establish your company.

This section pulls all of your target market and customer research together to indicate to stakeholders that you are knowledgable about the sector and how to succeed in it.

  • Who is your typical customer and where are they are based? Describe the profile of your expected customers eg. average age, location, budget, interests, etc.
  • How many customers will your business reach? Outline the size of your market, and the share of the market that your business can reach.
  • Have you sold any products/services to customers already? If yes, describe these sales. If no, have people expressed interest in buying your products or services?
  • What have you learned about the market from desk-based research? What are the industry’s current challenges, and how has it been affected by the economic downturn?
  • What have you learned about the market from field research? (eg. feedback from market testing like customer questionnaires or focus group feedback).

What is your marketing strategy?

Once you’ve highlighted who your rivals are in the market, you can provide details on how you plan to stand out from them through your marketing strategy. Outline your  business’ USP, your current marketing strategy, and any associated advertising costs.

‘The Plew’ identifies its target audience as young, adventurous people in their mid-30s. Because of the restaurant’s premium service offering, its audience works in a well-paid sector like tech:

Startups' example: market analysis in a business plan

Startups’ business plan template example: customer analysis

6. Competitor analysis

This section demonstrates how well you know the key players and rivals in the industry. It should show the research you have carried out in a table format.

Begin by listing the key information about your competitors. Don’t worry about sounding too critical, or too positive. Try to prioritise accuracy above all else.

  • Business size
  • Product/service offering
  • Sales channels
  • Strengths/weaknesses

Competitors will take two forms, either direct  or  indirect. Direct competitors sell the same or similar products or services. Indirect competitors sell substitute or alternative products or services.

Here’s a breakdown of the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities, and threats presented by a competitor restaurant for ‘The Plew’ called Eateria 24. At the bottom, the founders have written what learnings they can take from the chart.

Startups' example: competitor analysis in a business plan

Startups’ business plan template example: competitor analysis

Check out our list of the top competitor analysis templates to download free resources for your business, plus advice on what to include and how to get started.

7. Cash forecast

Outline your financial outlook including how much you expect to spend, and make, in your first year

All of your considered costs can be put into one easy-to-read document called a monthly cash forecast. Cash forecasts contain:

1. Incoming costs such as sales revenue, customer account fees, or funding.

2. Outgoing costs such as staff wages or operating expenses. The latter can cover everything from advertising costs to office supplies.

For those firms which have already started trading, include any previous year’s accounts (up to three years) as well as details of any outstanding loans or assets.

Annual cash forecast: what is it?

By conducting 12 monthly cash forecasts, you can create an annual cash forecast to work out when your company will become profitable (also known as breakeven analysis) . You will break even when total incoming costs = total outgoing costs.

In your annual cost budget, make sure to also include month opening/closing balance.  This is important to monitor for accounting, particularly for year-end.

  • Opening balance = the amount of cash at the beginning of the month
  • Closing balance = the amount of cash at the end of the month

The opening balance of any month will always be the same as the closing balance of the previous month. If you are repeatedly opening months with a negative closing balance, you need to adjust your spending. Here’s an example of what ‘The Plew’s financials might look like in its first year of operation:

Example of an cash forecast in a business plan for a Birmingham restaurant called 'The Plew'

Startups’ business plan template example: cash forecast

8. Operations and logistics

Explain how your day-to-day business activities will be run, including key business partnerships around production and delivery.

A.) Production

List all of the behind the scenes information about how your business will operate. Include:

  • Management team – who do you plan to hire as senior staff and why?
  • Premises –  where will you be based? What will be the cost?
  • Materials –  what materials/equipment will you need to make your product/service?
  • Staffing –  how many employees will you hire? How much will they cost?
  • Insurance – what insurance do you need for production?

B.) Delivery

Detail how your customers will receive your product or service. Include:

  • Distribution –  how will you sell your product to customers?
  • Transport –  how will you transport the product/service to customers or partners?
  • Insurance –  what insurance do you need for delivery?

C.) Supplier analysis

Lastly, you should carry out a supplier analysis.  Write down 2-3 suppliers you plan to use as part of your business operations and evaluate them on factors like location and pricing.

In our example business plan for ‘The Plew’, the founders have chosen to present this information in an easily-digestible chart, breaking down the leadership and employees into two different areas: product development and operations.

Example of a page showing staffing information in a business plan for a Birmingham restaurant called 'The Plew'

Startups’ business plan template example: staffing section

9. Backup plan

Explain how you will manage any surprise losses if your cash forecast does not go to plan.

