Aspiring entrepreneurs are racking their brains every day for new business ideas. These ideas are the catalyst behind major entrepreneurial breakthroughs and the creation of robust brands. Nonetheless, the process of business idea generation is always a breeze.

In fact, it takes more than just a brainstorming session to come up with brilliant proposals. Your team should incorporate different methods from market research to changing your way of thinking in order to produce fresh business ideas.

Understanding the burdensome process that comes with business idea generation, we have collected all the most popular and trendy online business ideas in the UK for you to consider on your next attempt.

Digitalization has transformed the business landscape around the world including the UK, businesses are constantly being migrated online to facilitate a larger extent of exposure to buyers. UK online economy is considered one of the most advanced in Europe. This provides plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs to explore and launch their business visions.

But which online business undertaking offers the most room for growth you may ask? We have accumulated a list of seven different fields that you can use as a guide toward the establishment of your online business in the UK.

e-Commerce store

You can be an experienced merchant who has a physical store that seeks to expand online or a complete beginner looking to mark your footprint by selling things online, an e-Commerce store is where you should start looking.

The UK and international shoppers have shifted from shopping at physical stores to online platforms due to convenience and flexibility. E-commerce platforms provide a wide selection of payment methods as well as shipping options for the buyers to choose from which makes it even more preferable for busy shoppers.

For business owners, an e-Commerce channel can be set up in a few easy steps with the current technology of e-Commerce platforms provider. You have a click-and-drag level of customization of your shop front.

Setting up an e-Commerce site will also allow you to communicate promotions, sales, and new launches to your visitor more efficiently.

To constantly improve customers’ experience on your site, note that you should update the quantity of the products in a timely manner as well as ensure the loading speed is not too tedious. Plus, website developers should also frequently renovate their channels’ design and interface to keep up with the latest trends and ensure that their sites are eye-catching to the audience.

But if building everything from the ground up is not your cup of tea, a more light effort solution would be to sell on e-Commerce selling platform. They’re a great launchpad for small businesses in their growth stage and are generally easy to navigate for most. On top of the strong backend support, you can also enjoy other fringe benefits such as having a large prospect base, quick setup time, and strong brand familiarity.

Crypto exchange

As people are now increasingly looking for means to acquire passive incomes through multiple different channels, the demands for reliable and resourceful online trading platforms are also growing. Additionally, with the proliferation of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), traders are also on a constant lookout for new online brokers that offers a range of trading options.

As such, your team can consider building an automated trading platform that allows your client to invest in stocks, shares, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the UK and other forms of innovative tokens. This platform should be available on both website and mobile technologies to facilitate a versatile and active trading experience for your clients. One aspect that your developers should take to heart while building an online brokerage platform is to opt for the most optimal and smooth transaction method.

Your clients will expect once they have made a deposit, the records will be updated immediately on the platform as well as when they decide to withdraw money, it will be refunded as soon as possible. A swift and proficient payment process is what your business should first attend to.

SaaS business

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a business model that entails licensing consumers through a subscription plan for centrally hosted software. A SaaS company is any business that leases its software via a centralized cloud-based infrastructure. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the SaaS model is taking over the world since most of the startups that receive multi-million dollar funding or turn unicorn are SaaS. It’s needless to say that we are living in an era of internet cloud-based technologies and SaaS enterprises build software that accommodates certain needs or encompasses functions that facilitate users in this realm of technology.

In the United Kingdom, over 8% of high-growth companies are SaaS companies. The capabilities of SaaS range from B2B to B2C businesses which offer entrepreneurs a diverse option to work with. Fintech, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and e-Commerce are just a few of the fields in which SaaS companies operate. Existing SaaS solutions range from human resources, customer relationship management (CRM), and web development to social media and email marketing automation, corporate resource planning (ERP), and project management.

Affiliate marketing

Any successful business or company will require a robust marketing endeavor. With that in mind, a multitude of marketing methods has sprouted to serve the scorching competition in the business world and this has also given way to the birth of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is promoting a product or service via a website, blog, podcast, or social media platform. The affiliate receives a commission if a purchase is made using the unique link linked with their endorsement.

