DO IT RIGHT
Different tax rules apply depending on whether you are a sole trader (you run your business as an individual) or a limited company (you’re the owner and an employee of the company). Getting on top of your personal and business tax, as well as National Insurance, is crucial or you’ll end up in trouble with HMRC. Visit hmrc.gov.uk for anything tax-related. The right accountant is an invaluable source of guidance as your business grows and can make sure your day-to-day bookkeeping is up to scratch. Find one at The Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (icaew.com). For some businesses, such as being a self-employed driving instructor, a relevant qualification is a legal requirement. Even if this isn’t compulsory, proof of your skills can be a great way to boost credibility. Certain trades will have stringent safety requirements – catering or childcare, for example. The Health and Safety Executive website (hse.gov.uk) has guidance for most professions. If you’re employing others, you’ll need to have employment contracts in place, pay staff on time as agreed, deduct tax accurately and comply with other legal requirements, such as automatically enrolling them into a pension where appropriate. An accountant will be able to help with aspects such as payroll, but also involve a lawyer.