Will AI change everything for UK SMEs?

Many believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will foster the fourth Industrial Revolution as it transforms how we live and work.

In the British business world, we are looking ahead to a future driven and controlled by AI. This could very well be the keystone of the next industrial revolution, but how many employers are ready for it and how can UK SMEs utilise it to push forward?

Driving innovation

A recent study has shown the current understanding of and predictions for AI by decision makers. It showed that 45% of IT decision makers are certain that AI will be behind the biggest innovations over the next few years.

This is unsurprising, when we consider the vast scope of artificially intelligent technology. Every generation sees the advent of a disruptive technology that changes everything, and for our generation this could very well be AI.

The survey considered whether UK businesses are fully embracing the possibilities AI brings, in order to increase productivity. Respondents said that AI is more important to the future than other buzzword technologies, such as VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality), which came in at 16%. Slightly more (24%) consider the internet as equally important, but AI is the clear favourite.

This is likely to be, in part, because it’s easier to directly link AI to increased services and productivity, while AR and VR usage remains less clear. They also need specific devices in order to use them, while AI can be absorbed into current devices more easily.

How will AI help UK SMEs?

Financial experts expect that the technology will allow British businesses to save trillions of pounds. This is due to the massive time and manpower savings that AI can herald.

Businesses in the UK spend on average 120 days a year on administration. This has a huge impact on productivity.  Artificial Intelligence takes the burden of mundane back-office administration tasks such as logging expenses and analysing data, allowing people in the business to focus on what matters.

It is potentially a great opportunity for small businesses, particularly when starting out, as many find it difficult to dedicate the necessary hours to the day-to-day administrative duties necessary. With small numbers of employees, it is all too easy to allow important but repetitive tasks to go undone, leading to problems in the future.

How prepared are businesses in the UK?

The immense possibilities for UK SMEs provided by AI are indisputable, but many survey respondents reported that they didn’t think their employers were ready to take advantage of this.

More than 55% said that they considered that their employer is underprepared for AI and its possibilities. Just 19% felt their employers were ready and able to utilise the technology.

When it comes to larger businesses, just 10% feel that their employer is ‘completely ready’ for AI, according to the results of the poll. These numbers clearly show that employees are aware of the possibilities, yet businesses are being left behind.

It’s already here

While many feel underprepared, other businesses in the UK are already seeing the positive effects of AI. This is particularly the case in the financial sector as this type of industry is already strongly implementing AI.

Other sectors are also heavily utilising the technology. For example, Ordnance Survey have utilised machine learning to train a machine model to correctly identify types of roofs. This has freed up the workforce to concentrate their skills on more complicated problems.

James Turner, managing director of Turner Little Limited (turnerlittle.com) said “Ambitious SMEs in the UK must learn from other industries. It’s important for small businesses to understand how other sectors and businesses are using AI, and to implement it themselves. If they miss this crucial opportunity, they could find larger businesses are more flexible than them, thereby losing a traditional SME advantage.

“If businesses don’t quickly grasp the vast opportunities afforded by AI, then they could face losing talented employees who move to businesses who are more forward thinking. To embrace these kinds of changes, it’s important to invest in developing skills and keeping one step ahead of technological possibilities. This is true for SME owners and their employees. Technology moves fast, and if you don’t harness it, you could get left behind.”

About Turner Little

Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction/repair, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

Contact Turner Little

How late a payment culture adversely affects SMEs

One of the biggest problems faced by UK SMEs is the culture of late payment that is endemic in our business world. Not only are late payments undermining the growth opportunities for small businesses, but it’s also affecting the value that they could bring to the UK’s economy.

Late payment from customers is a problem that has been around for many years, and unfortunately research shows that it’s still far from being eradicated. It is estimated that 62% of invoices issued by SMEs in the UK in 2017 were paid late. This equates to a figure of £21 billion and was up from 60% recorded in 2016.

Cash is king

Cashflow is all important, but particularly for small and medium sized enterprises. Without it, even the most innovative and exciting business can fail if they don’t receive the payments they’re owed. Without a steady flow of ready cash to deal with unexpected expenses, businesses can quickly go under. And one of the most important aspects of maintaining workable cashflow is being paid on time.

It’s no surprise that SMEs are at their most vulnerable when they are just starting out, and too many missed or late payments can scupper their chances before they even get started.

The average value of the invoices that went unpaid, according to the survey mentioned earlier, was £51,826. A third of invoices settled late took longer than a fortnight from the cut off date agreed, with some taking up to six months to be paid.

SMEs are most vulnerable

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) published a report in 2016 that cites the urgency with which the Government must tackle late payers. They found that part of the reason why there is such a problem is ‘supply chain bullying’. Payment terms for larger businesses often include ‘unfair contract terms’, which has an impact on small firms.

Late payment costs small businesses in the UK about £2.5 billion every year. Official figures from the FSB report show that a third of payments to SMEs are late, with an average payment value at £6,142. All of which means around 20% of small businesses facing cashflow problems specifically because of late payments.

Bleak as this sounds, the encouraging part is that the Government is doing something about the problem of late payments by standing up for small businesses. For example, at the end of 2017, Business Secretary Greg Clark announced a newly created role of Small Business Commissioner.

The role was introduced to ensure that fair payment practices are followed for the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses and was taken by Paul Uppal. It also offers support in resolving late payment problems with larger companies and is working to bring about substantial changes in payment practices across all business sectors.

James Turner, managing director of Turner Little Limited (turnerlittle.com) said: “There are still millions owed to small businesses in the UK across many different sectors. This is obviously a massive problem for SMEs, particularly when they’re attempting to get off the ground. It’s hoped that the Government will continue pushing back against the endemic culture of late payment, particularly from larger companies.

“Cashflow is the heart of industry, and small businesses can’t survive, grow and thrive without it. The importance of SMEs for the UK economy can’t be underestimated, particularly as we head towards leaving the EU next year. The Government needs to take more steps to support small businesses as we move forward.”

About Turner Little

Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and Offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

Searching for the UK’s Female Entrepreneurs

According to top Industry research the UK is one of the best countries in the world to launch a business. However, research shows that women are only half as likely to start a business as men. So, why are fewer women launching start-ups in the UK? Figures about the number of female entrepreneurs in the UK has led the Government to launch an investigation into the issue of women in business. The review was unveiled on 21 September with banker Alison Rose commissioned to make recommendations about how more women can be encouraged to start their own businesses.

Entrepreneurs strengthening small businesses

In a press release following the announcement of the initiative, Alison Rose said: “If we want to strengthen the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business, then no-one can be left behind. Unfortunately, statistics show that women make up only a third of all entrepreneurs in the UK.”

The Government’s plan is to better understand the reasons for the lack of women start-up owners, and then provide realistic and useful support to this demographic.

Breaking cultural barriers

There is evidence to show fewer women are starting their own businesses, according to the Government. They cite a survey undertaken by Unilever Foundry, which shows that women don’t feel as supported as men in entrepreneurship and aren’t encouraged in the same way to start businesses.

It discovered that many women who started their own business were routinely fighting cultural stereotypes to overcome other people’s expectations. They also pointed out the lack of impressive female role models in the business sector.

