Entrepreneurs are constantly thinking of new business ideas. However, when starting a business, whether you’ve been part of a start-up previously or not, you often overlook the important factors when it comes to setting up an office. From health and safety rules and regulations, to licenses, it’s crucial that you cover all the necessary points if you want to set up your own business.
Starting your new business is sure to be an exciting time, but this doesn’t mean you can overlook legalities. It may not be the most fun of tasks, but failing to gain a common license and permit – especially for homebased small businesses – can cause major issues. Be sure to contact your city’s business license department as soon as possible and get the ball rolling to make sure you’re legally allowed to trade from your location.
Of course, if your business venture is to serve food or alcohol, you’ll legally need to be licensed. But what about where you store your data? Do you know what software package you’ll be using and whether it is the licensed version? It may be a significant cost to purchase the programmes, but using licensed software really does pay off in the long run.
When you set up your company in a new office space, it’s often the case that you need to set up a new electric connection. If you’re not sure how to get your connection sorted, contact your distribution network operator (DNO) and tell them what you require. Without doing this, your business simply won’t get up and running.
Some insurances can be optional, but one you must take out is employers’ liability insurance. Failure to do so can lead to a fine of up to £2,500 per employee per day without it. You must also take out property insurance so that your equipment, inventory and signage is covered for fire, storm or theft. If you are starting your business in your own home, you still require insurance as your homeowner’s policies won’t cover your business requirements.
Vehicle insurance is another must. While we know that car insurance is important, if your company is going to have their own fleet, it’s essential that those vehicles are insured to protect your business against liability if there’s an accident. Business interruption insurance can help you in the event of a disaster which would interrupt your operations. In these circumstances, having the correct plan in place will help you to avoid major financial loss.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going to operate out of an office or a physical retail location, there are taxes you must pay. Business rates are like a council tax but for business properties and some premises are exempt from these rates. If you are running your business from home, it’s unlikely you’d have to pay business rates as well as your council tax, unless you are employing staff to work in your home or potential customers will be visiting your location. Also, if you’ve adapted your home space, including your garage, then you’ll need to pay business rates too.
Corporation tax is a requirement for any limited company that makes a profit. It is set at 19% for all companies and you must pay it within nine months and one day of the company’s accounting year end. If you’re a sole trader, however, you won’t pay corporation tax. While it may seem like a lot to take in, it’s crucial that you set up your business correctly at the start to avoid falling at the first hurdle. Good luck!