Working With You From Day One, To Give Your Business A Strong Foundation And Help Your Start Up Succeed

When you’re just starting out time is scarce and it’s easy to let your finances take a back seat. This is a huge mistake. With most new businesses failing within the first 3 years it’s important now more than ever that you plan ahead and take control of your company finances. Mapus-Smith & Lemmon have been helping start-ups since the 1920’s, so we understand the challenges you face and know how to take the stress out of your finances while you concentrate on growing.

Your dedicated accountant is experienced in start-up businesses specifically and will help you to:

  • Understand and plan for your tax liabilities, saving you money and helping you avoid unnecessary penalties.
  • Grow your start-up business by identifying potential growth areas and new income streams.
  • Keep up to date and compliant by proactively giving you deadline reminders and keeping you one step ahead.
  • Save time and avoid cash flow issues with our bookkeeping, payroll and profitability business planning.
  • Choose the right business structure for you and be on hand to advise you on employing staff

At Mapus-Smith & Lemmon we want you to succeed and we’re here to support you and help you get up on your feet. You’ll get a dedicated accountant who will get to know you, your partners and your business personally, so they can create a start-up accounting solution that will work best for you. They’ll help you to stay compliant but most importantly they’ll be on hand to help you get a grip on your cash flow and to advise you as you grow.

Our clear, transparent pricing allows you to budget for your accountancy costs and makes sure you get the help and support you need without any surprise bills at the end of the year.

Call us today to find out more about our start-up accountancy service and book a free no-obligation meeting to discuss your needs.

Frequently asked questions

FAQs

Should I trade as a sole trader, partnership or Limited Company?

The question should actually read what is the difference between the different trading vehicles! As a sole trader or partnership you are the business, whereas a Limited company is a separate legal entity altogether (albeit you own the company as shareholders). A number of factors require assessment prior to matching which option is most suitable to your individual requirements. Generally, there is no right or wrong answer and we can provide you with all the information you need to assess the pros and cons of each.

How do I register my business?

You do not need to register your business name if you are a sole trader or partnership with any official register, other than notifying HMRC that you are trading. This can be done online and/or we can assist you with this. Although you should check and be aware of any similar names that exist that could be confused with your own. A Limited company will need to be registered at companies house and its name must be unique– you can check name availability for free at companies house : https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company-name-availability

What Expenses can I claim?

Generally, any and all costs that you have incurred in operating your business that you wouldn’t have incurred had you not been in business. General commuting to and from a place of business is not allowable, but visiting customers is. We can provide you with more detailed guidance in this respect as items such as clothing as often classified as private due to them being as dual purpose, i.e. they are not an essential requirement in order for you to perform work duties.

What is capital expenditure?

Capital expenditure are costs that are incurred upon items such as plant or machinery or vehicles. As the life of these assets are seen are being over a period of time and not an instant consumable then HMRC apply special rules where these costs are spread over a period of time. The rules can be complicated and some allowances restricted, or not actually allowable for tax purposes and we would recommend contacting us for detailed capital expenditure guidance.

How much Tax will I have to pay?

This largely depends upon your level of taxable profits. If you are self-employed you are taxed under self-assessment and tax is usually payable by the end of the following January after the end of the tax year, for example if the tax year end is 5th April 2017, then tax would be payable by 31st January 2018. As well as balancing tax being payable, HMRC usually require payments on account to be made in January and July each year which assume that your tax payments will be the same as the prior year. For example, if a sole trader commenced on 6th April 2016, the first complete tax year would be the year ended 5th April 2017. If the total tax bill is £10,000 then this would be payable by 31st January 2018, together with a payment on account for the next tax year at the same time of £5,000 and a further £5,000 being due in July 2018. When the next tax bill arises in January 2019 £10,000 will already have been paid, and assuming profits levels remain at the same level, the tax would level at £5,000 each January and July, in this example the first tax payment sees a balancing payment and payments on account increasing the tax bill significantly. In general, and depending upon profit levels it is usually recommended that 1/3 of earnings are saved for future tax liability.

Do I have to Register for VAT?

You must register if your turnover(sales)reaches the limits as set by HMRC – see https://www.gov.uk/vat-registration-thresholds If you are below this threshold than you may register voluntary. Whether this is beneficial to do so or not depends upon a number of factors such as whether you sell to private individuals, business to business, your level and type of overheads. We can help you assess this.

I have heard that I can save money by registering for VAT under the flat rate scheme is this correct?

This does depend upon individual circumstances and business types. Basically you continue to charge customers VAT at the relevant rate, but you are allowed a fixed percentage deduction for VAT on overheads at rates prescribed by HMRC. In some case considerable administrative time is also saved. See https://www.gov.uk/vat-flat-rate-scheme/how-much-you-pay for HMRC flat rates.

What records do I need to keep and how?

In general you need to keep records of all incoming monies and outgoing costs. You can keep these manually or upon a spreadsheet, however, it is recommended that these are kept using an computerised accounting system. There are numeous accounts packages available, either desktop based, or online (in the cloud). HMRC provide the following guidance : https://www.gov.uk/self-employed-records/what-records-to-keep We can assist you in the choice of system used, train, and help set up any accounts system to assist you with HMRC requirements.

What is “Making Tax Digital” and how does it affect me?

HMRC are introducing requirements for small businesses to maintain their records electronically and report quarterly profits to them. The new requirements will be phased in for small businesses from 2018 – 2020. HMRC have produced some illustrative examples of how businesses and taxpayers will be affected https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/485372/Making_tax_digital_-_case_studies.pdf We can help tax payers and individuals fulfil these new requirements by using accounts packages.

Can I put my car through the business?

The short answer is yes, if you are self employed, but care needs to be taken when you are a Limited Company. However the tax relief available can be somewhat limited. A percentage of all motoring costs can be included and tax deductible, in the case of the self employed, or all motoring costs if you are a Limited Company, subject to a taxable benefit in kind arising. It is remmoended ythat you seek our guidance prior to purchasing a new vehicle in order for you to understand the tax implications.

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The latest news and expert advice from Mapus-Smith & Lemmon chartered accountants

Our offices

King's Lynn

48 King Street, King's Lynn,
Norfolk PE30 1HE

  01553 774761

  advice@mapus.co.uk

Monday to Friday 8.45am to 5pm

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Downham Market

23 London Road, Downham Market,
Norfolk PE38 9BJ

  01366 383300

  advicedm@mapus.co.uk

Monday to Friday 8.45am to 5pm

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Wisbech

30 Old Market, Wisbech
Cambridgeshire PE13 1NB

  01945 427050

  advwisb@mapus.co.uk

Monday to Friday 8.45am to 5pm

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