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Setting up a business

This month’s Jobcentre column brings you some important links and information for those who may be considering making the first few steps towards setting up a business.

The following are some basic things to consider when setting up your own business. For further information please visit Gov.uk – www.gov.uk/browse/business/setting-up

Register your business
Most businesses register as a sole trader, limited company or partnership.

Sole traders
It’s simpler to set up as a sole trader, but you’re personally responsible for your business’s debts. You also have some accounting responsibilities – www.gov.uk/set-up-sole-trader

Limited companies
If you form a limited company, its finances are separate from your personal finances, but there are more reporting and management responsibilities – www.gov.uk/running-a-limited-company

A partnership is the simplest way for two or more people to run a business together.

You share responsibility for your business’s debts. You also have accounting responsibilities. Find out more about being in a partnership and how to register here: www.gov.uk/set-up-business-partnership

Rules for your type of business
You may have other responsibilities depending on what your business does.

Check if you need:
• Licences or permits, for example to play music, sell food or to trade in the street
• Insurance

There are also rules you must follow if you:
• Sell goods online
• Buy goods from abroad or sell goods abroad
• Store or use personal information

Where you work – Check what your responsibilities are if you:
• Run your business from home
• Rent somewhere to run your business from

If you rent or buy a property, you may have to pay business rates. Small businesses can apply for a discount on business rates and some may pay nothing.

Check if you can claim office, property and equipment as expenses – www.gov.uk/expenses-if-youre-self-employed

Taking on people to help
If you take on agency workers or freelancers you have some responsibilities, for example their health and safety.

There are things you’ll need to do if you take on your own employees – www.gov.uk/employing-staff. You’ll have more responsibilities.

Get help and support – You can get help with setting up your business – www.gov.uk/business-help

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