These are often our most bewildering conversations because there’s loads of new information to take in. Most people start by finding an accountant that they trust – a good move, however, often it’s a solicitor that we need in the room.
Here’s our guide to the important bits to consider:
How many of you are there in the business?
Legal: More than just you = you seriously need to consider a shareholders’ agreement
Do you intend to own all of the business? Have you thought about sharing ownership with your spouse?
Accounting: There are potential tax savings to be had - legitimately
Legal: You can fund the business through shares or loans
Are you hoping to employ anyone? What is auto enrolment?
Accounting: Set up a payroll scheme – we’ll run it for you
Legal: Best to have some proper employment contracts
How do I get paid?
Accounting: Through payroll and dividends from the business profits
Do you know what a limited company does for you?
Accounting: (It’s ok, here’s a diagram)
Legal: You can think of it as a great insurance policy
What do accountants and lawyers charge? Can I do any of this myself?
Accounting: We have very low entry prices because, apart from a bit of early guidance, there might not be much for us to do
Legal: We wouldn’t advise skimping on the shareholders’ agreement
What about using one of the company formation agents on the internet – is that the same thing?
Accounting: We use them
Legal: We use them!
How do I make sure that I get paid?
Accounting: Raise invoices early
Legal: Make sure you have decent Terms and Conditions of Business
How do I organize my records – what do I have to do?
Accounting: Get filing – there isn’t a prescribed format but we’ll give you some help
Do you know about Vat?
Accounting: It can be a minefield
Can I claim the Vat back on costs that I am paying before the business is set up?
Accounting: Yes – keep the receipts
Startup Tip – set up your business bank account as soon as you can because it is often a frustrating experience.