Hope I have hit the correct section! Here goes anyway...
So guys, I am a 17 year old Junior ICT Technician who just completed a Level 3 IT Apprenticeship and I now have a full time job at a very successful academy in Sunderland.
I love my job, and I feel like I am fairly good at what I do. Whilst on my apprenticeship I had plans to start my own business doing laptop and PC maintenance. General stuff; Virus removal, hardware repairs / replacements etc. Now that I have some money behind it with my full time job, I would like to take it on in my spare time. Perhaps doing on site work and then taking it away if it is a bigger job.
After a lot of research I am interested in the behind the scenes stuff, so anyone with this sort of business could really help. I have a list of things to ask, so I will just fire them away and see if people have some answers. I already have a lot of the general stuff such as documents I may need and email / domain registration. I am just looking for answers to the business side of it all.
1. Who do you need to inform? I know that the government needs to know (So they can take more of our hard earned cash) but I am not sure if anyone else does?
2. What kind of legal documents do you need to start trading? I really have no idea on this one other than public liability insurance. As many as you can think of would be great!
3. What sort of information needs to be kept in a financial record? Obviously financial related things, but things like claiming back petrol etc?
4. What other documents need to be kept on file?
5. How easy is it to sort out income tax? A lot of people recommend an accountant which can be very expensive .
6. What kind of insurance do I need? Other than public liability. Will I need contents stock and materials insurance? Premises insurance (Even when working from home)
Thank you for actually taking the time to read this everyone, any replies are greatly appreciated.
1 - HMRC - for the obvious reasons.
2 - Council - if you use your house as business premises then they need to know to adjust council tax rates etc.
3 - utilities if you use your home so they can adjust their rates.
4 - companies house to register.
Public liability. Indemnity insurance. A good set of legal services.
Financial records. Receipts. Invoices. Utility bills. You'll need everything for a minimum of 7 years. If you sign a contract you need it for 25.
If you know what you are doing its a lengthy process and after a few years becomes easy. Otherwise get an accountant as they know the loopholes.
Premises insurance. Indemnity insurance. Public liability. Property insurance. A few others that I Can't think of.
Remember these words. Break something and you will pay with your reputation. If you can't do something then do not say you can. It will land you in a world of trouble and could end in a legal battle.
1. Your employer should be told, you may have contractual obligations that prevent this, especially if the work type is similar
2. If you are just setting up as a one man band all you need is headed paper (make you own). I'd also recommend a seperate bank account.
3. Keep all documents relating to income and expenditure; if you are using your own car you can claim 45p per mile tax free for business use - this often works out better and easier than divying up petrol, servicing, tax, insurance etc between business use and private use. Keep good records (e.g start milage / finish milage). A seperate mobile (on a cheap contract) can also be useful as again you don't need to split the costs and it can be turned off when you are not working.
4. Keep everything just in case.
5. Self Assessment Income Tax is easier than a lot of people will have you believe. If you're earning less than the VAT threshold (currently £79,000 turnover) it is a straightforward form to fill in, provided you've kept good records.
6. If you are going to use your car make sure it is covered for business use.
Good luck, I ran my own business for five years and found it to be both rewarding and a very good learning experience, back on payroll now because I'm getting nearer my pension!