COVID-19 update: Shetland is now reopen to visitors, as per Scottish government guidelines, but please read our guidance on travelling responsibly.

Do Business

Why Shetland? Why not? If you happen to be a lawyer who loves bird-watching, a web developer who’s into yachting, a chef who wants to escape to stunning coastal walks or an engineer who moonlights as a fiddler, Shetland could be the place for you.

Setting up a business in Shetland?

Maybe you already have a business you could operate successfully from Shetland and you’re simply looking for a more congenial place in which to base yourself. Or maybe you’re at a turning point; you want to do something fresh and you think you’d like to set up something completely new here.

You could acquire a business in Shetland as a going concern. These opportunities do arise and are normally advertised online or in The Shetland Times. Alternatively, you could advertise yourself, seeing if any business may be coming up for sale.

Perhaps you already have a successful business and you believe that it will work just as well in Shetland as elsewhere; this may particularly appeal if you do all or most of your work over the internet.

Start up your new business from scratch.

You’ll want to undertake some market research and develop a business plan. You’ll need to check for consents with any relevant regulatory agencies. This could include council departments like:

Postal services are excellent and exporting goods from Shetland is easy to arrange too, as we have a nightly ferry link, daily air services and local haulage firms who are very experienced in moving goods efficiently to destinations throughout the UK and farther afield.

Business Gateway Shetland will be able to offer practical advice and guidance about business prospects in the islands. Whether you are starting or growing a business, they will provide access to a range of publicly funded business support services.

They will know the local marketplace and can also tell you about various forms of specific assistance available. This may include grants or loans. Some funding may be available to help get your project off the ground.

And if you’re looking for premises, the Council has a number of small sites for business and industrial use throughout Shetland. In Lerwick, the Lerwick Port Authority may be able to assist. The Council’s Economic Development Service also offers membership of and access to the Shetland Business Register.

There are Shetland branches of major banks located in Lerwick:

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Clydesdale Bank
  • TSB
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Santander

We also have a full range of the professional services, including:

  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Surveyors
  • Economic consultants
  • Computer suppliers
  • Graphic and website designers
  • Software developers
  • Photographers
  • Training services suppliers, and marketing and PR firms.
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