Should you insure your new UK ltd company

March 14th, 2010 by chris

When you have just established your very own limited company, it can be almost too easy to be overwhelmed by the different things you need to consider. One of them can be whether or not you need insurance in order to protect yourself and your employees should things go wrong. In this article, we are going to look at different types of insurance which are purpose-built for businesses.

When a company goes limited, the businessperson who owns the majority shares in the company is no longer personally responsible for any actions his company may take – with the risk being secured to the assets of the company itself. Because of this, a limited company can need insurance in order to cover the costs that it may accrue in a number of circumstances.

Normally, an insurer charges a limited company a premium that is based on the past instances where they have dealt with claims from other businesses that are in a similar sector, and the severity of the claims that they have handled. This can mean that different organisations can offer you different premiums, cementing the importance of looking around in order to find the cheapest but most comprehensive deal.

One type of insurance is employers’ liability insurance, a type of cover which an employer must have – up to a sum of at least £5 million, or £10 million in some cases. Should a person who works with a company then proceed to become injured or ill through means that weren’t their fault (like faulty machinery etc.), they can then proceed to take action against the company which they may have been working for.

Public liability insurance can be another type of insurance that many businesses might be urged to consider taking. In these examples, a member of the public who is using a company’s product or service can sue if themselves or their property are damaged in any way, shape or form through an incident that isn’t their fault.

It can be important to ensure that any products that you may sell as part of your business are also safe for consumption. Product liability insurance can protect you in the case that your stock is dangerous – be it through a fault when you were manufacturing it, or a fault in the stock that you received from another company. There can be instances where you might not be answerable for the damages that a member of the public is claiming for, particularly if you bought the stock off another manufacturer and the batch was faulty to begin with.

Insurance can seem like a minefield and at times, it can be difficult to determine what types of cover are needed in order to ensure a business is fully protected from its liabilities. By consulting an expert who can tell you the ins and outs of the law concerning your activity, you can ensure that you are equipped to go into the big, bad world of business: fully protected.

The basics of writing your business plan

March 11th, 2010 by chris

Irrespective of whether you are a long-standing business or whether you are trying to create a new business, writing your business plan can be a great way to set objectives and aims for you and your staff to achieve. Additionally, it can also give you a sense of direction for the future.

Business plans can get incredibly advanced unnecessarily, and instead of jumping in too deep with plenty of complicated business terminology, focusing on the basics can be the best way to guarantee success for the future. In this article, we are going to be focusing on how to erect the perfect foundations for writing your business plan in more depth.

Sometimes, keeping things nice and simple can be ideal – particularly if you are looking for the backing of an investor in the future. It isn’t always easy to convey an idea in detail to someone who has taken an interest in what you have to offer, so try to start by explaining briefly what your business’ targets are, and what means the business is going to use in order to make these targets a reality. Anyway, you will be unsurprised to find that many investors simply don’t have the time to sift through business plans boasting hundreds of pages of written content.

A thing which can impress the intended readers of your business plan is knowledge of the industry in which you are trying to get involved with. In order to enjoy success and to reap the profits from the product or service you wish to offer, you need to know what your prospective customers are like, their backgrounds, their age and their preferences. From there, you can tailor what you have to offer around them – resulting in more sales. This can also give the reader of your business plan some background and understanding of the area in which you are trying to break into.

You could have the most amazing concept for a business in the world – however, even the best ideas can fall apart if they are not backed up by realistic figures. Financial data which can show analysis of different scenarios can allow investors to get a better idea of what they are contending with. If you are not mathematically-minded, seeking help from someone who has experience in number-crunching can allow you to get the statistics that you need in order to impress.

One of the best things to bear in mind when writing your business plan is that different investors might need different things from the report you give. A financial expert will obviously have more of an interest in numbers than a person who believes in ideas. Tailoring the plan that you provide to different people can allow you to convince those who you would like to invest to part with their cash in order for your concept to be realised. The business plan is a blank canvas, and taking advantage of the potential creativity can allow for a very exciting outcome for you – giving your future new prospects.