Popular culture

There is also a school of thought that the portrayal of entrepreneurs in popular culture almost exclusively focuses on old-fashioned ideas. For example, The Apprentice portrays entrepreneurs as stuck in macho, throwback stereotypes.

Another problem routinely faced by women is the need to work harder in the face of other people’s prejudices. Decision-makers in sectors including banking, finance and venture capitalism are usually men, and are less likely to invest in female entrepreneurs. The Daily Telegraph published a survey recently that showed two-thirds of the 750 women interviewed felt that they hadn’t been taken seriously by investors when trying to raise money for their businesses.

Men are 86% more effective in securing venture capital funding than women, according to the survey, which also showed that men are 56% more likely to secure backing from an angel investor. Women also tend to secure fewer and smaller bank loans for business, and they are charged more. Just 9% of the start-up funding in the UK reaches businesses run by women.

Government initiative

At the launch of the initiative, Robert Jenrick, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury said: “The fact that Britain is home to so many new, innovative businesses is something to be proud of. But the fact that so few of them are started by women is shocking. Therefore, it’s vital that we identify the barriers that are hampering entrepreneurial women from securing the backing that businessmen have taken for granted.”

The review will examine new ways to help to start a business by looking at:

  • the causes of the disparity between make and female entrepreneurship.
  • the kinds of actions that could be taken to reduce barriers to women starting businesses.
  • the disparities between businesses led by men and women when seeking external financing.
  • best practice examples that could be adopted by financial service firms and investors looking to avoid gender bias when considering investment options.

This is all part of the Government’s ongoing work to increase diversity in business and build a country in which small businesses can thrive. The results will be published in spring 2019.

James Turner, managing director of Turner Little Limited (turnerlittle.com) said: “All of this evidence shows that the Government has its work cut out in tackling these problems. There is a significant pool of talent that remains untapped and underutilised because women don’t have the same opportunities as men, according to the information shown in the research.

“The UK should encourage women in their entrepreneurial aspirations in the same way that men are encouraged and supported. If more steps aren’t taken then, as a country, we can’t be surprised at the lack of women entrepreneurs. It’s extremely encouraging that the Government is taking the issue of gender-bias in entrepreneurship and small businesses in the UK seriously. It will be interesting to hear the results of the initiative and discover the steps the Government plans to take next year.”

About Turner Little

Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

Turner Little Logo
Turner Little

How businesses can easily maximise their online presence

Nowadays, every small business must have a consistent, professional and high quality online presence. Around 54% of small businesses have a website, according to figures from 2017, which shows how far behind the curve many still are.

It can feel overwhelming to tackle your online presence when starting a small business. It’s also all too easy to miss key opportunities by mismanaging it. Here are some tips to avoid common errors made by many small businesses.

  1. Don’t ignore local SEO

Approximately 97% of internet users search online for local businesses. This clearly means small businesses just can’t ignore the potential benefits of local SEO. It can help you attract customers who carry out searches tied to specific locations, such as ‘Thai restaurants in Brixton’.

By optimising your website for local searches, you are bringing your business to potential customers. The best ways to sort your local SEO include:

  • Verify your ‘Google My Business’ listing, which connects you with customers. When you’ve verified your page, you can update your contact details, add a description and edit the categories to best suit your business.
  • Embed a Google Map on your website, linking to the Google Plus local listing. This will clearly display all the necessary information about your business to customers.
  • Optimise content and meta tags for local keywords, such as adding your city into the title tag to increase local search clicks.
  • Make sure contact information is consistent across all of your online channels.
  1. Be accessible to everyone

If your website isn’t accessible for every user, then you are missing out. As customers become more sophisticated and demanding, all businesses must ensure that their website is usable across different platforms. For example, make sure the user interface works across web, mobile and tablet.

A Google survey showed that 72% of mobile users think that it’s vital for a website to be mobile-friendly, and it has been proven to increase conversion. Similarly, the speed of a website is important. Even a very small delay in loading can mean a lost conversion of 7%. Around 40% of users will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.

Accessibility should be a priority for every small business. Improving the customer experience is key, as this will help you beat the competition and retain repeat customers.

  1. Take advantage of online customer reviews

Online reviews are now such a vital part of a customer’s purchasing decision that 88% of users trust them as much as a recommendation from a friend. The more reviews a business has, the more chance it has of earning customer trust.

Small businesses should always encourage and invite reviews and consider incentivising the process. Even negative reviews can be useful if businesses embrace and address them. This allows the business to build up a trusted relationship with customers and be seen to be improving its performance. Online reviews also count as new content for a website and can therefore improve SEO.

  1. Keep data consistent

Small businesses expanding their online presence should measure the effectiveness of their work. While it’s important to look at Return on Investment in terms of online marketing, it’s more so to find the best way to combine data between online, mobile and offline marketing. This will give a more useful understanding of how best to allocate a budget. Not combining this data means businesses will miss potential opportunities.

  1. Communicate effectively with customers

All small businesses must understand their customers. A business with an effective online presence is paying attention to what customers say they want, and brings them much closer to effective, two-way communication.

There are far more opportunities to increase sales when businesses develop authentic relationships with both prospective and existing customers. Building an effective online presence will mean this goal is much closer.

All these steps are easy to take and should be implemented by small businesses. For more advice from a small business expert, talk to Turner Little here.

About Turner Little

Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction/repair, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

Make your small business appear larger and more professional

No matter how small your business and how few staff you have, it’s important that you appear as large and professional as possible to customers, clients and consumers.

In a recent survey by a provider of reception services, members of the British public were asked to talk about any factors that influence their thoughts about businesses. The idea was to identify their opinions on branding and what makes a company seem professional when it comes to SMEs.

Online Presence

The information from the survey shows that consumers consider three major factors important regarding the professionalism of businesses:

  1. Business website – two-thirds of respondents said that a well-maintained business website is vital for a professional brand image.
  2. Social media presence – 38% of survey respondents consider a social media presence essential for companies to realistically compete with more established businesses.
  3. Customer support – a third of respondents said that 24-hour customer support and automated answering are important to establish a bigger and more approachable business.

Other features that were flagged up as important to customers include a clearly visible registered corporate address and the use of 0800 phone numbers.

Supporting small business

The idea behind the research was to gather data to help support growth of small businesses. Commercial appeal cannot be underestimated when it comes to growing the outward face of a business. While small businesses may not have the kinds of resources available to larger companies, there are ways they can control their appearance to current and potential customers.

With a few key investments, even the smallest businesses and brands can begin to build workable profiles that can realistically compete with major corporations. This kind of presence is extremely important in today’s ultra-competitive business world, and particularly within sectors including law, finance and real estate.

Professional brand

Creating a professional presence that allows consumers to view your small business on a par with larger corporations is absolutely key to success in 2018 and beyond. Luckily, the steps needed to implement this do not need to be prohibitively expensive or out of range for small businesses.

Judicious use of social media channels along with regularly updated and optimised web content will go a long way to establishing your brand as credible and competitive.

