Advices Business Funding

Cheat-sheet The Business Startup Checklist – Part 1.

The Business Startup Checklist:- Things you need to start a business
When launching a new venture it’s important to get the best advice and guidance to help you through the process from evaluating yourself and creating a business plan to funding and building your team.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a cheat-sheet (or a startup checklist) to guide you through the process with key tasks and activities to ensure your start-up business is a success.

There is not an ultimate guidebook, but AccountsPro have put together a business startup checklist which will guide you through the things you need to know from pre-launch to post-launch.

Startup Checklist (This is Part 1. of the Startup Checklist. There will be a Part 2. to follow)

Evaluate yourself
This is a vital step in starting up a small business. Consider your knowledge, confidence and experience and identify areas where you night need support. Commit yourself to starting a business and ask yourself:

• What skills do I have?
• What am I passionate about?
• What is my area of expertise?
• Am I committed to starting a business?

Once you have satisfied yourself that starting up a business is for you consider:

• How much can you afford to invest?
• Do you need to raise extra funding or capital?

Create your idea
Validate your idea and ensure it solves a real-life problem. Consider what is different about your idea.

• How will it stand out from the crowd?
• Why will people want to use it?
• Do you know about this business?
• If not, what do you need to learn?

Market Research
This is critical for any small start-up business. Spending time on market research is the best way of knowing and understanding your customers. Comprehensive market research is the best way to evaluate the strength of you new business and vitally important if you want to raise capital.

Write a business plan
Formalise your ideas on paper. Planning helps clean up ideas, achieve full potential, find the right team to support the business and secure funding.

Your business plan will give a clear picture of your small business startup and is more likely to attract investors and funding.

Choose a business structure
Choosing the right business structure is important, with each structure having different tax issues to consider as well as different liability considerations.

The differences between the main structures are:

  • Sole trader – exclusive ownership of a business, entitlement to all profits, but also liable for losses.
  • Partnership – similar to the option above, but profit and liability split between all founders.
  • Limited company – a private company where your liability is only tied to the amount you have invested.
  • Limited liability partnership – as above, but with multiple partners tied to the amount they have invested.

Assess your finances
Once you have evaluated your plan you will have a clear idea of what sort of capital you will need to start. The finance you will need will depend entirely on the business you are launching. Break it down into categories:

  • Essential investment
  • Helpful investment
  • Nice to have investment

You will also need to consider:

  • Finance options including bank or startup loans and investment or funding. You may consider applying for funding through the UK government Seed Investment Scheme (SEIS). For further information see AccountsPro article A Guide to SEIS for Startups: How to Make Your Startup Investible. Crowfunding and venture capital funding are other options open to small business startups.
  • Finance tools to ensure you are able to effectively track and manage your money and meet your financial obligations as a small startup business in respect of accounting and bookkeeping and tax advice and obligations. There are a number of accounting tools that are available for startups. AccountsPro can assist with our Cloud Automation Services which can automate a number of financial processes within the business.

Choose a business name and brand for your business
This will need to be thought about carefully for legal and marketing purposes. Check that your business name is available by doing a search with Companies House.

Register a website
Once you have decided on a business name, you should consider registering your website address (domain name). It is important in today’s world that you have a digital presence, and we can help you to source the talent to design and build your website for you.

Making your first hire
Many startup founders have the mindset that they can do everything themselves, but this is rarely the case. Startups need talent at different stages of growth, and it is often more cost effective to hire interim talent and leaders that can specialise in building teams around their particular function.

AccountsPro specialise in helping your hire permanent or interim talent but, hiring is not always the option, and we can advise and provide guidance on more cost-effective alternatives.

Sourcing an Accountant and financial services
Ensuring you have a good accountant will help to overcome initial hurdles. Keeping financial records, complying with tax obligations, VAT and PAYE rules are all musts.

Our Accounting Services include monthly and all-inclusive packages from bookkeeping to year-end accounts and PAYE.

