Within the Chartered Accountants practice we encompass VAT, Payroll, Book-Keeping, Business Start Up and Accounting Spreadsheet design.
The practice was set up with the intention of providing a personal service for individuals and small business, where the client could be sure of speaking to the same person each time they contacted us and have confidence that we would know their individual business and affairs. We are happy to deal with new start up business or existing business wishing to change accountants and individuals personal tax affairs.
Our office is based at my home and as a result our fees are very competitive.
Our client base is spread all over the UK and also with clients residing abroad. As a result we are happy to deal with our clients face to face, via telephone, e-mail and post.
We are based in Toddington, Bedfordshire, which benefits from easy access, being 1 mile form Junction 12 of the M1 Motorway, 2 miles from the A5 and Harlington Station on the Thameslink Railway Line. Luton and Dunstable are both under 10 miles from us and Aylesbury, Bedford and Milton Keynes are all within 20 miles. Consequently many of our clients find it more convenient and quicker to come to us rather than trying to travel to the larger towns with their traffic congestion and parking problems.
When you decide to start a new business you are faced with many decisions. Somewhere amongst these should be "Do I want to set up as a Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company?". You will find summarised the features of these, together with links to helpful web sites on the relevant page on our website.
Whichever type of business you decide to adopt we will help you set up your accounting system to provide you with the information you need and that necessary to comply with the applicable regulations. Our aim is always to make it as simple as possible minimising time on administration to enable you to develop the side of your business generating your income. As well as the preparation of annual accounts and returns we are able to help you with the preparation of VAT returns, book-keeping and the payroll, together with the preparation of monthly accounts if required.
Often you will have been asked for a business plan and we can provide assistance with the preparation of these together with cash flows and budgets.
This is the simplest form of business to set up. It is an individual trading on their own, however they may have employees and can either work from home or have business premises. Sufficient business records need to be maintained to enable the preparation of accounts and tax returns. Depending on the turnover of the business VAT registration may be necessary and in some instances it is beneficial to put in place a voluntary VAT registration. We can of course advise on these matters. As far as HM Revenue and Customs are concerned anybody starting as a Sole Trader needs to notify them within three months of commencement to trade of this fact.
Where two or more individuals decide to carry on a business each having a share in the profits of the business, this type of business is a partnership. Again the record keeping can be kept fairly simple however it may need to be more detailed than for a sole trader. The same rules applicable to a Sole Trader, for VAT registration and notifying HM Revenue & Customs, apply to partnerships.
To notify HM Revenue & Customs that you are commencing in business you need to visit their web site and complete the on line registration form. Also individuals need to register for Self Assessment if they do not already complete a Self Assessment tax return. This can be done on the HM Revenue & Customs web site at https://www.gov.uk/log-in-file-self-assessment-tax-return/register-if-youre-self-employed
Sole Traders and Partnerships have no limit to their liability for the actions of their business and in the worst instances can be sued by their clients or customers for any losses they incur. For this reason a prudent business will put in place insurance to protect them. Others decide to seek protection by trading as a Limited Company.
There is a further type of partnership called a Limited Liability Partnership. This is a half way house between a normal partnership and a limited company. These partnerships are required to file accounts at Companies House in the same way that a Limited Company does, however the profits are disclosed to HM Revenue & Customs in the same way a normal partnership does on a partnership tax return and the individual partners tax returns. The partners liability is limited broadly to their capital held in the partnership. Limited Liability Partnerships are not particularly common and are often used by the very large professional practices of accountants, solicitors etc. Their accounting requirements are also more detailed
These can range from small one-person companies to large public companies. Our practice only deals with companies with a turnover of under £10 million and we do not carry out audits, however the majority of our company clients have turnover of under £200,000.
If you propose to operate a company providing a service to other businesses, such as a Computer Consultant, you may be caught by some special tax legislation known commonly as IR35. We will comment further on this later on this page.
A limited company can be acquired very quickly from one of the many formation agents, and can cost anything from £25 to several hundred pounds. However you need to decide what service you want from the formation agents and to a large extent you get more from them in the form of statutory company books etc., supplied in the more expensive packages.
Your first decision will be the company name. You can take a ready-made company off the shelf from a formation agent, however this may well have a very strange name, or you can chose the company name you want. The only restrictions to the name are that it cannot be one in use by another company, it cannot infer connections to the crown, government or parliament, be objectionable or likely to cause offence. The Registrar of Companies can refuse to register a new company name if he deems it unsuitable.
There have been over 10 million company names registered so you can see the reason why some of the ready-made companies have strange names. Having said that, it is still fairly easy to get a suitable name and a look at the free to access listings and search facility on Companies House web site should enable you to choose a suitable name. This site may be accessed on http://www.companies-house.gov.uk and then clicking on the Search box for the Web Check.
A Limited Company is legally a separate entity form the individuals who own it. The liability of the members or shareholders is limited to the amount they have contributed for their shares and in the event of the company going into liquidation they will not be asked for further funds provided that they have not acted contrary to company law. Having said that, it is common for banks and other lenders to ask for the personal guarantee of the directors, shareholders or other person willing to provide a guarantee, if the company has applied for an overdraft or loan. In the event of the company being liquidated the bank or lender will seek to recover any money owed to them in excess of any recovered from the liquidator from those providing the guarantee.
