It's always best to have a business partnership deed so that if anything should happen to one of the business partners, or you should fall out, there is a legal agreement entered into at the start which establishes how the business partnership should be dissolved and how the assets and liabilities allocated.
If you are an employee, so long as your employer agrees that you can work from home (and whether or not your employer provides you with equipment to carry out such work), you may be entitled to seek a reduction in council tax on the ground that the room you use as an office can no longer be used, for example as a bedroom.
It would be advisable for you not to hold business meetings at your home, because too many of those might constitute a change of use and cause other problems with your local council.
Your business rates depend on the space occupied by your business - contact your local authority for advice.
In principle, you can either pay yourself from your own company by a salary (which could be in the form of a bonus or other remuneration) or, so long as you hold shares in the company and there are profits out of which to pay it, you could pay yourself a dividend.
If you are paid a salary from your own company, normal PAYE rules apply.
If you are paid a dividend, your company doesn't have to pay any tax over at the time of making the distribution. This is because dividends can only be paid out of profits which have already been taxed. In principle, dividends are now a more tax-efficient way of withdrawing profits from a company than salary.
If you have lent money to your company and that company wishes you to be able to withdraw some of that loan (to have it paid back), there would be no tax involved with any such repayment.
When you become self-employed you must register with HMRC within three months from the end of the month in which your self-employment commenced.
If your profits are below £5,595 for 2012/13, you can claim exemption from paying Class 2 contributions.
All you need do is prepare a notice and display it where any customers, visitors, etc. can see it.
As a sole trader you are personally liable for any debts or losses incurred by the business.
No, but you should still have a business plan stating what you are planning to do and what you want to achieve.
Prepare a table or spreadsheet including your planned figures, for example, the prospective number of customers, the average value of each sale, your sales income, materials bought, overheads, profit, etc.
In order to comply with the law, you should provide the following:
If you are starting a commercial or industrial business and are employing people, you're legally obliged to notify your local Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector or local authority.
If your business involves manufacturing or processing or providing a service such as dry cleaning or telephone repairs, ring the Health and Safety Executive's Infoline (tel. 0845 345 0055) and they will send you a Health and Safety form to complete.
If your business is a shop, office, restaurant, hotel, launderette or residential home, your local authority's environmental health department will send you a form.
If you are in doubt as to who to register with, telephone the Health and Safety Executive 's Infoline (tel. 0845 345 0055).
Any catering or food business must register with its local authority's environmental health department at least 28 days before opening.
A limited company is a legal entity, separate from any individual involved. A limited company is run by individuals who have specific responsibilities but it owns its own assets; it's liable for its own debts and those who use and run limited companies must always remember that, for example, the money in a company’s bank account belongs to the limited company and not to the company directors, nor to the shareholders. Being a separate legal entity means that a limited company must be run according to set rules and the government department primarily responsible for ensuring that a limited company adheres to those rules is Companies House.
There are seven types of limited company:
In addition to the above there are also:
Chartered accountants H M Williams, authors of How to Run a Limited Company, advise that most people starting a business shouldn’t think of forming a limited company. Far too many limited companies are formed each year and either they are not even used and remain dormant, or those who run them find themselves in a jam (often of a tax nature) that would never have happened if they had traded as a sole trader or business partnership.
In principle, most people should start in business on their own as a sole trader or in business partnership with others. If the profits are small, they would pay less tax and enjoy less hassle and lower professional fees than if they trade through a limited company.
Again in principle, limited companies can be useful when profits approach £100,000 and especially when the proprietors don't wish to draw all of the profits out for their own personal use.
Another instance where incorporation might be sensible is if a number of individuals wish to go into business together and wish to take advantage of limited liability.
A further instance would be where someone wants to set up a business with a view to growing it and selling it. A limited company is easier to sell than, for example, a business partnership, because, with a limited liability company, the whole business comes as a complete package and the accounts are more reliable from the purchaser’s point of view.
To form, or incorporate, a limited company you need to send the following documents to Companies House:
You can submit these limited company forms either by post or electronically.
Form IN01, Memorandum of Association and Model Articles of Association are all included in Lawpack's Limited Company Formation Kit.
Limited company directors are the people charged with running the company. They are the company’s managers, if you like. It's on their shoulders that the responsibility for what the limited company does, rests. Directors may also be shareholders. Directors have specific responsibilities which may be summarised as follows:
The company secretary, where one has been appointed, is the individual charged with ensuring that the limited company fulfils all of its statutory duties. While it's not essential for a company secretary to be appointed, it's essential that the statutory duties are fulfilled so it's prudent to appoint someone specifically to attend to these matters. If this isn't done, there is a danger that some duties will not be done. In addition, if the company’s model Articles of Association provide for it to have a company secretary, then it must appoint one.
In essence, shares only exist as pieces of paper called share certificates and, as such, have no intrinsic value. What is important is what these pieces of paper represent, which is a share of the ownership of the limited company. In other words, they are legal documents that will show how much of (how many shares in) a limited company a particular shareholder owns. The total value of shares that have been issued is the ‘share capital’ of the company. Shares can be transferred or sold and, so long as the underlying company has a marketable worth, the share certificates are indeed items of value.