The team at Turner Little has a lot of experience working with start-ups, small businesses and newly launched businesses in various sectors. For advice, help and assistance in how to ensure your SME is reaching the right people, sending out the right message and making full use of all brand opportunities, contact the team. We’d be happy to help.

About Turner Little

Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction/repair, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

Overseas Trust versus Foundation – Asset Protection

The History

For many hundreds of years, Trusts have been used as a means of securing assets or wealth for later distribution to their respective beneficiaries. It has been claimed that Trusts originated at the time of the Crusades when Barons, Knights and the like left to fight in the Holy Land and left their lands and castles in the trust of a third party with instructions on what to do should they not return. Henry VIII is said to have been responsible for committing Trusts to the written word.

Whether the above statements are factually correct or not is of little importance. Of far more importance is the fact that Trust Law around the world is based on English Trust Law and that the majority of the world’s wealth is said to be held in Trusts. How much this is no one knows for sure but it surely demonstrates that there is serious value in Trusts no matter which way you look at them. UK pension schemes are a good example of the use of Trusts in that literally billions of £’s worth of assets are held in trust for the benefit of pensioners, employees, deferred members and so on. These assets are controlled by Trustees who are required to act under general Trust law and the specific Trust Deed relating to whatever fund or assets under their control and to act in the interests of the beneficiaries. To do otherwise would be a serious criminal offence.

One important fact well worth knowing is that a Trust of itself cannot own anything. It is simply an arrangement governed by a Trust Deed laying down the rules under which the Trustees must act, the overriding requirement as stated above being that they act in the best interests of the Beneficiaries under the Trust. It is the Trustees of a Trust who actually take ownership but even then, only on behalf of the Beneficiaries.

In more recent times, Trusts have been used as part of both large and small company structures to aid in the safekeeping of business assets through their continued existence. Where some Trusts are used simply to retain funds or physical assets, there is now an ever increasing trend in effectively gifting the ownership of companies and corporations into Trust for protection purposes and to ensure that the ownership the corporations can be correctly transferred to the owner’s heirs, next of kin or intended successors in the event of their passing.

Overseas Trust and Foundation

When Companies, particularly overseas companies are established for asset protection, the ownership of them is often transferred to Trustees, who will retain control until such time as the Trust is wound up. They can appoint individuals as directors to actually run the company and are able to delegate significant powers to the directors. Where larger or overseas companies are concerned and an overseas Trust is used, a Licenced Trust Company would usually take on the responsibility as Trustee on behalf of the business owner. Although this has become standard practice in many jurisdictions, some business owners require even higher levels of security for the ownership of their companies.

In response to these requirements, many overseas jurisdictions now offer “International Foundations”. Although the basic premise remains the same to that of a Trust, there are a number of benefits (depending on the applicant’s requirements) over the formation of a Trust. Unlike a Trust, a Foundation is a legal entity of itself (just like a company) and can own assets including shares in a company, property, money in bank accounts etc. etc. Instead of Trustees, foundations would typically be controlled by Foundation Council Members who are appointed when the Foundation is created. The Council Members of registered Foundations are bound by law to act in accordance with the Founder’s wishes and to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. It is worth noting that there is no requirement to name the beneficiaries and a foundation can simply be set up with a purpose, not a named beneficiary. Notwithstanding, the Foundation Council must still act according to Foundation Law of the jurisdiction in which it is created and the Foundation Deed.

In summary, both Trusts and Foundations can offer benefits to both individuals as well as to a range of corporate entities.

Turner Little

Turner Little offer the creation of both Trusts and Foundations alone or in conjunction with the incorporation of UK or Offshore Companies. For further assistance please contact us on 01904 783101.

Explaining the different types of trust

There are different types of trust that can be set up for inheritance purposes. Selecting the right one for your needs is important. Here are some examples to help you understand the different types.

Simple

Also known as a ‘Bare Trust’, this allows the beneficiary to gain absolute control over the assets in the Trusts immediately. They will therefore have control over the income generated.

When a settlor (the person entrusting money to the trust) selects the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) they know for certain who will benefit. When it has been set up, the beneficiaries can’t be altered.

Accumulation or Discretionary

Assigned trustees are given the discretion of how the income of the Trust is used. Trustees for a Discretionary Trust are the legal owners of the assets and must run it in favour of the beneficiaries. An Accumulation Trust’s board of trustees are given powers to accumulate the income until the beneficiary is legally allowed the income or property.

Charitable or Heritage

This is a business-related Trust set up to benefit a historic or charitable cause. For example, Heritage Maintenance Funds are set up to pay for the maintenance of historic buildings. In a similar way, Charitable Trusts are established to benefit a group of people or society in general rather than individual beneficiaries. Charitable Trusts are entitled to various forms of tax relief that private trusts don’t get.

Interest in Possession

This allows the beneficiary to use its income as it is generated. The selected Trustee must pass all income received from the trust (except the expenses generated by the Trustee) directly to the beneficiary. The beneficiary is known as a ‘life tenant’ if they are entitled to this income for their lifespan.

Mixed Trust

These are simply a mixture of different types of trusts. Some of the Mixed Trusts’ assets can be treated in the same way as those of a Discretionary Trust. They are generally used for the benefit of siblings who reach the majority age at separate times.

Parental Trusts for Minors

These are set up for the settlor’s underage, unmarried children. The child’s income from the Trust is treated as if it is the income for the settlor for tax purposes.

Vulnerable Beneficiaries

These are set up for beneficiaries who are mentally or physically disabled. They are also set up for beneficiaries under the age of 18 whose parent has died. Trustees can claim special treatment in terms of income and capital gains taxes if it’s designated a ‘Qualifying Trust’. This is a trust where the settlor does not receive any benefit.

Settlor-Interested

These are Trusts which can also benefit the settlor or the settlor’s civil partner or spouse. For example, a Trust set up by a settlor who knows they will be incapacitated by illness in the future. It will then form income either for themselves, or for their family.

Turner Little

Turner Little offer the creation of both Trusts and Foundations alone or in conjunction with the incorporation of UK or Offshore Companies. For further assistance please contact us on 01904 783101.

Ten reasons why you need to make a will

Everyone should have a will, especially if you have savings, investments or own your own business or a property. Around 56% of people who die in the UK every year do so without having made a will. Dying without a will (known as dying intestate) can mean that your wishes for your ‘estate’ aren’t fulfilled the way you’d want them to be and can cause problems for your loved ones. Even to the point that if you die intestate and without heirs, your entire Estate can become the property of the State.

While it might sound simple enough to do alone, it’s important to draw up a legally binding Will that is difficult to contest after you die. Not only does it relieve stress for those left behind, it provides you with peace of mind regarding the future of your estate.