As such, this business attempt will require a period of time dedicated to building a significant online presence with a constant stream of audience. Once you have achieved that, brands will usually reach out to you for partnerships and endorsement deals.


If you are not a big fan of fixed hours or corporate culture, joining the freelancing workforce will be an ideal option for you. Freelancers constitute a significant portion of the self-employed workforce in the United Kingdom. Contract by contract, they work on shorter-term projects for a variety of clients.

As an aspiring freelancer, you should have specialist skills that can be utilized by your clients on their projects. Businesses and companies in the UK are seeking more chances to hire freelancers due to their flexibility and reasonable rates. Freelancers will not require a comprehensive employee package compared to full-time staff in exchange for a more lenient approach to operation and time.

Online bookstore

Whether it’s an ebook or paperback book, customers are always seeking to be absorbed in the world of a good read. It may seem impossible to open a bookstore in the age of Amazon and large retail corporations. Nevertheless, despite the idea that independent bookshops are dwindling under the shadow of these giants, there is still ample opportunity in the book industry.

By starting a niche independent bookstore, you are opening your business to a community of avid readers of such genres who will keep coming back for the same sentiment. Since this business attempt will appeal to a certain audience, you will have a steady stream of customers.


Making substantial business decisions has become somewhat of a burden to companies’ boards of management or entrepreneurs. Taking that into account, consultancy services have become an essential player in today’s global economy. If you and your team possess extensive business knowledge and experience as well as the ability to keep up with the latest business trends, it’s a high chance that you offer your insights to business leaders through a consultancy.

In recent years, the market for management consulting in the United Kingdom has developed dramatically and is currently estimated to be worth over £11 billion. As sprawling as it is, this industry in the UK still has places for up-and-coming consultancy firms that target small and medium businesses.

How do you pick the right online business ideas?

There are a few fundamental steps that you should reckon with prior to the generation of online business ideas for your business in the UK.

First, whichever field you are in, keeping pace with the latest trends and innovations is an inevitable step in making sure that you are up-to-date with the market. By updating the emerging technologies, you can also discover the gaps and what can be improved in order to devise solutions that are transformative.

Secondly, constantly be on the lookout for pressing social problems that require solutions through modern technologies. Your daily life can be your biggest source of inspiration since we face different obstacles whether large or small every day. However, not everyone can see that as an opportunity to seize.

Finally, learning about your customers’ demands and shopping behaviors by researching major retail online conglomerates can help you understand what your customers seek in an e-Commerce platform. This will also allow you to build channels that can accommodate the largest volume of customers.

How to start an online business in the UK?

Starting an online business in the UK begins with original and ingenious business ideas that are also practical in the current setting.

You also need to choose an e-Commerce platform that suits the demands of your business model and allows room for it to scale and develop. If you are offering tangible products, you will need a site that provides suitable and clear layouts that will facilitate the presentation of your products. This channel will also require a built-in payment gateway that is easy to access and process.

In the case where you offer service as the main product, your e-Commerce platform should entail an introduction of what your service brings as well as the package that you provide. Plus, your website should feature a contact form that is easy to access so your client can book an appointment instantly.

Last but not least, you should have a clear vision and roadmap for your business through the making of an overarching business plan. This plan should be curated in detail and able to predict any hindrance to your business as well as set out a clear goal that you wish to attain in a certain timeframe.

If you are still flummoxed as to how to devise a business plan, refer to this guide for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most successful online businesses in the UK?

Below is the list of some of the most lucrative and potential online businesses in the UK that you can refer to for inspiration:

  • Starting a blog or podcast
  • Building apps, software, or websites
  • UI/UX designs
  • Being a consultant
  • Teaching or coaching services
  • Dropshipping business
  • Content writing

How do I pay taxes while working from home in the UK?

If you are currently working from home and wish to apply for a tax relief scheme, you can directly send in an application to the UK government for free.

The online site will modify the applicant’s tax code for the next tax year once their application has been approved.


Disclaimer: While BBCIncorp strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the information itself is for reference purposes only. You should not substitute the information provided in this article for competent legal advice. Feel free to contact BBCIncorp’s customer services for advice on your specific cases.

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