or is it best to stay as a sole trader, is this something I should really be talking to an accountant about, sadly I don’t have one yet as I am tight, but it is all getting to much.
So that’s two question Ltd or sole trader? And if I stay as a small business is it best to keep doing my own books or could I be missing some great advice as an accountant could help my business grow?
Thanks for your help.
You need to speak to Tim Wettone ( an LJ member) of Wettone Mathews Chartered Accountants Dan.
I've just read a post by him in the Key Business Objectives group and he should happy to answer your queries about Ltd status.
How spooky Rowly....I've just said a similar think on the 'Course tax deductible' thread - didn't see your post:)
i am scared of accountants thats why i asked on here first
Don't be scared of Tim
I've worked with about six accountants during +30 years of business and Tim stands out as the best by far.
One thing we are working towards is a business section where he can give qualified advice (something I've wanted to do since I started LJN three years ago but I've not been able to find the right accountancy firm to implement it not the right package to use.)
Last week Time showed me a selection of online accountancy tools he's working on whereby he can access your accounts from his end. It'll open up a whole new way of handling accounts and be one of the killer services LJN can offer to members.
A D Landscapes said:
i am scared of accountants thats why i asked on here first
to my mind, - as someone who started self employed, - moved to a limited company as I grew, and then moved back, i'd ask yourself the following questions.
How much income do I have (turnover)
How many staff do I employ and what benefits do I want to offer them (i.e pensions, childcare etc)
How much do I know about finances.
these are questions that your accountant can answer if you have one, - but to my mind if you don't have money for an accountant, the answers probably are
I don't have enough income to be a limited company
I don't have enough turnover to be able to offer any emplyees benefits
I need a book keeper to do my finances, - and will only need an accountant if my turnover gets to an excess amount.
Looking forward to any LJN services about this.
Would have saved me time, money and heartache 3 years ago.
Turnover, this year will be good, last year was so bad i don't have to pay tax.
Staff. i will have two part timers, one will be with me helping out with landscaping the other doing the maintenance.
I am rubbish with my finances, i don't enjoy it and have no time to spend on it.
I think it is best i seek out an acc, this will help my company grow and let me have a day off.
The decision should be taken after discussing with an Accountant if you are in any way unsure.
Look at two or three accountants that specialises in small/start up businesses and can either provide or supply cost effective book keeping services. Many have access to good freelance book keepers which allows good continuity.
While you need to be aware of the numbers and the effect they are having, you don't have to do it all yourself.
Some do, but there is nothing wrong either way.
Me, I'm at the point where I delegate to my accountant and enjoy time doing the things I want - whether that be it business or personal related...
I would generally only advise businesses making more than £25,000 profits to consider going limited. The compliance costs of limited companies are higher (mainly accountants' fees) so the tax savings of being limited need to exceed the extra costs. That point is around £25,000.
Having said that, some people with lower profits go limited in order to provide limited liability protection from creditors. That decision will be dependent on the inherent risks of running your own type of business.
I notice that some people are employing/using book-keepers but don't have an accountant. I would seriously question the wisdom of that approach as any reputable accountant should not only help you save tax but keep you compliant and reduce the risk of an expensive tax enquiry. Ask around other local businesses and see if they can recommend a good accountant locally.
I hope that helps.
We also went Limited and are in the process if moving back to being a Partnership (with the window cleaning and garden business)
Profits from the Limited Company were hit hard by the down turn in 2010 and compliance cost us too much as our profits were no where near the level that would make it pay to be limited.
Dan, it will very much depend on the condition of the records you maintain and, to some extent, the locality and size of the accountancy firm you use. If your own records are of reasonable standard, which as a sole trader need not be anything more than a spreadsheet of income and expenses, the "pure" accountancy work (preparation of accounts that are acceptable by banks, building societies and HMRC, preparation and submission of personal tax return, and advising you of your tax liabilities) would be about £300 pa. It might be cheaper than that if you use someone working from home but you need to be sure they are sufficiently competent at what they do. Cheaper is not always better.
If you were looking at adding book-keeping to that list of services, the cost would probably rise to more like £600 pa. However, I am currently exploring an online book-keeping facility where both the business owner and accountant can access the data at the same time. I am going to put a new post about that in the next day or so to see if it is something that interests people here.
Dan Frazer Gardening said:
Can anyone give a ballpark cost for using accountancy services for a year as a sole trader? I am not VAT registered, not having to buy significant materials as I am a maintenance guy, but still make profits. I would like efficiency advice, book keeping and someone to generally asisst keep that side of things running smoothly.
I second that Paul.
It's easy to look at and baulk at the upfront cost and not see the bigger picture and the value that a great accountant can add to your business.
Paul @ PPCH Services said:
I can't echo enough the Value of a good accountant, Mine saves me his costs and more in tax saved through knowledge of what can and can't be declared and the best way of declareing things.