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Business advice

If you are taking over an existing business or are planning to start a new one, there are a few things you need to know.

It is important to get things right from the start. On this page you will find information, links to other web pages on this site and also links to pdf documents.

Food Businesses: Advice on food safety, hygiene ratings and workplace safety

Health Improvement: Advice on healthy eating awards, food poisoning and public health issues

Trading Standards: Responsible for the regulation of all businesses in Middlesbrough in areas such as unsafe goods, false descriptions, counterfeiting, consumer credit, pricing, under-age sales, and weights and measures.

Environmental Crimes: Find out what the law says about litter, waste, fly tipping and other types of environmental crime, and all the enforcement work we do to help keep Middlesbrough clean, green and safe.

Planning consent: If you open a business that does not have the right planning consent you may face legal action. To check if your premises has planning consent contact the Council's Planning Services.

Licensing laws: If you want to trade after 11pm or if you want to sell alcohol at any time you must have a license. If you are mobile trader and would like to trade in the centre of Middlesbrough you may need a street consent for this. For more information on licensing laws contact the Council's Licensing Team on 01642 728011.

Employment and Immigration: 

For information on employment rules visit

To check if someone can legally work in the UK visit 

Working for yourself? Got a lot of questions about tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses? If so, take the free HMRC e-learning course.
Do you sell goods or supply services to other European Union (EU) countries? Got a lot of questions about how to deal with VAT, keep records and make additional returns? If so, this HMRC e-learning course is for you.

pdf icon Pre-employment screening [69kb]: It is estimated that almost one in seven CVs contain some form of discrepancy - most commonly dates of employment, academic and professional qualifications and undisclosed directorships. Pre-employment screening can help your organisation to identify undesirable individuals, who may be dishonest or susceptible to committing fraud, before they join.

pdf icon An introduction to fraud detection [40kb]: Fraud detection should form part of an organisation's overall anti-fraud strategy to identify and stop new or historical fraud at the earliest opportunity. Effective fraud detection saves money and protects businesses and their employees, shareholders and customers.

pdf icon How your business can combat e-crime [395kb]: Protecting your business against fraud.

pdf icon How your business can combat insider fraud [493kb] : Protecting your business against fraud.

pdf icon How your business can combat card not present fraud [564kb]: Protecting your business against fraud.

Business Continuity Management: All businesses in Middlesbrough, large or small, are vulnerable to accidents and emergencies. It is recognised that smaller businesses have fewer resources to devote to planning, and to deploy in a response and recovery effort after an incident. However, it is nevertheless important that they spend some time and effort to develop basic steps for business continuity.

While acts of terrorism can disrupt all businesses and should be planned for, they are still relatively rare. However, incidents such as power failure or flooding due to a broken water main, can deprive a business of electrical or water supplies and damage or destroy stock or documents.

For further information on Business Continuity Management please visit the following website Cleveland Emergency Planning Unit

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