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We've scoured the web to get you the most up-to-date advice which includes the most useful tools on offer from the officials themselves.

Effective tax planning is essential if you are to minimise your tax bills. Simple tax planning can significantly reduce your tax liabilities.

The self-assessment tax return is an unavoidable burden if you are liable for self-employed tax or have complicated income tax affairs.

Corporation tax is charged on a company's profits. If you trade as a limited company, ensure that paying this tax is as painless as possible.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are payable whether you are self-employed or employed by your own company, although different rates apply.

As well as your legal obligations, you’ll want to ensure that payroll is painless and that you use any opportunities to improve your tax-efficiency.

VAT

Effective VAT planning aims to ensure that VAT is relatively painless, and that you are reclaiming as much as possible of the VAT you pay.

Capital gains are made when you sell something for more money than you paid for it. As a result, you can be subject to tax. Take professional advice.

Business property taxes apply to businesses with commercial premises.There are two commercial property taxes: business rates and stamp duty land tax.

If you have tax problems or face a tax investigation, it pays to seek professional advice and you must act rather than just hoping for the best.

Business owners reveal their biggest regrets

13 August 2019

Business owner doing stock audit in a  warehoouseA new study has uncovered the biggest mistakes experienced by the leaders of UK small firms, including financing, pricing and taking misplaced advice from others.

UK entrepreneurs have revealed that their biggest regret is the way they financed their business during the start-up period, according to a poll of 1,000 business owners conducted by Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance.

Almost one in four (23%) business owners in the UK have admitted that in hindsight they'd have financed their business differently and they say this decision seriously held back the business. Male business owners most regretted their fiscal decisions with 28% admitting they chose the wrong strategy, compared to 16% of female business owners.

Owners in the transport and logistics sector regretted their financial decision most, with half of owners saying they wished they'd funded their venture differently. Business owners in recruitment (31%) and manufacturing (30%) made up the top three.

The second biggest regret was pricing strategy with 21% of business owners claiming this was a major regret. More than half (57%) of those who said they made this mistake went on to change their pricing within the first year of operating.

Of the business owners that believed they incorrectly priced their product or service, 78% said it was due to overpricing; only 22% felt they had undervalued their offerings. Business services felt they got their pricing strategy most wrong with almost a third (32%) claiming it was their biggest regret, compared to 31% in both manufacturing and recruitment.

Taking advice from friends or business gurus was also a major regret for many business owners; 17% revealed they took wrong advice and in hindsight would have made different decisions. Almost one in three (31%) male owners regretted the advice they took in comparison to just 10% of women.

Overall, the top ten business regrets are:

  • How the business was financed (23%);
  • Pricing strategy during start-up (21%);
  • Following the wrong advice from others (17%);
  • The timing of starting up (16%);
  • Lack of planning before starting up (14%);
  • The location of the business (11%);
  • The products sold (10%);
  • Hiring the wrong staff (8%);
  • Starting a business in the wrong sector (6%);
  • Not putting enough time and effort into the business at start-up (4%).

Written by Rachel Miller.

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