Setting up a business in the UK can be a relatively easy thing to do – if you know what you’re doing. And for many entrepreneurs, the growth of their own startups have set them on huge career success paths that have seen them disrupting industries, leading developments and transforming the national economy, almost overnight.
But one thing we are almost certain of – many have not done it alone. Unfortunately, we have seen it too often before. Entrepreneurs embark on an idea for a new business, but heavily overlook the amount of compliance, administration, operational checks and balances and the wherewithal to keep themselves, and their books, in check.
Regulatory standards change so often, that keeping themselves up to speed becomes a full-time job. And that’s usually when the wheels fall off.
Where most entrepreneurs would opt into creating a Private Limited company with one or multiple share classes, there may be situations where this type of company setup doesn’t work for what you’re looking to achieve, in which case, you may decide to follow a different route like a company limited by guarantee, a limited liability partnership, a professional practice or even a publicly traded PLC. Choosing the type of business that suits your growth plan is critical – and that’s where you need the right advice, and guidance, to keep you on track, and compliant.
So, to get yourself on the right path, you’ll need to consider the following:
- You’re going to have to communicate with HMRC: Simply letting them know that you’re about to start trading, is not enough. Communications and adherence to their regulatory standards will become part and parcel of your daily operations – and stumbling over any of their procedures could result in substantial penalties, and business losses. If you’re planning on building a team, if you’re planning stocking product, if you’re planning on trading internationally, if you’re planning on opening several location-based offices – all of this incurs new regulatory protocol – which will need to be carefully administered and kept in check.
- You’re going to have to stay compliant: Much the same as the HMRC, registering your business with the UK’s Company House, means that you will also be liable to remain compliant to various regulatory standards, such as Health & Safety, Insurances, Licensing, Data Protection and more. And again, dependant on the path your business takes, these compliances will increase, at the rate that you do. Nobody starts a business without wanting to grow – but many start a business without knowing what needs to be done, so that they can grow, successfully.
- You’re going to have to register your business: Registering your business with Companies House is not a one-off activity. Yes, you get your special company registration number and you’re officially logged on their database of business owners, directors, secretaries and more – but you’ll need to submit annual reports of your own performance, and even more so, if you decide to expand your business internationally, or move from a private to a publicly-traded organisation.
- You’re going to have to keep track of your bottom line: The biggest mistake new business owners make, is not having the right accounting support, from the start. Although many may think that a ‘simple’ purchase and ledgers spreadsheet would suffice, within a few months, and as a result of a growing business, they realise the need for specialist expertise that allocates the right resource to the right cost centre, keeps track of staff remuneration, manages supplier bills and contracts and more, is critical – and something that they simply cannot do by themselves.
If you’re looking to obtain funding for your new venture, then the process becomes even more complicated – and one that you certainly should not try and execute yourself. Financing of a business brings an entirely new set of commitment and responsibility to not only your new shareholders, but to some of the organisations mentioned above too – another reason why you simply shouldn’t try and do this on your own.
We’ve worked with many organisations who are just starting up, and those who have moved from one type of business to another. We’ve worked with businesses who have decided to trade publicly, and we’ve helped keep organisations in check by providing critical back-office services to keep them focussed on the growth of their business, while having the assurance that operationally, they are secure, and compliant.
We can do that for you too.