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By Stephen Wilks

Back in 2017, we launched our first startup, an EdTech business that offered free education to students in the UK. The business grew rapidly, reaching 14 million total users, with 4 million active users each month and generating millions in revenue. In 2022, we successfully exited to a startup that had raised $700M+ in funding.

We were always mindful of costs, and a significant portion of my time—probably 80%—was dedicated to financial, legal, and administrative tasks such as fundraising, annual accounts, employee option schemes, different policies, and more. The remaining 20% was focused on driving growth, managing operations, and sales. 

I think I’m very diligent, but because we hadn’t started a company before, we missed deadlines & filings, not because we were late, but because we didn’t know they existed. That's why I want to share our experience in a practical guide to help you grow your startup or SME in the UK. 

Nobody tells you to register with the ICO, declare to the Pensions Regulator, or prepare annual EMI return summaries. Similarly, legal advice from lawyers can be overly cautious, and it is easy to make difficult-to-reverse decisions regarding internal operations or accounting. 

In this guide, you'll find recommendations tagged as reversible or irreversible, helping you understand the long-term impact of your decisions. Some choices, like picking a startup-unfriendly bank, can be undone with minimal impact, while others are almost fully set in stone, like choosing your product or company name. Knowing the difference will help you move faster and with more confidence.

We're here to help you make the right decision from the beginning so you can avoid tricky changes later on. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!

Thanks for reading.

Lukas Feddern & Stephen Wilks

Lukas Feddern & Stephen Wilks

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