Fact sheets: Business Startup Factsheets

The Equality Act 2010 replaces all previous equality legislation, including the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. The Equality Act covers age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity. These are now called ‘protected characteristics’.

Regulations which took effect from 1 October 2011 mean that workers supplied to a company, or to any other entity, by an agency will become entitled to receive pay and basic working conditions equivalent to any directly employed employees after a 12 week qualifying period.

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (as amended), workers are entitled to paid statutory annual leave of 5.6 weeks (28 days if the employee works five days a week). This basic entitlement is inclusive of bank holidays. This annual leave entitlement is now closer to that of workers in other European countries, where holiday allowance is typically more generous. Workers in Ireland are entitled to 29 days; the highest minimum entitlement is in Austria at 38 days.

The Bribery Act 2010 (the Act) applies across the UK and all businesses need to be aware of its requirements. The Act includes a ‘corporate’ offence of ‘failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery’. The defence against this offence is to ensure that your business has adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery. To help ensure this we recommend that, you undertake a risk assessment for your own business and establish appropriate compliance procedures.

Some employees will often prefer to use their own personal mobile devices to access company networks/systems. However, this is potentially a security loophole which places the organisation at risk from reputational damage and legal proceedings.

Every new business should have a business plan.

It is the key to success. If you need finance, no bank manager will lend money without a considered plan. It is one of the most important aspects of starting a new business. Your plan should provide a thorough examination of the way in which the business will commence and develop. It should describe the business, product or service, market, mode of operation, capital requirements and projected financial results.

Having made the decision to be your own boss, it is important to decide the best legal and taxation structure for your enterprise. The most suitable structure for you will depend on your personal situation and your future plans. The decision you make will have repercussions on the way you are taxed, your exposure to creditors and other matters.

Many people wonder deep down if they could really make a go of running their own business. It is not for everyone but the following is a list of attributes that successful business owners have. You do not need all of these characteristics but ‘go-getters’ have the majority of the qualities.

Obtaining new customers is great for business, unless they fail to pay you. If you fail to check that the customer can support the amount of credit you are granting, then commencing legal action when they do not pay can be a long, drawn out and potentially costly process.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaced the Data Protection Act and applies from 25 May 2018. Whilst there are similarities between the Data Protection Act and the GDPR, there are some new elements and significant enhancements.

The GDPR requires all organisations that deal with individuals living in a EU member state to protect the personal information belonging to those individuals and to have verified proof of such protection. Failure to comply with the regulation will result in significant fines.

The position of director brings both rewards and responsibilities upon an individual. Whether you are appointed to the Board of the company you work for or you are involved in establishing a new business and take on the role of director you will feel a sense of achievement.

There have been many changes to employment law and regulations in the last few years. A key area is the freedom or lack of freedom to dismiss an employee.

This factsheet considers the operation and reporting of employee expenses and benefits.

Franchising is a flourishing industry boasting nearly 1,000 brands in a multitude of different sectors. The business community now takes franchising very seriously and the industry consistently shows 90% of franchisees reporting profitability. The advantages of owning your own business are obvious but so too are the risks.

Ensuring adequate finance is a fact of life if you run a business. Whether you are looking to expand, undertake a specific project or simply fund your day to day purchases, finance is essential.

When starting a new business, you will no doubt recognise the need for insurance. It can provide compensation and peace of mind should things go wrong but can also represent a significant cost.

In order to protect the firm, its employees, customers and suppliers, all members of staff should be given a copy of the firm’s policy regarding acceptable use of IT resources – particularly internet, email access, and data protection policies. It may also be necessary to have a separate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy covering the use of personal
devices and to what extent (if any) these are permitted to connect to corporate information
systems.

Recent surveys indicate that the adverse impact of absence on business profitability today is significant, with thousands of man hours lost every day. Recent statistics show that an average of 4.3 days are lost each year per employee with a median cost of £522 per employee. Approximately two-thirds of working time lost to absence is accounted for by short-term absences of up to seven days.

Small companies, which qualify as ‘micro-entities’, have a choice of accounting standards:
• to use the same accounting standard – FRS 102 – as larger UK companies but using a reduced disclosure regime (section 1A) within the standard, or
• to apply an alternative standard - FRS 105.

As an employer you will be responsible for operating PAYE and calculating National Insurance
Contributions (NICs). There are also certain statutory payments you may have to make from time to time which you need to be aware of.

Whether we are producing your accounts or carrying out your annual audit, being prepared for us will ensure our work is carried out smoothly and efficiently and with the minimum disruption to yourselves.

Every business from its commencement and through its development and growth will need finance. But what type of finance is best suited to the development of your business, and who should you approach for funding?

There have been many changes to employment law and regulations in the last few years. A key area is the freedom or lack of freedom to make an individual redundant.

All companies (except certain listed companies) are required to keep a register of people with significant control (PSC register) and, file relevant information at Companies House. This requirement is in addition to those in respect of existing registers.

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) provides tax relief for individuals prepared to invest in new and growing companies. It is the junior version of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). Investors can obtain generous income tax and capital gains tax (CGT) breaks for their investment and companies can use the relief to attract additional investment to develop their business.

The required format of statutory accounts that small companies have to prepare and send to Companies House has changed. This factsheet sets out the choices that small companies now have. The nature of the company’s activities, the types of assets which it has and whether external scrutiny is required / desired will need to be considered.

The financing of your business is the most fundamental aspect of its management. Get the
financing right and you will have a healthy business, positive cash flows and ultimately a profitable enterprise. The financing can happen at any stage of a business’s development. On commencement of your enterprise you will need finance to start up and, later on, finance to expand.

It is the ambition of many people to run their own business. Some may have been made redundant and find themselves with free time and financial resources. Others make the decision to start up in business to be more independent and obtain the full financial reward for their efforts.

This factsheet focuses on VAT matters of relevance to the smaller business. A primary aim is to highlight common risk areas as a better understanding can contribute to a reduction of errors and help to minimise penalties. Another key ingredient in achieving that aim is good record keeping, otherwise there is an increased risk that the VAT return could be prepared on the basis of incomplete or incorrect information.