How do I file a company tax return?

All limited companies are required by law to complete a Company Tax Return and sent to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within a certain period. HMRC will issue a “notice to deliver a tax return” at the end of a company’s accounting period.

Before filing a tax return

You should have registered your business with Companies House before providing HMRC with the following details:

  • The date you began to trade (the start date of your company’s first accounting period)
  • Your company name and registered number (provided to you by Companies House)
  • Your main business address
  • The type of business you do
  • The date of your annual accounts period
  • The name and home address of the company directors.

To file a company tax return

  1. Companies must register with HMRC to obtain a user ID and password to file online
  • Companies must file their Corporation Tax Return (CT600) online with HMRC. The documents which must be submitted alongside the CT600, are the accounts and Corporation Tax calculations
  • Accounts must also be filed with Companies House either online or via the post. To file online, companies must contact Companies House to obtain a different authentication code from HMRC.

What do I need to include?

The Statutory accounts

  • profit and loss account (income statement)
  • balance sheet (statement of financial position)
  • notes
  • directors’ report.

Company Tax return

The main information contained within the return is:

  • details about the company
  • calculation of the corporation tax due
  • details of any capital allowances claimed
  • details of any losses claimed.

Corporation Tax computation (calculation)

If you are preparing and filing your company’s Corporation Tax computation, you should be completely confident in doing it yourself, if not, you should seriously consider hiring an accountant to do it for you or you may face a hefty financial penalty. 

How do I market my business with no budget?

If you think your business needs an expensive marketing company or a PR guru to be successful but are way out of your league, as a small business owner you should not let that get in the way of your success. You can still effectively brand and market your business with a little creativity, dedication, and hard work.  Here are a few tips to get your business noticed.

Harness the Internet

There are plenty of opportunities to get your business in front of people without spending a small fortune. Getting started on your marketing and branding journey is easier than ever, by using the power of Social media you can access the populations of Social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide business owners at little or no cost at all.

Set up and maintain your business profile and start up a conversation with your potential customers, offer them special offers and useful information to attract them by creating blogs that caters to your company’s niche then promote them across your platforms. You can also request a guest blogger with many followers to either write a blog or refer to yours and give them a gift or promotional offer to test your product in exchange.

Plan a PR Strategy

Once you know who your target audience is, you need to start pitching to them. You need to determine your goals and objectives and what it is that you want to achieve. For example, you may want to launch a new business or service and raise awareness of it in the market. Or to position your product or service as the market leader in your niche category. Whatever your goals are they must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (SMART).

Find a complementary Partnership

Find a business that complements your niche. For example, a builder could team up with a furniture store to promote each other’s business. You will be able to tap into each other’s new and existing customer base, to help spread the word, as well as build up a business network and contact list.

Be patient

Marketing strategies can take a lot of effort before they begin to produce fruit.  Do not alter your strategy, as can make you seem inconsistent and untrustworthy to customers. Just stay true to your message and keep at it, before long you see start producing results.

You can also look at funding options through here:

Top 5 Trendy business ideas for 2019

1.         Plant-based foods

There is a growing trend and a business opportunity to sell more plant-based foods for people that are mindful of their health or are concerned for animal welfare.  Understanding the difference between plant-based diets can help you spot a unique business idea in which to capitalise on:

  • vegan (eating no animal products at all)
  • vegetarian (eating no animal flesh products)
  • pescatarian (eating fish and seafood but no other animals)
  • flexitarian (eating a primarily plant-based diet)

2.         Green alternatives

The recent press coverage on the environmental impact of plastics polluting the seas and filling up landfill sites, has provided start-ups and existing businesses that are green or eco centric new opportunities for funding. Many social enterprises have been created to help lead the way to saving the planet, these opportunities include:

  • Creating a new reusable or recyclable product
  • Incorporate recyclable or reusable packaging, for example, biodegradable water bottles
  • Selling compostable items, such as cups to a coffee shop

3.         Ethnic minority Beauty Products

For many years, people of colour have found it particularly difficult to match make-up such as foundation to their skin tone.  In 2018 with help from the fashion and beauty industry, a new trend that recognises this gap in the market has been pushing for change. Many products are currently either in production or currently being sold, finding a niche in the market can be quite lucrative, such as:

  • Selling make-up colours that are customised for more individuals, where current ones are failing
  • Make and sell custom shampoo and conditioner for underrepresented hair types

4.         Online coaching and consultancy

In recent years there has been an increase in online, on-demand services. Entrepreneurs can either create or invest in many ideas, such as:

  • Selling products or services using their knowledge and expertise
  • Become an online coach or consultant, teaching others to sell their goods or services.

