UK businesses without an online presence no longer have an excuse for not having a website with a service that enables firms to create a domain for their business for free.

The Getting British Business Online (GBBO) service, which is being delivered in partnership with Google, BT, sector skills body e-skills UK and Enterprise UK, allows businesses to create a customisable website on the domain in just 20 minutes.

Firms can choose and customise their web template, and the website will have free, unlimited updates, built-in online payments via PayPal, and a business email.

Due to funding from Google and BT, the website will be free for two years, after which firms will have to pay a “few pounds” – currently £2.95 plus VAT a year with BT –  to renew their domain name. However, the GBBO initiative said that users are not tied into a contract, and adverts will not be placed on businesses’ sites without prior consent.

The GBBO initiative aims to help 100,000 UK organisations get their first website by the end of 2010.

For those who already have websites, GBBO has provided a self-help tool to give firms advice on how to enhance their online marketing.