Use namecheap to check if your desired business name's Domain (www) Name has been registered already.Namecheap Website
If you want a cheap domain name, Nameheap are very good.
W1 Office WebsiteW1 Office have virtual business addresses in prestigious parts of London (UK).
They offer Mail Forwarding and Telephone Answering services for your business at affordable rates.
APlan WebsiteA Plan are insurance brokers who will find the best priced Public Liabilty Insurance for your type of business.
You will find A Plan very down to earth, friendly, professional and experts in their field of insurance.
149/155 Mitcham Road, Tooting Broadway, London, SW17 9PG - A-Plan WebsiteWebsite • Facebook PageFacebook • N 51 25.473 W 0 09.782Map Mon-Fri: 8:30am - 5:00pm and Sat: 8:30am - 12:00pm - Tel: +44 (0)20 8672 3375.
If you want good quality printed Flyers, I highly recommend Genie Print WebsiteGenie Print.
I used Genie Print when I was self-employed. I designed my flyers in Microsoft Word and Genie Print printed them.
If you want good quality printed Receipt Books and other business stationery, Copywell Printers WebsiteCopywell Printers are friendly and affordable.
I used Copywell Printers when I was self-employed. I designed my receipt books in Microsoft Word and Copywell printed them.
If you are looking for an affordable accountant who can set up a limited company for you, submit your self-assessment (tax return), help with self-employed matters and much more, RK Taxation are reliable.
Strike Consulting (London) Ltd are affordable, friendly, Hungarian/English speaking accountants, that can help you with your self-employment needs.
Central House, 1 Ballards Lane, Finchley Central, London N3 1LQ - E-mail ThemE-mail • Strike Consulting WebsiteWebsite • Facebook PageFacebook • N 51 36.122 W 0 11.595Map Mon-Thurs: 9am - 6pm and Fri: 9am - 3:30pm - Tel: +44 (0)20 8349 8123 - Mob: +44 (0)7540 634755.
If you want to be an individual person running your own business in England (UK), either working by yourself or employing other people to help you with your business, in the eyes of HMRC WebsiteHer Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) you are Self-Employed Web PageSelf-Employed. In turn, if you sell goods and/or services in order to make money and therefore a profit you are then classed as a HMRC Sole-Trader Web PageSole-Trader (individual seller).
Being self-employed means you have to submit your business accounts (known as Tax returns Web PageSelf Assessment Tax Returns) to 'The Taxman' (HMRC) at the end of each tax year (5th April). And just to make sure you do not give hmrc excuses for 'late tax return submission', such as "I was on holiday" and/or "I could not find an accountant", they give you an extra six months (just under) to complete and submit your Tax Return. Example: The tax year for 2017 begins on 6th April 2017 and ends on 5th April 2018, with the deadline for tax return submission being 30th September 2018.
READ THE NEXT SECTION - Be sure to read the 'Create Ltd Company' web page because it has valuable information on it that goes hand-in-hand with the information on this web page.
Before you consider registering yourself in England (UK) as Self-Employed, with HMRC, you should do some serious research into your profession's market, calculate self-employment costs to cover 12 months and then find the appropriate professionals, services and resources for your business; as being self-employed in England (UK) is hard work these days.
Years ago "They" used to say "If you can survive the first year of business, you will be okay". Now it takes 2-3 years before it can be said "you will be okay".
One of the first steps to becoming Self-Employed in England (UK), after doing the above mentioned research and so on, is to purchase a Public Liability Insurance (PLI) policy; either directly from an insurance company or from an insurance broker (they are the equivalent of a comparison website).
Although in some professions you do not need a PLI policy, it is a good idea to have one; especially if you visit a client's home and accidentally spill coffee on their new £1,000 carpet. Many banks insist you have a PLI policy before applying for a Business Bank Account whereas large companies do not normally hire the self-employed without some sort of PLI policy.
When buying a PLI policy as a self-employed person you will either need a Limit Of Indemnity of up to £1 Million, £2 Million or £5 Million. And as a small, self-employed, business with employees (workers) you will need a Limit Of Indemnity of up to £10 Million. Limit of Indemnity is basically the maximum amount an insurer will pay out for compensation and the claimant's costs and expenses. It never happens that way though, so just take the PLI policy for what it is; something you need in order for your self-employment business to operate.
