Professional and legal advice

Professional advice can be invaluable when you’re setting up your business. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland and Law Society of Scotland can help advise you on tax, legal and insurance requirements.

Accountants in Scotland

Once you’re up and running, an accountant can help you calculate your tax liabilities and apply the most tax-efficient payment system for your employees.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) will help you find the right accountant for your business and location.

Find guidance on the ICAS website 

Lawyers and solicitors in Scotland

A lawyer can give you advice on everything from business structure to insurance, and may be essential when you’re buying or renting property. The Law Society of Scotland provides a facility to help you find a lawyer qualified to work in Scotland.

Find a legal expert in Scotland

Business insurance

As a business in Scotland you must have:

  • Employers’ liability insurance to cover compensation and legal costs if an employee (or former employee) suffers work-related injury or illness
  • At least third-party motor insurance if you use vehicles in the UK. These are legal requirements. They’re also important for your business, as you could face serious penalties or significant costs without them.
  • There are other types of insurance which aren’t necessarily legally required, but may be good to have. These include things like buildings insurance for your premises, product liability, public liability, professional indemnity, group travel and personal accident insurance.

Find out more about business insurance on mygov.scot

Intellectual property (IP)

Scotland and the rest of the UK have very strict intellectual property laws to make sure IP you’ve created is legally protected.

Find out more about IP at gov.uk

In this section

How to set up a company in Scotland

When you set up a business in Scotland, you’ll need to consider which company structure to use. It’s important you choose the right structure for your particular business.

Business tax

Scottish taxation is mostly governed by UK law and administered by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). But local taxes, like business rates, are controlled by the Scottish Government and administered by local authorities. Find out about tax requirements and competitive rates for your business.

National minimum wage and salaries in Scotland

Salaries in Scotland vary according to the type of work, the sector and where the job is located. The National Minimum Wage is the minimum rate you must pay your employees. There are now more than 1,800 Real Living Wage employers in Scotland.

Immigration and visas

Find information about different visa options if you want to relocate to or invest in Scotland.

If you have any questions and would like to talk with one of our advisers, we're ready to help.