When it comes to starting a business it can be a very exciting yet highly stressful venture. Nothing comes easy in life, and starting a business is hard work and requires a lot of research, planning and effort. The more you can do in advance before you start your business the more certain you are that you have ticked all of the right boxes before you start spending money. The last thing you need is to get caught up in legal or any administrative details that can be easily prevented by just registering your business and understanding the right steps you need to take.
Your Business Plan
If you need investors and funding you will need a business plan, even if you don’t need money you will still need a business plan. Your business plan is a strategic tool to help you set out, adjust, and re-adjust your expectations, goals and actions. The creation of a business plan is a great way for you to set out a clear vision of what you want your business to be and to achieve.
Your business plan should include what business structure yours is going to adopt. You will also need to decide which business legal structure is right for your business before you register for tax and start trading. The easiest way to start a business in the UK is to become a sole trader. This means that only you own the business and you can work alone or choose to employ other people. If you choose to be a sole trader all you need to do is keep records and register as self-employed for tax purposes. Other business models could include partnership which will mean there is another person you are going into business with and you will both be liable for your business debts. You also have limited liability and limited liability partnerships which are far less common when starting out a new business.
Register Your Business
Once you have chosen your business structure and have a solid business plan then you will need to take steps for business registration and your businesses name. Your business name is highly important so take the time to think about it before you register as the name of your business will become a long term identity for your products or services. You will need to register your business before you start trading as all business in the UK have a responsibility to declare their income and pay tax and national insurance although it will vary how much depending on your businesses structure.
As well as registering your business to pay tax and national insurance, you will need a license for your business depending what your business is, it could include software licences, alcohol license, date protection licences and so forth. When drafting your business plan you should determine what licenses you will need, so you have enough time to apply and be approved.
As your business starts branching out and growing you will need to think about hiring employees. As people are the most important, and often the most expensive investment businesses have to make. Now many business look to use contract staff rather than permanent employees as it gives them far more flexibility. If you do choose to hire employees you will need to find out about your legal responsibilities as an employer, including things like pay, tax and insurance before you start employing staff.