YourBusinessWithJamesCaan2016 - 52

Make money
work for you
Start-ups should invest in an accountant
to help them grow. Here's why...

T

he dread of having to keep on top of
your finances is enough to give
many would-be entrepreneurs cold feet.
But get an accountant on board and
you can take the stress out of the
numbers game.
From keeping records to advice on
the best structure for your business
(sole trader or limited company, for
example, see below), accountants can
bring invaluable services to your
start-up. Most of the major decisions
you'll need to make when starting up
your business will have at least some
financial aspect, so it's important to
have an accountant in place while
you're still in the planning stages.
As well as acting as a trusted adviser
while you make those crucial first
decisions, an accountant can also help
your start-up be as tax efficient as
possible right from the off. An
accountant can help you prepare a
business plan and obtain finance - vital
steps when you're getting started.
Accountants can also deal with tasks
such as payroll and VAT compliance,
ensuring your business stays on top of
its statutory responsibilities, saving you
precious time and helping your
business avoid costly penalties.
Here's the lowdown on what an
accountant can do for your business...

BUSINESS STRUCTURE

There are several structure options to
choose from at the beginning. An
accountant can help you decide which is
best for you from the following:

52

■ Sole

trader
As the name implies, this refers to one
person in business on their own. A
sole trader is basically self-employed
with no special legal structure.
■ Partnership
This is where two or more people are
in business together and will share
the profits or losses.
■ Limited company
Limited companies have separate
legal identities from their owners
(shareholders), the directors
and other employees.
■ Limited liability partnership
(LLP)
A corporate entity similar to a limited
company, but the 'partners' (or
members) are taxed on their share of
the profits, not on the amount they
withdraw from the business.

TAX BREAKS

Minimising tax liability is close to the
heart of every successful business
owner. While there's a plethora of tax
breaks available to SMEs, if you're
running a business it can be difficult to
keep abreast of the law. For example,
the Annual Investment Allowance
(AIA), which entitles you to claim on
the cost of most plant and machinery
up to the designated amount, has
changed several times since April 2008.
For the 12 months from January 2016,
the AIA cap was £200,000, but there is
no guarantee it will stay at this level.
Since April 2013, companies have
also been allowed to apply a lower rate



YourBusinessWithJamesCaan2016

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