Here are ten reasons why you should make a will

  1. You’ll be in control – making a will puts you in the driving seat regarding your estate. You choose exactly who should benefit from your savings, investments, property, business, what people are entitled to and who controls them and to what extent. You also decide who manages (administers) your estate after your death.
  2. It’s your decision that counts – if you die without a will then intestacy rules apply. This can obviously cause problems for your family, as your wishes may not be followed. Intestacy law also lays out instructions as to who handles your affairs after death. This can be problematic if the person left in charge is unsuitable due to their location, health, or age.
  3. It reduces potential problems – making a will cuts the chances of a dispute or problem coming up after your death. Disputes often occur when someone dies without making a will. Certain people in the family hierarchy are entitled to use their right to apply to court to challenge any intestacy rules if they don’t agree with them. As an example, intestacy rules provide nothing for a long-term unmarried partner, so they would need to apply to the court to be awarded any share of their deceased partner’s estate.
  4. Lessens the chances of court challenges – it is possible for a will to be challenged in court on the basis that it’s unfair, but it’s far less likely than an intestate ruling.
  5. Administering your estate will be smoother – it is likely to be faster, less expensive and generally easier for loved ones to administer an estate that has a will. Dying without a will means there may be additional charges, such as commissioning research to find lost relatives. This can take a long time and it’s very expensive.
  6. Allows you to preserve your assets – making a will means you can preserve certain assets for specific beneficiaries. For example, if you have a property portfolio or business concerns, then these can be treated separately and go to certain people. If you die intestate, your estate is treated as one entity, which can cause uncertainty and unfairness.
  7. You can provide for specific situations – a will allows you to decide when and where your money goes, while protecting assets for other beneficiaries. For example, a married couple can write wills that protect some of their home from being used later on to pay for any care fees. This enables them to feel secure that their home will still be available to the survivor as long as they want to stay. Another good example is couples who have children from previous marriages. A trust can be set up to save (ring fence) part of the estate for those children. If this doesn’t happen, intestacy rules could mean all assets go to the surviving spouse, and the children from the first relationships are left with nothing.
  8. You can protect vulnerable beneficiaries – by drafting a trust in your will you can protect any inheritance left to a vulnerable or disabled person. It can instruct someone to manage their inheritance, and help the beneficiary not to lose his or her benefits.
  9. You can speed up inheritance for vulnerable beneficiaries – if you die intestate and want to leave some of your estate to a vulnerable or disabled person, then the administrator might insist on someone applying to the court to be the court-appointed deputy of the beneficiary, before they can receive their share. This is a time-consuming, stressful and expensive process. It’s considered necessary by intestacy rules as the beneficiary could lack capacity to administer their share.
  10. You can choose your funeral – as well as nominating a guardian to look after your children should you die when they are young, you can also record your funeral choices in your will. Formally expressing these wishes can help family and friends left behind.

About Turner Little

Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction/repair, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

For more information, please contact us on 01904 783101.

Why you should consider setting up a Trust

Trusts can be confusing, and with so many variations around it’s not easy to work out which you need, or whether you need one at all. The factor that differentiates trusts is the reason for them being set up in the first place. It is important to understand the purpose of a trust before it’s set up, and whether the agreement is what you need. At Turner Little, we can help you choose the right trust for your purposes. We’ve come up with reasons why you should think about setting up a trust:

  1. To manage your assets

Your beneficiaries may not be capable of managing the assets you give them, or perhaps won’t want to. This problem can be solved by having trustees in place to manage the assets for them. Common reasons for this kind of trust is when children are minors or have a disability. You can manage the assets when you’re alive, but after you die a trust can take over and carry on your wishes.

  1. To protect your assets

A trust is an effective way of protecting your assets from potential creditors, a marriage breakdown or from anyone who could influence your beneficiaries. You will need legal advice on this as there is legislation surrounding which assets you can transfer in specific circumstances.

  1. To control the distribution of your assets

You may not trust your beneficiaries to own the assets directly. This could be for many reasons, including that they are minors or are known to be poor at handling finances. With certain trusts you can distribute assets to your beneficiaries over a period of time.

  1. To keep personal details private

After you die, your will can become a public document. This would include the value of your estate and assets, and certain people could be allowed to access a copy of your will by law. By contrast, a trust is a private document and must be kept confidential.

  1. To avoid challenges to your wishes

While it’s possible for someone to challenge your will after you die, and for it to be changed (this is called ‘compulsory succession), a legally drafted trust is watertight and can mitigate challenges to your wishes.

  1. To cut Inheritance Tax (IHT)

If you put assets into a trust and they meet certain conditions, then they legally no longer belong to you. This means that after you die, their value generally won’t be included in your estate for IHT purposes. So, when property is held in trust, it is then outside your estate and will therefore cut your IHT.

About Turner Little

Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction/repair, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

For more information, please contact us on 01904 783101.

What is a Power of Attorney and how is it used?

It’s a phrase most people have heard of, but do you know exactly what ‘Power of Attorney’ means? We’ve put together a handy breakdown of what it could mean for you and your family. In simple terms, Power of Attorney is a legal document in which one person (known as the ‘donor’) gives other people (their attorneys) the right to act on their behalf.

There are different types of Power of Attorney, depending on how long you want it to be in action. An Ordinary Power of Attorney is a temporary convenience, while longer-term arrangements are known as Enduring power of Attorney (EPA) or Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

What is Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)?

This system changed in 2007, and while any EPAs set up before October of that year can still be legally used to control the financial and property affairs of the donor, no new ones have been set up since then.

If the donor is considered to still have the mental capacity necessary (this means the mental capacity to understand information, analyse it and communicate their decision), then an existing EPA can be used without being registered at the Office of the Public Guardian.

However, if the donor doesn’t have mental capacity (for example, resulting from a stroke or dementia) then the EPA cannot be used until it has been registered. All EPAs that have already been created and completed remain valid and can be registered.

What is Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

LPA is the current form of Power of Attorney, and there are two different types:

  • Property and financial affairs LPA

This gives the donor’s attorney the power to make decisions about their property and money. This includes managing building society and bank accounts, paying bills, collecting benefits and pensions and selling their home if necessary. When it’s registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, the LPA can be used immediately or held until needed.

  • Health and welfare LPA

This gives the donor’s attorney the power to make decisions about their daily routine (including dressing, eating and washing), medical care, moving into a care home and medical treatment. It is only used when a donor can’t make their own decisions.

Three times as many property and financial LPAs are set up for every one personal welfare LPA, but it’s a good idea to set both up at the same time. They can only be created while donors have full mental capacity.

Power of Attorney in Scotland and Northern Ireland

There are different rules in Scotland, in that Ordinary Powers of Attorney are called General Powers of Attorney (GPA) and don’t need to be registered before they can be used.

If a donor lacks mental capacity, then a Continuing Power of Attorney (CPA) is needed to control their financial matters, and this must be registered with the Scottish Office of the Public Guardian. For legal decisions about health and welfare, a Welfare Power of Attorney (WPA) is needed. This can only be used when a donor lacks capacity and also needs to be registered.

EPAs are still used in Northern Ireland and can be ordinary POAs if the donor has mental capacity. If they don’t, only an EPA registered with the Office of Care and Protection can be used.

For more detail and information on POAs, and how to set one up, talk to the team at Turner Little.

About Turner Little

Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction/repair, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

For more information, please contact us on 01904 783101.

