How To Get Started In Business
Having an idea for a business is just the start. Before launching your venture you need a robust action plan which will form the basis for your business strategy. Considering all the following factors will help minimise the element of risk and significantly improve your chances of launching – and running – a successful business:
Business plan: this document will incorporate everything from the structure of your business to funding details. This should be updated regularly to help you keep track of how your business is performing against set targets and to plan for the future.
Suitable funding: do you have access to the right amount of money at the right cost? If seeking external funding, ensure you are tapping into any relevant grants and favourable rate loans.
Name: before you start shouting about your company name, check no one else is using it and then register it.
Business structure: are you going to be a sole trader, form a partnership or start up as a limited company? There are implications for each and you need to ensure you understand all of them to make an informed decision.
Register with HMRC: if you don’t notify HMRC at the outset you could attract a penalty or, at least, a bill for back payment. Start paying your self employed National Insurance Contributions as soon as possible.
Trade and professional registrations: to work within some sectors you will need trade association recommendation or registration. Apply early on in the process to check you fit the necessary criteria.
Choose your year end: this may seem a trivial matter in the early days but, from an accounting point of view, it is important. There may be a time when it’s more convenient to close off your accounting records or to carry out a stock take. From a tax point, a year end early in the tax year usually means an increase in profits is more slowly reflected in an increased tax bill. Over time the delay between earning profits and paying the tax can create a source of working capital.
Plan to reduce your tax liability: you will pay tax on your taxable profits so it is essential to claim all deductible expenses. If you work from home you can claim tax relief on part of your household expenses for example. We can advise you on exactly what is and isn’t tax deductible.
Develop your branding: this is everything from your logo to your customer service policy, in fact everything that reflects how your company is perceived and the reputation it earns.
Avoid fines and penalties: as a business owner, there is a raft of legislation, rules and regulations which you need to adhere to. Not doing so could land you with fines and penalties so draining your company of valuable assets. We can ensure you have ticked all the necessary boxes.