Get advice and support about the rising costs of doing business on the Find Business Support website.


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. We can provide a wealth of information tailored to your business needs, and you can access one to one support from an adviser at the local office in Kirkwall as well as information on a range of locally run courses.

Local Support and Programmes

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

Planning To Start

Find out what support and tools are available to you by answering a few simple questions with our Planning To Start tool. Then get contact from your local office to take your business idea forward.

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

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

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.

Public Procurement

If you would like to tender for public sector contracts, more information can be found at or call 01856 873 535 for more information.

The Women's Business Centre

The Women’s Business Centre is a digital platform designed to support women at the pre start-up and start up stages of their business journey. Operated by Women’s Enterprise Scotland, the 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)

SDP is a public sector partnership which delivers a variety of FREE tender training, via classroom style workshops working in conjunction with Local Authorities across Scotland, digitally via webinar and also provides a range of online resources connecting businesses with the Scottish public sector. Registration for SDP events is free for Scottish SMEs, and will connect your business with your local authority’s SDP Rep who can offer your business additional support.

Thinking of Starting a Business?

There are many ways we can help you, even if starting up still seems a way off.

Our website is a great place to begin: we offer a business plan guide to download when you’re ready, market reports as well as handy online guides and articles, video tutorials and podcasts. Take part in our webinars to hone your start-up skills – from how to handle the legal requirements to getting your market research right.

Plus use our Planning to Start tool to guide you through the essential steps of starting up. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and then we can then use the details you give us to create your action plan, complete with links to relevant information and support.

We’ll also recommend free webinars to help you hone your skills and may refer you to relevant support from our partners.

A business adviser from your local office will also get in touch to see how else we can help at this stage and signpost you to a wide range of other support across Scotland.

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

Running a Business?

Maintaining a business or moving up a gear can be more daunting than starting up, so our support continues and grows with your business.

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 tailor a strategic action plan to your ambitions. Need targeted advice on HR, Restructuring, Innovation, Exporting or Digital Marketing? Your adviser can help with that too. And if you need more specialist input, we can connect you with other sources of support.

Use our resources, support and tools to learn new skills, create opportunities and gain confidence.

We run around 3,500 events each year across Scotland, with webinars on topics from bookkeeping to social media.

  • For free, comprehensive business intelligence and market research, you can turn to our Information Service.
  • Browse our online A-Z of over 100 market reports or request a free report if your market sector isn’t covered.
  • Our handy guides explain how to create a business plan, digital marketing strategy, HR, intellectual property and other essentials that can help your business through these challenging times.

Get in touch with your local Business Gateway office today.

Digital Business Skills with DigitalBoost

Setting up a website is a great start, but DigitalBoost can help you to make the most of your online presence.

Tap into our free local webinars, 1:1 expert adviser support and online tools and tutorials to help you improve your digital performance. Our DigitalBoost guides have been downloaded 20,000 times and some 1,200 workshops have together attracted more than 14,000 business people.

A DigitalBoost HealthCheck can pinpoint your digital strengths, where you could do more and how we can help. Take five minutes now to fill in our form and discover how to give your business a real boost.

Redundancy support for people and businesses in Scotland

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.

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