So, you’ve set up a new limited company… what next?
When you incorporate a new company, Companies House pass that information onto HMRC.
So, within a few weeks, HMRC will automatically write to you. HMRC letters always look a little scary, even when they aren’t. The first letter will also contain the company’s UTR (Unique Tax Reference number), so don’t throw it away. You’ll need the UTR to file a tax return or discuss anything with HMRC (Yes, I know, you don’t really want to discuss anything with the taxman, but there are times when you will need to)
Previously, HMRC used to send out a CT41G form – this asks for some standard information on your new company, such as it’s year-end date, it’s registered number, directors details (which usually triggers a personal self-assessment tax return for the director)
A form 64-8 is also included, and this allows you to tell HMRC your accountant’s details (if you’ve appointed one). HMRC require a 64-8 form before they will discuss your affairs with an accountant. You can also download a 64-8 from HMRC’s website or it’s possible for your accountant to start the process off online.
Do you know how you are going to pay yourself?
It’s very often appropriate to register as an employer, which can be done online or over the phone. This is so that you can pay yourself a basic salary.
You also need to know when you can pay dividends, how much, and be able to deal with the required dividend minutes and vouchers.
Depending on your business, and your target customers, it may also be appropriate to register for VAT – and that involves considering which VAT scheme might be most suitable. VAT registration can be done on paper, or online, and normally takes a few weeks to come through.
Decide how who will do your bookkeeping (will it be you, or somebody else?), what software to use, and how you are going to organise your files. (You will need good, regular bookkeeping, as well as keeping tabs on your business, you will need to know how much you can take in dividends)
If you have incorporated your sole-trader business, there will be even more considerations – such as goodwill valuation.