Thinking of Going Self-Employed? The Key Finance & Tax Points You Must Get Right

Tax and accounts advice when going self employed

In recent years there has been a big rise in the number of individuals working for themselves.

Becoming self employed is a new and exciting chapter of life, but it does come with extra responsibilities. With so much to think about, we asked David Genders, author of The Daily Telegraph Tax Guide to explain the key financial and tax points you need to consider when going self-employed. (more…)

Budget 2018 – Summary for Small Businesses & Self Employed

Autumn Budget 2018 - Phillip Hammond speech

On Monday 29 October, Philip Hammond delivered his second Autumn Budget. With stronger tax receipts driving better than expected Government borrowing figures, the Autumn 2018 Budget was more generous than most observers expected. So much so, that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) calculates these spending promises to be the biggest Budget giveaway since the independent body was set up in 2010.

However, with the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a trade deal hanging over the country, the Chancellor did say that he will consider a Spring 2019 Budget should there be a no-deal Brexit.

To help you quickly grasp the major changes, we’ve worked with HFM Tax to bring you a summary of the key points from the Autumn Budget 2018 likely to affect small business owners and self-employed people; (more…)

Setting Up Accounts for a Sole Trader – A Beginner’s Guide

setting up self employed accounts

If you decide to work for yourself and begin trading as a sole trader, (self-employed) you will need to set up your accounts to record your income and expenses.

In order to do this you will need to be aware of tax, national insurance and other factors that will affect the records you need to keep as a sole trader.

To help you understand your duties and to get your book-keeping done painlessly, here’s the low-down on setting up your sole trader accounts. (more…)

How to Set Up in Business as a Partnership

set up a partnership

 

If two or more people wish to go into business together, and don’t want to set up a limited company, a partnership offers a simple way to get started. It is similar in many ways to going the sole trader route for an individual.
(more…)

Employment Status – Why do I need to know the difference?

employed, self employed and worker

It would be fair to say that employment status has been a contentious issue in recent times as business owners and staff in various sectors dispute the true nature of their respective working arrangements.

As a business owner it is important that you are familiar with the differences between the three main categories of employment (employee, worker and self-employed) as this will help determine the rights of the individual and the obligations you have towards them. (more…)

5 Things You Must Do When You Go Self Employed

what you need to do when becoming self employed

One of the main benefits of becoming self employed is the ease with which you can start up and run your new business.

You can even become a sole trader (another term for self-employed) whilst working as an employee for someone else, so you can test the water and see whether working for yourself suits you.

To help you understand some of the most important issues, you’ll need to tackle, here are 5 things you need to do when you decide to go self employed: (more…)

How Using ‘Simplified Expenses’ Can Save You Time if You’re Self Employed

claiming expenses when you are a sole trader and simplifies expenses for the self employed

Wrestling with your accounts is certainly not the highlight of working for yourself, but getting your finances right is an important part of being self-employed.

Claiming business expenses can help you to cut your tax bill but, knowing what, and how much you can claim for isn’t straightforward. Fortunately, HMRC allow the self employed to use ‘simplified expenses’ to claim certain allowable business expenses without having to make complicated calculations. (more…)

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…)

5 questions to ask yourself before you start your own business

questions to ask yourself before starting own business

The inspiration to start a business can come anywhere at any time: in the pub, in the shower, in the supermarket, walking the dog.

How many times has someone you know announced they’ve had a great business idea? And how many of those eureka moments ended up getting no further than a few notes on a napkin?

Why was this? Too much hard work involved? Concerns over starting a business being too risky? Worries about it needing too much commitment?

But those aren’t barriers to every business idea taking off; some ideas do make it from conceptualisation to conclusion. The difference? Dedication and passion. And perhaps necessity. (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.

(more…)

7 Advantages a Sole Trader (self employed) Business has Over a Limited Company

Advanatges of running a business as a sole trader

For those new to the world of business there are many things to consider. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when you’re starting a business is whether to set up as a sole trader (self employed) or limited company.

Both sole traders and limited companies have their distinct advantages and disadvantages (make sure you read our guide on 10 Advantages of running your business as a limited company instead of being self-employed to learn the main benefits of the limited company option).

Whilst the professionalism and protection that comes with running a limited company is appealing to many, becoming self-employed is the more straightforward option, and with it comes a number of other benefits. (more…)

How to Register as Self Employed

how to register as sef employed sole trader

 

The simplest way to start a business in the UK is to become self employed. This is also commonly referred to as becoming a sole trader.

There is minimal paperwork to take care of, and you don’t have to pay any company formation costs. However, you do need to formally register as self employed with HMRC, and assume responsibility to pay your own income tax and National Insurance liabilities.

Here are the steps you must take to if you want to become self employed, plus the other aspects you will also need to consider when working for yourself: (more…)

Banks are making it difficult for ‘Mumpreneurs’

New research by APS financial, the most proven digital UK challenger to banks, reveals what’s stopping UK mums from starting their own business.

With nearly half of UK mums saying they admire entrepreneurial businesswomen like Michelle Mone, Karren Brady and Liz Earle, the study unveils the barriers Mumpreneurs believe are stopping them from becoming the next ‘Baroness Bra’.

