Just 10 years ago, the immediate and obvious answer to this question would have been that you needed a bricks and mortar office somewhere with all the related costs. However, technology has changed everything, in particular cloud software which allows you to practice anywhere at any time and keep initial costs to a minimum.
Increasingly young legal entrepreneurs are redefining what a law firm can look like. Cloud software that provides complete mobility and eliminates the need for all staff to go to a physical location has fundamentally changed the potential cost structure of a law firm.
We have become accustomed to working remotely.
Without spending hours commuting we are more productive.
What this means is that to get started, all you actually need is your practising certificate, PI and some great software.
It has never been easier to set up a small law firm if you think about the capabilities of modern software.
For a great cloud solution for small law firms see www.legaloffice.co.uk.
If you decide that your practice needs a bricks and mortar presence, you can lower risks by using a serviced office to get started. These don't hold the stigma they once held and you will find that many clients see the sense in keeping costs controlled and appreciate that it will help you keep your costs down.
You do also need to make sure that your location and chosen areas of practice are in sympathy and are aligned with your marketing plan.
Coherency is essential as you need all the elements of your fledgling business to work together.
This is a good government website that provides lots of useful information for you to think about.
Bear in mind however that government information websites are not created by entrepreneurs! You should use them to stimulate thought rather than as a guide to success, which can only come from your own clarity of thought, drive and ambition.