Guide to Start Business in the United Kingdom
Unleash the entrepreneur in you with this guide to start a business in the United Kingdom from 3E Accounting.
Starting a business anywhere in the world can be exciting and daunting at the same time. You may have a brilliant business idea but have no clue as to where to even begin. This guide to starting a business in the United Kingdom aims to help budding entrepreneurs achieve some clarity of thought.
Venturing Forth into Business
Of the approximately six million private sector businesses in the UK, 75% are sole traders engaged in small-medium enterprises (SMEs). Most are focused on business activities such as construction, technical, automobile, administration, etc. Before starting your business, consider its type of activity. For example, a manufacturing business will have different regulations than service or merchandising business.
Depending on post-Brexit regulations, foreigners need to address a few issues. Entrepreneurs from some European countries, as well as other foreigners, will need work or business visas. These can be Innovator, Start-up or Investor Visas and all have different criteria. Similarly, when employing staff, you must be aware that foreign employees have other criteria. All employees are entitled to minimum wage, social security and pension contributions.
Taxation, customs, residence permits, and other regulatory issues can also be quite complex to navigate. It is highly advisable that you engage competent business solution firms like 3E Accounting to assist with compliance.
Consider the type of company that works well for you. Business registration and company incorporation are distinct processes. Incorporating a company requires registration with the Companies House. It creates a separate legal identity for the company which limits the liability of owners and shareholders. Business registrations, on the other hand, are less complicated and does not create a separate legal identity.
Types of legal structures in the UK include:
- Sole Trader: self-employed and includes freelancers
- Partnership: can be General or Limited depending on liability, financial contribution, etc
- Unincorporated Association
- Offshore Company
- Non-Profit Company
- Social Enterprise
- Limited Liability Partnership or LLP
- Private Limited Company or Ltd
- Public Limited Company or PLC
- Unlimited Company
- Overseas Company: to establish a Branch Office of Subsidiary
Some types of business will need to have corporate bank accounts, and this has a process of its own. Some of the documents that need to be prepared include details of directors, business plans, company registration number, etc.
It is also crucial to ensure that accounts are audited, and annual filings are done. Business insurance, as well as VAT (Value Added Tax) and Corporation Tax, must also be seen to. For taxes, registration must be done with the UK’s tax and customs authority or HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs).
Partners that Make a Difference
Company incorporation and start-up can be done within a day if all your documentation is in order, and regulations have been followed to a tee. More often than not, there will be hiccups along the way that can cause expensive delays to correct. While a guide to start a business in the United Kingdom can be handy and useful, it can’t entirely cover all contingencies. It’s always better to get matters right from the beginning rather than doubling back.
3E Accounting brings years of industry and global networking experience to the table. Our team is skilled in handling all business start-up solutions, from incorporation to business software design. Contact 3E Accounting today for cutting-edge, customizable business solutions that deliver professionalism and satisfaction.