Starting up your own business involves a great deal of forward thinking, meticulous planning, and financial arrangements. Whether it’s your first time running a start-up company or you have previous experience, it’s often easy to overlook the finer details, which can get lost in the commotion along the way. With so many different factors to consider, it is vital that owners follow all of the regulations necessary for setting up a business. To make sure you haven’t left anything out, we take a look at what standards you need to meet when starting up a business:
If you’ve dreamed about owning your own company for a long time, this will be an exciting time for you, however you do need to take the legalities into account. It may not be the most fun of tasks, but failing to gain a common license and permit – especially for homebased small businesses – can cause major issues. Be sure to contact your city’s business license department as soon as possible and get the ball rolling to make sure you’re legally allowed to trade from your location.
If you’re running a restaurant, bar, or other catering-based business, you will need the proper licences to serve food or alcoholic drinks. But what about where you store your data? Do you know what software package you’ll be using and whether it is the licensed version? It may be a significant cost to purchase the programmes, but using licensed software really does pay off in the long run.
Whether your business has a physical store or you’re operating an online only venture, you must ensure that you pay your taxes correctly. Business rates are like a council tax but for business properties and some premises are exempt from these rates. If you are running your business from home, it’s unlikely you’d have to pay business rates as well as your council tax, unless you are employing staff to work in your home or potential customers will be visiting your location. Also, if you’ve adapted your home space, including your garage, then you’ll need to pay business rates too.
Any limited company that makes profit is required to pay corporation tax. It is set at 19% for all companies and you must pay it within nine months and one day of the company’s accounting year end. If you’re a sole trader, however, you won’t pay corporation tax.
It is vital that business owners take out employers’ liability insurance, as this is non-optional. Failure to do so can lead to a fine of up to £2,500 per employee per day without it. You must also take out property insurance so that your equipment, inventory and signage is covered for fire, storm or theft. If you are starting your business in your own home, you still require insurance as your homeowner’s policies won’t cover your business requirements.
Another must-have is vehicle insurance. While we know that car insurance is important, if your company is going to have their own fleet, it’s essential that those vehicles are insured to protect your business against liability if there’s an accident. Business interruption insurance can help you in the event of a disaster which would interrupt your operations. In these circumstances, having the correct plan in place will help you to avoid major financial loss.
If you’re lucky enough to be moving into a newly built office space, it’s likely that you’ll have to set up a new electric connection. This isn’t likely to apply to offices that have been previously occupied, but it is still worth checking. If you’re not sure how to get your connection sorted, contact your distribution network operator (DNO) and tell them what you require. Without doing this, your business simply won’t get up and running.
Whilst this may seem like a lot of information to absorb, setting your business up properly from the get-go ensures that everything runs as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. We wish you all the best in your new adventure!
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