So you’re thinking about starting a business. Well done! Starting a business is the best way to escape the nine-to-five rat race and live the entrepreneurial dream. But it’s not as easy as it looks. There are a lot of legal hoops to jump through, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
So we’ve come up with a checklist to help you with the process – you might find some of these steps familiar, but we hope they can help you start your company with some extra guidance. So keep reading and have all your questions answered — be it about opening a UK bank account for non resident running a small business or obtaining a licence.
1. Research What You Want to Do
What kind of business is this going to be? Do you have the resources to back it up? If not, can you get them? If you’re starting a new business, have you spoken to a few other companies who’ve done something similar? It’s not enough to just say: “I want to run a business, let’s do it!” You need to know what you’re doing and why. You need to think about your business strategy, financials, marketing, and how it will work – all these things, plus the nuts and bolts of getting it all running.
2. Make a Plan
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to put everything into a plan. Before you start working out how you’re going to start your business, it’s a good idea to do the following:
- Draft a business plan — Whether you’re a web designer, a doctor, a mechanic or just starting your own business, this is going to be the backbone of your company. A business plan will tell your story. What will it be about? How much will you charge? Who will you work with? Will it be a home-based business, a franchise, or a business registered with a third-party provider?
- Determine the legal structure of your business — This is a way of dividing ownership of your business between you and the company — whether it’s a sole trader, limited company, or partnership. Different rules apply to each type of company, but each has its benefits;
- Draft a company constitution — Some people will want their company to operate on a different basis to their personal life, so it’s worth having a look at the legal implications of how you want your business to run. There are certain things you won’t be able to do as an individual – like buying or selling property, or trading on a particular market – that are fine if you operate as a limited company;
3. Register Your Business
Some businesses have to register with the local authority to get started. This could be to check whether there’s anyone on the electoral roll, or it could be to make sure you’re registered with HMRC or VAT number to file any tax returns.
4. Check the Health of the Local Economy
A healthy local economy means there’s a good number of potential customers in the area, and local businesses are likely to give you support. You’ll want to find out what other companies are operating in your area. Think about local industries. Are there any that are in decline? Has the same industry been making a profit for years and years, or have things been changing? How healthy is the surrounding area’s public transport system? Is the road network, shops, schools, and recreational facilities still operating? These are all things to look out for.
5. Find out More About Local Licencing
Are there any local licencing requirements? There might be. A local business licence will be required, for example, for a bar, nightclub, restaurant, or shop selling alcohol. If you’re setting up a business to provide accommodation, such as a bed and breakfast or guest house, you may need to apply for planning permission from the local council. And if you’re planning to sell drugs, for example, you need to apply for a Class C drug licence from the local police. Check all the local licencing requirements before starting your business.
6. Know the Law and Tax Systems
Before starting your business, you need to understand the law. Most government departments, whether they’re local councils, the police, or HM Revenue & Customs, keep a register of who is who. They include all the important people who should know who they are and what they need to do. They’ll also tell you what you’ll need to do to set up your business and comply with the law.
Plan Your Effort Accordingly
Starting a company is a time-consuming process. But you can do things right by creating a plan and sticking to it closely.