When starting a business, the initial costs of professional advice puts many off, but you should speak to an accountant and get your business set up right from the start. This will pay dividends in the long run ...
When you're starting a business, speak to an account first as the advice you get will be priceless!
There are over 17,000 pages of the UK Tax Code, and this translates into a myriad of mistakes any entrepreneur can make. It's safe to say that unless you are a tax expert, then everything you think you know about tax is probably wrong.
"The first step is to decide what form of business you want!"
This is where an accountants advice will be vital. Do you need a limited company, or will self-employment suffice? Should you have a partnership, or do you really need something else? Do you need to be VAT registered? Should you set up a workplace pension? Can you get a company car without paying a benefit in kind?
All these questions and many, many more need to be asked and answered before you start your business, as the foundations you put in place now will support you if things go wrong. And things do go wrong, don't they? Nobody expected the COVID-19 pandemic and just look at how many businesses closed or went under.
Next up is to make your new business known to HMRC. An accountant can do this for you and will be able to register the form of your business then advise you on what returns you need to make. They should also remind you when they're due and gee you up to get your paperwork over to them in a timely manner.
If you want to be compliant, ensure HMRC knows about you and get any returns in and tax paid on time, every time. In a business sense, "Talk to an accountant" is a more important phrase than, "I love you". Your accountant will get you set up, prepare your accounts and take care of your tax affairs, and it isn't as expensive as you may think. In fact, I believe the initial advice on starting your business is priceless, let alone value what I'd do for you over the years.
"It's always best to find an expert to do the things you're not an expert in!"
Why should you spend your valuable time doing things you're not good at? You wouldn't try to remodel your bathroom if you weren't an electrician or a plumber; you wouldn't try to build an extension without a builder and an architect, and possibly even a planning expert.
So, why try to prepare a balance sheet, file your tax returns, set up a workplace pension or even do your day-to-day bookkeeping? I bet I could save you hundreds of pounds a year in tax when I prepare your tax return, and I bet my bookkeeper will keep everything penny perfect for you to see what your cash flow is doing.
An accountant, and the trusted experts in their team, are going to help you sleep better at night, so it's really down to location, recommendations and how well you get on with them!
Your accountant is a vital part of your own team, and speaking to the right one, even before you start your business, is just the beginning of your successful business journey together.
Until next time ...
ROGER EDDOWES Business Godparent
Would you like to know more?
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Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.
Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.
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