Start Up Accountants, Kent

Deciding to ‘go it alone’ is daunting but more and more budding entrepreneurs are making the necessary leap of faith and deciding to start up their own business.

 

If you are thinking of starting up a new business then you are going to need the dedicated services of a team of expert accountants as you take each of those baby steps towards financial freedom! That’s what we here at Bells Accountants in Kent are here to do for you.

Negotiating the small business minefield

 

It’s a sad fact that a lot of new ventures fail, and the main reason they fail is that they are not properly prepared for the ‘nuts and bolts’ of financial matters. Anyone can have a good new business idea, but it’s all too easy to become swept away by your new products or services, without laying down the financial framework that’s necessary to maintain your business’s viability.

 

Over the years we’ve helped countless new businesses start up, survive the tough times and flourish. We’ve found that the best way of helping make a new business a successful one is to take a very hands-on approach, or even a ‘hand in hand’ approach.

 

We can help you turn potential into a sound, profitable company

Start up accountant kent

When you engage our services, we will make sure your finances are set up correctly and in a way that you will be able to manage them. You can either make use of our complete bookkeeping services where we take care of it all for you, or we can assist you to take care of it yourselves, by providing templates, guidance notes and software recommendations.

 

As your accountants, we do much more than simply provide a service – we are your business partners, and a key part of your team.

 

We will help you to:

  • maintain your books in order, so they remain fully compliant
  • give you advice on how you can minimise your tax liabilities
  • help to ensure the survival of your business through that difficult first few years
  • remind you in plenty of time when important deadlines are approaching
  • make sure the information sent to HMRC is accurate

We’d love to join your team as part of your exciting new business venture. To talk to us about your plans or just for some initial advice, please call Bells Accountants in Kent on . You can also email us at .

Below, you will find answers to questions that we are frequently asked – if the question you have is not listed here, please call us on .

Things to consider when starting a business:

Have I written a business plan?

Bells can provide you with a template document, or come in and see us for some guidance if you have more specific requirements.

Do I need finance?

Bells can put you in touch with specialists who can help you access finance or grants from many sources. We can also help put together the applications for the various bodies.

Should I have a separate business bank account?

Yes. For limited companies it is a legal requirement to have a business bank account, for sole traders it is optional but we would always recommend separating your business and personal expenditure.

What business structure should I use?

There are various options including Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited Company, Community Interest Company or Limited Liability Partnership. Bells will look at your individual circumstances and advise on the pros and cons of each option for  you.

Self employment

What does it mean to be self employed?

When you are self employed it effectively means that you are receiving income from a business or trade that is not taxed at source by an employer or agency. This money therefore needs to be declared to HMRC as part of a self-assessment tax return. Bells can help you to register for self employement, provide guidance as to what expenses you can claim tax deductions for and complete your tax return for you each year.

How does the “tax year” work?

The tax year runs from the 6th April to 5th April each year.

What are the deadlines?

Your tax return is due by 31st January following the end of each tax year. So for the tax year ended 5 April 2015, the tax return and any tax payable is due by 31st January 2016.

What can I claim for?

The expenses you can claim for are very specific to each trade, for example, a consultant cannot claim for all the same things a plumber can claim for although there will be some things that can be claimed for by both such as travel and telephone bills. Bells can provide some general guidance in the form of a leaflet or a bespoke list. Fill out our contact us form for more information.

How do I pay my national insurance contributions?

The best way to pay this is via monthly direct debit straight from your bank account, Bells can provide you with a form to complete to get this arrangement set up.

Limited companies

Why become a limited company?

The main advantage to trading as a limited company is that companies pay a fixed rate of 20% in corporation tax on annual profits up to £300,000. As a sole trader you are subjected to the normal income tax rates which includes the 40% bracket for taxable income over £32,001 and class 4 national insurance of 9%!

Are there any disadvantages?

Accountancy fees are higher for limited companies as there is a lot more administration required but if we make a recommendation that you should incorporate (go limited!) we will always demonstrate to you exactly how much tax you will save and go through the pros and cons in full so that you can make an informed decision.

What are the deadlines?

Companies have their own financial year end given by companies house, this is usually twelve months after they initially set up. They then have 9 months from their financial year end to file their abbreviated accounts with companies house and 12 months to file their corporation tax return and accounts with HMRC.

What can I claim for?

The expenses you can claim for are very specific to each trade, for example, a consultant cannot claim for all the same things a plumber can claim for although there will be some things that can be claimed for by both such as travel and telephone bills. Bells can provide some general guidance in the form of a leaflet or a bespoke list. Fill out our contact us form for more information.

How do I pay my national insurance contributions?

The best way to pay this is via monthly direct debit straight from your bank account, Bells can provide you with a form to complete to get this arrangement set up.

Do I need an accountant or a bookkeeper?

It is not a legal requirement for an accountant or bookkeeper to file any of your statutory documents but when considering doing it yourself we would ask you to consider the following:

  • Recognise your strengths and focus on what makes you money
  • Understand that the limitations to your knowledge will cost you money in both the lost value of your time and in actual tax paid
  • Remember that accountancy fees are tax deductible

How can I make the most of my accountant:

If you are not happy with your current accountant it is very easy to switch to us here at Bells but whether you use us or another accountant please bear in mind the following:

  • Utilise free consultations – most accountants will provide at least one free consultation to find out about your requirements – make the most of this and ask away!!
  • Get a second opinion – if you are not 100% confident about any advice you have been given check it out with another professional.
  • Find an accountant that you can talk to – approachability and free communication is the key to a good working relationship
  • Prepare for meetings – ideally write an agenda but if you don’t have time for that at least note down the questions you would like answered so you don’t forget anything.
  • Organise your paperwork – make sure all the documentation you need to give your accountant is in one place – even if its in a shoe box! It speeds everything up considerably when it comes to your year end and saves you time searching for important documents later.
  • Brief properly on questions and ask for further explanation if necessary – when asking us a question make sure you include as much information as possible on your circumstances so that we are fully informed and can advise you as best we can. If you don’t understand the response – ask again for clarification! There is no shame in wanting to fully understand an answer you have given – after all we would struggle to do your job so we don’t expect you to know how to do ours, that’s what you pay us for!

Never be afraid to ask and keep talking to us – Keep us posted as much as you can about your dreams and aspirations for your business and involve us in as many business decisions as you can. We can only properly advice you if we are aware of what is going on with your business and what direction you are going in. Particularly if you are looking at investing in a major new asset or taking on a new member of staff, there is absolutely better and worse times to do this so let us help you decide if now is the right time!

What are the deadlines?

Companies have their own financial year end given by companies house, this is usually twelve months after they initially set up. They then have 9 months from their financial year end to file their abbreviated accounts with companies house and 12 months to file their corporation tax return and accounts with HMRC.

What can I claim for?

The expenses you can claim for are very specific to each trade, for example, a consultant cannot claim for all the same things a plumber can claim for although there will be some things that can be claimed for by both such as travel and telephone bills. Bells can provide some general guidance in the form of a leaflet or a bespoke list. Fill out our contact us form for more information.

The Brilliant ClubWe first started using Bell’s Accountants in 2012 as a start-up charity. Joanne and her dedicated team have always been extremely professional and efficient. Over the years we have developed a great relationship with Bell’s and we work in partnership to make sure our complicated payroll is completed correctly to the benefit of everyone involved. Loraine explains situations and solutions to us very clearly and we very much appreciate her support. I would highly recommend Bell’s to any company looking for a personal service that’s great value for money

 

Simon Coyle
Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder
The Brilliant Club