5.         Luxury pet care

Considering the amount of people that own pets, there are certainly many opportunities:

  • Pet walking
  • Pet grooming
  • Toys for pets
  • Holiday homes for pets

Knowing that there is a wide range of new business ideas that you can make a business from, a good starting point would be to choose a business idea you are either passionate about or have expertise in, this will ensure that you have a competitive edge and will more likely result in a success endeavour.

What types of Business Loan are available?

Business loans are now offered in more places than traditional lenders were previously able to.  Entrepreneurs can approach High street banks, building societies, specialist lenders and internet brokers and crowd funders to offer loans to small businesses. There are two main types of small business loans that are available:

  1. Flexible loans – are either capped or have a variable interest rate, with a choice of a monthly or quarter monthly repayment periods.
  2. Fixed loans – has a fixed rate of interest and a repayment plan is predetermined.

Flexible loans are risky particularly when the interest rate on your loan can vary depending on the fluctuations in the base rate. These rates can either go up or down during the duration of your loan and you run the risk of hiking up your interest rates in the worst-case scenario. The only upside is if the rate goes down, so do your repayments.

Small business loans can range from £1,000 to £25,000 with a repayment period of one to 10, or sometimes even 15 years, if you provide an asset as security.  Alternatively, an unsecured loan will usually carry a higher rate of interest and will provide less money over a shorter period of time.

Bigger businesses can access a larger loan, but the money lender will require an asset as security such as a business property, or a personal guarantee from a company director.  Generally speaking freehold and properties with a long lease are usually more favourable.  

Other options to consider when trying to raise money for your business include:

  • Short term loans – usually less money is borrowed and is generally repaid within one year, at a higher rate of interest.
  • Credit cards, a credit account and overdrafts are also worth considering, depending on your circumstances and credit status.

Always shop around before taking out a loan, as there are new money lenders coming into the market on a daily basis, which can potentially offer you a better rate of interest with a shorter period of time to repay it back.

How will Small businesses funding be affected after Brexit?

Since 1994, European parliaments and private banks have helped lend billions of Euros and pounds to businesses across the union including the UK, through the European Investment Fund (EIF), by enabling liquidity and finance through national banks and other money lenders. Doing this has helped the flow of creative projects, kick start innovative start-ups, and endorsed co-operation across national and international borders.  The increase of growth of these small and medium-sized business has not only benefitted the employment market but has increased productivity globally.

U.K. based businesses, have benefitted companies that were previously unable to source investment, but are now able to get access to funding to set up their businesses within the UK, whilst accessing 27 other member states through frictionless trade agreements with the other EU members. Once the UK leaves the EU, there has not been a signal yet from the Government, what will substitute this vibrant lifeline for many UK businesses. 

Many investors and SMEs businesses are anxiously waiting for what the ‘soft’ Brexit approach will consist of, in the hope of putting an end to the financial uncertainty and if they need to adjust their business, for instance, relocate to mainland Europe, or source cheaper suppliers, they need certainty to adjust and to plan ahead.

As SME’s have a huge impact on the UK’s tax revenue, by lowering employment levels and generating investment, particularly in the tech and science industries, if less money is available to them after this may negatively affect the whole of the UK’s economy.

However, all is not gloomy, as MP’s work hard to stop a ‘no deal’ Brexit, and with the EU stating that they want to do a deal with the UK, as well as remain close friends and neighbours, to continue allowing the free flow of goods and services between our borders. There may finally be a way through the uncertainty and give confidence to SMEs, worried that operating in a stable and collaborative environment is at an end, but more importantly, to the investors that can propel them to the next level.