Starting a business can be a daunting prospect, with budding entrepreneurs all too often left to fend for themselves. Naturally the process of starting a business comes with a lot of questions, so here are our top tips for starting a business. Ask yourself ‘Is it right for me?’ Running a business is no small task and it can prove to be a significant challenge. Because of this, many businesses fail in the initial stages, so it is essential to plan your venture carefully with as much forethought as possible. Doing this means you are more likely to succeed. Define your key objectives and expectations It is important to outline the main aims of your business, including what you hope to achieve. This could be fulfilling a lifelong goal and providing a selection of new services to a particular industry sector. Many businesses sometimes take time to become established, meaning there is always a risk of not making significant profit for the first few years. Therefore, it is also a good idea to make realistic expectations for your profits and the level of salary you expect to achieve. Plan for business taxes Failure to plan for business taxes can result in large fines and investigations, meaning it is essential you include steps to minimise taxes as part of your business plan. Business tax planning can include several important areas to consider, including the ‘structure’ of your business, taking advantage of capital allowances and business year end planning. You may also need help with PAYE and national insurance contributions and choosing the best VAT scheme. You will naturally have your own, unique circumstances to any other business and so it is important to seek professional advice before acting. Consider forming a limited company Operating as a sole trader can be an attractive idea in the early years of your new business, primarily because your business funds can be used at will with fewer restrictions. However, forming a limited company can have its advantages. Notably, you would act as a separate legal entity subject to two main areas of regulation, these being tax and company law. In reality, there is no easy answer to the question of ‘Should I form a Limited Company?’ and so we always recommend discussing this with a specialist advisor. Keep financial records It is extremely important to manage your business documents and retain these for the use of HMRC. Failure to do so can result in significant fines and other records which have no statutory retention period may be essential in later years for historical or research purposes. At Finnies, we have experts on hand to provide help with starting a company, including providing tailored advice as your firm grows. Contact our expert, Jonathan Parkin for help with your business!