New business start up advice | Reach Accounting Solutions

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Making the decision to start your own business is exciting and rightly so.  However, it can also be a daunting time as you realise the enormity of the task at hand.  Hopefully you have expertise and a wealth of first hand experience to assist you with regards to providing the products/services that your new business will be offering and getting everything in place to get this off to the best start possible. 

However there is a whole host of options, compliance and paperwork that you also need to get to grips with in regards to the “administration” of the business.  As individuals have often had little involvement in these areas previously, it is often daunting particularly given the amount of work required to actually start offering services or make your products available for sale.  That’s where Reach Accounting Solutions can help!


Limited company, sole trader or partnership?

The legal form you choose for new business is important as it governs the way in which your business operates in part.  For example, a limited company is a separate legal entity from you as an individual and it’s important that it has own bank account as it’s money isn’t automatically your money.

There are pros and cons to each of the business structures available to you e.g. differing tax rates, differing reporting requirements and deadlines, differing personal exposure for you, etc.  We would be happy to sit down with you and discuss the options available to you and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each so that you can make an informed decision on which is best for you and your business at this time.  We can guide you through making this decision.


Registering with HMRC

To ensure that you don’t miss any deadlines, we can register you and your businesses where appropriate with HMRC.  Registrations may be required for income tax, corporation tax, VAT, etc and you may need to register as an employer.  There are specific rules for when registration is required and we can monitor your business and apply for the registrations where appropriate.  People often misunderstand for example the rules regarding when compulsory registration of VAT applies.  Having a trusted advisor looking after your affairs means that you can be confident that you will be compliant, avoid any unnecessary fines and ensure that all available tax relief is claimed on your behalf.


Maintaining your accounting records

It is vital that you keep complete accounting records and that these are of good quality, regardless of the legal form you choose for your business.  Using a digital accounting package, helps to improve the accuracy of your records and provides useful reporting functionality.  It will also ensure that you are ready for the pending Making Tax Digital changes to the requirements for record keeping and reporting to HMRC .

However, cloud accounting has so much more to offer and is therefore an attractive and affordable option.  Such packages are accessed via the internet and can be used with tablets and smart phones in addition to your computer, thus giving you access to your records anytime, anywhere.  You also don’t need to worry about backing up your data, as cloud storage means that it is continually backed up and securely stored.

Our recommended cloud based software is Xero, as it is intuitive to use, offers great functionality, allows an unlimited number of users and seamlessly links with a host of time saving third party apps.  As your accountant we are able to login to software to assist you with queries, directly obtain information for preparation of your accounts/tax return and keep in touch with how the business is performing throughout the year so that we are best placed to provide you with advice.

As we are a Xero Certified Practice we are able to advise you on the features and benefits that Xero offers and assist you in selecting and implementing the version that best suits your needs and get you up and running.  An important factor in deciding which version to use, is the level of involvement that you wish to have in maintaining the accounting records.  For example, you may decide that bookkeeping simply isn’t the best use of your time and that you would like us to take care of that for you completely, which we will gladly do. 

Please speak with a member of our team to discuss your needs and we can provide a fully tailored package.


Paying yourself

As you are investing so much time, energy and resources into your new business, you will rightly want to maximise the financial reward that you receive.  There are numerous options available to you when it comes to extracting money from your business to reward yourself and the tax and National Insurance due can vary greatly in each scenario. 

It is also important that you understand the limitations imposed on you withdrawing money from the business in order to avoid unnecessary tax charges and negative consequences for you and your business.

We therefore recommend that you sit down with a member of the team to discuss your options and agree upon the one that best suits your needs.

  • Could you reduce your upcoming 31st July payment on account?/ 15th May

    If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, then you may well be able to reduce your upcoming payment on account. If you are self employed (without a limited company), during your last financial year: Have you noticed that sales have dropped? Did you invest in new equipment? Did your stock levels increase noticeably? Did you incur significant additional costs e.g. rebranding/new website/repairs? If you are a company director, in year ended 5th April 2018: Did your dividends drop for any reason? Did you increase your pension contributions? Did you make any significant gift aid donations?

  • Extension of the Childcare Voucher Scheme/ 20th March

    Would you like help with childcare costs? Well, the Childcare Voucher scheme which was planned to close to new entrants from 6th April, has now been extended to be available to new applicants for a further 6 months. Therefore, there is still plenty of time for YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES TO BENEFIT. Directors, remember that you can use the Childcare Voucher scheme yourself as employees. Childcare Vouchers can be used to cover the cost of qualifying after school clubs, etc not just nursery fees as you might expect. Your business could save up to £403 in National Insurance per employee and the employee could save up to £933 in tax and National Insurance.

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