Starting off

Thinking of starting a business? Allocating the time planning your business is an essential part of ensuring your business starts on the best footing. 

You have done the required research and you have decided your idea is will work. 

Here are questions you won’t see in a business book, but are very important to answer as you cant google the answers. You are the only person who knows them. 

What are you risking by starting a business? 

  • Financially
  • Time
  • Energy 

Financially 

The fastest way to lose money fast is to start a business no one needs.

Some questions to get you thinking. 

What is your current stage in life? 
What are your existing financial commitments?
Will, you have future responsibilities (weddings, new car, mortgage)
Are you starting a business to become financially secure?
How are your current finances looking?
What level of income do you need to maintain the lifestyle you have/want? 

Time 

Time is your best asset, underappreciated by youth and sought by the old. 

Some questions to get you thinking. 

What is your current stage in life?
How much time can you commit to the business?
What other time commitments do you have?
Are you good at managing time?
Could your time be better spent doing another activity? 

Energy

Some questions to get you thinking.

Where is your energy currently focused?
How much energy can you commit to the business?
By doing this, you will take away from doing _______
Are you good at managing energy?
Can you give the energy needed to the other parts of your life? 

The reason you should ask yourself these questions is that businesses close when they run out of Money, Time and Energy. 

Decided to continue?

Here is the next step.

Step 1

Welcome to the car showroom What do you have in mind?

You enter a showroom with a car in mind, you value safety, style and comfort. The car salesman shows you a range of models at various prices theses a lot to consider.

Sole trader

This is the model to consider if you are starting off and not sure if you can’t commit to the long term. 

A sole trader is just you, linked by Revenue to your PPS number.

Will your profits should be low, are the start-up cost is low.
Advantages are, it is possible to have multiple trades, so if you change direction after 6 months, you can move on to the next business.
At the end of the year, all the profits/losses are put into the same pot. Taxes are paid on the combined profit/loss. 

Tax returns necessary.

Once registered for income tax you are required to file a Form 11 by 31st October.
Registration for other tax headings may be necessary. 

Let me take this off your shoulders. 

Partnerships 

This model is a people carrier.

If you want to get into a business with someone else, this may be the model for you.

How it works.

Two or more sole traders create a new business. It will have a separate PPS number but is not a separate legal entity.
A partnership pays no tax on its profits. But the profits/losses made are divided between the percentage holding of each sole trader. 

Tax returns necessary.

A sole trader is required to file a Form 11 by 31st October.
A partnership annual return Form 1 by 31st October.
Registration for other tax headings may be necessary. 

Let me take this off your shoulders. 

Company 

The showroom display model. 

This has all the extra features. Low Corporation Tax and Limited Liability.
A company is a separate legal entity which can own assets and liabilities. To set up a company means you become a director of that company. 

Necessary returns.

Directors are required to file a Form 11 by 31st October.
The company is required to file a Corporation Tax return CT1 9 months after the end of the accounting period end.
A B1 Return needs to be submitted to the CRO following the Company Annual Return Date (ARD)
Directors may need to register with the Register Beneficial Ownership. (RBO) 

Registration for other tax headings may be necessary. 

Let me take this off your shoulders. 

Now you need to consider what vehicle will carry your business. Get this done before moving on. 

Step 2

Register your business name

Want to trade under a name separate to your tax registered name? Here is how.
Check with on the CRO website the business name is free.
Once you register that name, you own it. 

Need help registering a business name 

Step 3

Open a business bank account.
Having all your income and expenses in the one place will save you time gathering information when producing accounts. 

Step 4 

We are almost there. The final step to starting your business is.
How will you record and keep your financial information? 

This is essential, but why?
If you are ever selected for inspection of records, Revenue can request back six years.
Physical copies, digital copies, software etc.

Best practices will be covered in the Operating a business section