How long does it take to set up my limited company?
The process of setting up a company for you is very quick and easy. With minimal information required we will have your business in place normally within 5-7 working hours. If needed, we can fast track your application (for a small fee) to guarantee set up within approximately 1 hour.
Do I have to set up a separate business bank account when setting up my limited company?
You certainly do. You won’t be able to use a personal bank account. Your company is a separate legal entity in its own right and so you will find that your agency or your clients will insist on paying you into a bank account held in your company’s name. We will certainly expect to help you through the process of setting up your bank account as part of our on-boarding service.
How will I know what I can take from my business and what taxes I need to pay?
This forms a critical and major part of any early discussions we have with a new client. The importance of these questions is one of the reasons that we will always insist on meeting up with new clients face-to-face when they join us. We will go through projections and put together numbers that are very specific to your set up to ensure that you are fully aware of how you should go about drawing your cash from your company. Part of that discussion is ensuring that you’re comfortable with what that means from a company and a personal tax point of view. We want you to be fully aware of how your tax bills are accumulating. This is also an ongoing discussion as your business trades and so regular contact with us as your accountants needs to be prioritised.
I have rental income from a personal property I own. Will that impact what I can take from my business?
Many of our clients have other sources of income other than from their limited companies. As part of our structuring advice we will certainly be brining that additional income into our projections for you. While your other income won’t impact what you can physically draw from your company, it will have an impact on your tax efficiency and so it is important that we include those outside events and discuss those with you.
Is your monthly fee really ‘fixed for life’?
It certainly is, yes. We know that this kind of goes against the grain of traditional thinking but we like to challenge this sort of tradition. It gives our clients absolute certainty of their fees with us for many years to come. We also believe that the longer you are a client, you should be rewarded for that loyalty to us and so with no increases, your accounting fee becomes a little cheaper each year. Thanking you for your loyalty by throwing beyond inflation increases at you….well, that is no reward at all! If the structure of your business changes (for example, additional freelancers actively trading through your business) then of course, we will want to agree a new fee arrangement with you. However, if nothing changes for you….neither does your fee.
Is your monthly fee genuinely all-inclusive or do you have any additional charges I need to consider?
For more than 80% of our clients, our monthly fee is genuinely all-inclusive. The fee they pay literally covers everything they need from us. However, we do have a few add-on services which clients may or may not wish to take advantage of. These include services such as Registered office, bookkeeping, company closure and accounting software offerings. We will discuss those options with you before you sign up as a client.
How do I collate my accounting records? Can I use a spreadsheet?
The quick answer to this is that if your company turnover is projected to be less than £85,000 per year, you can use a spreadsheet to keep a track of your income and expenses. And we have a very good one we can let you have which we affectionately call our ‘CrewSheet’. It does a fantastic job with built in dashboards and the like. However, with the advent of Making Tax Digital (MTD), you will be required to use a software package to collate your records if your annual turnover is projected to exceed £85,000. We have no preference which software package you choose to use and have clients with a variety of packages. However, if you are looking for a recommendation, we would advise using FreeAgent (check our ‘Partners’ page for their details) who we work with extensively. Some clients will chose to use FreeAgent irrespective due to it being such a useful and easy to use tool. Don’t worry, if you need our help in setting that all up, we can happily sort that for you.
If I join The Crew, will I have my own assigned accountant and are they qualified?
Every one of our clients have a dedicated accountant assigned to them. Your accountant will manage everything for you including monitoring deadlines and ensuring we meet all your responsibilities to Companies House and HMRC. You will have direct access to them via telephone, mobile telephone, WhatsApp, texting, Skype, Zoom…fax…..(we might need to locate the fax machine so please give us some warning in this case!)….A successful relationship between us and our clients is based on trust and reliability. Part of this is that we insist that your accountant be easily contactable and responsive. Most of us are fully qualified and registered with UK governing bodies but as you will appreciate, some of our younger accountants are still in the process of qualifying. The one thing we insist on is that all our accountants are studying towards an accounting qualification. Their role within our office will be determined by their training. An accountant directly responsible to clients will never be in their first year of studies, but always well on their way to their full qualification.
