Starting a Business? How to Choose the Right Bank Account and More

Setting up a new company is a wonderful, terrifying time. You are finally achieving your dream of running your own business, but there is an awful lot to set up and remember. Here are just some of the decisions that you will have to make:

Employees or Go It Alone: Will you be able to cope with all the work that you get, or do you need an employee or two to carry some of the burden? If you need an employee, remember that you must have enough money in reserve to be able to pay their salaries and other overheads until the company is making enough profit to pay all the expenses.

Accountant or DIY Books: This is a decision that is quite easy to make in one respect – if you do not know how to maintain a set of accounts, employ a bookkeeper or an accountant. If you have bookkeeping experience you can do your own books, but if your company business is time-consuming then you might be better suited getting a certified accountant to prepare your paperwork for year end and tax return purposes. There are a number of forms and applications to be filled in in order for your business to be compliant, from registering the company to paying income tax and national insurance contributions to year end returns. An accountant can help you to ensure that you are fully compliant. However, if you want to go it alone, you can get in touch with the authorities who will send out a business starter pack with lists of forms to be filled in and checklists to help you get started.

Money Matters: Opening a business bank account is possibly the most important job to get done as soon as possible. Without a business account, you cannot make payments or – more importantly! – receive payments from customers. Business banking is now geared to help businesses of all sizes, from solo traders all the way up to huge multi-nationals – it will not take you long to find the perfect account for your needs.

Premises or WAH: Traditional businesses tend to have separate premises, and this still makes sense for certain models, such as retail or companies that need specialist equipment like bakeries or cafés. However, businesses that can operate online or through the internet can be based anywhere. Freelance writers, website designers and artists of all types can work from home, from a library, or even from a coffee shop, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of office workers, uni students and the night shift in search of some caffeine to get them through the next few hours. If you are able to work at home, you can make an immense savings on your overheads, as well as significant savings on time and money by not needing to commute to separate premises. Work at home is becoming more and more mainstream, with even office-based businesses permitting their workers to work from home at least part of the time.

Once you have taken the plunge and decided to set up your own company, it can quickly feel overwhelming. The best advice is to keep on going: you will make your way through all the firsts and quickly begin to feel at home with being in command of your own destiny.

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Meredith Weisser

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