In the event that your business does not go to plan, there will be costs to incur. A backup plan outlines to potential investors how you will pay back any outstanding loans or debt.

In the short-term: 

If your cash-flow temporarily stalls, what steps could you take to quickly raise money or make savings? For example, by negotiating shorter payment terms with your customers.

In the long-term:

If you’ve noticed a drop in sales that seems to be persisting, what changes can you make that would improve cash flow longer term? For example, can you do more of your business online to reduce rent fees?

To placate investors even further, it’s a good idea to include details about potential support channels you can utilise (eg. a business network or contact) who might be able to help if you get caught in a sticky cash-flow situation.

Startups’ 5 top tips for writing a business plan

  • Keep your predictions realistic. Your business plan should showcase your knowledge of the sector and what’s achievable. It’s not about impressing investors with big numbers or meaningless buzzwords.
  • Don’t go over 15 pages. Business plans should be engaging, which means sticking to the point and avoiding a lot of long-winded sentences. Keep your executive summary to less than 1,000 words, for example.
  • End with supporting documents. Use your appendix to include product diagrams or detailed research findings if these are helpful to your business case.
  • Get a second pair of eyes. Everyone misses a spelling error or two – invite a trusted business contact or associate to look over your business plan before you send it anywhere.
  • Leave enough time to write! It’s exciting to think about getting your business up and running – but planning is an important step that can’t be rushed over. Spend at least a month on writing to get all the details correct and laid-out.

At, we’re here to help small UK businesses to get started, grow and succeed. We have practical resources for helping new businesses get off the ground – use the tool below to get started today.

What Does Your Business Need Help With?

Designing a business plan is very important for laying the foundation of your business. Ensure you spend an appropriate amount of time filling it out, as it could save you many headaches further down the line.

Once your plan is complete, you’ll then be ready to look at other aspects of business set-up, such as registering your company. Sound daunting? Don’t worry!

Our experts have pulled together a simple, comprehensive guide on How to Start a Business in 2024, which will tell you everything you need to know to put your new plan into action.

  • Can I write a business plan myself? Absolutely! There are plenty of resources available to help, but the truth is a business plan needs to reflect the owner's personal ambitions and passion - which is why entrepreneurs are best-placed to write their own.
  • How long should a business plan be? We recommend your business plan is kept to a maximum of 15 pages. Keep it short and concise - your executive summary, for example, should be no more than 1,000 words.
  • Is it OK to copy a business plan? While not technically illegal, copying a business plan will leave you in a poor position to attract investment. Customising your plan to your unique business idea and industry specialism is the best way to persuade stakeholders that you have a winning startup formula. is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps to provide free reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

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Example business plans

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Put together your business plan with our tips.

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Where can I find an example of a business plan?

If you’re preparing to write your first business plan and are looking for some useful resources and advice on what elements to include you have come to the right page.

It is essential to have a realistic, working business plan when you’re starting up a business. We have our own section devoted to business planning where there are lots of articles and links to information on writing business plans . The content can show you how to prepare a high quality plan using a number of easy-to-follow steps but also contains more specialist information to help you really fine tune your document, plus advice on presentation and targeting.

If you are specifically looking for advice as a franchisee, check out our article on the 11 things you need to include in a franchise business plan .

There are a range of other sources you may also want to use. An often overlooked source is your Bank who may well have information, examples and templates of business plans:

  • Barclays template and checklist [pdf]
  • Lloyds sample plan [downloadable pdf – see section 4]

The Prince’s Trust offers downloadble pdf, MS Word and Excel templates . They also offer personal advice on completing a plan through their Enterprise programme if you are selected to work with them.

Slideshare has lots of business plans uploaded, which you can browse through here . We liked this thorough 26 page example from The Business Plan Team , as well as a template created by former Deloitte Management Consultants here , and a good example of a colourful, visual plan suitable for a trendy food business here .

An interesting interactive free business plan creator is offered by LawDepot . On the website you are stepped through 7 simple steps using a well-designed graphic interface, and at the end you can output the subsequent plan ready to fill in. There are 12 industries to choose from and it has sections for company structure, product, marketing, SWOT, operations and ‘Fine Details’.

