Every business needs to be compliant, buy services, appoint experts and look at ways to improve their productivity. This section gives advice on how to make the right choices to save you time and money.
Do you need a New Accountant?
Congratulations on setting up a Limited Company! What’s next?
- Do you know the most tax efficient way to take money out of your company?
- You do not pay tax on any dividend income that falls within your Personal Allowance
- You also get a Dividend Allowance each year
- Have you filed your Annual Accounts on time?
- Late filing penalties fees apply from the date the accounts are due, ranging from £150 to £1,500, if more than six months late
But what are they used for these days?
Literally anyone can buy and fly a drone – they range from around £20 for a toy and to over£100,000+ for those used in Industry. All a hobby flyer needs in the UK is an ‘Operational ID’ (a drone license is about £9 for 3 years from the CAA) and the number that the CAA provide you with to be displayed on the side of the drone.
To get started safely however for all ages, I recommend doing a brief course. The recognised one is the A2C of C. It takes about 1 week to study and the exam costs around £60. This will teach you safety, things to avoid causing problems with the drone to others, losing the drone (called a fly away), breaking by-laws, aviation and airspace laws, planning flying to avoid being prosecuted and meteorological affects.
Qualified Pilots, offering Commercial services must hold relevant qualifications (called A 2CofC, GVC or PfCO) and these are required to allow them to get insurances. So when they are carrying out a project you, your business and your team have re-assurances should something go wrong – it rarely does but at least you know you have recourse in the event of injury, damage or other issues.
Aside from being fun to fly as a hobbyist, in business which I am going to focus on here, drones save
– Save Time
– Reduce Health and Safety issues
– Reduce Costs
WHAT DOES A DRONE COMPANY ‘DO’?
Fundamentally a drone is a ‘data capture’ tool. Capturing either photo, video, thermal orGPS co-ordinate information (satellite location of the drone, similar to how your phone knows where it is). There are increasing uses for larger drones, to carry and deliver items large and small including ‘Covid testing kits and results in 2020ʼ and ‘Amazon deliveries in the USAʼ.
There are 4 main stages to a drone operation whether the drone flying work required is for a few hours, a day or a few weeks:Read the full article
Starting and running your own business is hard, rewarding, tiring, stressful, lonely, and hectic, especially in these unusual times. I am going through this myself and find our regular networking a weekly sanity check!
To be the most successful version of yourself whilst under this amount of pressure, remember to look after yourself. You will be no good to your business if you end up burnt out, or ill. I am including a few tips to keep yourself functioning in top shape so you can focus on your business!Read the full article
Keeping correct and accurate records of the finances of your business is essential to:
– Knowing who owes you money (“debtors”)
– Knowing who you owe money to – suppliers, HMRC and other bodies (“creditors”)
– Complying with your obligation to know your company’s current financial position at any time, and ensure you can pay your bills as they fall due
– Complying with your legal requirement to maintain proper books and records
– And, most importantly, knowing how much you can pay yourself
– Producing appropriate accounts and tax calculations to Companies House and HMRC
There are numerous online systems to enable you to do this.Read the full article
Paying your deferred VAT
VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 that we’re deferred last year until 31 March 2021.
- Can be paid in full on or before 31 March 2021
- Can be paid in instalments, until January 2022.
To pay now
- go to GOV.UK and search ‘paying VAT’
- choose ‘pay your VAT bill’ and follow the instructions – please make sure you use the right reference.
To see details of the amount you owe, please go to GOV.UK and search ‘Business Tax Account’.
To sign in you’ll need your Government Gateway user ID and password. If you don’t have an ID and password, you can create them as part of this process. You can also retrieve a forgotten user ID or password.
To pay in instalments using the new payment scheme
The new scheme will allow you to pay your deferred VAT in up to 11 regular monthly instalments, interest free, beginning in March 2021.
The scheme is not available to use yet, but you can find more about how it works, and get ready to use it, by going to GOV.UK and searching ‘deferred VAT’.
If you need further help to pay
For more information about what to do if you’re not able to pay your deferred VAT, please go to GOV.UK and search ‘Deferred VAT’.
Do you understand the world of financial planning? Most people don’t, which is why I’m writing a series of blogs/Articles regarding financial planning, and our role in your business.
For your reassurance I’m a Chartered Financial Planner and work with individuals and businesses to develop and understand their finances in order to make better, informed decisions.
What are the Common Perceptions of Financial Planning?
The best way to start this series, is to focus on the common perceptions that people have when considering financial planning or getting financial advice.
When looking for a financial advisor, you might think:
• “They’re all just chasing commissions.”
• “What does that even mean? I don’t understand any of this financial gibberish.”
• “I don’t understand why this is so expensive? Are they after my investments?”
• “Can I trust them?”
• “Do they have my best interests at heart?”
