- Are you prepared for self-employment? The most common misconception held by employed people is that anyone running their own business is automatically on easy street, working just when they feel like it and generally enjoying an easy lifestyle. The only way to get to this wonderful situation is to accept that initially you will need to work more hours than you’ve ever worked, for probably a lot less money that you’ve ever done before.
- Are your expectations realistic? Please do not misunderstand, I am all in favour of big ambitions, but you must be prepared to grow in stages, building up to the position you want. Remember you can eat an elephant, one piece at a time.
- Have you got a plan? YOU MUST have a detailed writtern plan of what you are intending to do and HOW you intend to achieve it.
- Have you got enough money? This may seem so obvious, but remember once you take that giant leap you are on your own. Check all your projections and keep them realistic. If you can start the business on a part-time basis and contiue with your job so much the better.
- Licences/Permits/Qualifications? It very much depends on the type of business you are planning, but it is very wise to make sure you hold any essential paper-work to keep you legal. Remember it can take quite a long time to obtain certain licences etc.
- Bank Account? You will need a designated bank account, to show all your transactions for accountancy and tax purposes.
- Accountant? Depending on the size and type of business you are planning it may very well be wise to meet with an accountant and have a chat about your plans before you get started, it may seem expensive but it could well save you thousands later on.
- Solicitor? Once again it does depend on the type of business you are planning, if you are leasing or buying premises then you will need a solicitor and if you are buying an existing going concern.
- V.A.T.? Do you need to register with HMRC for V.A.T. If your total annual sales exceed £73,000-00 then you are legally required to register, this then means that you will have to charge your customers 20% on top of your selling price (this is subject to some variables) . This is another area where an accountant can prove very useful.
- Partnership/Sole trader/Limited company? You need to decide on a trading style. Once more an accountant can prove helpful with this decision.
10 point check-list before starting your new business.