Other Web Resources: Business Plan Templates

You can find examples of business plans for different types of businesses at:

  • ACCA – the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants have 3 example business plans for three different business sectors: Cafe, Import Business, UK Ltd business seeking finance.
  • Bplans – owned and operated by Palo Alto Software Inc., the site has free plans to download and it also has examples for lots of different types of individual or specific market sectors.
  • Expert Hub – based in South Africa, this site has 21 example business plans for different categories.
  • Start Up Loans – offer a downloadable .docx template.
  • Invest Northern Ireland – have a .doc business plan template to download here
  • – have four sample plans that you can access from Google Drive (note, this is a USA site so the examples are US-based, although the formats could still work for a UK business).
  • – 20+ example downloadable .pdf plans for different sectors.

Finally, how about a video on the subject? Quite a few examples on Youtube.

How about this one from Craig Frazier?

Further reading on business plans:

  • Advice and the basic tips of writing a business plan
  • A check list of what should be in your business plan

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Write a business plan

Download free business plan templates and find help and advice on how to write your business plan.

Business plan templates

Download a free business plan template on The Prince’s Trust website.

You can also download a free cash flow forecast template or a business plan template on the Start Up Loans website to help you manage your finances.

Business plan examples

Read example business plans on the Bplans website.

How to write a business plan

Get detailed information about how to write a business plan on the Start Up Donut website.

Why you need a business plan

A business plan is a written document that describes your business. It covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts.

A business plan helps you to:

  • clarify your business idea
  • spot potential problems
  • set out your goals
  • measure your progress

You’ll need a business plan if you want to secure investment or a loan from a bank. Read about the finance options available for businesses on the Business Finance Guide website.

It can also help to convince customers, suppliers and potential employees to support you.

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Starting your own business

The key things you need to know and do when starting your own business.

Are you in business?

Work out whether you're in business and when your business starts for tax purposes.

Before you start a business

Tax, super and registration obligations you need to consider before you start a business.

Business structures - key tax obligations

See your key tax obligations for a sole trader, partnership, company or trust business structure.

Franchising and tax

Tax treatments for franchise-specific payments and transactions between franchisors and franchisees.

Using your business money and assets for private purposes

You may need to report money and assets taken from your company or trust as income in your tax return.

Small business habits

Simple habits – like using digital tools, getting advice and keeping good records – help your business to stay on track.

Should you open a business bank account?

  • Determining the right account

Choosing the right bank

Required documentation.

  • Application process

Maintaining your account

How to open a business bank account.

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  • Business banking can be a great step if you want to separate your business and personal finances.
  • You'll need a business license and business documentation to open a business bank account.
  • You can use a Social Security Number as identification if you're a sole proprietor.

If you've started your own business, you may be ready to open a business bank account.

The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends opening a business bank account once you're ready to spend money or begin collecting income. Having a business bank account will give you the chance to manage your finances more professionally. 

Whether you're a freelancer, small business owner, or full-scale corporation executive, a business bank account is an important stepping stone to becoming a fully-fledged business.

Ultimately, business bank accounts help separate personal finances from your business finances. When you file taxes for your business, you'll need to have a clear idea of your operations throughout the year. A business bank account is an ideal place for documenting income and expenses.

When you're managing daily operations, you want to be able to conduct your business professionally. Once you've developed a formal business plan and received the necessary certificates and licenses for your business, opening a business bank account will be the next step.

Determining the right type of account

Business banking has similar account options to personal banking. These are the most common business bank accounts available at most banks: 

  • Business checking account : You can manage everyday business operations with a business checking account. 
  • Business savings account : Business savings accounts let you save money while earning interest.
  • Business money market account: Business money market accounts may provide easier access to your money than a traditional savings account , while still allowing you to earn interest. You might have access to your account through a free debit card or a higher number of monthly withdrawals. 
  • Business CD: Business certificates of deposit lock in your deposit at a certain rate for a specific amount of time. This can be helpful if you want to set money aside for a large purchase of equipment or inventory in the future. You'll want to be mindful of early withdrawal penalties , though. 
  • Merchant services account: Merchant service accounts are ideal for managing debit or credit card transactions. 

You'll want to choose business banking options that best fit your goals. Pay attention to interest rates, minimum opening deposits, balance requirements, monthly bank maintenance fees, and transaction fees. These details can vary between bank accounts and financial institutions. 

As a business owner, your financial needs are likely to evolve. Consider what other financial products banks offer that you may need to use in the future, such as business loans or lines of credit. Find out whether the bank has business advisors or loan experts who have expertise in your industry. 

