Business Start-Up

We specialise in helping our clients get started in business. This area is so important to us that we have set out the basics, along with some useful tips and pointers for getting a new business up-and-running.
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Business Startups


It has been widely reported that increasing numbers of people are taking the plunge and deciding to become their own boss. Much of this growth is often attributed to the volatile jobs market, coupled with an increasing entrepreneurial spirit amongst the UK public. This situation has also been helped by the support the government is giving to innovation and design – which cannot harm when it comes to encouraging new products and bringing business ideas to market. Either way, this is a good time for starting in business.

That being said, any new venture is always a risky business, and here at Leon and Company Chartered Accountants we get you on the right track from the kick-off! Getting it right from the start is absolutely key, and from the outset we will ensure you are set up in the most appropriate and tax-efficient way, whilst providing a structure that is best suited for your individual business needs. By allowing us to work on this, you will be freed up to put your energies into the all-important business product, or service, itself.

We have developed a specialism in advising and supporting individuals starting their new businesses – so whether you are an individual wishing to work for yourself, or an entrepreneur with plans for a small empire, we can help.


Business Structure

What is the best way to structure a company?
There is a choice between many business structures, including, but not limited to:

  • Sole Trader (self-employment)
  • Traditional Partnership
  • Private Limited Company

The most commonly used business structures are self-employment and Private Limited Companies. There are multiple factors to consider in choosing which structure to use, however, you can be guaranteed that we will advise you on all the pros and cons involved, and make recommendations on which is best format for your individual business requirements.

Other factors that may need to be considered when setting up a business include:

Business Plan

It is essential before you even commence trading that you draw up a business plan. Many are surprised to learn that 80% of new businesses that do not have a business plan fail within the first 3 years. Such a plan would act as a reference against which you can gauge your success, identify problems and work on solutions.
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As a business, there are certain insurance policies that should be taken out to protect you and your business from various risks. Don’t be caught out by not covering yourself for the unimaginable, from professional indemnity to employers’ insurance.
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If your business generates a turnover exceeding the VAT threshold, then – in most circumstances – you must register for value added tax (VAT). This applies regardless of whether you are a sole trader, partnership or limited company.

If you are below the compulsory VAT threshold, it is still possible to register voluntarily. By doing so, this opens up a number of special VAT schemes that can bring significant tax benefits to your business. As part of our services, we will be able to advise you on this, whilst taking care of the quarterly filing obligations and complying with Making Tax digital (MTD).

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If you are planning on employing staff, then you need to consider if you are going to use subcontractors or employ permanent staff. For the latter, you will need to set up a formal payroll system and deduct tax and national insurance at source. You are also obliged to give your staff payslips on a regular basis. At Leon and Company Chartered Accountants, you will be given the opportunity to use our payroll bureau which is run by our experienced team, whilst also dealing with CIS (Construction Industry Scheme) deductions and returns, and Auto-Enrolment (workplace pensions) compliance where applicable.
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It is recommended that businesses have access to at least one dedicated business account. This is especially true for limited companies. We would suggest that on forming your business, you make arrangements to meet a few local bank managers for a discussion on the options available.

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Data Protection Act Compliance

Everyone who is responsible for using data has to follow strict rules governed by The Data Protection Act 2018 – this sits alongside the GDPR and governs how people’s personal information is used by businesses and other organisations. Amongst other criteria, as a business, you will be required to keep all your staff, customer and suppliers’ private information safe and secure, and comply with the GDPR requirements.
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Ensuring You Keep The Right Records As Efficiently As Possible

One of the most important aspects of running your own business is importance of keeping records.

A business owner is required to keep accurate records of their business affairs, not least, so that the correct taxes and duties can be calculated and paid over to HMRC. Business proprietors are obliged to keep records for at least 6 years.

As a minimum, the kinds of records that should be maintained are:

  • a sales and purchase ledger,
  • a cash book to record cash in and out of the business
  • a list of balances both owed and owing
  • all sales invoices and purchase receipts
  • bank statements along with cheque book/paying in book stubs
  • any business loan and HP agreements

At Leon and Company, in addition to offering bookkeeping services, we can advise and support you with maintaining your own records. Many of our clients are offered a Cloud bookkeeping license (typically QuickBooks) to maintain their records and benefit from live information which is available at the press of a button. Alternatively, some clients still like to use spreadsheets to record their transactions; in this case, we can provide an Excel template tailored to your specific needs.

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