Filing your company’s annual returns online

March 9th, 2010 by chris

By law, a company that has been registered with Companies House has to fill out a form that stipulates the annual returns of a company by a specified deadline each year. There are very meticulous guidelines concerning the accuracy of these records, as there is usually a requirement for the information to be uploaded onto the Internet for anyone to view should they feel the need to.

You should know if your business needs to file annual returns – if you have incorporated your company with Companies House, or you are a limited liability partnership, you fall into the category of the 2 million or so entities that need to provide these records each and every year. A common misconception is that businesses and sole traders may need to file annual returns, too: however, this is not the case. All of the matters that concern taxation and national insurance with unincorporated businesses are handled through HM Revenue and Customs.

Another way that Companies House will remind those who need to fill annual returns is by sending out a letter to the designated address that was specified upon incorporation. This letter usually gives a company two options – to either complete the returns via post, or to register online to file the returns through the Companies House website. The fact that four-fifths of all businesses use the latter in order to set the record straight could be regarded as testimony to how simple the process is.

Things to consider before filing your business’ annual returns online include that you have put in all of the necessary information, and that the data you have inputted is correct. If you are inserting long numerical codes, it can be easy to make an error which can set you back a small fortune, resulting in the need to complete the returns again. Also, certain types of companies, like those with share capitals for example, may need to provide additional information when they file their forms.

All of the necessary forms needed in order to complete this bit of administration electronically are available to you online, with the reduced fee associated with sending the return incentivising many businesses to go digital with this formality.

The deadlines for annual business returns vary, and this can ensure that there is a constant supply of data for Companies House to be dealing with, in contrast to being bombarded with a lot of filing all at once. Most companies are due to send a returns form to Companies House by the anniversary of the date that the company officially became incorporated. So for example, if Joe Bloggs’ company, ‘Business Ltd.’, became active on the 1st of January 2009, he would be due to file an annual business return by the 1st of January 2010 – and on the 1st of January every year after that.

As much of a hindrance that it may seem, it is a legality which has to be done. Sometimes, this process can be quite advantageous to your company anyway, as it can allow you to get a better idea of how things are progressing within your organisation.

What are forms 10 and 12?

March 7th, 2010 by chris

When you are incorporating a company via the Government body Companies House, it is common for Forms 10 and 12 to be required as part of the documents which comprise registration – particularly if a person is attempting to establish a publicly or privately limited company. In this report, we are going to look a lot closer at what the purposes of these two forms are.

The first document, Form 10, is usually one of the main documents which provide the database with the details of the staff who may be involved with the process of running the company on a day-to-day basis. This can include any directors that the company may have, as well as their secretaries.

The specification outlines that Form 10 has to include the date-of-birth of at least two company directors (if you are applying for a particular company status), as well as their nationalities, job and any experience that they may have had of being a director in the past five years. From this, the authorities can ensure that those who are listed as part of the managerial team of a company are legally entitled to do so.

The details of secretaries are also required in this form, and similar information needs to be supplied for each of the secretaries which are being employed. One fundamental difference is how a secretary of a director must be accredited with some recognition of their accounting capability, in order to guarantee that the accounts which are filed will be in line with the requirements of Companies House.

Form 12 is another form which confirms that the company adheres to all of the different rules and regulations that are set because of the Companies Act 2006. This ensures complete transparency with the activities of any institution, and the declaration is legally binding. In its full name, it is also known as The Declaration on Application for Registration.

The agreement can be signed by one of the directors of the company, or one of the secretaries which have been specified in Form 10. Alternatively, a solicitor who is representing the interests of the company can also be entitled to sign it if the need arises. Unless the process of registering a company is completed online (meaning that Form 12 is not required), an external witness needs to witness the signing, with an additional £5 being levied onto the price of registration for this.

These two forms reveal some of the more intricate details of the company, and it can be vitally important that all of the information is filed and processed correctly in order to prevent any embarrassing scenarios from mistakes which were made. In these examples, an entire batch of paperwork may need to be re-done in order to guarantee that all of the data Companies House has is completely correct, as this information is going to be placed on a database and made available to the public. Downloadable online, filling out the forms is not as complicated as one may think.

What is companies house?

