Protect your business ideas!

Rules, licenses and IP

Rules for your type of business

Aside your responsibilities to your customers, the taxman and any professional bodies etc, you may have other responsibilities depending on what your business does.

We're not able to cover all of the different options and so have added a series of links in the following paragraphs which might help you find the correct answers. We recommend the use of the official websites that are provided by the Government agencies and departments.

Here are some of the most useful.

Check if you need:

There are also rules you must follow if you:

The government provide this useful licence finder.



To run a business from your home, you may need permission from your:

  • mortgage provider or landlord
  • local planning office - eg if you’re planning on making major alterations to your home
  • local council - eg if you’re going to get lots of customers or deliveries, you want to advertise outside your home or if you need a licence to run your business

Intellectual Property

Protecting your IP is very important to the long term success of your company.

The UK Intellectual Property Office offers support through IP Equip – the free intellectual property course. IP Equip is a free online intellectual property (IP) course brought to you by the experts at the UK Intellectual Property Office.

This free online training will teach you about intellectual property rights such as trade marks, patents, copyright and designs.

Start learning for free today with our CPD interactive accredited resources.

Each module takes 15-20 minutes to complete!

Benefits of using IP Equip

  • It’s quick, free and easy!
  • Learn to identify and protect your IP.
  • CPD accreditation & IPO certificate on completion.

 All content is available under the Open Government Licence v2.0, except where otherwise stated. © Crown Copyright

Trade Marks (for brand protection)

Patents (for inventions)

Design (for the visual appearance of products)

Copyright (for creative work)

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