AccountsPro are listed as a Tech SME UK Accountant Recommendation for 2021 and our team can give you guidance and advice on financial modelling for your small business startup including company incorporation, preparing startups for investment through to flexible FD support.

Our Startup Advisory Service provides guidance which is based on our teams’ experiences of both working ‘with’ startups and ‘inside’ startups. Our team have the experience as employees and founders, and we are always on hand to give you the best possible guidance.

For a trusted finance partner that will support and guide your business, contact us for a free consultation using our contact form. Alternatively, you can call us on 0207 193 8798 or email us at: hello@accountspro.co.uk

Funding

A Guide to SEIS & EIS For Startups: How To Make Your Startup Investible

A Guide to SEIS & EIS For Startups: How To Make Your Startup Investible

There are a number of UK government venture capital schemes to support SMEs.  The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) were introduced to make investment in UK- businesses attractive and to encourage innovation. The schemes offer generous tax relief to investors and have essentially the same purpose – for startups and young UK companies to raise growth funding.

The funds raised under the schemes must be used for a qualifying business activity and solely to advance the growth and development of the company.

SEIS v EIS

The incentive of SEIS/EIS for investors is the tax relief opportunities. Although the schemes have similarities, there are important differences.

SEIS

SEIS is aimed specifically at startups and very early-stage companies, allowing individual investment of up to £100,000 per tax year.

SEIS funding criteria for companies:

  • Fewer than 25 employees
  • Trading for less than 2 years
  • Gross assets valued at no more than £200,000
  • No previous investment from Venture Capital Trust or under EIS

There are also substantial tax benefits to investors:

  • Initial Income Tax relief of 50% against the amount invested
  • No Capital Gains Tax on any SEIS gains after 3 years
  • CGT write-off 50% of the investment in same tax year
  • No Inheritance Tax on shares held for at least 2 years – if shares are sold at a loss the investor can offset the loss against CGT

EIS focuses on small to medium sized companies and allows for an investment of £5m each year and a maximum lifetime investment of £12m or £20m for “Knowledge Intensive” companies, which also includes amounts raised from venture capital schemes.

EIS funding criteria for companies:

  • Fewer than 250 employees or 500 employees for “Knowledge Intensive” companies
  • Trading for less than 7 years or less than 10 years for “Knowledge Intensive” companies
  • Gross assets valued at no more than 15m

Tax benefits to investors:

  • Initial Income Tax relief of 30% against the amount invested
  • No Capital Gains Tax to pay on EIS gains after 3 years
  • Up to 100% deferral of investment amount against CGT
  • No Inheritance Tax on shares held for at least 2 years – if shares are sold at a loss the investor can offset the loss against CGT

If you want to learn more about SEIS & EIS schemes then please contact our team on 020 7193 8798 or email us at: hello@accountspro.co.uk. Alternatively, you can send us a message via our contact page:- https://accountspro.co.uk/contact-us/

 

Funding

SME Brexit Support Fund – How Do I Apply?

Apply For SME Brexit Support Fund

Many businesses will be affected by post – Brexit and the changes in the trading environment whereby the UK will not automatically be part of any of any trade deal the EU enters into with another country.

The government has announced that they will make available an additional £20m through the Brexit Support Fund to help businesses adjust and adapt to the changes in trade rules with the EU.  Businesses can apply for up to £2,000 to get advice and support for import and export through two different types of grants:

  • Grant for Training – this must be training related to how to complete custom declarations, how to manage customs processes and use customs software & specific import & export related topics such as VAT, excise. The training must be delivered externally either in person or virtually and can be provided by any suitably trained qualified trainer.
  • Grant for Professional Advice – this must be directly related to consultancy advice to ensure your business can meet its HMRC obligations in respect of customs, excise, VAT relating to import/export etc.

Your business must also complete import or export declarations internally for its own goods or use someone else to complete the declarations as long as the business has the capability to effectively import and export.

The grants are being administered for HMRC by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). To register for a grant click here. Applications for the grants must be received by 30th June 2021 and may close earlier if the allocated funding expires before this date.