(more…)

Government scraps proposed Class 4 NICs rise for self employed

Class4 NIC increase reversed page 2

Just a week after the 2017 Spring Budget when Chancellor, Philip Hammond announced an increase in Class 4 National Insurance Contributions for the UK’s self employed workers, he has decided that the proposed tax increase isn’t a good idea after all!

Responding to wide criticism from Tory MPs and the perceived attack on millions of self employed workers, including the ‘white van man’, Hammond has written to MPs informing them of his decision to reverse the proposed NI hike.

His letter reads; (more…)

Can dual sim phones solve a common problem for small business owners?

xiaomi mi5 dual sim phone

As the name suggests, a dual sim phone allows you to have two sims in a single phone. There are a variety of reasons why people may want access to two different phone numbers on a single device.

A dual sim phone could be of particular use to self employed people, freelancers and business owners who want to be able to handle personal and work calls separately, but don’t want to carry two different phones.

The facility to have separate numbers for work and personal contacts, with tailored voicemail messages can help you to be more professional and create a better impressions with potential customers. With dual sim phones seemingly solving a communications conundrum for many small business owners we asked telecoms expert, Dave Millett, to share his insight into them; (more…)

How to Be a Successful Freelancer in the Gig Economy

freelance gig economy

The gig economy is one of the UK’s fastest growing ways of working. According to IPSE, the body representing UK freelancers, there are now around 1.9 million freelancers in the UK alone. And the global figure is upwards of 50 million people earning a living from freelancing.

The rise in popularity of freelance working is creating more opportunities for those looking for more flexibility and control over their own lives, but joining the growing ranks of the self-employed does bring its challenges.

So if you’re thinking of going it alone and starting up as a freelancer, here’s what you need to do to be a successful freelancer in the gig economy; (more…)

Setting Up in Business as a Sole Trader

how to start in business as a sole trader

Becoming a sole trader is the simplest way to get your new business off the ground. You can start trading immediately, subject to any industry-specific licences or insurances you might be required to have.

As a sole trader, you will have complete control over your business and finances. You can adapt quickly to any changes in your business, without having to concern yourself with a great deal of bureaucracy. (more…)

Graduate entrepreneurs lack support from universities

UK graduates interested in freelancing or self-employment feel their university should have done more to support them, according to a new study by business insurance broker PolicyBee.

The study, which surveyed just over 1,000 recent graduates, found that 62% of graduates said freelancing or self-employment was not discussed at all by their university’s career department. (more…)

What the changes in Health & Safety regulations from 1st October 2015 means for the self-employed

A change is afoot for the UK’s self-employed workers, and it’s good news for some 1.7million one-man bands!

From 1st October 2015, if you are self-employed and your work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public, then Health and Safety law will not apply to you.

So are you one of the sole traders that no longer has to worry about complying with Health & Safety legislation? (more…)

An introduction to business law for start-ups

Starting a new business is an exciting time but getting the administrative side of things set up can be quite a time-consuming process. However, if these initial tasks are completed in a thorough and efficient manner, things are more likely to run smoothly and you can focus on the more exciting aspects of running your own business.

There are a number of different legal matters which need to be addressed before setting up a new business. Seeking good advice to help you through the planning and setup process ensures your business is built on solid foundations andcan provide protection when things do not go to plan.

Being prepared for any legal issues that could occur and having a good understanding of business law is essential when setting up a new company; lacking both could lead to a make or break situation. This guide is here to help you get your business off to a flying start and make sure you are both prepared and protected for what the future holds. (more…)

A Guide to Income Protection Insurance for Sole Traders & Start-Ups

buying income protection insurance business owner

Making the decision to become self-employed can be daunting, especially if you’ve been an employee on a regular salary with all the perks that can bring, like a pension, holidays and sickness pay.

The transition from this relative security to going it alone is not always easy, but there are steps you can take to help protect you financially should the need arise, allowing you to concentrate on growing and developing your business. (more…)

Travel and accommodation expenses for the self-employed

Are you a self-employed individual? Do you have to travel on business, and does that travel ever entail an overnight stay away from your home?

Do you know exactly which of the travel and accommodation expenses you can legitimately claim back? If you get it wrong, you could pay too much tax, or worse still find yourself in trouble with HMRC for paying too little tax!

To help you get it right, here’s an explanation of the rules regarding travel and accommodation expenses for sole traders. It explains what you can, and can’t, include as legitimate costs in your business accounts. (more…)

What is a sole trader?

There are around 2.8 million sole traders in the UK. It is the most popular, and simplest, way of starting and running a business.

In this guide, we take a look at what exactly a sole trader is, the key things you need to know about becoming a sole trader, and whether it is the right business structure for you.
(more…)

Limited company or sole trader – which is best for me?

One of the first tasks you will have when starting up your business will be to decide whether to set up a new limited company, or become self-employed. If you choose to go self employed, this could be either as a sole trader, or as a partner in a partnership.

The different business structures each have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s vital you understand what each offers you. Working out which option best suits you, and your new business, can take a little time but it is an important decision, and one that can have major ramifications over the years ahead, so you do want to choose the business structure that best suits your circumstances.

Here we look at some of the differences between working as self employed and setting up a limited company;
(more…)

Surge in number of self-employed since 2008

Data released by the Office of National Statistics this week shows that the total number of self-employed has reached an all-time high of 4.2 million, with almost 370,000 extra people working for themselves since the economic downturn started in 2008.
(more…)