DO IT RIGHT

Good Housekeeping (UK) - - Good Advice -

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.

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