Frequently Asked Questions
- When do I need to register for VAT?
VAT registration is compulsory when you have exceeded the registration threshold within the last twelve months or expect to in the next 30 days. The VAT registration threshold changes regularly and the current threshold can be found on the HM Revenue & Customs website or by contacting a member of the Wisteria Formations Customer Support Team.
If you are not making sales at this level you can still register for VAT on a voluntary basis. There are many reasons for this, such as showing that you are tax compliant or to create the image that you are a more established company. If you are unsure whether to register or of the benefits in your specific circumstance it is recommended that you seek professional advice. Please contact our customer support team for more information.
- When do I need to register for PAYE?
It is necessary for you to register for PAYE when you have an employee (including the directors) earning more than the HM Revenue & Customs weekly threshold. However it is common for new company formations to register as soon as they take on their first employee or shortly before they intend to make a payment to one of the directors.
In reality, this usually means that a company should consider registering as an employer immediately after the incorporation is completed.
- What are my filing responsibilities with Companies House?
There are a number of filing requirements, but for most small companies the main requirement with Companies House is to file statutory annual accounts and an annual return.
There are a number of filing requirements, but for most small companies the main requirement with Companies House is to file statutory annual accounts and an annual return. You also must inform them of any changes to details of the business, such as a change of registered office or directors by filling in the relevant Companies House form and filing it with them.
- What are my personal tax filing responsibilities?
- All directors of UK companies are required to file a UK personal self assessment tax return on an annual basis. This applies whether you are a UK resident or not and whether or not you have a UK income. This is not the case for shareholders or Company Secretaries, although they may of course be required to file a tax return for another reason. The tax year runs from 6th April to the following 5th April, with the submission date for paper forms being 31st October and the electronic deadline 31st January.
- Do I need a business plan?
A business plan is extremely helpful after you have completed your new limited company formation. It can help you to secure funding at the start of your company’s life and set goals for you to aim for as well as setting your business strategy and getting the business pointing in the right direction. It can also help you in the future to see where you need to improve and pinpoint where you are falling short of target. It is important to note that most banks or external funding will require you to have a financial business plan as a minimum and possibly also an extensive written plan.
For more information on business plans, visit: Wisteria Business Plans
- Where should my company name be displayed?
- After your company has been formed you need to ensure that your company name is clearly displayed at your registered office address. You also need to include it and other company information, such as the company number and registered office address, on correspondence, stationary and your website. Further information on these requirements can be found on the Companies House website.
- What is the role of the Information Commissioner?
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) exists to encourage the safe use of official information and to defend and protect the personal information of individuals.
Acts that it enforces include:
- The Data Protection Act
- The Freedom of Information Act
- The Environmental Information Regulations
- The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.
If your new limited company is holding private information about your customers you will legally need to register with the ICO so that you can effectively comply with the Data Protection Act. There are rules that need to be followed regarding the availability of private information to third parties and internal parties and the ICO can help you stay compliant with these rules and offer you important advice.
- What methods of finance are there?
There are many sources of finance for start up companies. The most common sources of finance are outlined below:
- Friends and family. A good source of finance as they are less likely to be strict with the time period over which you pay this back and interest payments.
- Credit Cards. This can be a useful source of short term cash flow if managed wisely.
- Bank Loans. You can obtain short (up to a year) to long term bank loans (over a year).
- Bank Overdraft. This should only really be used for short term funding and needs to be arranged with your bank.
- Leasing. This allows you to obtain and use fixed assets without buying them outright; however this may be costly in the long run.
- Venture Capital. This finance comes from institutional investors, funds and high net worth individuals.
- Angel Investors. This is finance from affluent individuals who may want to provide funding for your company in exchange for equity ownership.
When looking for finance, investors will want to see a good thorough business plan so that they can be confident and trust your business strategy. Wisteria Ltd. can produce a professional and customised business plan for you with and also help you keep on the right track when starting out (see Wisteria Business Plans )
For more information on sources of finance please contact one of Wisteria’s consultants who will be happy to discuss financing opportunities.
- What do I need to include on my company website?
The Ecommerce Regulations 2002 make it a legal requirement to include a minimum amount of information on all UK websites. The list below outlines some of the things you will need to consider about publishing on your website:
- Contact details for the website and the identity of the service or product supplier
- Terms and Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Copyright Notices
- What insurance do I need as a limited company?
All trading limited companies are usually required by law to have public and employers liability insurance.
- Public Liability Insurance
- Employers Liability Insurance
This insurance protects the company if a member of the general public or a third party is injured during the course of business with that company. This will include for example an injury whilst visiting the company premises.
This insurance is required if the company has one or more employees and protects the company if an employee is injured whilst working for the company and the company is held responsible. Directors and company secretary are included as employees of the company.
You are advised to take formal advice from an insurance professional in this respect.
- What health and safety responsibilities do I have?
As a limited company you are legally responsible to ensure the health and safety of all employees and anyone who is affected by the company. You have a duty to:
- Carry out thorough assessments of health and safety within the office/workplace
- Produce a health and safety policy which should be in writing if you have more than 5 employees
- Record all serious accidents and injuries