Tax Savings on a Buy-to-Let Property

Buy-to-Let Tax savings for Investors

Anyone who is a Buy-to-Let investor holding property personally should consider this possible tax saving scenario. It might reduce tax on rental income as well as achieve a Capital Gains Tax (CTG) free uplift in base cost, while allowing income to be accessed free of tax. This possible solution which uses a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) might also provide an Inheritance Tax (IHT) efficiency.

Let’s assume the following:

  • An individual or a group of individuals own an asset or assets which generate a significant level of rental income. Such income is subject to higher or additional rates of income tax; and/or
  • Significant capital gains are inherent in the property or property portfolio or another class of asset; and
  • The individual or individuals wish to mitigate their ongoing tax liabilities; and
  • The individual or individuals are willing to revise the structure through which they currently operate.

Their objective might simply be achieved by:

  • The individual or individuals transferring the property into a LLP and operating the business through this structure. This needs to be done for at least eighteen months. During this time, the income generated by the business will still be subject to Income Tax.
  • After eighteen months the business is incorporated into a private limited company. Thereafter the profits will be taxable within a corporate structure and profits will be subject to corporation tax (currently 20%) as opposed to the more punitive personal income tax rates of up to 45% previously suffered. Profits can then be managed as part of any tax planning exercise for the individual client.
  • A further benefit arising from this structure is that the assets will benefit from an adjustment to their base cost when they are put into the corporate structure. The values at which the assets are carried in the corporate structure is the market value at which they were introduced to the LLP, as opposed to the CGT cost previously carried by the individual prior to disposal.
  • The transaction can be undertaken in such a manner as to allow the profits from the corporate structure to be drawn by the individual free of tax for a significant period of time.
  • It also facilitates future IHT planning which may be considered whereby individuals seek to pass assets to family members (not spouse) but are put off doing so by the immediate charge to CGT.
  • Shares/debt in the corporate structure can be gifted in such circumstances with no CGT charges arising.

Necessary considerations

In making such changes, it is necessary to carefully consider for whom the structure may be suitable. Quite simply, the structure is suitable for anyone with a property portfolio business that generates substantial income. There may also be an additional benefit where there are latent gains within the property portfolio or indeed other assets.

The main benefit is a reduction in income tax rates from 45% to the much lower corporate tax rate of currently 20% which will reduce further following the last budget announcement. In addition, there will be no liability to Stamp Duty Land Tax for the transfers of the property or Stamp Duty where the asset is shares and, importantly, there is an adjustment to the base cost of the asset carried by the Limited Company

Inevitably there are of course risks attached, though the risks in achieving the transition of the portfolio from the individual to the limited company are relatively low. There is however a risk that on a subsequent disposal of the assets or the shares in the company there may be a challenge by HM Revenue & Customs as to the whether there was an earlier disposal.

Turner Little

In our opinion this risk is relatively low. While Turner Little Limited are not tax advisors and would always recommend their clients to seek independent tax advice, they are experts in the formation of company structures.

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agents, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust providers.

Taxes, What Do Small Businesses Have to Pay?

If you run a business which trades for profit, you’re legally obligated to pay taxes to the government. But the taxes you pay depend on the type and size of company you operate, leading Turner Little to discuss; what taxes do small businesses have to pay?

Small business taxes

There are no specific ‘small business taxes.’ Rather, the taxes you pay to the government depends on the type of business you run. If you’re self-employed, you must send a self-assessment tax return to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the government’s tax department, every year and pay income tax on any profits above a certain threshold, which is adjusted by Whitehall annually.

In contrast, if you form a limited company in the UK (which as experts in this field, Turner Little can help you with), you may have to pay corporation tax on any profits your business makes during its most recent accounting period. At present, all limited companies must pay a corporation tax rate of 20% on profits earned from 1st April 2015. Also whatever type of firm you operate, if you ‘dispose of’ one of your business’ assets for a profit, you’ll be required to pay capital gains tax.

Who must pay national insurance?

National insurance is essentially another type of business tax. So who must pay national insurance? You’re required to submit national insurance contributions to Whitehall if you’re aged 16 or over and if either you’re an employee earning more than £155 per week, or self-employed and making a profit of at least £5,965 or more. If you’re self-employed you may have to submit national insurance contributions as both an employer and an employee of your firm.

How Could VAT Affect Your Small Business?

Also, you may be required to charge Value Added Tax (VAT) of 20% on the price of most of the products and services you sell to customers. So how could VAT affect your small business? If your annual turnover exceeds a certain threshold (currently £82,000), you’re legally obligated to register for VAT. You must then pay VAT on your business’ ‘taxable supplies’ e.g. commission to HMRC.

After this, you charge VAT on the goods and services you sell to customers; if you charge more VAT than you’ve paid, you must submit the difference to HMRC. However, you’ve paid more VAT than you’ve charged your company’s customers, you can reclaim the difference from HMRC. If you’re the director of a limited company it’s you, not your business, that must register for VAT. You can utilise Turner Little’s miscellaneous corporate services to handle VAT registration.

Additional business taxes

If you’re a small business owner in the UK, you may be required to pay additional taxes depending on your circumstances. For example, you may have to pay business rates to HMRC if you use non-domestic properties e.g. offices, shops, for business purposes, or pay stamp duty if you buy commercial premises valued above a certain threshold. At present, the stamp duty threshold for non-residential properties and land is £150,000. Finally, you may be affected by a number of environmental and other specific types of taxes, depending on the industry your business operates in.

How to lower your tax bill

At this point, we need to explain how to lower your tax bill. There are a number of business tax allowances and reliefs you can use to reduce your company’s tax expenditure. For example, if you’re self-employed you can claim ‘allowable expenses’ e.g. employee wages. You can set against your taxable profits as well as your personal income tax allowance, to lower your firm’s income tax bill.

In order to reduce your firm’s tax bill, as well as fulfil your legal obligations, you need to keep proper business tax records detailing your company’s revenue and expenses. Therefore, your small business needs to invest in effective financial infrastructure to reduce the burden that tax places on its bottom line. As registered bank intermediaries and business consultants, Turner Little can supply the corporate banking services your firm requires to handle its tax obligations.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider.

A small business guide to VAT

If you’re not sure about the VAT threshold or when you need to register, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together this brief guide to value added tax (VAT), the different rates, when they’re applicable and information on registration.

What exactly is VAT?

Value added tax is charged by businesses that are VAT registered. It’s charged on most services and goods that you can buy in the UK, as well as some that are imported from outside of the EU (European Union).

If a business is VAT registered and is then charged VAT when it buys services or goods, then it can reclaim the VAT. If it’s not VAT registered, then it generally can’t recover the VAT it’s been charged.

VAT registered businesses essentially charge VAT on top of their base sales price, collect this money and then pay it to HMRC.

When do you need to register your business for VAT?

There are two registration categories: compulsory and voluntary.

Compulsory registration

If a business makes more than the current VAT registration threshold then it must register for VAT. This means if the taxable turnover for a business for any 12-month period exceeds the threshold then they need to be registered. Currently (as from the start of the new financial year on 1 April 2017), the registration threshold is £85000. This increases every year.

There are certain other reasons why you would be obliged to register your business. For example, if you’re trading outside of the UK. If you don’t register your business on time then you could incur penalties.

