Setting up a brand new business can be a little daunting and whether you’re setting up as a sole trader, partnership or limited company it helps enormously to have the right advice on board. Businesses small and large can sometimes struggle within the first few months and this can often be down to not following the correct initial procedures.
Here we will set out a few pointers for you to follow to ensure your business gets off to the best start.

First Things First
If you are going to do business in, or with the UK you will need to register with HMRC and there are slightly varying criteria depending on the structure of your business. If you are a sole trader you must have a National Insurance number and must trade under your own name or a chosen business name. You must also register for self-assessment with HMRC. This can take up to four weeks. You will have to register online even if you intend to file paper tax returns and this must be done by 5 October following the tax year ending relating to your tax return. It may be easier to appoint a representative, such as an accountant, to do all this for you while you get on with the task of setting up your business.

As a business partnership your business will be run by you but all partners will share joint responsibility. You will need to register for self-assessment with HMRC.

A limited company, or PLC, must have a registered name and address for the company and must be registered with Companies House. (Check the Companies House register to ensure you don’t use a name already in existence). Your new company must register for Corporation Tax within 3 months of the business starting. You can register online providing your company uses standard articles of association – these are written rules concerning the running of the company – and the company is limited by shares. Otherwise you can register by post using form 1N01, by 3rd party software or by using an independent agency. There are fees to be paid and a good place to look for these is on the website.

Registering with HMRC
One of the most vital parts of ensuring the successful running of your business is making sure you’re promptly and correctly registered with HMRC. As we all know the penalties for failing to do this can be severe so make sure you get it right, or appoint an expert to sort this out for you. You can register using HMRC’s web portal for self-assessment, Corporation tax, VAT and PAYE.

The National Business Register
Choosing a name for your business can be less than straightforward. For example there are restrictions on certain words. The National Business Register will advise you on this point before taking your registration. This can be done online or by post and a fee will be payable for this service. Registering your new business needn’t be a worry but we’re here to assist you if you need us.