As an example: A Computer Engineer does NOT need a PLI policy, but would get one for around £70-£80 (Limit Of Indemnity up to £1 Million) just in case they broke an expensive vase or spilt some coffee while carrying out some work at a client's home. Ironically, that PLI policy would not cover the computer engineer against damage of the client's computer hard drive. This is why it is important to discuss EXACTLY what is in your particular PLI policy. A Plan PLI Web PageA Plan (Insurance Brokers), based in London (UK), are very affordable insurance brokers who have been in the business since the 1960s.
After purchasing a PLI policy, your next step should be to Open A Bank Account Web Pageopen a Business Bank Account. As a self-employed person (or self-employed business) there is nothing stopping you from using a personal Current Account for your business activities/affairs. It is NOT against the law.
Although an accountant will advise you to open a separate business bank account, to keep it separate from your personal current account, in order to make life easier with 'The Taxman' (HMRC), what they are really saying is that it makes their life easier when doing your accounts (i.e. your annual Tax Return). In other words, they are too lazy to go through two different bank account statements to compare receipt/invoice notes.
With your Business or Current bank account now open, with evidence of a PLI policy in place, your next step should be to hire a Tax Accountant. Although there are many accountants out there that specialise in various areas of business, I would recommend hiring one that specialises more in Self-Employment and Small Business taxation services; such as RK Taxation WebsiteRK Taxation (based in London, UK). With an accountant doing your business accounts life is much easier:
After your first year with the accountant they may apply to HMRC, on your behalf, to become your HMRC Agent Web PageAgent; which is a good thing because it means you rarely hear from HMRC. The accountant just sends you an e-mail when your annual Tax Return/Self-Assessment needs submitting, asks you for your business accounts (i.e. your Microsoft Excel business accounts spreadsheet file) and then charge you their accountancy fee.
The going price ("Normal Persons' price") in London (UK) for an accountant to do your annual Tax Return/Self-Assessment is between £170 and £210. £250 maximum. Paying more would be too much.....for their 30 minutes or so of online work.
We are very lucky in England (UK) in terms of our tax system. In the UK each citizen has a HMRC Tax Allowances Web PagePersonal Allowance of £11,500 per tax year. That means regardless if you are unemployed, self-employed, in a regular job or own a ltd company, you are allowed to earn up to £11,500 per tax year without paying any tax on that £11,500 earning. Each tax year begins on 6th April and ends on 5th April the following year.
Anything you earn after the £11,500 Personal Allowance is subject to 20% tax. So if you earn £14,000 by the end of this tax year, which will be classed as £11,500 Personal Allowance (not taxable) and £2,500 Profit (taxable), you will pay HMRC (The Taxman) £500. Before you get excited though, it is not all good news.
The British like to give from one hand, but take two from the other hand! Meaning, if you only earn £9,000 in this tax year and therefore pay no tax whatsoever, you will not get a full state pension (government pension) simply because you will not have paid enough tax over the years; by the time you retire. See the National Insurance Web PageNational Insurance section of this website for more information.
When deciding to Self-Employment Registration Web Pageregister yourself as Self-Employed, with HMRC, you need to think carefully about your Start Date (the actual date you begin work); otherwise you could get a HMRC Penalties Web PagePenalty for not notify HMRC of your self-employment.
You can start work whenever you like, but everything must be ready on your self-chosen start date and NOT BEFORE. Furthermore, you are given up to three months, starting from the end of the calendar month in which you started work, to inform the HMRC you are now classing yourself as a self-employed person.
Many people have a website created and their stationery made (i.e. leaflets, business cards and invoices) before their self-chosen start date; perhaps in stages throughout the last year, to pay for certain things in stages, which is fine. However, they then make the mistake of launching their website (putting it live on the Internet) and delivering their leaflets through potential clients' doors before their self-chosen start date. They might do this on 23rd March for example, even though they are planning to register as self-employed with hmrc on April 6th and declare their self-chosen start date to hmrc as 6th April for example (beginning of the new tax year).
The problem with the above scenario is that their website is stating "As of today, 23rd March, we are NOW open for business', as are their leaflets; two weeks before their official, hmrc, self-chosen start date (6th April). So in the eyes of hmrc, work started two weeks before 6th April and therefore false information was registered/declared. In this case it would of been wise to put 'Opening On 6th April' or 'Coming Soon' on their leaflets and launch their website on 6th April.