It’s also worth noting that if your turnover is over the VAT registration threshold but only temporarily, you can ask for an exemption from registration.

A business can’t register for VAT if it doesn’t meet the HMRC’s definition of a business. It’s also not allowed to register if it mostly sells services and goods that are VAT exempt.

Voluntary registration

If your taxable turnover doesn’t go over the current registration threshold, then you can still voluntarily register for VAT. There are two reasons where this is a good idea:

  1. Where customers are mostly other VAT registered businesses. This means any VAT charged can be recovered, so it doesn’t affect their customers one way or the other.
  2. Where they’re often in a position of being owed a refund by HMRC, meaning the business is better off if it’s VAT registered.

Different rates of VAT explained

  • Standard: This is the default rate of tax at 20%, charged on most services and goods in the UK unless they are specifically reduced or rated zero.
  • Reduced: This is the amount (5%) charged on domestic power and fuel, the installation of energy saving materials, sanitary products etc.
  • Zero: Food, kids’ clothes and shoes, public transport, books and newspapers are subject to no tax. This doesn’t include restaurant food or takeaways though.
  • Exempt: This is where items aren’t applicable for VAT, including insurance, fundraising, membership or credit.
  • Outside the scope: This refers to items that are outside of the UK’s VAT system, including wages, rates and MOT tests among other things.

For more information on VAT and whether your business should be registered, contact Turner Little.

New Tax Changes and how they will effect you

While the beginning of April might conjure up dreams of long awaited spring sunshine and lighter evenings, it is also the start of a brand-new tax year in the UK. And that means various tax changes for everyone.  The chances are that the new tax changes will make you richer if you’re already well off.  Increases to the National Minimum Wage might help you if you’re at the lower end of the pay scale. However, council tax bills have risen sharply, and workers have to pay three times more into their pension.

Changes to income tax

Pretty much every taxpayer is better off following Income Tax changes. The threshold has risen from £11,500 to £11,850, saving BR (basic rate) tax payers around £70 per year. The higher rate tax threshold has gone from £45,000 to £46,350, saving approximately £336 per year.

While this sounds good on paper, these threshold increases have only risen by inflation. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has pointed out that all other increases since 2010 have been higher.

Changes to Scottish tax

For the first time, this month sees taxpayers in Scotland paying different rates to England and Wales. People earning more than £33,000 (around 45% of the population) pay more income tax in Scotland, leaving 55% paying less.

Changes to National Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage rises, which have been in force since 1 April 2018, are above inflation for both those under and over 25. The biggest increase is for 18 to 20-year olds who get a 5.3% increase. People over 25 years old get a 4.4% increase (33p per hour).

Changes to student loans

From 6 April 2018, the threshold for students to start paying back their loans increased. Students in England and Wales who took out loans before Sept 2012 can now earn £18,330 before starting repayments. This applies to students in Northern Ireland and Scotland too, and is an increase from a threshold of £17,775. Anyone with loans from after 2012 will see their thresholds go up from £21,000 to £25,000.

Changes to Inheritance Tax (IHT)

Homeowners face less IHT following the changes. There is no increase for the main exemption amount of £325,000 but the extra exemption for property has risen from £100,000 to £125,000. This could mean a saving of up to £10,000 on IHT.

Changes to council tax

Across England council changes tax have led to a rise on average of 5.1%. As an example, an average band D property now costs £1,671 per year (that’s up £81 on 2017). People in London have seen an increase of £55, while people in county council areas are looking at an increase of £86.

All councils across Scotland are increasing council tax by the maximum allowed – 3%. Wales is being hit with the biggest rises due to the Welsh Assembly failing impose restrictions. Pembrokeshire tops the list with a rise of 12.5%.

Changes to pensions

From 6 April 2018, 9 million people with auto-enrolment pensions have to pay triple the amount of monthly contributions. This will be several hundred pounds more for most people, but they also get a 2% increase in payments from their employer.

The Pensions Lifetime Allowance rose from £1 million to £1,030,000. The allowance is the most you can have in your pension, and people with more than this must pay 55% tax on lump sum withdrawals and 25% on income withdrawals.

State pensioners have received a 3% rise since 9 April 2018, due to the triple lock mechanism put in place by the government.

Changes for savers

There are few positive changes for savers. A program called ‘Help to Save’, which was to give people on benefits a 50% top up has been postponed. It was supposed to launch this month but has been shifted to October.

ISA limits remain at £20,000, although the maximum amount for Junior ISAS has risen to £4,260, an increase of £132. The maximum you can get from share dividends with no tax has decreased from £5,000 to £2,000 per year. Basic Rate taxpayers are charged 7.5% on dividends over £2,000, while higher rate payers are now charged 32.5%.

Changes to benefits

There has been no increase in Child Tax Credit, Child Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance, affecting around 10 million households.

We’re now into the third year of a four-year planned freeze and an average family with two children can expect £315 less in 2018 than they should have been entitled to.

New sugar tax

Since 6 April 2018, sugary drink manufacturers have had to pay the ‘Sugar Levy’. Drinks with more than 5% sugar are at a lower rate, while those with more than 8% are at a higher rate. It’s likely that prices will go up for consumers by around 8p per can.

For more information on how tax changes affect you and your business, contact the team at Turner Little.

About Turner Little
Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction/repair, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

Self Employment – Where to start.

Self Employment in the UK continues to soar. As of the end of the quarter to July 2018, a record 4.6 million Britons worked for themselves, indicating that this is becoming an increasingly popular employment option. Turner Little discusses the key considerations when choosing self employment.

Find work during Self Employment

Look at how you will find the work needed to maintain a steady cash flow when you choose self employment. It is key that you ensure that both your CV and work portfolio are up-to-date and correctly formatted, so you can market your services to clients effectively. Contact recruitment agencies to ensure a swathe of potential clients are aware of your skills and availability.

Also make sure you build and maintain a steady list of business contact via sites such as LinkedIn. This will allow you to establish the contact network necessary to source new business. It is also vital that you establish a strong digital presence, so that new clients can find your business when searching for your industry online. Make sure you create an effective website, as well as engaging social media profiles and blogs, to ensure you can promote your services effectively online.

Determine the right model

Next, you will need to determine which business model you should adopt during self employment. This will depend on the work you are conducting, how much responsibility you wish to undertake and how much you wish to get paid. There are three types of business creation models to consider; establishing a limited company, utilising an umbrella company and setting up as a sole trader.

If you wish to maximise take home pay, establishing a limited company is the most effective way of doing so. You will need to register your limited company with Companies House, as well as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for corporation tax and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) purposes. You will be required to submit your annual accounts to Companies House so they are available for inspection. There are a number of administrative duties attached to limited company directorship. Turner Little provides the miscellaneous corporate services necessary to help you handle these responsibilities.

There are fewer duties attached to working with an umbrella company. Acting essentially as your employer, they will contract your services to clients, raise invoices and collect payment, passing revenue on to you through the PAYE system. After subtracting tax and national insurance from your pay, an umbrella firm will deduct their fee, which is based on your earnings. With this option, you can also claim expenses e.g. for travel and deduct them from your gross income, so you pay less tax.

