We know how exciting it is to be starting a business that you hopefully love and enjoy and understand that getting the paperwork processes and procedures in place is a long way down the list of more interesting things to do.  Here is our Top 7 recommendations that will earn you a Gold Star when you do get round to talking to an accountant (or just call Black Cat Accounting and we will get all 7 done for you).

1  Call An Accountant

An accountant is a trusted business advisor not someone who just crunches the numbers, they can help you with all of these points and wouldn’t you rather be saving tax from now rather than from your year end ?

2 Business Bank Account

A business bank account is a legal requirement for a limited company, if your operating as a sole trader it is also a good idea to keep personal and business money separated.

3 Inform HMRC

You need to inform HMRC that you are now self employed or running your own business through a limited company so they can ensure you fill in a self assessment tax return so they can collect the tax. It’s not a valid excuse to say “they didn’t tell me to fill in a tax return” I’m afraid.

4 Get A System

Not necessarily an online or desktop accounting package (although you need to consider Making Tax Digital) it can be as simple as a spreadsheet and different envelopes for different types of invoices (stuff you sell and stuff you buy). Have a system so you know what you owe and who owes you and the evidence !

5 Budget For Tax

All that money your making – sorry it’s not all yours but some of it belongs to the tax man. Make sure you put some of it aside so when the tax bill is due you have the money ready.

6 Know Your Dates

There are lots of important dates that you need to know, when your self assessment is due, when your accounts are due, your annual confirmation statement, VAT, PAYE the list goes on and if you miss a date the fines get large really quick. So make sure you know what needs submitting and when and put it in your diary.

7 Get A Government Gateway

A government gateway is your online account with HMRC so you can submit your accounts and tax affairs electronically. They can take a few weeks to get set up so its best done before you need them rather then at the end of your year.