Business Accounting: Get Your Startup on Track

Get your start up ready for business

Plenty of people dream of striking off on their own and there are plenty of advantages to setting up your own company. You get to decide how things are run, you’re your own boss and you get to finally see your dream product or services become a reality.

Before you start printing out business cards though, there are a few things you need to consider to help make your start up a success. Most of these revolve around the matters of tax and finance – both words that don’t exactly scream excitement. However if you’re going to create a successful start up, you best get to grips with the financials. Here are some good places to start:

Once you’ve got the name, you need the bank account

Naturally you’re planning on making millions in your latest business venture and you’re going to need somewhere to keep your business income. Having separate accounts for personal and business expenses will make everything so much easier in the long run, especially when it comes to taxes.

It’s also something that is required by law for corporations, so even though it’s not a legal requirement for sole proprietors it’s definitely recommended. You’ll need to have a registered business name before you can approach the bank about opening a business account, but do some research as soon as possible.

They all offer different perks and structures, so it’s good to know what you’re getting and if there are any hidden costs and charges.

Always keep the receipt

Expenses are always going to be incurred when you’re setting up your start up, whether that’s taking potential clients out for lunch or just buying hundreds of post its. Either way, any money you claim back from your start up has to be accountable.

It might seem strange if it’s only yourself or a small team working in the new business, but cultivating this kind of habit from the get go is a very smart move. You can keep it simple with a filofax or the classic shoebox in the bottom drawer trick, but if you want to be a bit more up to date, not to mention more organised, you can use services like the aptly named ShoeBoxed.

If you’re working from home, you can also claim back household expenses. Work out roughly how much electricity and other facilities are costing you and then workout what percentage of that is because you’re now working from home.

It might sound silly, but working from home helps keep costs down and this legitimises all of your spending. This also applies to your car and petrol costs.

Be book smart

Bookkeeping is a word plenty of people know but few actually know what it is. It’s the day-to-day process of tracking transactions, sorting them into categories and matching them up with bank statements and receipts.

It’s not a whole lot of fun, but it’s vital for a start ups success to keep clear records. Applications like Wave can help those struggling to get to grips with the process, or you might want to just outsource everything to a bookkeeping firm to take the stress away.

Make sure you do your research though as you want to build a strong, professional relationship with your accountant. You need to trust them and be able to work with them. They’ll also be able to give you valuable advice on sales tax procedures, tax obligations and any tax breaks you might be entitled too as a start up.

Show me the money

Sure, you’ve started this business because you’re passionate and excited about your product and love the idea of being your own boss, but at the end of the day, you need to make a living.

This means finding a way for people to pay you. Here, security is your priority, so using a trusted third party to handle payments can really take the pressure off. PayPal and Shopify accept credit card payments and mean you don’t have to mess around setting up a merchant account. Also do some research to find out what your competitors are doing – you don’t want to be the only one not offering a certain type of payment method.

This may all seem pretty daunting, but giving your start up a solid grounding means you can focus on promoting, schmoozing and building up your brand to get the money rolling in!

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