Personal documentation

All owners of the business must come together to open an account and bring personal documentation for business banking.

Like with a personal bank account, you'll need to provide government-issued ID, such as a driver's license or passport.

Business license

Depending on where you live and the type of business you own, federal and state business licenses and permits will be mandatory to establish your business.

When you open a business account, make sure to bring any business licenses you have. These indicate that you are following state and federal laws. 

Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN)

An EIN is necessary for any business that is considered a partnership or corporation.

You'll need an EIN to open a business account if you aren't the only person in charge of your business. Sole proprietors can use their SSN instead of an EIN on a banking application or a business credit card application . 

If you currently don't have an EIN and aren't the sole owner of your business, you can apply for one using the IRS website. You can get your EIN the same day you fill out the application online.

Additional business documentation

Every business owner needs to provide basic business information to open a bank account, including the business name and address.

You may also need additional business documentation to open an account depending on your type of business and where you bank.

If you're part of a partnership, you may be asked to provide a partnership agreement or certificate of the limited partnership. If there isn't a formal partnership agreement, you'll have to make a written document that states a formal partnership hasn't been formed.

Business owners of a limited liability company or corporation may need additional documents that outline their business agreements and operations, like an LLC operating agreement or corporate bylaws.

The application process

Application processes vary by bank and account type. Applying online may be easier if you're the sole business owner, but be prepared to provide additional documents. 

If there are multiple owners who will need access to the new account, it may be easier to visit a bank branch and work with a bank representative in person. This will also give you the opportunity to ask questions as you go and start to build a relationship.

Download the bank's app as soon as your account is set up so that you can monitor your balance, deposits, and transactions on the go. Consider setting up alerts to stay on top of your balance requirement.

Business banking FAQs

Separate bank accounts can help when it comes to tax reporting and filing and boost the credibility of your business.

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a federal tax number that identifies your business to the IRS. Most banks require one to open a business account.

Yes, many banks have online applications for deposit accounts, including business accounts. 

Consider fees, the interest rate , accessibility online and in person, and online banking services and features.

Initial deposit requirements vary by bank, from $0 to $100. There may be separate daily minimum balance requirements for avoiding common bank fees or earning interest.

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5 Personal Pension Tips for Self-Employed Workers

Amy Knight photo

Preparing for a comfortable retirement is one of the most popular savings goals among UK adults according to NerdWallet UK research . But for sole traders it’s not so easy. 

High startup costs, irregular income and the cost of doing business can push a personal pension down the priority list for those choosing to work for themselves as an alternative to traditional employment.

Ian Black*, 44, from Newcastle, spent 13 years as a sole trader in the music industry. He started saving into a personal pension in his mid-thirties, after waiting years to make enough money to put some aside. “I definitely knew I wanted to do it at some point, it just wasn’t feasible financially in the early stages”, Black told NerdWallet UK. “To begin with you’re just trying to survive, cover your costs, keep the business going, make enough to live off,” he explained. 

Black’s situation is not uncommon, particularly for those in the music business who’ve faced financial insecurity in recent years. Retirement savings options available to sole traders include Lifetime ISAs , personal pensions and self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs), but not enough people are using them. Only 16% of self-employed workers are paying into a pension, compared to 88% of those who are eligible for auto-enrollment into an employee scheme. 

Jackie Spencer is head of money and pensions policy and strategy at the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS). She told NerdWallet UK that since the cost of living crisis, MaPS has seen “an increase in interest in pension savings” among the self-employed, with more solo business owners considering how saving for retirement fits into their overall financial plan. 

Despite rumours that the state pension could run out in the next two decades, Spencer thinks it’s likely there will be “some element of the state pension throughout everyone’s working life”. But the pandemic and other economic disruptions have left many people craving more certainty. Self-employed people have traditionally relied on selling their business or some assets out of their business to fund their retirement, Jackie explained. “That’s an uncertain plan, whereas long-term savings in a pension vehicle is more certain”.

For solo business owners wanting a reliable income to cover their later life, these five tips could help you top up your personal pension pot and dial down savings-related stress.

1. Use free online tools and calculators

To get an idea of how much pension income you could receive when you stop working, plug your expected pension contribution into an online calculator, such as this one on the MoneyHelper website . The calculator can provide you with a forecast of your income from your personal pension, previous employee pension schemes and your State Pension. You can also use it to work out a target retirement income to aim for.

“If it falls short of expectations, then you can also model the impact of making bigger contributions. Boosting your contributions even by relatively small amounts can have a big difference,” said Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown, in an email to NerdWallet UK. 