Sole tradership comes with less administrative duties than forming a limited company. However, you are responsible for paying your business’ taxes and national insurance, so you will need to keep records of expenditure and income so you can submit an annual tax return to HMRC. There is one major downside to sole tradership. You will be personally liable for your firm’s debts and bills, so with this option you could put your own assets e.g. your home, at risk.

Get a bank account

Whichever business creation model you adopt, it is essential that you invest in the financial infrastructure necessary to handle your firm’s monetary obligations. The legal process of setting up your own company can require a business bank account. Turner Little can advise you on UK bank accounts, ensuring you have the financial infrastructure necessary to launch yourself into the world of self employment.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.

Franchise Agreements – Frequently Asked Questions

You can reap a range of significant benefits when starting a business, but this also comes with a degree of financial risk. Instead of opening a business on your own, you could enter a franchise agreement. Here you (the franchisee) sign a contract with an established firm (the franchisor) to provide goods and services under their brand. It is essential that you perform extensive research, before entering a franchise agreement. Turner Little answers five frequently asked questions on franchise agreements.

What are the types of franchise agreements?

There are several types of franchise agreement, which typically run for five years, with options to renew twice. The most commonly used is the “business format franchise,” where the franchisor grants licenses allowing you to run your firm under their brand, in exchange for fees and regular payments. The franchisor will supply you with assistance and training and product quality control services.

There are a number of other arrangements that are sometimes referred to as franchises. This includes licenses, agency arrangements, dealerships and distributorships. A “tied house” arrangement between a brewery and a pub, for instance, is often called a “first generation franchise.” You will always be required to sign an agreement, so you and the franchisor know your rights and obligations.

What do franchise contracts include?

Your franchise contract should include details on terms, fees, responsibilities, legal relationships, provisions for dispute resolution and agreement termination. Remember that franchisors will rarely be willing to re-negotiate on contract terms, especially if you are signing up to an existing franchise.

It is important to note that franchisors will frame contracts to favour themselves. For example, they may obligate you to purchase all equipment from them. While the agreement will favour the franchisor, it should not be unfair to you e.g. charge you excessive fees. Ensure your franchisor adheres to The British Franchise Association’s Code of Ethical Conduct, so both parties get a fair agreement.

What are franchise networks?

You can also join a franchise network. With this option, it is vital that you sign a comprehensive agreement, to safeguard your interests. The agreement should detail your obligations e.g. operating the firm according to the franchisor’s instructions, carefully. Under this arrangement, you will be liable for your own expenses e.g. taxes, wages, legal fees and business rates.

What if you break your contract terms?

In this case, the franchisor will probably have the right to terminate the contract. You could be required to pay fees and costs, including those incurred via closing the company. If you fail to pay fees to the franchisor on termination or if you cause them to incur losses e.g. by damaging the reputation of their brand, the franchisor could issue a legal claim against you. If you lose this case, you could be liable to pay your own and your franchisor’s legal costs, plus damages and you would lose the firm.

You will also risk legal action if you simply stop paying your fees to the franchisor, or cause them to lose revenue. In these cases, they are likely to terminate your contract with immediate effect, so you would have to cease trading straight away. Under the agreement, your franchisor will usually have the right to enter your premises and enforce the terms. You may also have to adhere to any restrictions on running a competitor company, preventing you from defending yourself against any legal action.

What if the franchisor’s claims were untrue?

After signing an agreement, you may find that claims made by the franchisor were untrue. You would need to rely upon UK contract law here, as it is unlikely that your agreement will include any provisions allowing you to terminate the contract for false representations, but this option is rarely advisable. You could gain damages for any losses you incurred due to untrue claims, but there are significant costs and risks involved, which is why it is vital to do extensive research before signing an agreement.

Seeking legal advice 

It can prove beneficial to sign a franchise agreement, but this option also comes with significant risks. This is why it is crucial that you seek legal advice before entering a franchise agreement, in order to safeguard your interests and capital. As part of our corporate services, Turner Little provides a business and legal advice service retainer, helping you make informed business decisions.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.

Why Should You Hire Company Formation Agents?

If you are looking to set up a new business, you can reap various benefits by forming a limited company. Should you pursue this option, it is advisable that you utilise the services of limited company formation agents, such as Turner Little, to ensure that your business can become a success.

Limited company benefits

There are a range of advantages, to setting up a limited company instead of becoming a sole trader. This model imbues your firm with a sense of professionalism, due to the prestigious reputation of limited companies. This can you make your company a more attractive partner to bigger firms later on – some firms will not even consider partnering with sole traders, increasing your ability to generate business.

As a limited company, you will also receive an extra measure of financial protection. This means that you will not be personally liable, if your firm incurs losses. Also you can utilise tax efficiencies as a limited company, reducing outgoings. For example, you can benefit from low corporation tax rates, and you can reduce corporation tax further by utilising benefits such as capital allowances.

Experienced hands

But if you wish to fully take advantage of these benefits, it’s advisable to hire limited company formation agents when launching your new business. This is primarily because limited company formation agents have years of experience in this area. You will be able to draw on their considerable experience, to ensure your business is created as quickly as possible and in the most appropriate structure thus allowing you to start trading without delay.

You will be required to submit memorandum and articles of association to Companies House, when creating you venture. There are a range of complex asks involved in handling this duty, such as providing various information including your director  and shareholder details and SIC code, as well as a register of ‘People with Significant Control’ of your company. If you hire an experienced agent, they will already be familiar with what this involves, ensuring a smooth company creation process.

Consummate professionals

You will also gain the ability to collaborate with consummate professionals, when hiring company formation agents, delivering exemplary customer service. Agents strive to supply prompt, high quality formation services, so they typically offer complete transparency and respect the advertised prices for their services, keeping your outgoings under control. Your firm will be submitted to Companies House extremely quickly, so within a working day, you should have the documents required to begin trading.

Company formation agents also have a reputation for reliability. Many are intimately familiar with the market, due to their considerable experience, so if you have an issue, you will be able to go to them and see it resolved within hours. You will ultimately be provided with accurate, efficient company formation services, when pursuing this option, which will be tailored to your specifications. This will ensure that your business can enter the market under favourable conditions, setting it up for success.

Choosing company formation agents 

If you wish to hire a company formation agent, when setting up a limited company, how can you find the right agent for your circumstances? It pays to shop around, looking at various agents’ experience, reputation for excellence and competitiveness on price. You will find all of this if you choose to utilise Turner Little’s limited company formation services, allowing you to work with agents who have over twenty years’ worth of experience, when it comes to creating ventures, giving your firm the best start.

You will find a comprehensive range of affordable limited company formation services with Turner Little. Our most popular option is the 3 Star package, which costs just £109.09. This includes various services, from free Companies House filing and free lifetime company support, to the provision of a fully completed hard bound copy of your company register and free introduction to a UK Bank for a corporate bank account with £50.00 Cashback* (*subject to terms and conditions) on successful opening of the company’s bank account. If you choose Turner Little as your company formation agent, you will gain the first rate service needed to establish a thriving enterprise.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.

