How to Start a Small Business in the UK
If you’re an inborn UK citizen, you will have little to no worries about starting a small business. There will be fewer requirements and rules but more accessible benefits.
However, this is not the same case for those who came from non-EU countries. You will need to apply to a lot more business claims and pass more requirements. It can be hard, but we recommend contacting Total.Law or professional expat immigration lawyers to assist you with the process.
Since you’ll be in the UK, you should specifically look for an Immigration Lawyer London so you can access more accurate aids. Immigration Advice Services is one of our top suggestions for this matter.
#1: Check eligibility as an entrepreneur.
Not anyone can start a business in the UK. It doesn’t matter what size or niche. The only exceptions to this rule are citizens from Europe and EAA (Bulgaria and Romania not included). This is because they won’t need special requirements to earn profits in the country.
However, if you’re an immigrant, you’ll need to present your visa along with some other requirements. Apart from that, you also need good standing points to obtain Tier 1 in the UK’s points-based immigration system.
#2: Acquaint yourself with the UK’s business culture.
There are varying kinds of business cultures and conduct in every country. Of course, the UK also has its own. Hence, if you’re going to build a UK-based business, it’s essential that you acquaint yourself with them. Here are some of the most important qualities that you should practice:
If you can execute this in your everyday business sessions, then you’re already close to getting the hang of it. Another thing, dress codes are also a big deal. They only accept formal attire, even on normal days.
#3: Formulate your business plan.
Of course, you can’t start a business without a plan. Before thoroughly engaging in legal business matters, you should first know what to do during the establishment process. This involves knowing the following factors:
- Legal Structure of Business
- Business Location
- Target Market
- Marketing Strategies to Follow
Basically, you need to graph out everything from how you will open your business to how you will maintain it in the long run. It will serve as your blueprint.
#4: Register your business.
After deciding on a legal structure and a full-on plan, you need to go on to register your business. This is necessary for the UK. Not doing so can lead to legal issues, unclaimed benefits, and non-recognition from the UK government.
#5: Collect legal requirements.
Along with registration comes a list of legal requirements to officially be considered as an earning business. These will include:
- Business License
- Business Permit/s
- Articles of Incorporation (If applicable)
- Insurance and Guarantee Certificates (If any)
You can get a full list from your immigration lawyer or the UK government itself. Either way, make sure to submit all the requirements at once, so you can go through the process faster.
#6: Process required taxation.
A business should also register with the HM Revenue & Customs for taxation purposes. Corporation Tax is currently set at 20%, but this may further vary depending on the legal structure that you applied for your business.
Once you have applied for tax and VAT (if applicable), it will be your responsibility to keep track of your required taxation documents. You will need to submit these for annual records, both personal and governmental.
#7: Apply for the UK’s business-related benefits.
Businesses headed by EU and EAA nationals are automatically valid for government benefits. Expats, on the other hand, may need to process the applications for insurance and other government benefits themselves. Since you most probably belong in the latter, make sure that you take care of this matter as soon as possible.
#8: Take care of employer responsibilities.
As an employer or a business owner, you need to take care of your employees. This involves managing the payroll, accounting and financial matters, and their insurance. This applies, no matter your employees’ citizenship.
#9: Build a brand in the UK.
Once you’re sure that you have taken care of all the legal business matters, you can now head on to build your brand around the UK. This is where you’ll start marketing your products and services, arrange shipping processes and maintenance of marketing strategies.
If you’re an expat planning to start a small business in the UK, you need to pay a lot of attention to your desired nature of business. This is where the requirements, risks, benefits, and other business-related factors will depend on. You will also need to take possible insurance applications into account.
The task will seem complex at first, but if you invest in the help of immigration lawyers, you’ll find the process smoother. You can also expect better results in terms of profits and customer relations. Of course, this is only possible if you ensure that you’re working with credible professionals.
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