Tag Archives: hmrc

OPSW Enterprise

2 Apr

“When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” – Josh James, Omniture CEO

Did You Know?

  • The South West ranks 2nd for the highest amount of self-employed workers.
  • 57,000 people in Devon are self-employed.
  • Nearly two-thirds of small business owners have no business or management experience.

Registering as a sole trader

Many of our customers ask how to register as a sole trader once they have decided to take the plunge and start their business.  This is done online here.  HMRC have a range of useful “webinars” available to teach you about a range of topics to do with tax, national insurance and Self Assessment.  You can even watch them live and ask questions.

Business Insurance

When you start trading, you will usually need some sort of business insurance, and if you are working from home or using your car, your house and car insurance may be affected too.  Simply Business is a good place to start, to find out exactly what insurance you will need and how much it will cost you. Call them on 0845 071 0270.

Start Your Own Business

We now run a range of Accredited Start Your Own Business courses at Level 1 and 2.  Visit www.opportunityplus.org.uk or call 0800 043 2440 for more information.

Case Study

Carole started a cupcake business, which she ran for four years on a mobile basis.  Following the success of the mobile business, she decided to open a cake shop in her home town of Teignmouth, allowing customers to see and sample her cakes.  She still caters for weddings and other events too.  Find out more at www.carolescupcakes.moonfruit.com

2 catercarole

 

Do It Yourself: Our Top 10 Small Business Ideas

2 Mar

Starting your own business doesn’t need to be complicated or require a huge amount of funding. 

Registering as a sole trader is a straightforward process. Visit www.gov.uk to find out about different business structures you can choose from and the registration process for each.

Once registered, you will need to complete an annual Tax Return and will also be required to pay National Insurance contributions. For more information, check out HMRC’s range of “webinars” at www.hmrc.gov.uk. These can be viewed at any time, or watched live so that you can ask questions.

You will also need to get business insurance. Simply Business is an online business insurance comparison tool that will tell you what type of cover you will require and how much it will cost.

Below are a few simple ideas to start you thinking. If one of our ideas catches your eye, check out our range of business start up courses at www.opportunityplus.org.uk.

Bridal Hair and Beauty
Who doesn’t love a wedding? You could be a part of the big day, helping the bride and her party look their best and make a living at the same time. Short courses are available in bridal hair and make up and start up costs can be minimal.

Mobile Spray Tanning
A short course can give you the qualification you need to learn the techniques. Buy a starter kit and you’re ready to start marketing your service.

Nail Art Services
Well groomed nails are extremely fashionable. Cash in by making a very flexible business for your self, making new friends as you work.

Cleaning Services
Do you enjoy housework? Why not turn this into a business? Start up costs are very small and you can choose who you work for and what hours you work.

Car Valeting Business
If you enjoy working outside, love cars and are meticulous in your work, consider a business in car valeting. This could be a standard service or very high end, using quality products and giving a high quality package to private and/or business customers.

Arts and Crafts Business
Are you creative? Does everyone love the things you make and request one for themselves? With the right marketing and research you could turn your hobby into a business.

Online Trading
Internet selling gives you the flexibility to work from home in the hours that suit you. If there is a gap in the market, a product you are passionate about or you can give a better deal than currently on offer this could be right for you.

Share Your Skills
If you have great skills and experience and would like to share your knowledge why not consider working in an adult learning support role.

Children’s Services
From childminding to face painting, there is a huge range of business available around children, many of which can be worked flexibly around your own schedule.

Wedding Planner
Are you a people person, organised, calm under pressure and love planning events? This could be the ideal business for you!

Newly Self Employed

16 Sep

One of our most popular services for customers starting their own businesses, is HMRC’s Newly Self Employed course.  The course covers everything your need to know about registering your business, tax and National Insurance and is run by HMRC themselves, giving you the opportunity to ask questions that are specific to your business needs.  We run these on a regular basis in Totnes and Newton Abbot, please call us on 0800 043 2440 if you would like to come along to the next course.

If you are not able to attend one of these courses, or if you need to double check some information after attending a course, HMRC have a fantastic range of webinars (videos)  available on their website.  These are first released as a LIVE webinar, you need to register in advance for these, and you can watch and interact with the webinar, enabling you to ask questions.  They are also recorded and available for viewing at any time, though with a pre-recorded webinar you will not be able to get instant answers to your questions.

Some examples of the topics that are covered are:

Self-employment and HMRC – what you need to know

How to complete your first online Tax Return

National Insurance for the self-employed

Tax Credits

2 Sep

Do you qualify for Tax Credits?  They have proved to be a lifeline for so many of us, and are especially useful for the early stages of self employment.  If you have been claiming Job Seekers Allowance, and decide to start your own business for 16 hours or more a week, you may qualify for Working Tax Credits, which could bring in roughly the same amount of money that you were previously receiving on JSA.  This can take a lot of the risk out of becoming self employed, as you still have some regular income to rely on, meaning that you can afford to invest your business income back into your business.

To receive Working Tax Credits, you usually need to work at least 16 hours a week (employed or self employed), and have a low income (this includes your partner’s income too).  You don’t need to have children to qualify.

The easiest way to find out how much you could get, is to use this simple calculator.  You will need to have a rough idea of your income for the previous tax year, and an estimate for this year if you think it will be very different (for example if you have been on maternity leave, or have been made redundant or started a new job).  You can also try out different scenarios, for example based on you working different numbers of hours, or using more or less childcare.

To make a claim, simply call 0345 300 3900.

For more information, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website, gov.uk, or the HMRC website.

Have you completed your tax return?

28 Jan

The deadline for completing your online tax return is almost here, make sure you don’t miss it!  Your online tax return must reach HMRC by midnight on 31st January.

Tax Returns are probably the number one thing that people worry about when considering self employment.  Fortunately nowadays it is a simple online process to register as a sole trader, and completing your tax return can all be done online as well.  You just need to keep track of your income and outgoings and fill in the relevant boxes, the programme works out how much tax you owe.

The hardest thing about completing your tax return is simply setting aside an hour to do it!!  From 5th April every year, “Complete Tax Return” is at the top of my to-do list for many weeks, but once I actually do dedicate the time to do it it’s a relatively painless process.  Just make sure you keep your records up-to-date as you go (a simple spreadsheet is enough for most small businesses) and hang on to all those receipts!

HMRC run a free Newly Self Employed course with us at Opportunity Plus South West, get in touch to find out more and book your place!

For more information, see our earlier blog post about how and when to register your business.