Starting a new business?

Starting a new business can seem like a minefield. What do you need to do? What and who do you need to know? Where and what do you need to register? With our extensive experience in working with new businesses we can assure you that our advice will be tailored to meet your specific business goals and objectives.

This content is only available to our registered users.

Please log in or create a free account, to gain access to our extensive business, personal and tax guides.

Starting your business and how we can help

The more time you invest in planning your new business the more likely you are to succeed. We can help you to plan the success of your new business and clearly and answer any questions you have before you launch into business.

Employed or self employed?

The question as to whether someone is employed or self employed is not as straightforward as it might at first appear. Many people assume they are free to choose, but HMRC emphasise that this is not the case.

Forming a limited company

Although you can set up a limited company by buying a company online or 'off the shelf', it is usually advisable to use a specialist formation agent. Because of the many options and pitfalls we also strongly recommend working with us on the new business venture.

Buying a business

Buying an established business that someone else wishes to sell provides a path that many follow to fulfil their desire to enter into business or expand existing operations.

Initial costs of starting in business

No new business is the same as another even if the product or service is similar. Review our summary of likely costs as well as making use of our start up funding calculator.

Proving your credentials to investors

People don't invest in ideas; they invest in people. You can have the world's best business plan with a truly original idea that is guaranteed to make a fortune, but you could fail to attract investment if the people behind the idea do not inspire confidence or have the necessary plans in place.

The tax system for the self employed business owner

If you start working for yourself, you must register with HMRC within the first three full months of self employment in order to avoid a penalty for failure notification.

The tax system for companies

This looks at how your taxable profits are calculated and when corporation tax is payable.

VAT

For a wealth of advice and information on aspects of VAT, including essential tips for VAT planning, and how to survive the VAT inspector's visit, visit our VAT guides.

Business deductions

In order to attract a deduction in computing the profits of a trade or business, any expenses must be incurred wholly and exclusively for the purpose of the trade.

Claiming expenses - it's all or nothing

The rules which determine what expenses can be deducted from profit for tax purposes are essentially the same whether you operate as a limited company, sole trader or partnership.

Penalties for late returns

The tax system is replete with fines and penalties for those that do not file or pay on time. Make sure you don't get caught out.

Choosing your accounting date

You are free to select your choice of accounting date. Under the current year basis, the taxable profit for a particular tax year is determined by the accounts that end in that year.

Buying a franchise

Is buying a franchise of interest? This is one approach that many adopt in order to become an owner of an ‘established’ business.

Buy-to-let properties

At one time, investing in buy-to-let properties was seen as a sure fire way to achieve long term growth. Some investors, deterred by the ups and downs of the stock market, invest in property.

In the construction industry?

There are special tax rules affecting the construction industry, which are designed to ensure that tax is paid by workers in the sector whether they are employed or self employed.

Partnership agreements

Did you know that if you have no partnership agreement, then the provisions of the Partnership Act of 1890 apply?

Partnerships

Even the strongest relationships can suffer in times of adversity. Good planning is an essential part of creating a successful business partnership.

Preparing your business plan

Do you have a written business plan? Failing to plan is the first step toward planning to fail.

Raising finance for your business

Raising finance for businesses following the banking crisis is challenging to say the least. If you are thinking of expanding your business, or starting a new one, you will need to raise finance. What are your options?

Why market research is imperative for start-ups

It is so easy to become enthusiastic and wrapped up in your brilliant idea for a new business that you can lose your objectivity. Regardless of how great an idea you and your friends think it is, have you taken into account what potential customers will make of it? What is the potential market for your product or service?

Growing the top line with a marketing audit

A marketing audit enables you to review your company's strengths and weaknesses, priorities and market segments, internal make up and personality as a basis for developing a successful marketing strategy for the future.

Green travel allowances

There are a number of schemes intended to encourage employers to make arrangements for their staff to travel to work by more environmentally beneficial means.

Essential record keeping

Ideas on how you can reduce the time we take to prepare your year-end accounts.

Insuring your business

Although most business people understand the need for insurance, a surprising number of businesses are uninsured, under-insured, or insured with out-of-date policies.

The national minimum wage

An employer must pay their workers a minimum amount per hour as defined by law. This is referred to as the national minimum wage. Who is covered? What rate is payable?

Getting the stationery right

Your brand and the design of your logo and stationery is an important part of your marketing strategy. Letters, invoices, mail shots, and statements are all forms of advertising.

What is your e-commerce strategy?

The implications of the recent advance of e-commerce are evident for all businesses, large and small. Develop and implement an e-commerce strategy soon, or risk being left behind in the 'new industrial revolution'.

Working from home

Some people work at home; others see the home base as the perfect solution to a noisy office, endless interruptions, or a long and expensive commute. But if you are thinking of leaving the office on a permanent basis, there are a number of questions you must first consider.

The hidden competitors

Whatever your business, there is always competition. Before you start up a business, make sure you have checked out all the potential competitors.