To be honest, I can’t blame you for having these thoughts. These perceptions have been created because of many people’s experiences with financial advisors and our industry, in general.Read the full article
Prevention of late/non payment
Ideally we all want to be paid on time by every customer. However you can never rely upon this happening so please use our checklist as a precaution to ensure you are not put in a position of having to chase too many slow or non-payers.
Chasing the slow payer
Receiving payments promptly is essential to the success of a business. Use our checklist to make sure you do things correctly when chasing payments.
Chasing a non payer
If your customer is simply refusing to pay, use our checklist to try to persuade them to settle your overdue account without you having to take them to court.
Using External Help
For whatever reason you’ve decided not to go it alone. Where else can you turn to for help and assistance in trying to recover the debt? Use our checklist to run through potential next options.
Recovering the debt
If you’ve exhausted all options and intend to use the legal route, use our checklist to help which explains what’s involved in attempting to recover your money.
Enforcing the judgement
Getting a judgement is fine but enforcing it can still be difficult and how successful you are will determine whether you get paid. Use our checklist to run through your various options.
Common Mistakes Small Businesses make with People
“We’re a Small Business – We don’t need any HR”
Does this echo your thoughts on HR support as a small business owner? Do you think that HR policies and procedures just aren’t relevant to your business? Do you ever hear yourself saying, “we don’t have employees so we don’t need any HR policies and procedures” … sound familiar at all?
Well, let me tell you something, the chances are that YOU DO!
If there is anyone as in a human being supporting you in running your business – paid, unpaid, employed, freelance, sub-contracted or even volunteering then your business absolutely NEEDS some basic HR policies and procedures in place.
Now, just hear me out on this …Read the full article
HR is a crucial component for any business. As you become successful and begin to rely on others to help you to achieve your goals you become engaged with HR issues. Regulations apply whether you have employed one full time person or work with contractors.
- Employing a HR professional removes the stress and anxiety that arise from HR concerns
- Few business owners realise the power of having a great HR plan of action via an experienced HR advisor will help you to navigate your way safely through the maze of employment rules and regulations
- Employing a HR advisor removes any concern you may have that your employees know more than you do in this complex area.
What are intellectual property rights?
Intellectual property (IP) can allow you to own things you create in a similar way to owning physical property. You can control the use of your IP, and use it to gain reward. This encourages further innovation and creativity. There are five main areas to consider.
IP, employees and third parties
The ownership of IP rights needs to be clarified – is it you or your employees? Use our checklist to avoid costly and drawn out disputes over ownership.
Designs and how to protect them
There are four different types of design rights that need to be taken into consideration. Our checklist provides guidance and will point you in the right direction and offer protection if you’re looking beyond the UK.
What a patent is and how it’s protected
Patents exist to protect things you’ve designed or made. Using our checklist will help ensure that all your hard work doesn’t end up in someone else’s hands.
Protecting your company name
To ensure maximum protection for your company’s name, you need to take a proactive approach – include it on all business correspondence and check the register at Companies House from time to time.
Database rights and protection
When you create a new database a protective right arises automatically. Keep careful records of when the database is made; protection lasts for 15 years.
What can be trade marked?
Make sure you know what protection is available before you embark on what might be an expensive and time consuming exercise.
How to protect a trade mark
There are various hoops you have to pass through to ensure your trade mark ™ is properly protected. Use our checklist to avoid any problems.
What can be copyrighted?
Copyright applies to written and musical works etc. But make sure that whatever you have in mind for copyright protection is an original.
How to protect copyright
Our checklist will help ensure you follow all the steps necessary to protect your copyright, e.g. not disclosing your idea to a third party without them first having signed a copyright agreement.
Access to all guidance and checklists is available in the members’ area. Further advice can also be given by calling our members’ advice line.Read the full article
The coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown in many parts of the world have forced a large number of employees into working from home.
Switching to remote working can create cybersecurity problems for employers and employees.Read the full article
YOUR MONEY BLUEPRINT
Have you noticed how some people seem to achieve wealth effortlessly whilst others work just as hard but struggle financially?
When you run your own business, one of the key factors as to whether you will be successful and earn the amount of money you think you deserve, is the “setting” associated with your money mind-set, your Money Blueprint.
It is quite logical to believe that the success of your business is primarily dependent on your business skills, your knowledge and maybe your timing in the marketplace. Whilst these do play an important part in your success, your money blueprint is equally as important.
In this article, I will enlighten you about how childhood and family experiences not only shape your view of money, but can also limit your success in business.Read the full article
Public Speaking Defined:
Public Speaking is simply communication to an audience primarily through structured speech. Communication through public speaking usually seeks to inform, persuade, motivate and, or entertain the audience. Public speaking is one of the most powerful tools of effective communication, yet one of the most feared. However it is also one of the most needed and relevant skills for leaders, entrepreneurs, business persons, and people wanting “influence,” to have.
Types of Public Speaking
Public speaking can be seen as:
• Oratorical, for example those given at graduations by valedictorians.
• Motivational Speech which influences the audience to take action.
