« Back

Business Start-up Service


There are four main legal forms that a company can take:

-Sole Trader
-Limited Liability Partnership
-Limited Company

In other words, you can be a sole trader, a partnership, a limited partnership, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), a limited company or a co-operative - you can decide which legal form of business will suit you the best. Your decision will affect the way you are taxed and the accounting records you will have to keep. Even if you are going to work on your own from home, it is worth considering the various options available to you.


Business Name:
At the outset, you should decide what to call your business. It may be your own name, particularly if you are a sole trader, such as 'James Doe, Advertising Consultant'. You can decide to give it another name if you prefer. If it's a limited company, it must have a name of its own.

Business Premises:
Organisations (sometimes called enterprise agencies) rent out space to small businesses. Some offer a range of services, including a receptionist, word processing facilities and access to office equipment, such as a photocopier.

Routes into Self-Employment:
Often the best way to start your own business is to try to set it up in your spare time while still working in another job (ideally part-time). This will allow you to test the water and establish networks of suppliers and customers while still having money coming in to support yourself. If you can work from home initially, this will avoid the costs of leasing premises until you have something established.

It's important that you find out quickly whether or not you're self-employed. You may have to pay a penalty if you don't tell the HM Revenue & Customs within three calendar months of starting work. Remember, if you have a salaried job you are employed in that job, but legally you can be self-employed at the same time. For instance, you might earn an extra income through part-time work at evenings and weekends that would count as self-employment.

What is Self Assessment?

The key features of Self Assessment include:
-A current year basis of assessment
-One set of payment dates for tax not paid at source
-One main point of contact for your tax affairs
-Fixed, automatic penalties for late returns, and interest and surcharges for late payments
-Clear obligations for keeping records.

An important feature for self-employed taxpayers is the introduction of the current year basis of assessment. The starting date for this depends on when you started your business. Under the old system, your tax assessment was based upon your trading profits for the 12 month period ending in the tax year before the year covered by the return. There were complicated rules at the start and finish of the business.


This changed under Self Assessment. Tax is now calculated on the profits arising in the tax year itself. If your accounting period is different from the tax year, then tax will be calculated on the profit arising in the 12 month accounting period ending in the tax year. The system is simpler, particularly for businesses that prepare accounts to 31 March or 5 April. It ensures that over the life of a business as a whole, the total profits assessed to tax exactly equal the total profits made.

How Does Self Assessment Affect Me?
You are self-employed if you are in business on your own and do not operate through a limited company. This might involve supplying goods or services through a one-person business or a business employing others. You will also be self-employed if you are a partner, either in a large partnership or with only one partner. If you are self-employed, you have always needed to fill in a tax return. This has not changed and if you work for yourself - that is, you are self-employed or in partnership you will need to complete a Self Assessment tax return. The general principles for Self Assessment are the same for everybody. But the different sorts of income and gains you have affect which supplementary pages of the tax return you need to fill in.

The key features of Self Assessment include:
-A current year basis of assessment
-One set of payment dates for tax not paid at source
-One main point of contact for your tax affairs
-Fixed, automatic penalties for late returns, and interest and surcharges for late payments
-Clear obligations for keeping records.

What Records Should I Keep?
HM Revenue and Customs have always advised businesses that it was in their own interests to keep all the records needed to help prepare accounts and tax returns. Rules introduced in the 1994 Finance Act mean that you now need to keep all appropriate records.

HM Revenue and Customs will normally expect you to:
-Record all sales and other business receipts as they come in, and retain the record
-Keep back-up records, for example, invoices, bank statements and paying-in slips to show where the income came from
-Record all purchases and other expenses as they arise, and ensure that you have, and retain, invoices for them
-Keep a record of all purchases and sales of assets used in your business Record all amounts taken out of the business bank account, or in cash, for you or your family's personal use
-Record all amounts paid into the business from personal funds, for example, the proceeds of a life assurance policy.

You will have to retain your records for five years from the latest date by which your tax return is to be filed.

To read more about each type of a legal form a company can take please click below:

Sole Trader »
Partnerships »
Limited Companies »


Business start-up & how we can help you


Starting a business is an exciting time when you get to implement the fantastic ideas you have been developing. It’s a time that is about creativity, devotion, passion and manifesting skills. At Business Help UK we can assist you in ensuring that your energies are focussed on this primary aspect of your work and not into any concerns around the legal, financial and fiscal aspects of running a business.


It would be surprising if you were an expert on all these things on day one of a new business, but you do not have to suffer for any dearth in technical knowledge as your ideas and profitability grow.


We have many ways to support you in the start-up phase with our small business accountancy service. We are a one-stop shop for all your business start up needs. With the expert help of our trained team you need not be daunted as you start your business journey.

We can help you:

  • Decide on what kind of business you should be - sole trader, partnership, limited liability partnership, limited company, co-op.
  • Define your aims and prepare your business plan.
  • Review your initial financial status and plan for the requirements of your start-up.
  • File all the tax and registration paperwork that will ensure that your business rests on stable foundations from day one.
  • Set up an internal filing and records system which supports you in getting quickly into profit and staying there.

We are a positive, friendly and supportive team with buckets of enthsiasm and experience to offer you. We pride ourselves on having great relationships with our clients and enjoying their ongoing successes. If you would like some help in getting your business idea up and running – not to mention giving you satisfaction and making you money as soon as possible - then please get in touch; we will enjoy working with you and supporting your business to grow!

Top Reasons Small Business Accountancy is Essential for Start Up


When you are starting a new business, your main objective is usually to see a return on investment as soon as possible and run a successful business that will be financially viable for years to come. With so many business types around, it is no wonder that people become easily confused with their own small business accountancy. As a result, many successful business start ups begin with professional small business accountancy solutions; ensuring they get off to the best financial start. Consequently, there are some top reasons to invest in small business accountancy when starting up your new venture.


Stay Profitable – Small business accountancy is essential at start up in order to find the most efficient way of keeping your finances in order. By implementing effective small business accountancy procedures, you can improve your cash flow and stay profitable for years to come.

Develop Faster – Monitoring income and expenditure with small business accountancy can help you compare results to previous months in order to assess new objectives. By taking action, you can move your business in the direction it needs to go in order to succeed.

Reduce Running Costs – Small business accountancy is often more cost effective than having highly paid members of staff doing admin work, bookkeeping and payroll. By outsourcing your small business accountancy, you will have more time and money to focus on your business start up.

Avoid Penalties – Small business accountancy can help you to avoid penalties should you run out of time or the resource to organise tax, VAT and accounts. Consequently, you can avoid late returns and interest and surcharges for late payments when you leave it to the professionals.If you are looking for small business accountancy, you can find a range of professional service with Business Help UK tailored specifically to start up businesses. Our specialist services have something to offer almost every company.

To find out more about our accountancy services for start ups, please contact our team at Business Help UK Group. 

Business Help UK
Group Ltd

Tel: 0170 8706 142 email us »
Subscribe to newsletter subscribe »
Follow us on
Have you used our services? Please take our survey.