How to set up and run a small business

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Tax & Accounting Guides

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If you need to submit a Self-Assessment Tax Return (SATR) it’s imperative you get it in on time and free of any mistakes.

There are penalties for not submitting your tax return on time and you may have to pay a fine if HMRC deem you have not taken enough care in completing it.

With regard to the deadlines, paper tax returns need to be filed with HMRC by 31 October and tax returns submitted online by 31 January. So, if you complete your tax return online, you get a few extra months.

This article explains how to get started with your tax return, and how to avoid common mistakes that people make on their self assessment tax return.
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National Insurance is a deduction from earnings, set up originally to fund various State benefits such as the NHS, the State pension and other welfare-related schemes.

In reality, it is just another tax. In fact, as standard income tax rates have remained constant for many years, NI rates have soared.

In this guide we look at how National Insurance works, and what your National Insurance Contributions (NICs) will be as a small business person. The guide has been updated with the 2014/15 tax year NIC rates. Continue…

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In this concise guide, we look at the taxes you will encounter if you start your own business as a sole trader, and other things you should bear in mind before taking the plunge and becoming self employed.
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Few people start a new business so they can do paperwork. Spending time adding up receipts or pushing invoices around a desk is nobody’s idea of fun – unless you’re starting up as a book-keeper or accountant!

Unfortunately it’s a necessary evil and something you need to stay on top of in your new business. Being disorganised and putting off paperwork just isn’t an option.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will fine you if you’re late getting essential information to them. And the longer you leave it, the worse the problem gets. So here’s what every small business owner needs to know about book keeping.
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Small businesses, and the individuals who run them, are subject to a wide array of taxes – from Corporation Tax to National Insurance. Here is an overview of the main UK business taxes you will encounter as a business owner, together with links to our more in-depth guides.
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With the plethora of tax rates, thresholds and allowances changing every year, here is ByteStart’s summary of the main tax rates, tax bands, and allowances for the 2014/2015 tax year. We focus on the figures that are of relevance to business owners.
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HMRC have provided a range of special schemes that apply to smaller businesses. They are designed to reduce administration, but also (in some cases) to assist cash flow.
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This second guide in ByteStart’s 3-Part VATChat series; outlines how VAT registered businesses should charge VAT on their goods and services, and how to reclaim VAT on purchases and costs.
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In the first in a short series of Value Added Tax bulletins for small businesses, Les Howard looks at what VAT is, and when you must register your business.
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Your business should register for VAT if your “taxable supplies” over the past 12 months has exceeded the VAT registration threshold. From April 2014, the VAT registration threshold is £81,000 (previously it was £79,000).
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Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax on the final consumption of certain goods and services in the home market but is collected at every stage of production and distribution. Most business-related goods and services will therefore be subject to VAT.
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Following George Osborne’s delivery of the 2014 Budget, here is a summary of the main tax changes and announcements that will be of interest to those that own and run small businesses: Continue…

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As more and more people choose to work from home, the question of how you can reclaim any home office expenses is frequently asked.

The general HMRC rule for claiming tax relief on business expenses is that you can only reclaim costs that have been ‘wholly and exclusively’ incurred in connection with your trade.
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Tax isn’t the most exciting part of running your own business, but it is an issue that you will have to tackle at some point.

To help you to quickly get to grips with the subject, here are some handy tax tips based on our findings of working with small businesses over the past decade, and from our own personal experience at the ByteStart team.
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In this article, we look at the role accountants play, and how to ensure you choose the right firm for your business.
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If you choose to set up a limited company when you start your business, there’s a lot more paperwork involved.

It’s one the downsides of going limited (the biggest upside of course being that you limit your liability should the business go under).

One of the many pieces of paperwork you will have to generate on at least an annual basis is a balance sheet.
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If you are a limited company shareholder, you may have to pay personal tax on any dividend income you receive. This article outlines how company dividends are taxed.
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Many rates and allowances changed on 6th April 2013, as the new personal tax year began. This year, the RTI (Real Time Information) payroll rules also came into effect.
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Accurate bookkeeping is a necessary evil when you run your own business.

There are three reasons you need to be on top of the money coming in and going out. HMRC will need information from you at some point (whether you are a sole trader or run a limited company); you need to know if you have enough cash to get you through the month (cash flow); and finally it’s good to know whether or not you are actually making a profit!
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Following the 2013 Budget, here is our summary of the main tax rates, tax bands, and allowances for the 2013/2014 tax year, with particular reference to data which will affect the typical small business owner.

If you are looking for figures for the 2014/15 tax year, you will find them in ByteStart’s guide to the tax rates, allowances and thresholds of relevance to small business owners for the 2014/15 tax year.

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