You’ll be in good company. The vast majority of the UK’s 5.8 million self-employed — 59% — are registered as sole traders. This stands to reason. Registering as a sole trader is easy and inexpensive to do, so it’s the ideal way to test the waters of self-employment.
One of the first and most important decisions you make when you set up a new business is to decide what type of legal structure you should work under. So which business structure is best for you?
Aside from the sole trader route, the limited liability company is the most popular business structure to trade under in the UK.
Having to dismiss an employee is something many employers dread, due to the possibility that the dismissed employee may take them to an employment tribunal if they feel they weren’t treated fairly. This is why you should take care to act reasonably towards employees throughout the dismissal procedure. So if you have a member of […]
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.
Every business – even yours – has a brand. One common misconception is that your brand is your logo. Your logo is a single visual representation of your brand, but it is not your brand.
When you start a business, everyone says networking is important; so you network. But are you getting more out of your networking than passable plonk and the occasional first-class canapé? Have your efforts delivered a strong network that adds value to your business?
If you’re about to launch your new business and need premises, or have started up successfully at home and now need space to expand, this is an exciting time! Moving into an office or retail premises for the first time says something about a business. It can make your operation seem more “real”, meaning your […]
One of the biggest challenges start-ups and fledgling businesses face is securing the funding they need to realise their potential.
Automatic enrolment is looming large on the horizon for hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the UK. With many small firms unfamiliar with company pensions, tackling auto enrolment (AE) can feel daunting, so this guide has been designed to help small business owners get to grips with the subject.
For every service business, ensuring your customers have a great experience is paramount. Whether you’re a small start-up cafe or a global hotel chain, customer satisfaction needs to be a top priority if you are to succeed. To help you put in place the foundations for a thriving service business, we asked Michael Heppell, the […]
If you decide to recruit your first employee for your small business, one of your legal obligations is to present all staff members with a written statement of employment particulars.
The ability to negotiate the highest possible fees without risking a client relationship or an instruction has become increasingly important to individual professionals and professional service firms in recent years.
If you need more finance to grow your business, there are a number of options to consider. You could turn to your own personal savings, ask family members for help, get a bank loan, issue shares, or speak to some business angels or venture capitalists. Or you could consider peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.
In an increasingly competitive business world, nurturing your existing staff can help you avoid a high turnover rate. If you’re constantly losing employees you find yourself spending a lot of valuable time training new staff, but not reaping the rewards down the line.
When people talk about ‘gearing’ in a business, they are usually referring to one of two types; Financial gearing Operational gearing Here’s a guide to what gearing is, and how you can use it to increase the returns your business makes;
How can employers avoid an Employment Tribunal? The simplest advice, of course, is to ensure that all of your employees are happy and contented and never have any complaints they would want to take to a Tribunal. However, in the real world even the best employers can not achieve this all the time.
In this guide, Peter Vreede of Redundancy Assist provides advice to small business owners on how to successfully manage the redundancy process.
In this article, Guy Hollebon from Bevans Solicitors looks at some key legal risks that can affect small businesses and how to manage and minimise such risks. Guy has approached the matter as an expert lawyer and also as a small business owner, providing both legal and practical tips.
Stephan Weber of Sykes Anderson LLP discusses the new statutory provisions under the Companies Act 2006 in respect of derivative claims by shareholders
For most business owners, selling their business is a once in a lifetime event. It’s also often the culmination of decades of hard graft so it’s important you get it right. With so much at stake, we asked Clinton Lee of UK Business Brokers to help explain how you can get the best possible price […]
If you are thinking of creating a web presence for your small business, one of the most important tasks you need to do is choose the right domain name. Here are ten tips from the Bytestart team:
As late payment problems consider to plague small businesses, we have teamed up with a leading debt recovery service to ensure ByteStart visitors can receive help getting their invoices paid.
Most people think that to effectively promote their new business website, they need to do all the marketing work online. In fact, that’s only half the story. Yes, driving traffic online is easier, as people are already using the medium. But there’s a lot of clutter online and standing out is hard. Promotional activity in […]
When you are starting a business, sitting down and grappling with Health & Safety legislation isn’t one of your top priorities. It’s fair to say that it’s not one of the more exciting parts of running your own business, and it doesn’t bring in any money. However, with the average fine for Health & Safety […]
How can you be an attractive company to work for, motivate and reward staff and promote loyalty without increasing your pay bill? Believe it or not, introducing employee benefits may be the answer. There is a range of benefits which won’t be a cost to your company and will actually provide savings by reducing your […]
If you are setting up a limited company for your business you will want it done quickly, professionally and without any hassle. That’s why we’ve teamed up with one of the UK’s leading company formation agencies to provide you with an instant online service.
Every limited company must submit their accounts to HMRC and Companies House each financial year. In this article, we look at how you work out the deadline for your first annual accounts.
If you’re starting-up or running a small business the ability to put together a persuasive business proposal will really help you to succeed.
Being an employer comes with all manner of responsibilities, not least ensuring the happiness and safety of your staff. So when an employee approaches you, or the person responsible for HR within your organisation, with a problem or complaint (a grievance) you need to ensure you have the necessary procedures in place to resolve the […]
Here are some of the best options potentially available to you if your company is facing a financial squeeze and is running out of cash, along with some ideas on how to approach the turnaround process.
When you’re starting or running your own small business, you have an endless list of jobs to do. One of the most crucial is generating interest in your business and creating awareness of your products and services.
Picture the scene. You’ve spent years developing an amazing new product, the likes of which has never been seen before. It will truly revolutionise the market and give your competitors many sleepless nights of agonising worry. But it all depends on you shocking the world by announcing your new product at the annual trade fair. […]
You see County Court Judgments, or CCJs, mentioned on debt-related adverts all the time, but what are they, and how do you enforce one?
Is there a better way of doing business? Is there a more ethical and sustainable business model that is less focused on the short-term chase for shareholder profit? The answer could well lie with the co-operative business model.
While the loss of short-term profits is detrimental to any business, it isn’t the worst consequence of internal fraud. Imagine if an employee gained access to sensitive customer data and used it to their advantage. This could result in terrible repercussions for your customers, a badly damaged brand reputation for your business, and cause lasting, […]
Why do some businesses appear to steam ahead, recording rapid year-on-year growth, when others even in the same sector, with the same market opportunity, lag behind, recording poor growth or often no growth at all. Of course, every sector will have its own nuances, however there are some barriers to growth that every business owner […]
Although it does not necessarily herald the end of a small business, the decline into insolvency can bring significant changes in company structure, operations and management style. Here are 8 early warning signs that indicate your small business could be heading for financial trouble, and the actions you can take to overcome them.
Looking for an investor to help fund your business? You’d better make sure they’re an angel, not a dragon! Most businesses require outside investment at some point in their development. Whether you are a new business needing a cash injection to get started, or an established company looking to launch a new product or move […]