Having a good firm of accountants on your side will ensure that you have all the information and support that you need to help your business grow and flourish.
They can offer advice and help you comply with accounting and tax requirements.
If you are self employed or run a small enterprise in
East Sussex, it makes sense to use an Accountant or Bookkeeper who is keen to help small business and new business start ups rather than struggle with the task yourself.
Main Accounting Considerations
One of the first decisions you will need to make is which legal structure is likely to suit your new business and this will affect your accountancy obligations.
You can read a detailed article about your various options at:
Sole Trader or Limited Company?
The information below primarily relates to self-employment but if you decide to trade as a limited company, you can read more here:
Running a Limited Company.
You should tell HMRC as soon as you start self-employment, otherwise you may face a penalty. You are considered to have started self-employment when you have something to sell and either have a customer for your goods or services, or you are actively marketing your business.
You can let HMRC know about your self-employment by registering online for business taxes. A Self-Assessment Online account will automatically be set up at the same time. This allows you to send your Self-Assessment tax returns online. You will receive an Activation Code. You need to activate the service within 28 days. If you don’t, you will have to ask for a new Activation Code.
You can register online at
As a self-employed person, you pay a fixed amount of Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NIC). If your profits are above a certain limit, you may also have to pay Class 4 National Insurance contributions.
Self-employed National Insurance rates
for full details.
It is very important that you set up a record keeping system and keep all records and supporting documents. Records for the current tax year must be retained until 31 January 2022.
You must keep records of all money coming into and going out of your business. This includes all cash, cheques and credit card transactions.
Your records should be adequate to allow you to complete an accurate Self Assessment return. You will be expected to keep a full record of:
- All sales made and other business income, as it is earned.
- The cost of all business expenses and purchases as you pay them, no matter how little they cost.
- All purchases of business stock, goods and raw materials.
- Capital expenditure; keep a separate record of all purchases and sales of business equipment, machinery and vehicles, together with the receipts.
- Keep a record of the market value of equipment or vehicles introduced into the business that you owned before starting your business.
Business records if you're self-employed
for full details.
There are key dates that you need to be aware of during the financial year. These relate to reporting and payment of any monies due. A list of dates and full explanation can be found
Value Added Tax (VAT)
You must register for VAT if:
- Your taxable turnover exceeds the VAT threshold in any 12 month period
- you expect your taxable turnover to exceed the VAT threshold within the next 30 days
- you take over an existing VAT registered business as a going concern
You have 30 days from the date you meet any of these criteria to register.
Usually, VAT registration can be completed online and if you apply online, you will be enrolled automatically so that you can submit your VAT return online (there is no longer a paper version).
The current VAT threshold is £85,000; if your turnover is below the registration limit, you can choose whether to apply for voluntary registration. The standard rate of VAT currently is
official VAT website
for full up to date details.