Starting your own business can be an exciting but worrying endeavour. All the ins and outs of licenses, data protection and employing people can at first seem like a mountain to climb. To help you get underway, we will be exploring some of the things you should consider when starting a business of your own.
Choosing your business structure
First of all, you will need to decide on your business structure. There are three main types of business structures to choose from, which are as follows;
- Sole Traders – The simplest of the types of business, where your funds are the business’ funds, which leaves you in control of the debt.
- Limited Companies – Where your finances are separate from the finances of the company. This can require more work on the company’s reporting and management, however, so it may be a good idea to hire an accountant if this is the way you wish to go.
- Partnerships – The easiest way for two or more people to run a business in tandem. The business’ debts are shared, as are the responsibilities.
Now that you are set up, you have to consider licences you that you may need. The licences you need depend on the vision you have for your new business. If it’s a retail store, will there be music playing? Will you be selling food or alcohol? Each of these and more require their own separate licences. A full list can be found at https://www.gov.uk/licence-finder.
Familiarising yourself with data protection laws is important if you plan on hiring staff or storing any personal information of customers who use your service. You must ensure that this data is kept somewhere secure, that it is up to date, and that it is accurate. It is also vital that those people you are collecting the data from are aware that they can see the data you have on them and correct it if it’s wrong, can request it is deleted and can request their data not be used for certain purposes.
In order to enable your company to begin collecting this data, you must tell the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) how the data will be used by your business. A fine can be incurred if you do not abide by data protection laws.
Perhaps the most daunting concept of starting your own business is being responsible for other people’s livelihoods. For this reason, it is paramount that employment laws are followed.
Depending on if you hire agency, contracted, or freelance workers, you will need to ensure that that you consider a vast number of things, including; payroll, national insurance, rights to work, pensions, and employment contracts.
No matter the type of worker, you are always responsible for their health and safety while they are in your place of work, from bannisters on the stairs to ensuring the building is free of harmful substances.
If you have any concerns while starting your business, please contact our commercial team.