If you have decided to set up a one-person company it is likely that you will also be the shareholder and director. Until recently a company also had to have a company secretary, however this requirement has been withdrawn now that the Companies Act 2006 has come into force. If you are entering into business with one or more other people you will need to decide on shareholdings, who will be the directors and who will be the controlling director, amongst other things.
Where several people start and own a company it is often advisable to consider, before the company commences trading, how they will go about valuing the shares in the event of one of them wanting to leave the company in the future or if one of them dies or is unable to work. The necessary provisions to govern these matters can be included in the constitution of the company or by external agreements or a combination of both.
Like Sole Traders and Partnerships a company needs to notify HM Revenue & Customs of their commencement to trade, however a slightly different route is followed in their instance. Shortly after the company is acquired a form is issued by HM Revenue & Customs to the Registered Office of the company. This shows their Reference Number for the company and the tax office that will deal with their affairs and needs to be completed and returned to HM Revenue & Customs. Again VAT registration my be necessary and it is likely that a payroll scheme will need to be set up with HM Revenue & Customs.
We are happy to advise and assist you on all of the above.
Limited Companies working within the area caught by the IR35 Legislation
This legislation is applicable to Limited Companies and some partnerships where somebody provides services to a client, which are similar to those, provided by an employee of that client. An example of this could be an individual who works on a help desk for a computer software company. That person my leave the employment of the software company on Friday and return doing exactly the same job the following Monday but instead working via their own limited company. This is an extreme example but illustrates the situation. The legislation can be applied to many situations and deciding if a particular individual is caught is dependent upon many factors. Consequently each case has to be considered on an individual basis. These rules have been extended for contractors working for government departments. In these instances the government department decides on the status of the contractor and if they decide the contractor is caught they deduct Income Tax and National Insurance from all payments made to that contractor.
If the person is caught under the legislation their portion of the income of the company has to be taxed following a set of rules laid out in the legislation, which have the effect of restricting the expenses that can be claimed as a tax deduction by the company and forcing the remainder of their income after the allowed deductions to be paid as salary to that individual. John Rogers has considerable experience in dealing with small Limited Companies operating in this area.
Again we are happy to advise in relation to this area.
Every year HM Revenue & Customs issue many millions of tax returns to the Self Employed, Partnerships and their Partners, Individuals with significant investment income and untaxed income and many other people for one reason or another. These tax returns have to be completed and returned usually by 31 October in the year of issue, if it is intended to submit a paper return, or 31 January following its issue if the return is submitted electronically. We can assist with the preparation of the tax return and are able to offer to file the return electronically using HM Revenue & Customs approved agent's software.
Many people think that if they do not receive a tax return form HM Revenue & Customs they do not need to complete one, and in many instances this is correct, however every UK resident is required to complete a tax return if they have income or Capital Gains upon which they are liable to pay some tax that has not been deducted at source. If this is the case they should request a tax return so that they can return their income or gains and their liability can be calculated. This is done using the HM Revenue & Customs web site and registering for Self Assessment
We can assist with the preparation of tax returns and will be pleased to advise on all matters of personal taxation.
HM Revenue & Customs - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs - Forms, leaflets and reference material
Companies House - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house - Forms, information and on-line filing
Company Formation agents - www.jordans.co.uk - One of the long established formation agents
Her Majesties Stationery Office - https://www.legislation.gov.uk - much legislation available to view on line
The practice was started in 1997. At that time Anne Rogers was also a partner in the practice, however following her death in 2007 the business has been continued by John. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1979, having trained and worked in a local practice with offices in Luton, Dunstable and Flitwick. In 1981 he opened and ran the Flitwick Office and became a partner in the practice in 1983. By the time he left that practice the Flitwick office had been built up to the point where it was contributing the largest portion of the practice income. During this time he gained considerable experience dealing with numerous types of small business ranging from engineering to farming and the specialist local hat industry in Luton, together with personal taxation. In 1997 John decided to leave the practice and joined a specialist organisation providing an accounting package for one-man limited companies operating principally in IT Consultancy and related areas and as such built up considerable experience of the problems faced by them and also encountered as a result of the IR35 legislation. That organisation was acquired by a company whose principal activity was the provision of services to the public sector and also growing very rapidly by the acquisition of smaller related activity companies. At that point John's role changed from principally dealing with the one-man companies to visiting the smaller companies being acquired and reviewing their systems and records and performing a due diligence on them prior to their acquisition. In January 2005 John left that company to concentrate on Rogers.
When John left the original practice in 1997 some of his clients wished to retain him as their accountant and he and Anne started Rogers to deal with their affairs and also grow a small business practice able to provide a personal service and the practice has developed from that time.
Outside of work John has interests in numerous areas and he is a senior member of the V.T.E. hearing appeals on business rates and Council Tax. When time permits he enjoys owning a classic car, model engineering, constructing steam engines, traction engines and clocks, together with woodworking and completing Marquetry pictures. His interest in these areas has enabled him to have a greater understanding of the business of his clients operating in these and related fields.
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