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Accountancy advice for start-up businesses

December 01, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Before you do anything else...

..... Make sure you have a plan!

 It is essential that when you start your business, you have a plan. Without some form of plan, your chances of success are dramatically reduced. Some basic questions to ask yourself includestart_ups.gif:

  • What are you going to sell, and to whom? 
  • How are you going to pick up your first clients?
  • Why will people buy from you? 
  • How will you keep costs to a minimum?
  • How will you pay the bills in the first few months?

Here are some other things to think about:


Sole Trader, Limited Company or LLP?

Factors such as tax cost, business operating costs and image need to be considered. Limited liability status can bring with it a degree of protection against personal financial risk. Click here for a more detailed guide on this subject.


VAT

Be clear on your VAT status from the outset, so you don't run into problems with HMRC. VAT registration may be required immediately. If not, it may still be advisable and financially effective. You'll also need to consider which VAT scheme is right for you. Your Accountant will be able to point you in the right direction. In the meantime, click here for some bedtime reading from HMRC on VAT!


Budgets and Cashflow

Prepare a target forecast to measure your actual results. This way, any issues can be spotted early. Forecasts for a new business can be simple to create and used as a comparison to your monthly results - an essential tool in the crucial early stages of business. Click here to find out how Wow can help you create a cashflow forecast for your start-up business.


Record Keeping

Start your business with a computerised record keeping system that is easy to maintain and ensures you have the financial information you need at your fingertips. Check out www.xero.com if you haven't done so already - it's a great tool that will allow you to see exactly how you are doing, at the click of a button.


Tax & National Insurance

You need to be clear as to what your obligations are relating to tax and National Insurance liabilities, for both you as principal of the business and any employees that may work for you. It is really important that you seek advice before you start trading to ensure that you are on the straight and narrow right from the start of your business.


How we can help

We offer anyone thinking of starting a business a free consultation to discuss the issues you need to consider, and help you get off to the best possible start. To find out more, get in touch.



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