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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.

Is running a business bad for your health?

11 February 2020

A new survey has found that two-thirds of start-up founders attribute personal health issues to their hectic working lives.

The survey of 504 start-up leaders has been conducted by consumer health company RB in collaboration with start-up community Startup Grind. Its findings show that a worrying 67% of start-up leaders say their busy schedules and the stress of starting a business are contributing to their declining health.

Almost half (49%) of start-up founders work over 50 hours a week, with one in four (28%) putting in over 60 hours. This is significantly higher than the 37.1 hours that the average UK worker spends at their job.

As a result, 38% say they suffer with insomnia or poor sleep, while 26% have mental health complaints, including stress, anxiety and depression. Healthy habits also tend to go out of the window for business owners, with 34% saying that their work has had a negative impact on their diet.

However, 78% of the business founders polled said they were inspired to launch their business by a desire to improve people's lives; one in five (22%) even said they were motivated by the condition/health of a family member, friend or loved one.

Asked what business activities were contributing to their stress levels, 74% named funding, investment and/or cashflow as a top-three stress factor. Access to talent and recruitment was second, cited by over a third (39%), followed by innovation and R&D (33%).

"Stress and burnout are incredibly common within the start-up community and these issues don't go away as businesses become more established," said Alex Gordon-Furse, director, Startup Program at Startup Grind.

"Leaders are constantly tackling new challenges. Even those that have a concrete business plan and access to funding will be grappling with something, whether it's regulation or how to take their offering to market. During this period, leaders pour their heart, soul and numerous hours into getting their business off the ground and making it a success. This dedication can have negative repercussions on their health."

On a brighter note, however, many start-up founders reported improved personal lives because of their work - 41% said launching their own business had improved their relationships with family members and 38% said they are in a better position financially.

RB is looking to partner with healthcare and health tech start-ups and innovators on the next generation of consumer health products. "We share start-ups' passion for wanting to create a world where people lead healthier and happier lives," said Dr Philip Bolton, interim VP innovation at RB. "At the same time, we also know that we can learn a lot from start-ups and improve and grow our own business by taking their agility on board and learning from their approach."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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