2. Start small, but start NOW

Not being able to save the “ideal” amount into a pension, due to cashflow pressures or a looming tax bill, can create a psychological barrier for some self-employed workers. 

While starting to save as soon as you can is beneficial, even if the initial amounts are small, growing a pension pot can be hard to balance against current financial challenges. “People know what they need to do, but most people are out living their lives and trying to create their business,” said Spencer, adding; “do what you can rather than trying to wait for some perfect moment.” 

Leaving employment to work for yourself means leaving behind regular pension contributions from your employer too. But any amount you can save – however small – will be boosted by a government top-up of 20%, something Black thinks many sole traders don’t realise. “A lot of people just think the money they put in is [all that] goes in the pension, but actually you’re getting an additional contribution from the government. That’s obviously worth thinking about because it’s like bonus money,” he said. 

3. Be realistic

Making regular contributions to your personal pension is a good option if your cash flow allows. You can treat savings as an essential outgoing along with other bills, and set up a standing order that you don’t have to remember each month. However, the income peaks and troughs experienced by many sole traders can make it difficult to save the same amount each month. If you’ve only recently started your business, don’t be too hard on yourself if you have to skip a few payments at certain times of the year.

Once he had settled into self-employment and his business was more sustainable, Black started making a minimum contribution to his pension every month and adding additional top-ups when he had cash to spare. “If there was a month when I couldn’t afford to do it, I could just not pay in that month… I could move it up and move it down accordingly,” he said.

If this sounds like something that might work for you, check with your provider whether you’re able to make more ad-hoc contributions to your pension. “We get a lot of people choosing to make contributions to their SIPP towards the end of the tax year because they have clarity on what their earnings have been,” said Morrissey.

4. Keep an eye on your pots

To help keep your retirement goals on track, check your pension regularly, although there’s no need to become a slave to it. “Look at your statements when they come once a year, pick up the phone if you need some help getting interpretation on what that statement means,” suggested Spencer. 

For self-employed workers feeling uncertain about their financial future, free and impartial pension guidance is available on the MoneyHelper website. You can also check your state pension on the government website .

5. Consider an ISA as well

It’s important to remember that any money you save into a personal pension cannot be withdrawn until you reach retirement age. To reduce the risk of tucking away money that might be needed sooner, Black started saving using an easy-access ISA which he could dip into for a financial emergency. “If you do suddenly need that money it’s not locked away like it is in a pension… you’re getting some of the benefits of saving money, but without the risks of being like locked away,” he explained.

Morrissey agreed, saying: “The ability to access the money early can make the Lifetime ISA attractive to groups such as the self-employed who may not be keen to tie their money up in a pension until the age of 55.”

*Name has been changed 

WARNING: We cannot tell you if any form of investing is right for you. Depending on your choice of investment your capital can be at risk and you may get back less than originally paid in. 

Image source: Getty Images

About the Author

Amy Knight is a spokesperson and writer at NerdWallet UK with over 10 years’ experience writing for, and about, businesses, including Aston Martin, Cranfield School of Management, and the National…

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Tourism Business Capability Subsidy—Round 2

The $2 million Tourism Business Capability Subsidy provides funding to eligible sole traders, micro, small and medium-sized tourism and event businesses in Queensland to undertake targeted training and/or accreditation programs.

Eligible businesses can choose from a number of identified programs aimed at enhancing the visitor experience.

Identified accreditation and training programs support key themes including sustainability and ecotourism, trade distribution, international visitor cultural understanding, first nations cultural awareness, tour guiding, improving tourism quality, accessible tourism, marinas, zoos and aquariums, and caravan/holiday parks.

The subsidy supports key actions in the Towards Tourism 2032 strategy's 'Talent and Skills' theme through targeted business capability development initiatives.

The key objectives of the subsidy are to:

  • increase the number of tourism and events businesses with recognised tourism accreditation
  • increase the capabilities of tourism and events businesses across targeted areas to improve visitor experiences.

Available funding

A subsidy of up to $2,000 (excluding GST) is available to eligible tourism and events businesses to support development in 1 or more of the below priority areas:


  • Training for trade/business development.

Eligible applicants do not have to co-contribute to the cost of approved training/accreditation activities however approved applicants will need to cover any costs above $2,000 (excluding GST).

The approved subsidy funding is reimbursed to the applicant once the accreditation and/or training has been completed.

