Business Start Up Checklist


Starting up a new business can seem like a minefield. What do you need to do? What do you need to know? With our extensive experience in working with new businesses we can assure you that our advice will be tailored to meet your specific business goals and objectives.

Starting your business and how we can help

The more forethought you can give to the job of running your business, the more likely you are to succeed. We can help you plan your business and answer some of the questions you should consider before you start.

Employed or self employed?

The question as to whether someone is employed or self employed is not as straightforward as it might at first appear. Many people assume they are free to choose, but HM Revenue & Customs emphasises that this is not the case.

Forming a limited company

Although you can set up a company by buying a company ‘off the shelf’, it is normally advisable to use a specialist formation agent. Because of the many options and pitfalls we also strongly recommend working with us on the new business venture.

Buying a business

Buy an exisitng business to kickstart your entry into business or expand your current operations.

Initial costs of starting in business

No one business is the same as another even if the product or service is similar. If you are starting in business it is important to avoid the pitfall of underestimating your start up costs.

Proving your credentials to investors

People don’t invest in ideas: they invest in people. You can have the world’s best business plan with a truly original idea that is guaranteed to make a fortune, but you could fail to attract investment if the people behind the idea do not inspire confidence.

Why market research is imperative for start-ups

It is easy to become so enthusiastic and wrapped up in your brilliant idea for a new business that you can lose your objectivity. Regardless of how great an idea you and your friends think it is, have you taken into account what potential customers will make of it?

The tax system for the self employed

If you start working for yourself, you must register with HM Revenue & Customs within the first three full months of self employment.

Claiming expenses – its all or nothing

Check the rules for deducting business expenses from profit for tax purposes. They can vary depending on whether you trade through a limited company or a sole trade or partnership.

The tax system for companies

Details of corporation tax and company tax returns.

Business deductions

In order to attract a deduction in computing the profits of a trade or business any expenses must be incurred wholly and exclusively for the purpose of the trade.

Penalties for late returns

Make sure you don’t get caught out.

Choosing your accounting date

Under the current year basis, the taxable profit for a particular tax year is determined by the accounts that end in that year.

Going into the construction industry

Pay attention to tax paid by workers in the sector whether they are employed or self employed.

Buying a franchise

Have you thought about buying a franchise? A great way to start a new business

Partnership agreements

Did you know that if you have no partnership agreement, then the Partnership Act of 1890 applies. The framework provided by the act is simple and straightforward, but does not deal with the many complications of trading a century after it was passed.

Buy-to-let properties

Can be an incredible investment when done correctly. Talk to a financial advisor.

Preparing your business plan

Failing to plan is the first step toward planning to fail.

Getting the stationery right

The development of your brand and the design of your logo and stationery is an important part of your marketing strategy.

Raising finance for your business

Raising finance for businesses following the credit crunch and the recession is challenging to say the least. If you are thinking of expanding your business, or starting a new one, you will need to raise finance.

Does your business have an e-commerce strategy?

The implications of the recent burgeoning of e-commerce are clear for all businesses, large and small – develop and implement an e-commerce strategy soon, or risk being left behind in the ‘new industrial revolution’.

Green travel arrangements

Look into government schemes intended to encourage staff to travel to work by more environmentally beneficial methods like bicycle loans and car share schemes.

The hidden competitors

Whatever your business there is always competition. Before you start up a business, make sure you have checked out all the potential competitors.

Insuring your business

A large number of businesses are uninsured, under-insured, or insured with out-of-date policies – make sure ths isn’t you!

The national minimum wage

An employer must pay their workers a minimum amount per hour as defined by law. This is called the National Minimum Wage. Who is covered by the National Minimum Wage?

Working from home

Some of us have to work at home; others see the idea as the perfect solution to a noisy office, endless interruptions, or a long and expensive commute. But if you are seriously thinking of leaving the office on a permanent basis, there are a number of questions you must first consider.