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Starting up your business.

STARTING a new business could never be described as easy, but with the right preparation and professional support, taking the plunge won't be as daunting.

Barclays, which aims to champion local business by providing extensive localised knowledge and services, answers the top five questions people ask when thinking about setting up:

1. What sort of business should I set up?

If you are going to work on your own then you should consider setting up as sole trader. If two or more of you are going to work together with joint responsibility and liability then you should consider owning your business as a partnership. If you want to work as a director on a salary and would rather pay more money into set-up, so the company is not your personal liability, then you should consider registering your business as a limited company. You should seek advice from an accountant and/or solicitor.

2. How do I choose a business name?

The name is the most immediate way of putting across the image you want your business to have, so it needs to be memorable and work in different contexts - e.g. on a website, letterhead or shop front. You need to make sure the name doesn't belong to one of your potential competitors or limit your potential for growth.

3. What legal issues do I need to think about?

You need to make sure you are up to speed with all the latest legislation - for example, employment law, contract law, trading standards and health and safety.

4. What about the taxman?

No matter what kind of company you set up, you will be liable for some tax. And if you sell any of your assets for profit you may be liable for capital gains tax. If your taxable turnover is more than the current threshold, you will have to register for VAT.

5. What do I need to know about employing staff?

You need to be thorough with your hiring process. Make sure you write a full job description, hold proper interviews and always gather references. This will help you choose the right person.

As an employer you have legal responsibilities so get advice on areas such as employment contracts.

Finally, always manage your staff fairly. Set rules for both you and your staff, some of which will be legal, like hours, pay and leave.

Barclays prides itself on the level of service and range of support that we offer. For example, the Enterprise Agencies and Barclays have teamed up to provide a series of free seminars across the country giving practical help to people starting in business and then go on to grow them. In 2006, around 600 events took place, supporting more than 10,000 individuals.

To find out more call 0800 515 462 or visit www.barclays.co.uk
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 20, 2008
Words:472
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