First step to setting up your own business
Once you are ready to get your business started you will need to follow the first important steps to getting your business off the ground. Actually, for most UK start-ups setting up a business can be a simple process, as long as you know the type of business you are launching, have carried out your research and of course very importantly, you have planned your steps to success.
There are important practicalities to put in place when setting up your own business. Here are my 10 simple steps to get your business up and running correctly:
Deciding on the best legal structure for your business will for most start up businesses be a choice between being a sole trader and a limited company.
If your are setting up a social enterprise there will be other considerations, including the possibility of setting up a board.
Visit the HMRC website for information to help you to decide on the most appropriate legal structure for you. Opt for the simplest structure initially, you can usually adapt the structure to suit the business as you grow.
Consider HMRC as your friend and guide, do not make the mistake of be fearful, as legal and tax obligations are just another part of running a successful business.
You will need to let HMRC know that you’re becoming self-employed, you can do this online, or by phone.
HMRC offer free online training on understanding company structures, understand your legal responsibilities, practical advice on record keeping, filling in your tax return and much more. Review these resources to ensure that you get your business off on the right legal footing.
Choose a business name
Search Companies House and Google to check if the company name you want is available. You may also want to chech that the website domain name is available before you register your business name.
Set up your workspace
You will need to assess your business activities, staff, meeting space, commuting options, storage and costs to decide on the type of premises that you will need to begin with.
Local Authorities may have shared workspaces or business premises to let at affordable start up rates.
If you do start out working from home you will have to check that you are complying with regulations, check with your Local Authority, mortgage or rental agency on requirements.
Also, check the HMRC online resources on homeworking, as you may be able to claim some Home Business expenses.
Set up a business bank account When setting up your business you will usually require a business bank account, unless you are a sole trader, but then it is often still better to have a separate business account to keep accounting clear. You may opt to work with your long term bank, to keep managing money straightforward, or you could review the current ba
Make sure that you satisfy all regulatory issues, for example on licensing, health and safety, GDPR, data protection. Review the excellent tools Gov.uk to take you through the steps of compliance specific to your indstry and business.
Take out insurances
Business insurance is not simply a legal obligation, it protects you and your business against risks from accidents, sickness, theft and legal fees.
Which business insurance cover you will need depends on the nature and structure of your business. Trade Associations are often able to provide advice and may also provide discounts for their members.
Organise your Accounting
Appoint an accountant or set-up your own book-keeping system, it does not need to be overly complex but at a mimimum will record of all sales and costs. An online accounting package could save you a great deal of time and effort, while keeping your records in great order and up-to-date.
Create your Business PlanA well executed Business Plan is vital, it is your roadmap to operating your business. Without a well structured Business Plan you are adrift, reacting to events rather than creating your path to success. A Business Plan will also be essential when you need to raise finance.
Consider your Business Plan an organic document, that should be regularly reviewed and updated. Use my Business Plant Template Pack and Guide to help you to put a robust business plan together.
I am also available to personally critique your Business Plan and provide my honest and detailed feedback to help ensure that your Business Plan and your business are in the very best shape possible, find out more about my Business Plan Critique here.
Take my Business Blueprint CourseWe have considered the first steps to setting up your business, I go into much more detail in my online Business Blueprint Course. You will also need to consider many other important aspects of shaping your business, such as: how to test your business idea; how to develop your brand; creating the prefect marketing strategy; winning and retaining customers and vitally important right now, weathering challenging economic times.
Take my online Blueprint Business Course to guide you through the exact steps to planning, starting and growing your business.