Setting up a new business can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time, especially if you have no previous accounts experience.
We are able to help you decide which structure you require for your business whether you need to set up as a:
- Sole Trader
- Limited Liability Partnership
- Limited Company
As well as registering with Companies House and HMRC as required.
The Next Step
Once your business has become established there are requirements that must be fulfilled and help that we offer:
- Tax returns must be filed on time and any tax due must be paid on time
- Making Tax Digital online portals updated
- Available tax reliefs are used & advice is given on minimising future tax liabilities
- Payroll, workplace pensions & national insurance contributions
- Business plans and financial forecasts
- Choosing appropriate finance for the stage of development of the business if necessary
- Managing cashflow
Also, don't be afraid to ask us for help with running your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between a sole trader, a limited company & a partnership?
A: When you form a limited company, you effectively put a protective shield between you and your business. The benefits are that you can claim back expenses, and add to your salary with dividend payments at the end of the year.
Being a sole trader is the opposite – you have no protection. As a sole trader, you are responsible for any debt you might come into while you’re in business. However, it is far simpler to set up as a sole trader than a Limited Company.
A partnership is the simplest way for 2 or more people to run a business together. You share responsibility for your business's debts and accounting responsibilities
Q: Is there aid or funding out there for startups struggling to afford accounting services?
A: Gold Stag Accounts offer new businesses a fixed fee for the first year’s services, which are payable in small manageable monthly instalments.
Keeping good accounting records can not only save you time but can also reduce your accountancy fees. By using one of our software partners, Quickbooks, Xero or FreeAgent you can effectively reduce your bookkeeping costs.
Q: What common mistakes do we see startups making with regards to accounting?
A: The most common mistake startups make with their accounting is putting it to one side “until they have the time”. When they get around to writing up the records they can't remember what the transaction referred to.
Secondly, not opening a separate business bank account, which means they mix personal and business transactions. This involves unnecessary work (and increased costs) on the accountant’s part separating business transactions from the personal ones.
Thirdly, leaving it too late, usually leaving it until the deadline for filing self-assessment returns approaches.
Finally, clients who leave bringing the financial records into their accountant often find they do not have enough money to pay the taxes that are due, and no time to save for the payment.
Q: Where can I get investment?
A: Most new ventures start from personal savings, credit cards, or mortgages.
Most often, an entrepreneur will invest their personal cash balance into a start-up which is the cheapest available form of finance that is readily available. This decision by an entrepreneur to start a business is mainly due to their urge to create a change in their personal circumstances, it could be either redundancy or an inheritance. By investing personal savings, it maximises their control over the business.
At other times, re-mortgaging is another popular way of raising loan-related capital for a start-up. After taking out a second or larger mortgage on a private property, some or all of the money is invested into the business. The big risk involved in this is that, if the business fails, then the property will be lost too. Borrowing from friends and family is also common, and also quicker and cheaper to arrange.
The repayment terms too can be more flexible than a bank loan. However, borrowing in this way can add to the stress faced by an entrepreneur, particularly if the business gets into difficulties. Credit cards is one more surprisingly popular way of financing a start-up. An advantage that entrepreneurs see is, the access it gets to a free credit period of around forty days!
Seed funding, Angel investors, crowdfunding, SEIS or EIS shares are also possibilities, so make sure you do your research and come up with a plan to suit your own needs.
HMRC also offer government-backed Start Up Loans of £500 to £25,000 to start or grow a business. Unlike a business loan, this is an unsecured personal loan with a fixed interest rate of 6% per year. You can repay the loan over a period of 1 to 5 years. There’s no application fee and no early repayment fee.
Q: What if I fail?
A: We really hope you don’t, but if things do go wrong try not to get too disheartened. Failing is nothing to be ashamed of, rather you should be proud you’ve set about your venture at all. And if you think about the likes of James Dyson, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison and Vera Wang all fell before they rose.
What they say
Martin has been brilliant in the time I've been using Gold Stag. Every question I’ve had has been answered (of which there have been many) and he’s been very helpful to me getting my company going in its first year.
Martin came recommended by a friend. Even though our businesses are vastly different he has given us the same exemplary level of service our friend attested to. Martin is always so fast in replying to any queries and always knows exactly what to do. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to others.
Martin is always at the end of an email or call if you need advice. Unlike my previous accountants, Martin is great at explaining things simply and clearly. He feels like one of my team, a freelance colleague - rather than just 'my accountant'. I've recommended Martin to many of my freelance associates and will continue to do so.