Many people know that it takes time to promote a website, and business in general, whereby they purposely launch their business too early (illegally) to let promotion, internet marketing and so on take effect. In genuine cases such as those becoming self-employed for the first time, perhaps new to England (UK), they are not usually aware of the Start Date rule.
If you are a sole-trader you MUST trade under a Business Name Advice Web PageBusiness Name, which can be your own name (i.e. John Cairns), include your own name (i.e. John Cairns Computer Services) or just be a standard business name (i.e. Gardeners Green Fingers). It cannot be exactly the same business name as another registered company's name though, in Britain (England & Wales), for legal reasons.
All business names have to be registered through Companies House WebsiteCompanies House, unless you are a Sole-Trader; which means your business name (Trading As business name) does not need registering. Even so, you should use the Companies House Companies House Search Web PageSearch Engine to see whether or not the business name (Trading As business name) you want to use has been taken (already registered with Companies House).
With your business ready (i.e. leaflets, stationery and website ready, but not promoted, delivered, launched and/or given out in any way, shape or form yet), your final step is to actually register yourself as Self-Employed with hmrc; and more precisely HMRC Register New Business Web PageRegister Your New Business. As a new sole-trader you will need to Register For A HMRC Online AccountRegister For A HMRC Online Account in order to then get a UTR (Unique Tax Reference) number and do annual tax returns.
As a first time, newly registered, self-employed business person you will be sent a UTR (Unique Tax Reference) number in the post. It can take up to 10 weeks, and even longer, to arrive; but it will arrive! So do not worry if you do not receive it straight away. Furthermore, within six to twelve months of being self-employed, you will receive an invoice from HMRC for you to pay Class 2 National Insurance Web PageNational Insurance; which is basically your self-employment National Insurance contribution.
NOTE WELL - Although you normally register yourself as a self-employed person within three months of starting self-employment work, as stated above, you actually have until 5th October in your business's second tax year to do so. Example: If you start working as a sole trader between April 2017 to March 2018, you should register before 5th October 2018. However, this is a Catch 22 situation for the average sole-trader simply because you must register for taxes within three months of starting self-employment work! So ALWAYS register within three months.
With the three months' rule mentioned above, lack of HMRC resources (i.e. Investigators) and the myth that 'The Taxman' (HMRC) is only after large company tax evaders, you might be thinking you could get away with working for years without registering yourself as self-employed for example. However, 'The Taxman' (HMRC) is NOT STUPID.
The whole work and tax system in England (UK) is getting tighter and tighter each year, mainly due to people 'cheating/frauding the system'; which the system then corrects with new laws and policies. HMRC for example use BBC News Web Pagesurveillance software to track down tax avoiders who use Amazon, AutoTrader, Craigslist, E-Auctions, eBay and Gumtree to sell goods (known as: Hidden Economy). They also know what the average income is for each type of business and have a Tax Evasion / Tax Avoidance Web PageTax Evasion / Tax Avoidance web page that, among other things, names and shames deliberate tax evaders and tax avoiders.
Remember, regardless if bad people try and cheat the NHS, HMRC or whoever, England (UK) is very online these days. Meaning, NHS Medical History, Utility Bills, Work Records and much more can easily be tracked, monitored and used as evidence.
Although there is currently a trend to set up as self-employed, because it is more or less 'hassle free' and means you can be your own boss, it also comes with its own expenses; and problems! Below are sample yearly costs for a single self-employed person trading as a "Computer Engineer" business. Almost £2,300 in basic costs.
|Public Liability Insurance||Yearly||£70+||Up To £1 Million Policy|
|Self-Employment N.I||Yearly||£148.20||£2.85 Per Week (Class 2 National Insurance)|
|Travel Card (Zones 1-3)||Yearly||£1,320||£27.50 Per Week|
|Leaflets/Flyers||Bi-Monthly||£180||10,000 Colour Both Sides, Luxury Matt, 170 gsm|
|Custom Receipts||Yearly||£60||8 receipt books with 100 duplicated, numbered, pages each.|
|Domain (www) Name||Yearly||£9.99||NameCheap.com|
|Web Hosting||Yearly||£40||Fits Basic Needs. Pay no more than £60.|
|Basic Website Creation||Once||£70-£150||Additional Maintenance Fee: £20 Per Hour.|
|Virtual Office Address||Once||£220-£350||Prices vary according to services required (i.e. Mail Forwarding)|
|Accountant - Tax Return||Once||£170-£210||Tax Return is now under (classed as) Self-Assessment|