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Guide to Start-ups Step 5: How to make sure you’re ready to start your business

While some things about setting up a business seem obvious – whether that’s choosing a name or thinking about how your business might be structured – there are also a lot of other details that can be easy to miss. You’ve already decided some of the most important things about your business, so now’s the time to make sure that all the other boxes are ticked.

Whether you’re opening a restaurant or sitting in front of your bedroom computer, you should make sure you’re aware of every eventuality and also that you’re fully compliant. We’ve collated some of the most important below to get you started.

 

Tell HRMC about your new venture

For tax purposes, you’ll need to let HRMC know that you’re becoming self-employed. In return, you’ll have access to guidance for becoming self-employed and a wealth of information about everything from record keeping to hiring staff.

Look into insurance

Insurance cover can protect you from a range of things including accidents, theft and legal fees. AXA’s Business Insurance Wizard is a great place to start, since it will advise you of the right cover for your business needs. Once you know what you need, you can then shop around for the best deal.

Set up a business bank account

Companies require bank accounts since they are a separate legal entity. If you are a sole trader, this isn’t technically required, though you might decide to as a way of keeping clear accounts. You might also have access to an overdraft facility which can come in handy.

Get compliant

Regulatory issues can affect all kinds of businesses. Whether you need a licence, need to check on safety regulations around a product or just need advice, greatbusiness.gov.uk should help you take everything into account.

Or indeed, you can filter through our Dot Londoner start up case studies to hear it straight from your fellow entrepreneurs. You can find them from our map.

Keep records of everything

Accurate business records will help you analyse your new business’ profitability, make your tax returns much easier to complete and will protect you in any potential legal problems.

Whether you are a painter or a CEO, your business should make sure everything is documented and organised. This may mean hiring an accountant or just improving your Excel spreadsheet skills.

Organise your work place

If you’re looking to hire premises, your Local Authority should be able to provide you on business premises and rates in your local area. Even if you’re working from home, there’s plenty to take into consideration:

Now you’ve written a business plan, selected a name, picked a business structure, sorted out your finances and ticked those all-important regulatory boxes, you’re in a great shape for the next phase of your new business journey.

For more advice from those with first-hand experience, check out our Dot London map.

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