Creating a Business Plan
When starting a new business there’s lots to think about and it’s natural to want to hit the ground running. But before you take the plunge, it’s essential to put together a detailed business plan that will help you navigate the tricky start-up process and run a successful and productive company. Gaps in your plan could cause problems in the future, so it’s a good idea to hire an accountant for advice on everything from business structure to HMRC demands.
Why is an Accountant a Good Idea?
Working with an accountant will set you off on the right foot. Professionals can help with the following:
- Business Structure and Registration
Will you operate as a sole trader or a limited company? As a sole trader, you take full financial responsibility for the company and your personal finances might take a hit during times of trouble. A limited company is legally distinct from the owner and must be registered with Companies House. More than one owner can share limited liability and responsibility. There are pros and cons to both options. For example, registering as a limited company is a lot more tax efficient for companies with higher turnovers and bigger profits. So getting the structure of your company right from the start is important.
- Business Expenses
Having your finances in order from day one is also essential. But this is easier said than done while trying to navigate a busy working day. Qualified accountants will ease your workload by organising income and outgoings, and keeping an eye on cash flow. By knowing what you pay out every month for payroll, advertising, bills and such like, you can work out price points that will help you to make a profit. Knowing your business expenses will also make it easier to find investors as you’ll come across as organised and professional.
- Business Planning
Accountants can help with business planning, focussing on short, medium and long-term goals based on your financial situation. If you want to expand, for instance, accountants can forecast for this in your business plan and let you know how and when it will be possible. For example, if you meet a turnover of X in the first five years, you can take on Y employees. All calculations will be based on accurate figures – not guesswork. Similarly, if you need to invest in more equipment, up-to-date financial information is a must.
- Fulfilling HMRC demands
From completing a self-assessment tax return to navigating Corporation Tax, there’s a lot to get your head around depending on whether you’re a sole trader or a limited company. An accountant will ensure you fulfil the demands from HMRC on time and with accuracy. They’ll help you to avoid late fees and if your business is ever investigated by HMRC, all of your paperwork will be in order.