What Are The Benefits of Becoming a Home-Based Franchisee?

If you want to leave the rat race behind, and start a business from home, you may want to become a franchise instead of going it alone. You can reap various advantages by pursuing this strategy, allowing you to build up a successful enterprise. Here are the benefits of becoming a home-based franchisee.

Choose hours to suit you

It can be hard to fulfil all of your personal obligations, such as looking after your children, when you are working in an office from 9am to 5pm. If you become a home-based franchisee, you choose which hours you work, allowing you to tailor your schedule to suit you, and giving you more time to live your life. By making your working schedule more flexible, you could strike a better work/life balance.

Cut out the commute

If you operate your business from an office, you will have to commute every day. The average commute for a British employee is a significant 75 minutes per day, leaving you with less time to devote to your personal life, as well as to making your business a success. However if you become a home-based franchisee, you cut out the commute entirely, so you can maximise your time.

Slash your outgoings

When running your firm from an office, you will have to pay for office space. However, if you establish yourself as a home-based franchise, you can cut this significant business cost entirely, allowing you to turn a profit quicker. Also you will be able to build a more flexible business, as you can hire more or less staff as your circumstances demand, but you will be restricted by your office’s capacity otherwise.

Reduce business risk

There is always an element of risk to starting a business, so you need to reduce this wherever possible, to increase you likelihood of success. One effective way is to operate your company from home, as your house is easier and cheaper to maintain than a separate business space, so you will require less investment to launch. Also it is easier to expand or decrease your workload as demand requires, as you do not have to meet office space overheads, reducing the risk of a cash flow crisis for your firm.

Specifically becoming a home-based franchisee can give you a way to reduce risk further. As a franchisee, you will enter an agreement with an existing firm (the franchisor), to sell their products and services under their brand. You will be able to capitalise on their reputation, allowing you to create an instant customer base for your fledgling venture, so you can build up revenue as soon as possible. By establishing a stable source of revenue, you will lower the risk of a cash flow crisis for your firm.

Seek expert guidance

There are various considerations, however, that you should take into account, before signing a franchise deal, so you can set up a lucrative business. You need to choose the right kind of franchise agreement for your circumstances, and ensure the contract’s terms are favourable for you, and these matters can be complex, so it pays to enlist expert guidance before signing a franchise contract. We can help here – as part of our corporate services, Turner Little provides a business and legal advice service retainer, giving you the guidance you need to become a successful home-based franchisee.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.

How to Set Up a Business When You Are Retired

You are never too old to set up your own business, giving you the income you need to live comfortably throughout your golden years. If you want to become you own boss read on, as the experts here at Turner Little explain how to set up a business when you are retired.

Business benefits

There are a range of reasons why now is the time to set up a business. If you become your own boss, you can increase your retirement fund and pursue your passions, increasing your quality of life. Also, it can be hard to find new employment opportunities in your later years, as employers can be hesitant to hire people in their 50’s and 60’s.  If you are your own boss, this will not be an issue.

Find start-up capital

If you like this idea, the first thing you need to do is find start-up capital. As an older entrepreneur, you could utilise pension freedoms to remove a lump-sum from your pension pot, to bankroll operations. Alternatively, you could turn to alternative funding sources, such as crowdfunding websites, where you gather financing from a large pool of small investors, to get the ball rolling.

Strengths and weaknesses

It is key that you play to your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses, if you want to succeed as a silver start-up creator. Your main strength is that during the course of your distinguished career, you will have built up a list of contacts, who you can draw upon to help you set up your company and connect with your desired customer base. You have also had a lifetime to learn what you are good at, so as an older entrepreneur, it will be easy for you to determine how best to develop a profitable firm.

Your knowledge of your professional skills could also help you identify your weaknesses, showing you where you should enlist expert help, to ensure success. If you lack the ability to draw, for example, hire someone to create your company logo, instead of attempting to do so yourself. One area where many budding entrepreneurs struggle is cash flow management, so it is wise to hire an accountant, who can also act as a business advisor, and help you lay down the foundations for your business model.

Utilise your assets

You may have assets which you can utilise to get your company up and running. It is a good idea to get in touch with any contacts who will be willing to give you ‘mate’s rates’ on essential start-up tasks, such as product distribution, so you can streamline costs. Also if you have a large family, you may want to get them on board too, as the younger generation are experts in digital technologies such as social media, so with their help you can establish a presence online and connect with your consumers.

Write a plan

The successful entrepreneur is one who sets clear goals, so their company becomes operational as soon as possible. Write a business plan, so you can establish realistic targets when you set up a business.  You can plan milestones for your fledgling company, allowing you to launch easily, and detail issues such as your staffing policy and long-term goals, so you can become successful. A sound business plan can also help you attract start-up capital, as it shows investors why their funds will be safe if they take a chance on your firm.

Turn to the experts

Before you compose your business plan, decide which business creation model you wish to adopt, so you can launch your enterprise effectively. It can be wise, as an older entrepreneur looking to set up a business, to form a limited company, as this lends a measure of security to your personal finances, so if your firm encounters difficulties, you will still be able to live out your retirement in peace. As experts, Turner Little can provide the limited company formation services you require to get your firm off the ground.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.

Social Media Is Key To Launching A Successful Product

Turner Little discusses new data, which indicates that the majority of marketers believe that social media is the most effective tool available, when it comes to promoting new products to consumers.

Launching products

There are a range of tasks you must complete when launching a new product. You should protect the associated intellectual property, through vehicles such as trademarks, to gain an edge against your market competitors. As specialists in the area, the Turner Little can help you register trademarks.

You also need to market the product to consumers. After conducting market research, you need to determine which platforms you will use to promote your product. Consumers are increasingly engaging with businesses online, so digital channels should form a key component of your firm’s marketing plan. Considering the fact that a third of Britons are influenced by social media engagement every month, you would be advised to use these channels, to reach a vast audience.

Social media marketing

Research found that 74% of respondents believe that social media is key to promoting new products successfully.

When asked about the most notable benefit of social media, 46% cited its potential to spread awareness of a new product among consumers. Meanwhile, just over two thirds (64%) of those questioned admitted that when creating campaigns they utilise social listening, ensuring that they can monitor online conversations surrounding their product, so they can address consumer concerns.

Social media has become the most important way to generate buzz for new products and services before they appear. Shareable content and social engagement allow brands to create a groundswell of pre-launch interest in a way no other channel can match.

Successful launch

The research also shed light on other marketing trends. According to 72% of those polled, the creative ideas behind launch initiatives have become braver over the past five years. Meanwhile, 81% said that since 2011, the time between the conception of a marketing idea and the launch of a product has shortened, with 70% admitting that they can now complete this process within six months.

Social media marketing is popular for launching products because it allows marketers to executive brave ideas quickly, while reaching a vast audience. In order to execute social media marketing effectively, you need to have a strong company website, which consumers can visit from your social profiles to find out more about your firm. Here at Turner Little, we provide the internet services, such as website development, that you need to ensure your social media marketing efforts prove lucrative.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.