Helllooo again 👋
If you’re new here a tldr; version of who we are and what we’ve set out to do can be found here on our about us page →
It’s been busy busy busy though probably not in the exciting way depicted on platforms like youtube and tiktok ~ (we’ll get to those bits too) but we’re trying to share the realities of starting up a small business like this and its not always the most ✨glamorous✨ Assuming were working from zero here, we’ll go through the main steps involved (specifically what we did). These will be relevant both if you’re opening a small business with multiple people or you’re opening a limited company to start contracting/freelancing by yourself.
Register with companies house
So lets get started - the first thing you’ll need to do is to register your company with companies house.
During this process you'll also need to choose a company name, appoint directors, and decide on the structure of your company. Actually doing this is relatively cheap (£12 I believe at the time of writing) and easy but we would recommend making a note of all logins and IDs in a locked document or password manager like 1password as finding this information later is probably the most difficult step (a huge point of frustration for me in the past).
There will be a little more work here as you will need to do a bit more setting up to make sure you can pay corporation tax, are set up for PAYE (to pay employees - we recommend paying employees for obvious reasons) and optionally if want to be registered for VAT from the outset (though this can be avoided for most people until you start approaching the ~70k threshold). Luckily the gov site guides you through all of these steps with relative ease.
Your Accountant is your new best friend
Now you have a company, you need to think about finances or do what a lot of sensible people do and find a good accountant. This is something that seems like a large upfront cost to a lot of individuals, but trust me, unless you have a background in finance you want to leave it to the professionals especially if this is your first time setting a company up.
Having gone for cheaper services from larger firms that mainly work through guiding you through the accounting software in the past we would recommend trying to call a few accountants. As well as this make sure you read their reviews to understand their process and whats included in their services before going with one you feel is right for you and able to answer questions for the level you’re at.
Separate your finances - get a business bank account
Another thing on the list in the financial realm will be to set up a business banking account. This is in the simplest terms just a separate bank account for your business. But not only will this help keep your finances in order, but it will also make things easier come tax season. Now, there are a ton of business bank accounts available from Starling, tide to Revolut pro and Monzo Business. I would recommend going on Money Saving Expert at the time you’re trying to set this up and see which best works for you! At the time of writing a nice little perk of signing up with tide is that they take care of paying for initial formation a quick little saving for you!
The excitement doesn’t end here though, we still have to mention Insurance or more specifically public liability insurance. This type of insurance can help protect you and your business from financial damages if any of your products, services or employees cause harm to someone else. A no compromise in our opinion and something you’ll be asked to provide proof on when starting out a bunch of projects. For insurance we usually head to PolicyBee. Following the barebones of this if you’ve got everything above, in terms of legally and financially you’ll have a company and a sound base to get started 🚀
The fun bits
You can now start thinking about the exciting things like you’re stack, domain and online presence, branding, marketing etc. Something we’ll be covering in the coming posts + If you’re still here - thanks for reading! We hope you find this helpful and would love to hear if theres anything you would recommend when starting out! See you in the next one