New company? New business? Where do I start?

Written on 3 July 2013
Starting a new company or starting to provide goods or services in a new jurisdiction, if you are setting up in the UK from overseas, is a daunting prospect. Whether you have £2,000 or £2 million to invest in your start-up you can still be faced with the problem of where to start and who to go to first for help.
The right answer is to find a good accountant as it is from such an adviser that you will get initial advice on a suitable trading style to match your trading and investment requirements and your tax profile. If you go down the limited company route your accountant can help you get this set up and introduce a friendly bank manager to get an account opened in the company’s name.
Once these formalities have been settled then it is essential to ensure that the correct registrations are made with H M Revenue and Customs before you start. There are strict time limits with penalties in place for non-compliance. Typically a new company will require registration for corporation tax as well as registering a PAYE scheme for tax on payments to employees and registering for VAT if your business turnover is above the registration threshold.
If you are buying an existing business that is currently trading there are other important steps to take (in addition to appointing a lawyer of course) particularly in relation to VAT and the option to tax as these need to be made before signing a deal. 
Getting the right advice from a qualified accountant right at the start will ensure that a balance between commercial imperatives and the necessities of legal and tax compliance can be struck, giving the new entity the best possible chance of a long and profitable future.
If you are considering setting up a company, give me a call 020 8545 7600 or email me at for more information.