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Setting up an Accounts & Bookkeeping Business

New business, New Start up.

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I am looking for some advice & help to getting set up as a Bookkeeping Sole Trader but also an Agent with HMRC.

I am currently employed working within an Accountancy Practice but unfortunately, I have never got involved directly with setting up businesses or sorting correspondance with HMRC as I have always worked within an office where the administration team took care of these - So it would be really appreciated if I could pushed in the right direction of thinsg I need to do (EG - registering the business as a sole trader to get a UTR number & then applying for an agent services account so I can view clients accounts). If there is any links or forms I need to fill in, that would be greatly appreciated.

 I am looking to expand into the world of being my own boss - I guess recently becoming a Dad, I want to create some financial security for my young family.

Any help on this matter would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Replies (6)

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08th Oct 2019 13:34

Just go to HMRC website. Do you really need to ask this?

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Hallerud at Easter
08th Oct 2019 14:13

Remember MLR and ensuring you have a body to which you report.

Ensure you install processes and manuals re compliance with same.

Consider GDPR responsibilities.

PII likely advisable and maybe third party/employer's liability is considered required,

Check requirements re a PC re any professional bodies of which you are a member.



Large quantity of coffee.

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By Matrix
08th Oct 2019 14:15

The best financial security would be to be an employee (sorry, in a cynical mood today).

You use CWF1 to register as self employed. Don’t register as an agent until you are comfortable that you have sufficient knowledge to charge the public for your services.

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Replying to Matrix:
By Mr_awol
08th Oct 2019 17:17

Matrix wrote:

The best financial security would be to be an employee (sorry, in a cynical mood today).

Sadly, I agree.

In fact, I might go further and enquire as to whether the OP has informed their employer of their planned bookkeeping enterprise and/or looked into the requirements any professional body they are a member of might have. If the answer to either of those questions is 'no' then I have to say that being an employee with an illicit side-line could mean the worst of both worlds......

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By Chris.Mann
08th Oct 2019 15:13

Following on from DJKL's practical advice, as regards MLR, this may also be a useful resource.

Although I didn't know it at the time, I was very lucky, working in a Chartered Practice, in the 1970's, as it was a general practice and we covered all aspects, in our respective teams. Specialist departments weren't a feature at that time, certainly not in the practice which I worked in and we were able to take part in each and every activity (correspondence, accounts prep, Vat, Personal and Corporate taxation, back duty and conversing with client's)

In many ways you might be well advised to seek out a "mentor" to take you under their wing, possibly with the future intent of forming a partnership, which would provide added security?

Your current and (very) isolated environment would be a cause for concern, for me, in that you will have little depth of knowledge in the fields in which you intend to venture. Whilst you can't buy experience I do believe that you require more grounding, in a general practice environment, where you should see a broader spectrum of the general accountancy and taxation practice.

Being a Dad is extremely rewarding but brings responsibility. I've two children and three grandchildren and wouldn't change much of my professional career. I'm the first to acknowledge, I've been very lucky. Right place, right time.

I was lucky to have my hand held, when I ventured out on my own and my mentor, even in his 70's, could still cast an analysed cash book, with just a pencil and mental arithmetic!

In all of this, a word of caution. Think, before you jump.

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Replying to Chris.Mann:
Hallerud at Easter
08th Oct 2019 15:33

Have often thought on A Web that they ought to have sticky threads re these sorts of questions, the go to resource if setting up for oneself.

I agree with your sentiments, broad experience really helps. I was not that well equipped my first foray by myself after five years in practice and four in industry, I was a lot better placed second attempt with ten years in practice and thirteen years in industry,

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