Many people who have moved to UK choose to set up their own business. In fact, in the UK there are approximately half a million migrants running businesses.

Here are some examples of small business that can be quite profitable in the UK:

  • Courier business (delivering parcels)
  • Coffee shop
  • Car washing
  • Catering, fast food, restaurants
  • Internet businesses
  • Gardening
  • Professional services (accounting, marketing, admin).


There are lots of important things to consider and organise first if you want to set up your own business. They include:

  • checking if you are allowed legally to set up a business
  • how to pay your taxes
  • how to do your finances.

The Expatica website has useful information on the steps you need to take to get started and the different types of companies you can set up.


You can also find out more about the rules of setting up a business in the UK on the Government website GOV.UK:

Set up a Business

Leeds City Council’s website also provides lots of information for people wanting to set up a business in Leeds. Find out more:

Set up a Business in Leeds

There is also a useful list of venues that offer accommodation and support to help people set up new businesses in Leeds.

Business Startup Accommodation and Support

The Business and IP Centre Leeds offers useful advice including workshops on a range of topics including tax, funding, accommodation, promoting your business.

Business Startup Workshops

Becoming an interpreter

You may be interested in using your language skills by looking for paid work as an interpreter. If you have experience in community interpreting, there are several agencies in Leeds and the surrounding area that you could apply to. These include:

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Language Line
Enable 2

Leeds City Council has an Interpreting and Translation Team that supplies interpreters across Leeds. If you have a qualification in interpreting and/or translation you might be able to find work with the team. To do this, you need to register first. Email the team to find out more:

[email protected]

Community Interpreting Courses

There are opportunities to attend Level 1 and Level 2 accredited interpreting courses in Leeds. The courses are delivered by Workers Educational Association.

The course provides an opportunity to develop skills and experience in becoming an interpreter.

The course costs £95, plus a £45 fee to get the accreditation. However, if you receive means-tested welfare benefits you will be able to do the course free of charge.

The course usually runs one day a week for 11 weeks. Everyone who wants to do the course must first pass an initial assessment. However, if you do not pass the assessment, WEA can offer other courses to support your learning and help you progress in the future.

To find out more, go to the WEA website, look for Find a Course and type in “Leeds” in the town or postcode box, and type in “Community Interpreting” in the subject area box.


Last Updated: 3 January 2019

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