Business Starter Pack – Giving you a helping hand

Dave Gosling - Menzies Accountant

Dave Gosling – Partner

Many of us aspire to running our own business – and not always for the same reasons. For many, the appeal lies in the freedom of being their own boss and setting the hours they work. For others, it is in the challenge of making it big and obtaining full financial reward for their efforts.

Whichever reason, a long journey lies ahead with a lot of decision making on your part. Time spent now in thinking through your plans will most certainly minimise the risk of failure. Hence the reason behind the production of this pack. We have raised most of the issues that will require decisions and provide information to help you weigh up the best option for you and your new business.

Serious about Starting a new business?

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Think carefully about ceasing to be someone else’s employee. Certainty of income, both in terms of quantity and regularity disappears, whilst fixed outgoings, such as mortgage repayments, remain.

Similarly, other benefits of employment may be lost, such as life assurance cover, a company pension, medical insurance, a company car, regular hours and holidays.

Consider the views of your family and friends. Their support is essential. It is important they understand that the administrative and financial requirements of running a business can be time consuming and stressful.

Success in business depends on many factors; most important is the need to critically review all aspects of the business proposition before progressing too far. You must have a commercially viable idea. You will need to have properly researched the market – is there enough custom given your pricing and cost structure to enable the company to achieve profitability and can the business survive until you get there? Finally, you need to be honest about the type of person you are – to succeed in business you will need to have determination, the tenacity to keep going when times are tough and the self discipline to work hard with no-one but yourself to spur you on.

8 Steps to starting a business

If you’re thinking of starting a business, you first need to come up with a realistic idea you can turn into a product or service. Beyond that, there are several key areas you need to consider, all of which Menzies can help with.


Identify potential customers. Talk to them and find out if your idea is meeting a real need.


Test your product or service with real customers, make changes, and test it again. Keep doing this until you’re sure there’s a demand for it.


Think about who you’re going to work with to develop and sell your idea.


Work out which legal structure is right for you, and register for tax.


And ensure you have the right terms and conditions from the outset.


At the start you might want to consider using a Company Secretarial service to outsource the handling of your accounting compliance obligations.


Explore different sources of business finance, from bank loans to government-backed schemes.


If you have an unusual idea or have invented something, find out how to protect your intellectual property to make sure nobody copies it without your permission.

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How to Start a Business Guide – the practical stuff

Please note that this pack highlights many of the practical points that require consideration before trading begins. It cannot cater for every possibility and decisions should be supported by appropriate professional advice.

Inside the guide you’ll find information on a number of subjects including:

  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Value added tax
  • Payroll taxes and employing staff
  • Income and corporation tax
  • Forecasting and cash planning

This pack is published for information only. It provides only an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice from a partner of this firm. No responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this kit can be accepted by Menzies LLP.

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