Tag Archives: tax

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

 

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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

The Money Advice Service

12 Aug

By now, you will probably have seen one of the adverts for the Money Advice Service on TV (you know the ones, where the small child or old lady shocks the rest of the family saying “MA can help”).  The Money Advice Service is a free, financial advice service offering independent, sales-free, jargon-free information on all matters relating to personal finance.  It provides clear, unbiased money advice to help people make informed choices.

They have a website, phone line, YouTube channel, online chat facility, and even hold face to face appointments, to discuss any money issues, including:

  • Personal Budgeting
  • Savings and Investments
  • Protection
  • Credit and Borrowing
  • Retirement Planning
  • Taxation
  • Benefits

The five key principles of the service are:

1. “On my side”: the service is impartial from the Government and the Financial Services Industry.

2. Supportive: the service provides information and guidance to enable users to make better decisions and take positive steps towards improving their finances.

3. Preventative: Money Advice Service is not a symptom-focused, crisis response service like debt advice. Rather the aim is to help prevent  financial difficulties and address the underlying route causes of poor financial decision making, including knowledge, financial literacy and money management skills.

4. Universal: the service is free and available to all.

5. Sales free: the service does not sell or make recommendations about specific products or types of product.

For more information visit the website: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.  Through the website you can access a Budget Planner and complete a Financial Health check, as well as finding out more about various financial issues.

How and when should I register my business?

10 Aug

When you have done your market research and decided on what your business is going to do, and chosen a business name, you need to think about registering your business.  This is a simple process where you complete an online form so that you are set up for Self Assessment.  It is free to do so and can give you the boost to really go for it with your new business!

Once your business is registered you will need to complete an annual tax return for the financial year from April-April, so you need to set up a record keeping system and keep hold of all your receipts.  Your tax return can be completed online and you have until the following January to complete it.  When you are starting a small business this is a fairly easy process that you should be able to do yourself, but as your business grows you may want to think about hiring an accountant.

As a registered business you should start paying Class 2 National Insurance contributions, at £2.65 per week.  If you expect to have low earnings (£5595 for April 12-13) at first then you can get a small earnings exemption.  However, this could affect your entitlement to Employment and Support Allowance, Maternity Allowance, and your State Pension so you should consider this first.

Before registering as self employed you should check with your Job Centre Plus advisor what affect this could have on your benefits.

Opportunity Plus South West hold regular workshops run by Inland Revenue which gives further information on the above.  Call us on 0800 043 2440 to book your place.