• Debate, where the speaker justifies his/her points by presenting logical argument to support them
• Special Occasions, for example, the Best Man speech at a wedding
• Forensic, which is typically a public speaker in training
The Importance of Public Speaking:
Public speaking skills are important to build connections and maintain relationships in the speakers’ personal lives and careers. It aids with progression in personal and professional lives; and is a key to affecting decisions and changes in favour of the speaker.
So you have your website. It looks great and you have checked it all works exactly as you wanted it to. What do you do now?
There are three fundamental things you need to consider when it comes to moving your online presence forward:
It is possible that your website designer has already installed various security add-ons that will help you with giving you as much protection as possible from hackers. It is important to understand why hackers try and access your website. To be clear from the start, they are not interested in the content of your website, so put out of your mind the idea that your website is not interesting to hackers because they aren’t interested in your business. Most hackers use automated systems to locate administration log in pages of websites and then use the same automated system to try multiple different usernames and passwords to try and gain access. In the main they are doing this for three reasons. Firstly, to try and redirect any traffic you have to your website to a website they own which will be selling something or have malicious code that could be downloaded. Secondly, to use the email server in your hosting package to send emails promoting their products or viruses; and thirdly, just to show they can hack websites and leave their signature. The add-ons you should consider for your website will vary depending on the website CMS software that has been used to create your website, but as a guide you should;
The Dark Web – What it Costs You To Ignore It
Ever wonder what happens to your data if a company you’re doing business with has been hacked? Simply: it’s posted for sale on the Dark Web.
Let’s be clear about what we mean when we say ‘data’. We mean information, specifically, information about you. It will be anything the company that suffered breach held on you. So, it could be your name, address, email addresses, associated passwords, date of birth, bank details, credit card numbers, mobile and home phone numbers – in fact, a whole range of information that confirms your identity.
HOW DOES IT MATTER?
When you use a credit card online, the retailer checks information associated with that card, the information you filled out on the application form. If the details don’t match, the transaction is declined. If a hacker has your credit card information, address and associated email, phone number, etc., there’s a good chance the transaction will be approved and you’ll end up having to jump through hoops to get your money back.
That was a fairly benign example. With all your personal information, a hacker can literally steal your identity, take out loans and credit cards in your name, siphon money from your bank account – and your mortgage too if they’re linked. You begin to see why keeping your data safe matters and why you don’t want it on the Dark Web.Read the full article
You have now reached the point when you are ready to take on the 1st person to help with your growing business. They can be a full time employee or an intermediate category known as a worker which means someone who has a service contract rather than an employment contract to work with you. How to determine this is a subject for another article on employee status. However both categories need a contract and from April 2020 this contract needs to be issued either before they start work or at the latest the 1st day of employment.
Previously the conditions set out below must be included in the contract:Read the full article
What do you look for when employing a HR consultant?
You will by now realise when you have reached the stage when you take someone on you immediately become enmeshed in the employment regulation maze. It doesn’t matter if they are part time or even a contractor. Contracts, handbooks, employee status covid, discrimination, maternity the list is almost endless and government regulations change continually. When confronted with this you just want to lie down in a corner with a damp cloth over your head and hope it all goes away. Regrettably it won’t and, if you want to grow your business, you will need help in this area to avoid mistakes, becoming stressed and unwittingly becoming involved in tribunal situations
You need someone who is competent, knowledgeable and able to respond quickly and accurately to your concerns. You also need someone who is up to date with all the latest twists and turns in government regulations and the impact cases have on the interpretation of the regulations.Read the full article
This is the story of two brothers, Scott and Joseph, who ran a successful car dealership which they jointly owned.
Tragically, Joseph was killed in a car accident. He was only 51 and, as his family were about to discover, unfortunately he did not have a Will.
Joseph had lived with his long term partner Annabel but as they weren’t married she was entitled to nothing from his estate so she decided to make a legal claim against his estate. The cost of this, win or lose, would be paid for by Joseph’s estate.
Joseph had two children, that he did not have a good relationship with, from his previous marriage and, because there was no Will, they would inherit his entire estate under the intestacy rules. Wanting to keep their father’s money, they challenged Annabel’s claim.
The cost of this legal action was so substantial that Joseph’s share in the business had to be sold to cover it.
WHY DO I NEED A BUSINESS WILL?
Business entities, just like people are subject to the cycles of life which can unfortunately include the demise of owners and partners. Cases of partners passing away and leaving the remaining business owners straddled with debt or forced to fight for their share of the business with the dead partners family members are all too common. In addition, legal fees accruing from lengthy court battles to determine how the business should be shared out between the remaining partners and the deceased’s family can wreck havoc on business finances and even lead to bankruptcy and closure in extreme events. Fortunately, it is possible to avoid these possibilities from becoming a reality by drawing up a Will to determine the courses of action that should be taken when a business owner passes away. The following are a few important reasons why you need to have a estate planner draft a Will for your business.