More and more people in the UK are starting their own businesses or going freelance. In fact, the number of self-employed people increased from 3.3 million in 2001 to 4.8 million in 2017, and the number of new businesses jumped from 383,000 in 2015 to 414,000 in 2016. But we’re willing to bet that not all of them took the smart step of hiring a small business accountant…
If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and joining the entrepreneurial hordes, there’s no better way to get things off to a good start than by hiring an accountant. Not convinced? Then read on to find out how accountants who specialises in working with small businesses can make everything much better for startups and freelancers.
Starting a Business in the UK the right way
Starting a business is tough. There’s a lot to think about, and you want to make sure you do it right so you’re set up for success. You might think it’s too early to hire an accountant at this stage, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The way you set up your operations at the beginning may impact on your future success, so now’s the time to get all the seasoned advice you can to make sure you build a solid foundation.
A small business accountant can offer their advice and expertise on all sorts of things, including…
Your business structure
One of the first decisions you’ll have to make when you starting a business in the UK is whether to set yourself up as a limited company or become self-employed. It’s an important decision, and one that may have far-reaching consequences over the years.
A small business specialist can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each of the different structures, and advise you on which will suit your individual situation best.
There are a lot of different business bank accounts out there, and the services they provide – as well as the charges you’ll have to pay – can vary significantly between them.
An accountant will be able to advise you on the benefits and pitfalls of each, and help you work out which is right for your business.
Your business plan
A solid business plan is vital for any new business. It’s the blueprint you’ll follow as your business develops and grows, and without a strong one you may struggle.
Your business plan should outline your goals, and the strategy you’ll use to achieve them. An accountant will be able to offer advice on whether your expectations for the business are realistic, your goals achievable and your strategy sound.
Remember, your business plan will play a key part in convincing banks and investors to support you, so it needs to be as strong as it can be!
Watertight budgeting is essential if you want to keep your business on track financially. Your budget will outline your expected income, expenses and cash needs, help you plan for the future and allow you to review your performance as you develop.
If you’re new to the business game it can be easy to overlook unexpected costs, or get your estimates wrong. An experienced accountancy firm will know to look out for these potential oversights, and can help you tweak your budget until it’s clear, accurate and realistic.
Financing your business
Small business accountants can do more than just manage the money you’ve already got – they can also help your business attract more.
An accountant can guide you through the often confusing world of business finance, steering you towards additional finance without putting your business at risk. They can talk you through the different options available and help you apply for loans, sell shares in your business, find angel investment or crowdfund.
A Good Accountant: A recipe for success when starting a business in the UK
As an entrepreneur or freelancer, you’ll have a whole host of different tasks and responsibilities to juggle.
You may think at the start it would be better to save money and do your accounting yourself, but with the knowledge and expertise you’ll benefit from and the time you’ll save, hiring an accountant is actually likely to be more cost-effective in the long run.
Hiring a small business accountant will mean you don’t have to worry about managing the financial side of things, so you’ll have a lot more time to focus on what you’re really passionate about – your business.
With all the complexity that must be dealt with, seek professional assistance to get your income tax in order.
If you’ve been working in the UK, you may be entitled to claim a UK tax rebate.