Will you sort out my dry-cleaning for me?
Now, this is an important one! A silly question, I know, but an important point to make is that we will do everything for you from an accounting and tax perspective. Anything outside of that remit, will be for your to-do list! We have had all manner of queries and requests which we could write a book about (maybe we should!) but we do want to make a distinction between being your accountant and being your PA! Maybe one day we’ll find a way to do a client’s grocery shopping but until we work that one out, we’ll be sticking to our accredited and hard-earned skills!
What happens if I no longer need my company?
There could be many reasons why you no longer need your company and depending on those reasons and the length of time you have been trading, there are a number of options. You may choose a straight forward closure, a liquidation or you may even leave your business open in a dormant state to possibly use again in the future. If your decision was to stop using the company, it would be important to lean on us to take you through your options and the benefits of each. If you did choose to close your business down, we would be able to manage that for you in its entirety.
What expenses can I claim through my business?
This is without doubt the most asked question we get from clients and an important one as it is the best method to ensure that you operate as tax efficiently as you possibly can. If you refer to the article on pages 38-40 of our magazine, we give you some feedback on that exact question. Bear in mind that there is no black and white list showing what you can and can’t claim. Every business is different and so the nature of expenses claimed will differ. The logic used to determine whether an expense is claimable or not is wrapped up in HMRC guidance: If the expense is incurred ‘wholly and exclusively’ for the business, then you can claim it. Common items would be things like equipment, stationery, business travel and the like. But there are many other expenses which if you apply that rule to, you will find can be claimed. A trip to Dubai for a 2-day conference where you spend 2 weeks….that is clearly a holiday on to which your conference has been tagged. A dual purpose trip of this nature would not be claimable. So we’d expect to be talking through your anticipated expenses in detail and then advise you along the way.
I’ve lost my employment benefits such as pension and health insurance. Can I now put those through my limited company?
You certainly can, yes. Pension and relevant life insurances will not carry any benefit-in-kind taxes but things like health insurances would definitely carry personal taxes. So to a point, the company can be used to replace some of those benefits that you may have lost from a previous employment but once again, it would be important for us to discuss these with you to ensure we get it right.
Do I have to be registered for self-assessment?
If you receive dividend income from your business, then you will definitely need to be registered for self-assessment. This means that you will be required to submit a personal tax return each which, of course, we will assist you with. Dividend income is not taxed at source and so that income needs to be reported and the taxes paid each year which is all done through the submission of this personal tax return.
Do I really need an accountant?
Great question….and in truth, there are those that will choose to do their own accounts. The difficulty comes in when issues of compliance are being considered. Not only in terms of meeting deadlines but in how and in what format items need to be submitted. Another area is that taxes and HMRC’s views on expenses etc are changing all the time and our job is to keep up to date with such developments. There are many ways that we could justify our involvement in our clients companies but most clients appreciate the fact that we are tasked with keeping them up to date and in HMRC’s good books. As long as we save you more money in tax than the fee you pay us, that will justify any fee you pay…..but there is so much more that we do where that value-add is demonstrated. Most clients will simply ask us to do what we do best which allows them to get on and do what they do best! Mutually beneficial.
I have been told by another accountant that they can increase my take home pay by joining them. Why can’t you do what they do?
This is a massive misconception…..no one accountant can structure your business in a way that means you operate more efficiently than another. That is just not possible. We are all governed by the same rules as set by HMRC. It all boils down to getting sound advice. Great advice coupled with up to date knowledge of what can and cannot be done will lead to you operating as tax efficiently as possible. No one accountant will have access to a scheme or method which will give them sole right to tax efficiency opportunities. If any accountant says they can do what no other accountant can do…I’d be worried!

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