March 4th, 2010 by chris

If you need to boost the status of your business, you may need to go through an official Government body in order to make this happen. In England, Wales and Scotland, the name of this body is Companies House – an independent body which was established by the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation. In this article, we are going to explore what Companies House is, and what it can do for your business.

The Companies House website is the hub for all of the information which can concern the different processes that you might have to go through during your business’ lifespan. Additionally, you can also download the forms that you might require to fill in from the Internet in some circumstances. In others, you could also proceed to fill out the customary fields online – this quickens the time it takes to process your request, even allowing you to omit registration fees in some examples.

There are a number of key objectives that Companies House undertakes on behalf of the British Government. One of the main aims is to act as a database of all of the companies which are active in the UK, and this is why it is a legal requirement to declare a new company through this body first. Companies House has to do this as a result of the Companies Act 2006, which includes the remit to examine the details of all businesses to ensure that trade is being conducted fairly.

As well as helping with the stages of establishing a company, the regulator can also help when a business is being concluded. This means that the body can help with winding up any of the assets which may remain once a company has dissolved, ensuring that everything is distributed and handled with appropriately.

Some members of the public can require to gain some information about a particular company from time to time, and one of the aims of Companies House is for the information that they have concerning a particular business to be readily available in the public domain.

This organisation is the latest reincarnation of systems from the UK which have been active for 160 years, all endeavouring to comprehensively register companies which may be operating within the country.

A company incorporation is normally a process which can take anything up to 10 days. This is because all the forms that are concerned with the company need to be digested, as well as the Articles of Association and the Memorandum of Association, which form up the Constitution.

If you don’t believe that you can wait all that time, there is also a service where your company can be registered fully in one day, on the condition that all of the relevant information is received before 3pm on the day. There is usually a significant premium of £30 added to the usual cost of £20 that is incurred for company registration. Companies House is one of the most important bodies that a person can deal with; knowing its functionality fully can prevent disappointment.

Companies House Or Formation Agents?

January 13th, 2010 by chris

Companies House

companyhouse

Trust
Ease
Overall

The official UK government registrant of UK limited companies

Companies House is the official Government register of UK companies. The site allows you to get information about your existing companies, and research the Government’s database of company records.

More importantly, it means you can setup new limited companies direct with the UK government’s “e-filing” system.

But Companies House isn’t the only place where you can setup a UK limited company.

You can also incorporate through various third party sites – company formation agents – who will process your application for you – and provide support and advice.

Also, some formation agents allow you to incorporate online and have your new company setup, ready to trade in as littlle as 3 business hours

Some even fast-track business bank accounts – so you can get a company with a business bank account.  This means you can start trading very quickly

This all means that buying limited companies through formation agents is the preferred choice of many small business owners.

For these reasons, you should shop around before making your decision as to how to incorporate your new company.

Cheap Company Formations

January 5th, 2010 by chris

I first set up a company a few years back. I had just got a quote from my accountant – £200 for a brand new company.

So I was shocked when I looked online and found hundreds of companies out there, offering to setup my company for as little as £20. I did some research and these companies are all legit.

In fact, they’re called “formation agents” and they basically register your new company for chump change.

The way they do it is by liasing with Companies House (the UK government service), and processing your application via their “e-filing service”.

They can setup your company quickly – often within a few days.

Some even offer fast-track services and can do it in as little as a few business working hours (but ask your agent if they do this).

So, your company can be registered right away. Just choose a name, search “buy limited company” or “company formation” or somesuch – and pick one.

Forming a limited company

December 29th, 2009 by chris

There are hundreds of thousands of limited companies setup each year in the UK.

But there’s still a perception that setting up a limited company is a difficult process, which takes time and costs a lot of money.

But it most cases, that just isn’t true.

There are dozens of formation agents out there, who will make getting your company setup very quick, cheap and easy.

These agents liase with Companies House (the UK government service), and unless there is a problem your limited company will be setup in just a few hours.

Getting your bank account is also simple in many cases.

Some formation agents can fast-track your application – and many banks will walk you through the process.

Today it isn’t a major hassle getting a UK limited company formation with a bank account.