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


Business Gateway Shetland provides support to individuals and businesses in Shetland with quality, practical advice and guidance. Whether you are starting or growing a business, we provide access to a range of publicly funded business support services.

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. 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.

Local Support

Here in Shetland we offer a range of initiatives to help your business - whether you are considering an idea, taking the first steps or have been running a business for years, we have the experience to advise you at every stage and help you develop your business.

Through Business Gateway you can access:

  • Free advice from our experienced business advisers to help you start a business or if you are already in business, support you to develop ideas and find other ways of doing business
  • Free l webinars - ranging from start-up sessions to specific skills events - covering marketing, finance and e-commerce
  • Free business information. The team offers information on all aspects of starting and growing a business. We are in partnership with other professional organisations - so you can be sure you will receive the best possible support.

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.

Local Advisers – Start-Up

There's a lot to think about to get your idea to become a reality. But you are not alone. Our local advisers and services are here to help. We offer lots of guidance and support to help make ‘being your own boss’ a reality. Covering everything from advice about whether self-employment is right for you, how to register your business, funding guidance and application assistance, business planning and marketing advice, to avoiding common mistakes and researching and planning.

Local Advisers – Growing your business

If you have an established business in Shetland, our business advisers will work with you to determine the best strategy for your business to grow. We can offer a range of professional resources, support and tools to help you develop and grow your business. Whether you need to learn new skills, create new opportunities or develop sustainable strategies for growth, we've something to help.

Specialist Support – HR and Employability

Recruiting staff or managing people? We have a dedicated HR Adviser who can assist you with a range of recruitment and staffing queries.

Financial Support

There is a range of financial and other support available to new and growing businesses in Shetland so please contact your Business Adviser to discuss eligibility.

Useful Connections

As well as providing our own services, we often signpost or refer our clients to other organisations that we work closely with, and who can provide further support tailored to our clients’ needs.

Local Financial Assistance

There is a range of financial assistance available through the Economic Development Department, at Shetland Islands Council, to assist new start and existing business clients with the costs related to developing projects which meet key eligibility criteria and will result in extensive local benefits. Further detail can be found here:

Local Research, Surveys and Strategies

The Economic Development Department at Shetland Islands Council contributes and commissions a variety of local research reports, surveys and strategy development work which may help with your market research. You can find current and archived documents here.

Council Services

The Council has a range of other services that are useful to new start and existing businesses. These include:

  • Environmental Health - Free advice and support on food safety and registration, health and safety at work, pest control etc. Call 01595 744802 or email
  • Licensing - Find out if your business needs a license to trade and how to apply. Visit the Shetland Islands Council website
  • Business Rates (Non-Domestic Rates) - For information on the billing and collection of business rates call 01595 744683 or email
  • Small Business Bonus Scheme and other rates relief - this scheme offers reduced non-domestic rates on qualifying business premises. More information is available on the Scottish Government website and rates relief forms can be found here.
  • Trading Standards - Free business advice and trading on product safety standards. Call 01595 744887 or email
  • Planning, Development Management & Building Standards – Free advice and guidance on planning issues is available. Find out online if you need planning permission or 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 01595 744815 or email
  • Community Planning & Development – The Shetland Community Directory provides contact details for many of the diverse range of community groups and services in Shetland, you can find it here. You can also find the Shetland Partnership Plan using this link.
  • Rubbish & Recycling – Collection, disposal and costs associated with commercial waste is available here or call 01595 744891 or email
  • Public Sector Contracts – If you would like to tender for public sector contracts, please register on the Public Contracts Scotland website or call 01595 744595 for more information. You can also access support through the Supplier Development Programme, by using this link.

Business Improvement District (BID)

Business Improvement Districts have been set up to help build stronger communities in Scotland. These business improvement districts are about businesses working together and investing collectively in local improvements, which will benefit the businesses involved and the towns they are based in. Shetland has a BID run by Living Lerwick Ltd. If you would like to know more or want to get involved email for more information.

Promote Shetland

Thinking to move and set up or relocate a business in Shetland? This website will provide you with details about living and working in the isles, including housing, education and schools:

Social Media

Don’t forget to like or follow us on the Business Gateway (Shetland) Facebook Page for regular updates and interesting business 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.

Local support for female business owners

Virtual programmes offering support for female business owners in Shetland have been trialled by Business Gateway, with up to eight entrepreneurs selected per cohort to take part in six-month programmes. Another programme is due to start in Autumn/Winter 2022. For more information about how Business Gateway can support your business, please get in touch.

Find your nearest office

Business Gateway Lerwick

3 North Ness Business Park
Get directions
01595 745 945

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00