We are proud to support the tech start up community and regularly partner with university incubators and start up accelerators to provide help and guidance to tech entrepreneurs. We share the same drive and passion for the tech sector and enjoy working in a collaborative, innovative community with like-minded people.
The start up phase can be an exciting but daunting time for business owners. You need clear advice about what needs to be done, and also what you need to start thinking about as you plan your journey. From company formation guidance to accounting package choice, from setting up a payroll to understanding R&D tax credits, we help you navigate through the key requirements of this important stage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best structure for the business?
It's important to lay the best possible groundworks for any new start up as selecting the wrong business structure can cause things to go awry right from the beginning. Read our article here
A private limited company is considered a legal entity in its own right and is separate from its owners. This means that the founders can keep their assets and finances separate from the business itself. There are also some tax incentives for this particular structure such as Corporation Tax Rates, Dividends, R&D Tax Credits and etc.
How do we choose the best bookkeeping package?
The right accounting software can save you and your business time and money therefore before choosing, spend some time considering how you will use the software and the functions that you need. This will allow you to be clear about your priorities and can help you to evaluate packages, and identify the best product. The best accounting solution will also integrate with any ecommerce software you're running, regardless of the theme installed.
How important is a business plan?
As a start-up, it is very important to have a business plan as it will give you a much better understanding of your business and the objectives you are trying to achieve. Furthermore, companies that have a business plan also enjoy higher growth rates than companies without a plan.
How do we prepare the business to attract investment?
Angel investors and venture capitalists base their decisions on the likelihood of earning a positive return on investment (ROI) therefore it is important to have a clear business plan in place when speaking to them. Ensuring your annual accounts are robust and you can substantiate key transactions and balances will provide potential investors confidence in the underlying numbers.
However, often the business plan and pipeline of opportunities is key: ensure this is clearly laid out and substantiated as appropriate. How have you considered other factors such as retention / reliance on key employees; ability to protect IP; feasibility of scaling the concept internationally; how your concept compares to alternatives on the market - what are the key USPs you have?
Does investment into the business qualify for Investor tax relief?
Investment into the business can qualify for reliefs of which the main two are Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).
These are broadly awarded for trading companies and provide relief on Income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax. There are caps on what can be raised and how much investors can get tax relief for but these are currently generous. A cap based on age of company also applies in most cases. Venture Capital Schemes (VCT) reliefs are also available.
Can we get assurance in advance from HMRC that tax relief will be given to investors?
Broadly speaking, yes in some circumstances. You can ask HMRC if they agree that an investment would meet the conditions of a scheme before you apply (Advanced Assurance) and this can be shown to your potential investors. Advance assurance will not tell you if an investor would meet the conditions of the scheme. You’ll need to make separate applications for each proposed investment that you want advance assurance for.
Does the innovation qualify for R&D tax credits?
Research and Development (R&D) reliefs support companies that work on innovative projects in science and technology and can be claimed by a range of companies that seek to research or develop an advance in their field.
The work that qualifies for R&D relief must be part of a specific project to make an advance in science or technology. It cannot be an advance within a social science - like economics - or a theoretical field - such as pure maths. The project must relate to your company’s trade - either an existing one, or one that you intend to start up based on the results of the R&D.
The business must be a limited company, the structure suggested. It is important to note that these can also be claimed on unsuccessful projects.
To find out more about R&D tax relief, please click here.
Can we obtain Grants?
Grants can be obtained and Innovate UK are the main grant body for UK TIG businesses.