Sutherland Black can help you start a business with a comprehensive business start-up accounting service. We can advise on the correct structure for your business, write a business plan and then help you on your way with comprehensive accountancy support. We can help you take your business idea from theory to reality and set you up to succeed.
Business start-up services
When you are starting a new business, there are many things to consider to get you off to a good start. Everything from the business structure you choose to the systems you set up can either get you off to a flying start or turn out to be expensive mistakes. If you engage a business start-up accountant while making plans, we can help you avoid the pitfalls.
We have helped hundreds of new businesses develop their business ideas and make a start, so we have seen many of the things that can go right or wrong.
Help with a business plan
The best startups have a clear idea of what they are aiming for. A good business plan is essential to make sure that the business idea can be profitable and to raise finance. The business plan will explain your proposed product or service, how you will win business in the area you choose, the goals of the business, and comprehensive financial projections. Once you have this, you can make presentations to your potential funders, confident that it has been looked at by an experienced professional.
Advice about your company’s legal structure
When you are starting up a small business, choosing the correct structure is essential. There are legal and tax implications that can be difficult to remedy later. We can take you through the various options and recommend which would be best.
The simplest way to start up is as a Sole Trader, which only involves registering with HMRC as Self Employed and then completing the relevant pages on your Self Assessment tax return. If there is more than one of you, the equivalent business structure is a partnership that requires a separate partnership return.
One problem with these simple structures is that there is no legal separation between the business and the individual. If things were to go badly and the business went bust still owing money, the creditors could come after the individual for outstanding debts. So for all but the smallest businesses, it can make sense to set up as a Limited Company to get legal separation between the individual and the business.
When it comes to taxation, there are pros and cons of the different structures. Suppose there are losses in the first years. In that case, it can be advantageous to be a Sole Trader, but further down the line, tax strategies such as income splitting with a spouse and paying in salary and dividends can favour the Limited Company route.
Help with the statutory requirements
If you have decided to set up a Company, we can do this free of charge while advising on the optimum share structure. We can provide you with a cost-effective registered office address if you have no business premises and make sure all the required forms are registered with Companies House.
All businesses will need to register with HMRC. This is a complex area as a separate registration is required for every relevant tax. Depending on the business’s style and size, the business may need to be registered for Corporation Tax, VAT, Payroll tax (PAYE), the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), Auto Enrolment pensions, and more.
In our experience, it is far better to let an accountant do all of this while you get on with setting up the business. Mistakes when setting up can be expensive later. HMRC is unforgiving if the correct registrations are not done.
Help with financial management software
The sooner the start-up business puts in sound systems to manage their day-to-day finances, the better. We are Xero Gold partners and can help you set up an accounting system for your business. Xero is incredibly flexible in that it integrates with hundreds of industry-specific systems.
Whether you need an EPOS system for a retail outlet or a specialist quoting system for a construction company, there will be an add-on to make your business processes as slick as they can be.
Outsource your financial function
When you are running a business, the most valuable thing that the owner or owners can do is do sales and marketing or use their specialist knowledge. No business can survive without sales and expertise in its particular type of business. Time spent learning the complexities of bookkeeping, VAT, and payroll, for example, really takes away from time that would be more productively spent developing the business or providing services to customers.
Engaging an accountant right from the start may seem like an expensive luxury for a start-up, but it can be money well spent. It will mean the financial side of the business is looked after from day one and will free up time for the owners to do what they do best.
Can an accountant help me with starting a business?
Every successful small business, even when just starting out, needs good financial information to keep track of day-to-day sales and expenses and then to be able to create accounts at the end of the year. Getting an accountant on board at the start can be surprisingly cost-effective and can be the key to success. When you are ready to take the plunge, a trusted advisor can help you set up financial systems and keep you out of trouble with HMRC.
Talk to Sutherland Black about help with starting a business
Get in touch today by completing this quick form. One of our Directors will call you back to see how we can help you with your business idea. Once we know your requirements, we will provide a tailored proposal for you for the start-up and ongoing work you require. Once you have accepted this, your dedicated client manager will ensure that you are up and running with your new business as soon as possible.