Business Gateway Orkney is here to support businesses based in the Orkney Islands. We offer free and impartial business advice to anyone wanting to start up or develop a business within the islands.

There is a range of financial and other support available to new and growing businesses in Orkney. Please contact the Orkney office on 01856 886 666 to discuss eligibility.

The Council offers financial assistance to help businesses establish themselves, expand, develop and reach new markets.

  • The Council encourages business innovation and so applications for assistance on larger, more diverse projects are considered by the Development and Infrastructure Committee as they emerge.
  • Sector-wide schemes which aim to spread the benefits throughout an entire sector rather than at the level of individual business are also encouraged provided they meet the objectives of encouraging economic diversification; raising the average wage rate; and/or overcoming barriers to export.
  • We do not usually provide financial assistance to businesses in the retail goods/services sector. However, support may be awarded towards the setting up of an innovative, new service, not already available in Orkney, provided it is not just a marginal modification of an existing business.

Download our local business support guides

Thinking of Starting a Business?

There are many ways we can support your start-up journey.

Our Planning To Start tool is a great place to begin. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and provides you with an instant toolkit with key resources & information. We'll then connect you with a member of the team at our local office for further support.

Our website offers a business plan guide and template to download when you’re ready, market reports and research, as well as handy online guides and articles, video tutorials and podcasts. Plus, we have a great range of webinars to hone your start-up skills – from writing a business plan to marketing on a budget.

With our help, you could be in business sooner than you imagined.

Running a Business?

Our 1:1 advice, online resources and webinars can help you plan, adapt and grow.

We know that your time is in short supply, so we offer 1:1 advice at a time and day to suit you. Together, you and your business adviser can create a strategic action plan to suit your ambitions.

Our online resources and webinars can help you learn new skills, create opportunities and gain confidence. From HR to restructuring, innovation and digital marketing - we can help. And if specialist input is required, we can connect you to other sources of support.

Improve your Digital Skills

Access webinars, online guides and a Digital Health Check.

From digital marketing strategy to social media, e-Commerce, cyber security and more, we can help boost your digital performance.

Our Digital Health Check is a great place to start. It will help pinpoint your digital strengths, areas you could improve, and how we can help, and it only takes 5 minutes to complete.

Help with Business Rates

There are a number of relief schemes available which offer reduced non-domestic rates on qualifying business.

These include relief for small businesses (Small Business Bonus Scheme), empty properties, charities, rural businesses, renewable energy producers and nursing care establishments. Find out more or call 01856 8735 35.

Locating Premises

The Estates Department holds details of all Orkney Islands Council properties that are for sale or rent.

For more information call 01856 873 535.

Licenses, Permits and Permissions

Find out if you need a license for your business and how to apply.

A list of the type of activities requiring a licence and details of how to apply are available online at www.orkney.gov.uk.

Planning and Building Standards

Advice and guidance on planning issues is available.

Find out online if you need planning permission of a building warrant, make an application, find out about an application that’s has been made, or find out more about long term policies such as the Local Plan. Call 01856 873 535 or visit www.orkney.gov.uk.

Environmental Health and Trading Standards

Environmental Health and Trading Standards help to maintain a fair and safe trading environment where local businesses and consumers can thrive.

They can provide advice and information on legislation you may need to be aware of. Find out more or call 01856 873 535 for guidance.

The Women's Business Centre

The Women's Business Centre is a website designed to support women at the pre-start and start-up through to growth stages of their business journey.

Operated by Women’s Enterprise Scotland, the Women's Business Centre website is free to access and offers dedicated, needs-based content on starting and growing a business, including stories, encouragement and top tips from leading business owners across Scotland.

Supplier Development Programme (SDP)

The Supplier Development Programme provides support through a range of free tender training, e-learning modules and Meet the Buyer events to help Scottish SMEs, social enterprises and third sector organisations in bidding for public sector opportunities.

Redundancy Support

Your local Business Gateway office can offer free support to any business considering making redundancies.

Our advisers can help you look at your business challenges and then help you make the next practical steps. Along with that we can introduce you to PACE – Partnership Action for Continuing Employment.

Other Business Support across Scotland

Information on the free advice and support available from Scotland’s public sector business support organisations is available to find, all in one place, at Find Business Support.

Find your nearest office

Business Gateway Kirkwall

14 Queen Street
KW15 1JE
Get directions
01856 886 666

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00