New research setup by BARK.com, the leading online local services marketplace, has placed a Northern City as the best place in the UK to set up a new business.

Using price data from the last three years across a wider range of business sectors to identify average business start-up costs, while also taking into account for its top 10 and bottom 10 rankings, talent pool size and broadband quality.

Leeds was identified as the best of 69 cities across the UK, where the average cost of launching a new business is £15,550.

Cardiff (set up cost  £15,725)  is ranked second best, followed by Liverpool (£15,744)Bristol (£16,013), Swansea (£16,082) and Newcastle (£16,150).

While some locations have low start-up costs, Bark.com said they were scored down as as they weren’t seen as being viable places for start-up businesses.


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For example,  while Wells is relatively cheap in terms of rent and business services, it is ranked in the bottom five due to being seen as poor in terms of talent and broadband services.

Truro in Cornwall is listed as the worst location in the UK to set up a business.

The analysis didn’t consider employee wages or corporation tax ( assuming a start-up is making enough profit to be liable for the tax).

Top top ten

1. Leeds – £15,550

2. Cardiff – £15,725

3. Liverpool – £15,744

4. Bristol – £16,013

5. Swansea – £16,082

6. Newcastle – £16,150        

7. Birmingham – £16,368

8. Manchester – £17,129

9. Edinburgh – £17,174

10, London – £75,990

Bottom ten

1. Truro – £22,306

2. St Davids – £8,511

3. Bangor – £8,930

4. Wells – £15,299

5. Stirling – £15,482

6. Ripon – £7,989

7. Lichfield – £11,083

8. Perth – £9,007

 9. Preston – £20,162

 10. Salisbury – £19,405

Co-founder of Bark.com Kai Feller said:

“When it comes to starting a business, choosing where to set up shop is always one of your first decisions. For decades, London has been the obvious choice for new businesses, however, we’re seeing that more and more people are opting to start their enterprise outside of the capital. 

“Like Manchester and Birmingham, Leeds is fast becoming recognised as a business hotspot, so it’s not a surprise that it tops our list.”

The average annual cost considered office rental, the cost of  marketing, IT support, recruitment, accountancy, website and SEO agency, as well as the cost of internet and phone providers.