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Get in touch

Please get in touch using the form below.

We can offer virtual or in-person 1-to-1 advice sessions to meet your needs for your business journey.

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What does BIPC mean/ stand for?

BIPC stands for Business & IP Centre.

What is IP?

IP stands for Intellectual Property. IP refers to creations of the mind. This can be inventions, designs, literary and artistic works, symbols, logos, and images used in commerce.

Find out more about IP and how you can protect it here. 

Who is BIPC Kent for?

BIPC Kent is for entrepreneurs, inventors, start-ups, small to medium businesses in Kent who want to learn and grow their business.

Do I have to pay to use BIPC Kent?

Our enquiry service is always free to use. Please contact Ask a Kent Librarian directly, or use the contact form linked from this page.

Our one-to-one sessions are delivered by our partners in Kent and across the BIPC national network. These sessions are also free, and may direct you on to the experts that you need. Subsequent sessions with experts would most likely be generously donated, although there may be a charge for some of the most specialist help.

Our website also connects you with various business and IP events, workshops and webinars. The vast majority of these are free to attend, but please check the details of each one.

How do I book onto an event, webinar, or workshop?

You can book onto our events, webinars, or workshops on our website under the ‘Event’ tab. Or you can take a look at our Eventbrite page here.

How do I book onto a one-to-one session with an expert?

Either fill in our ‘Contact us’ form here, or under the ‘Contact Us’ tab, or email us at One of our partners will then contact you to make sure they know all the information they need to tailor the session to suit you.

Currently our one-to-one sessions are only available online by video call.

After the session, we’ll send you a short questionnaire to find out how the session went, and help us to improve our service in the future.

How do I start a business?

Firstly, gather enough information on the business you want to start. Get information on the business peculiarities, the industry standards, and requirements, the potential for success, etc. This can be found on COBRA. Then write your business plan and/or use a business model canvas to have a clearer view and understanding of your business and the pathway(s) to success. 

Then decide on what type of business you want to start and how you want to run it. Either as a sole proprietor, partner, or limited company. This would help you apply for the correct registration, or not if you want to be a sole trader. 

For more information or to speak to a professional for some advice and guidance on each step of starting your own business, contact us.  

How can I find funding?

You can easily search online for fund options or sources using the GRANTFinder database, that is available from the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone. You can also contact Ask a Kent Librarian who can run a preliminary search through GrantFinder for you.

Further information on funding can be be found on the Kent County Council website or you can contact our partners at the Kent and Medway Growth Hub.

How/when should I register my business (LTD, Sole, Partnership)?

If you are running as a sole proprietor, you do not need to register your business. If you want to run as any other type of business, you can do this online with ‘companies house’. You could check the UK.GOV website to find out more about the types of businesses. 

How do I register for company VAT?

You can register a company for VAT online on the UK.GOV website, which also provides more information in regard to business VAT and tax.

How do I search for a patent?

You can search for a patent on the patent online through Espacenet. Here you can describe your patent to see if similar innovations are currently patented.

How can I fill in an application for a patent, what are the cost?

We have summarised the process of how to apply for a patent and how much it costs on out patent page. While we provide as much information as possible, the exact process and the cost depends on the route you take and how many patents you are after.

Applications are made online on the GOV.UK website. To can find more information by contacting the Intellectual Property Office directly.

How do I write a business plan?

Writing a business plan entails putting your business ideas, business description, and summary, financial projection, cash flows, operational strategy, profit evaluation, competitive analysis, marketing plans, and customer analysis, in writing.

You can find more information on writing a business plan in the COBRA database, or book a one-to-one to speak to get additional help.

How do I scale my business/grow?

There is no turnkey method to growing a business. Growth can be opening more branches, introducing / including more products or services, hiring more staff, or acquiring other businesses. The foundation for growth stems from an increase in the net profit of a business, or a projection of financial increase from investments.