No matter where you are located in the world, you will face rules and regulations when you start a new business, and the UK is no exception to this. There is a minefield of legislation to follow, and some types of businesses have more to face than others. Bu all businesses, whether physical or online, have some basic things they must do.
Decide on a Legal Entity
The first thing you need to do is decide on the legal entity of your business. Are you going to run as a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company? There are different rules relating to each and tax advantages in some situations. This is not a decision to be taken lightly, and it is best to get the advice of professionals such as an accountant. If you are struggling to find one close to you, investigate accountants local to you.
An accountant will also help you with your obligations with HMRC. There are various forms that need completing to inform them of your business, depending on how you have decided to run.
Some types of business insurance are legally required in the UK, while others are worth considering even if they aren’t mandatory.
If you have employees, for instance, you have a legal obligation to take out employers’ liability insurance. Public liability insurance, on the other hand, is not mandatory – but it’s a wise investment if you have customers visiting your premises.
If your business relies on a commercial vehicle you’ll need to take out suitable insurance – van insurance is mandatory for any vans on the road in the UK. Fortunately comparing quotes for van insurance is relatively straightforward if you use a site like Quotezone.co.uk, which allows you to compare policies from more than 55 insurers in just a matter of minutes.
There is no point having a business if no one is aware of it. This is not quite so bad if you have a shop front that is visible to potential customers, but what if your business is online or office-based? This is where marketing comes in.
Traditionally, this could be very expensive, and it still can be for some methods. However, you can market your business with very little cost by using social media. It is more time-consuming, but the results can be amazing. You just have to remember to always be positive, even if you disagree with a comment, and post regularly. Never ignore users’ comments, and very soon you will build up a following that will hopefully turn into customers.
Record Keeping and Other Admin
It is very important that you keep good records of sales and purchases, payroll and anything else you have to pay out. When you are running a business, you have to wear many hats, as there are so many responsibilities.
However, you cannot expect yourself to be good at everything and you should not try to be. The important thing is that you have the time to build and grow the business, so you should consider using freelancers to take some of the other burdens from your shoulders.
There are bookkeepers, administrators, social media managers and many other freelancers who can do the work for you. They are cheaper than employing people for these tasks and do not come with any employer responsibilities.
Now you have everything in place, you just have to start making sales. Do not expect a miracle overnight – new businesses take a lot of hard work and dedication, but working for yourself is much more rewarding than putting profits in someone else’s pocket.
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