Starting a business
Setting up a new business can be confusing. There’s so much to consider, from the structure of the business through to VAT and payroll.
How can we help?
Limited company or sole trader?
There are several ways to structure a business. Each has its pros and cons, and different options may be appropriate at different times. It all depends on your plans.
When you start a business, you can be a sole trader, a limited company or a partnership. Being a sole trader or a partnership is more straightforward, but your personal assets are at risk if the business fails. A limited company gives you more protection, but it’s more complicated and expensive.
During your free introductory discussion, we’ll talk you through the options and help you decide.
What accounting records do I have to keep?
From day to day, you have to record your sales (what you earn) and expenditure (what you spend), either on paper or on computer.
We can help you choose the right approach, so you have the level of information you need to make proper management decisions.
If you’d rather spend time on your business than on book-keeping, you can ask us to take care of it for you.
At the end of each year’s trading, we will use your records to prepare your annual accounts and tax return (if appropriate), and submit them to the relevant authorities on your behalf.
When do I file my corporation tax return?
Normally nine months from the end of your financial year. Your financial year can run from any date (not necessarily 1 April).
Do I have to file a personal tax return?
Yes, the personal tax year ends on 5 April. The tax return (if filed electronically) and any tax you owe has to be paid by 31 January the following year.
Do I need to register for VAT?
If your turnover (total sales) is higher than the VAT threshold in a year, you must register for VAT. You will then have to add VAT to all your sales, and you can also claim it back on purchases.
If your turnover is lower than than the VAT threshold, you can still register voluntarily, and depending on your circumstances it may save you money. You need to consider the effect on your prices and whether the amount you can claim back will be more than the cost of administering your VAT.
We can advise you on whether registering for VAT makes sense for your business.
What about employing people?
If you take on staff, one of your most important jobs is managing your payroll, so everyone is paid accurately and on time. Many firms find it easier to outsource the management of their payroll.
Our own payroll bureau serves hundreds of clients, so it’s very cost-effective, and our team can help with payslips, tax deductions, maternity pay and sick pay.
Should I buy or lease my business vehicle?
It depends on how long you will keep it for, how far you’ll travel in it for business and (if you’re a limited company) its emissions.
Can I run my business from home?
Yes, and there are several tax breaks you can claim, depending on how you are structured and how your business works.
Can you help me get funding for my business?
Funders such as banks will want to see a coherent business plan backed up by financial forecasts.
We can put them together on your behalf, or just review what you’ve done and make suggestions.