The subsidy guidelines (PDF, 494KB) contain detailed information on applicant eligibility as well as the list of eligible accreditation/ training activities.

To be eligible for the subsidy, businesses must:

  • primarily operate in the tourism and events industry in Queensland or be a Queensland Local Government Authority with a tourism operation
  • employ fewer than 200 full-time equivalent employees
  • have an established operating base in Queensland
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for goods and services tax (GST).

Approved training and accreditation activities

Eligible applicants may choose to undertake 1 or multiple eligible training/accreditation activities from the list below.

Any costs above the maximum funding amount of $2,000 (excluding GST) needs to be covered by the applicant.

View the summary of all accreditation activity costs (PDF, 183KB) and training activity costs (PDF, 111KB) .

QTIC Tourism Accreditation Package

  • Sustainable Tourism program
  • Risk Management program
  • Accessible Tourism program.

QTIC Accommodation Accreditation Package

  • Star Rating program

Email: [email protected] Phone: (07) 3236 1445

Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard

ECO Certification (new applicants only):

  • Nature Tourism level
  • Ecotourism level
  • Advanced Ecotourism level.

Sustainable Tourism Certification (new applicants only):

  • Sustainable Tourism level
  • Advanced Sustainable Tourism level.

Renewals of existing Ecotourism Certification (already certified operators only):

  • ECO Certification
  • Respecting Our Culture Certification
  • Climate Action Certification
  • Sustainable Tourism Certification .

Email: [email protected] Phone: (07) 3256 6777

  • EarthCheck Evaluate
  • EarthCheck Certified

Email: [email protected] Phone: (07) 3924 4200

  • Caravan Industry Association of Australia National Accreditation Program
  • Risk Management and Business Operations Plan—Park Operations

Email: [email protected] Phone: (03) 9815 2015

Gold Anchor global marina accreditation :

  • self-assessed unrated 3-year participation
  • rated 3-year participation.

Clean Marina Program

Email: [email protected] Phone: (02) 9439 5806

View the accreditation costs (PDF, 183KB) .

Training Hub

  • Tourism Trade Ready
  • Domestic Ready
  • Accessible and Inclusive Host
  • Indonesia Host
  • Muslim Host
  • Digital marketing and your online shopfront for tourism
  • How to make sustainability your business

Email: [email protected] Phone: (02) 8262 5500

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies online course (AIATSIS) through Savannah Guides— Cultural Awareness Training

Email: [email protected] Phone: 0408 772 513

  • EcoGuide Certification
  • EcoGuide Workshop

Tour Guiding Fundamentals training :

  • Cairns (10–13 July)
  • Brisbane (11–14 September)
  • Cairns (7–10 October)
  • Business On-Site Package.

Professional Guide Accreditation

Email: [email protected] Phone: 0438 361 664

Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) :

  • accreditation preparation and Five Domains animal welfare assessment.

Email: [email protected] Phone: (02) 9978 4638

View the training costs (PDF, 111KB) .

Application, approval and subsidy process—Round 2

New applications for Round 2 will be awarded to eligible applicants in order of receipt. Incomplete applications will not be assessed until all required information is received.

The subsidy application and approval process is made up of 5 steps:

  • Apply for subsidy.
  • Department of Tourism and Sport (DTS) notifies of application outcome.
  • Applicant pays for approved activities.
  • Applicant completes approved activities.
  • Reimbursed up to $2,000 (excluding GST).

Applicants should research the eligible accreditation/training activities they are interested in undertaking and consider overall costs, time requirements and staff availability prior to submitting your application. Applicable costs for each accreditation/training activity are detailed in the application form.

Applicants need to submit their own applications. Application submissions from third parties are ineligible.

For any questions on the accreditation/training activities, contact the accreditation/training provider directly.

Key dates—Round 2

Note these dates are indicative only and may be subject to change. Round 2 will close when all available funds are exhausted, or at the discretion of DTS.

Applications are open.

Apply through the SmartyGrants portal

More information

  • Tourism Business Capability Subsidy guidelines (PDF, 494KB) .

For any questions on the subsidy, contact [email protected] .

  • Last reviewed: 15 May 2024
  • Last updated: 17 May 2024

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Customise it to suit — this could mean adding in extra sections, or cutting out ones that you don't need.

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Access free, self-paced training and tools and gain skills to launch your business into the digital world.

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When to register and deregister for GST, how to pay it and when, plus zero-rated goods and services.

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