A Shareholders’ Agreement – Why you should get one if you are setting up a company with others

business partners signging shareholders agreemenr

When you start a business with someone else, it’s always a good idea to lay down some rules on important issues, such as; how you will run the company, your respective responsibilities and what happens if someone wants to leave the business. Agreeing on how you will handle these, and other important matters, will save a lot of anguish down the line.

If you are going into business with other individuals working under a partnership structure, you should do this with a Partnership Agreement. If you are setting up a limited company, you will a need to record these in a Shareholder’s Agreement.

This guide explains what a Shareholder’s Agreement does, who should get one and what should be included in the document.
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Guide to National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for small business owners

Find out what NICs you need to pay if you're self employed or a limited compay director

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 owner. (more…)

Tax rates, thresholds & allowances for small business owners 2016/2017

2016/17 Tax rates and allowances for business owners

To clarify the various tax rates, thresholds and allowances that self employed workers, business owners and company directors need to be aware of for tax calculations, here is ByteStart’s summary of the main tax rates, tax bands, and tax allowances for the tax year from 6 April 2016 to 5 April 2017.

These are the rates and thresholds that you will need to use for completing self assessment tax returns for 2016/17.

The deadline for filing a paper tax return for the 2016/17 tax year is 30 October 2017. If you are completing your self assessment online, you have until 31 January to submit your return.

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A guide to Personal Liability Notices (PLNs) for company directors

HMRC Public liability notice

Personal Liability Notices or PLNs first came into effect in April 2009.

Originally, PLNs were predominantly used by HMRC to tackle “phoenixism”, where the assets and the operations of an insolvent business that has run up significant tax debts are transferred to a new company operated by the same management team that has a history of non-payment of tax liabilities. However, HMRC’s use of PLNs is now increasing. (more…)

What is Corporation Tax?

Corporation tax explained

When you set up a limited company, your annual profits will be subject to Corporation Tax.

Dealing with your corporation tax issues is one of your accountant’s key tasks. However, it is ultimately the directors of a limited who are responsible for ensuring that a company’s tax affairs are in order. (more…)

Statutory entitlements for company directors – What can directors claim when insolvency strikes?

When a company goes into liquidation, it’s generally understood that employees are entitled to redundancy pay. But what about the company directors themselves? Ultimately it is their business that has failed, and their livelihood that has collapsed.

Unbeknown to many directors, the government does provide limited company directors with statutory entitlements, such as redundancy pay, in a number of situations where a limited company has become insolvent and entered liquidation.

With some 80,000 personal insolvencies a year and around 14,000 companies becoming insolvent annually, it’s an issue that many business owners can find themselves facing, but a lack of understanding about statutory entitlements means many limited company directors end up missing out.

We’ve therefore asked Gary Addison, an experienced insolvency and redundancy expert, to explain more about what statutory entitlements actually are, and how they apply to company directors. (more…)

Responsibilities & Duties of a Limited Company Director

If you have set up in business via a limited company, there are a number of duties you will have – as well as legal and financial responsibilities – if you are a director of the company.

This article provides an overview of what to expect as a limited company director.
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Persons with Significant Control (PSC): What are they and how do you create a PSC register for your business?

Since 6th April 2016, nearly all UK companies have been required to maintain a register of Persons with Significant Control (also known as a “PSC register”).

The PSC register obligations were introduced as part of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. The government’s intention was to enhance corporate transparency where complicated ownership structures can sometimes make it difficult to tell who owns and controls companies.

However, even small limited companies with very simple structures are required to maintain a PSC register. And, from 30th June 2016, companies need to file this information with Companies House as part of the new Confirmation Statement (which replaces the Annual Return from this date).

This guide explains to small business owners what a Person with Significant Control is, how to produce a PSC register and what companies need to do to stay on the right side of the law.

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The Confirmation Statement: What is it, and how do I file it with Companies House?

All UK limited companies, large and small, have been required to file an Annual Return (AR01) with Companies House at a set point each year.

From 30th June 2016, as part of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, the Annual Return is replaced with a new document called a ‘Confirmation Statement’.

Like its predecessor the Annual Return, the Confirmation Statement is a snapshot of information about a company which must be provided once per year. Most of the information provided is placed on the public record by Companies House.

Here’s everything that limited company directors need to know about the new Confirmation Statement; (more…)

Dividend tax changes from April 2016 – A summary of the financial effects for small business owners

From 6 April 2016, the way dividend income is taxed will change significantly. The changes will affect hundreds of thousands of small business owners, many of whom will see a big jump in the amount of tax they will have to pay.

At present, company dividends are treated as ‘tax paid’ in the hands of shareholders. However, from April 2016 the tax treatment of dividends will be altered dramatically, and as you can imagine, this isn’t going to result in limited company directors paying less tax! (more…)

HMRC webinars offer help for new business owners, employers and company directors

HMRC are running a series of live webinars to help those that are new to, or considering; going self employed, starting a business, employing staff or becoming a limited company director.

Each webinar covers a distinct topic and will help you to understand the legal implications and the responsibilities involved with the steps you are considering. You can also submit questions to the presenter during a webinar.

The webinars that will be of interest to new business start-ups, both sole traders and limited company directors, and those thinking of employing staff for the first time are detailed here; (more…)