Five step guide to setting up a business
If you’re thinking of setting up your own business, there are a number of things you need to do before you can start trading. Follow our simple, five step guide on how to set up your business.
Step 1 - Register with Companies House
Before you start trading as a business, it’s important to let the government know what you’re doing. To make your business an official, legal business in the UK, you need to register it with Companies House.
Company registration can cost as little as £13 to register online or £40 to process written paperwork. Before completing the forms, you’ll need to know your company name and address as well as the company directors’ details and information about your capital.
When your business is set up, you will then have to file an annual return every year, either online or by post.
Step 2 - Tell HM Revenue & Customs
Now your small business is set up, it is necessary to contact HM Revenue & Customs to update your employment status. If you are becoming self-employed, you will have to pay Income Tax on your taxable profits. In some cases, you may also need to continue paying National Insurance.
If you employ anybody else as part of the business, you will have to pay taxes on their earnings through a PAYE (Pay as You Earn) system. You will have to let HM Revenue & Customs know this information by filling out an Employer Annual Return online or through the post.
Step 3 - Trademarking your name
Every business needs a unique brand and business name to create a connection between themselves and their customers. To prevent similar businesses using your name, you should consider trademarking it with the Intellectual Property Office.
Before you trademark your name, it is important to save time and money by searching with the Intellectual Property Office that the name hasn’t already been taken. Applying to trademark a name costs £170 and you won’t receive a refund if your name cannot be trademarked.
Step 4 – Setting up a website
Almost every business needs a website these days, and it's important to consider this as early as possible, even if you are not planning to trade online or have a web presence immediately. The first step is registering a domain name, which in most cases is your brand name. You should register this as early as you can, ideally at the point where you form the company, as it could be snapped up by someone else and prove costly to buy from them. Some company formation firms actually offer this as part of their service.
Choose a domain that is as short and catchy as possible, as it is important that people will remember it. There are hundreds of different websites where you can register your domain name. It doesn’t really matter which company you register it with as they all offer the same product, however you may find that some are cheaper than others. You should also bear in mind that in most cases you will need to host your website somewhere. If this is the case, you may find that it works out cheaper to buy your domain name and hosting at the same time.
Step 5 – Raising funds
Once you’ve got your company registered and up and running, it is more than likely that you will need operating capital to trade. Companies like Ligerion Capital, who is a private equity investment foundation that specialises in investing in start-up companies, could provide this capital.
For more information about how Ligerion can help you set up your business, visit http://www.ligerion.com.