Xero: How Xero can help with Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital is the Government’s imminent legislative initiative that comes into effect for VAT-registered businesses earning above the VAT threshold (£85,000) on 1 April 2019. This will require qualifying businesses to migrate their current financial recording systems to a dedicated digital, cloud accounting platform, and will become ubiquitous for all businesses by April 2020. This means that sole traders, partnerships, landlords and commercial property owners and trading companies and corporations will all be subject to these changes in little over a year.

It’s a big change. Under Making Tax Digital, finances are required to be reported quarterly rather than annually, though the annual tax return is still included under this. Essentially, Making Tax Digital represents a more effective way for the Government to stay updated on companies’ financial reporting – providing less room for error, miscalculation and fraud when it comes to processing tax.

Transitioning your business’s finances to the cloud sounds like a complex and calculated process and indeed it can be unless you have the right help. The scale and scope of the operation depend on the size of your business and the quality of your existing bookkeeping, but some cloud accounting platforms exist that can facilitate a quick and painless migration such as Xero.

In this post, we take a look at the various ways in which Xero can improve your business’s financial accounting and streamline the bookkeeping and accounting process.

Why choose Xero?

There are a number of reasons for choosing Xero as your dedicated cloud-accounting platform, all of which stand to benefit your company and its financial position and stability. Aside from the obvious benefit of being listed by HMRC as a compatible Making Tax Digital platform, using Xero’s accounting software can assist with:

Simplifying and streamlining your accounts

With an intuitive and intelligent interface, Xero is the perfect solution for businesses looking to refine their approach to bookkeeping through clear, concise accounting. The Xero system is simple and straightforward to use, and as it’s built specifically for small business owners and operators, it means you’re not required to have an in-depth knowledge of accounting in order to use it, understand it and in turn, better understand your business’s finances.

Understanding your business’s financial position

By engaging with Xero’s illuminating dashboard overview, you’re provided with a clear, comprehensive and unobstructed view of your business’s financial stability. From automated daily bank feeds to outstanding invoices owed, Xero is compatible with a number of third-party technologies and platforms, and its dashboard offers a holistic insight into your finances - giving you the tools to better understand your business’s positioning and health.

Unadulterated access

With a strictly digital hosting network, Xero’s client data is stored entirely on the cloud. This means that you can access the platform from anywhere in the world; the only requirement is an Internet connection and a compatible device. Further to this, you don’t need to back up your files when using Xero. The secure servers are in place with all necessary redundancy measures, so accessing everything is a remarkably painless affair.

Improving your business’s operations

As a cloud-based platform, Xero provides freedoms that many small businesses once thought out of reach or unattainable. With no need for IT maintenance, no over complicated setup process or the tediousness associated with having to serve a client with a physical invoice the week after completing a job, Xero can make your business a smoother, simpler operation.

Better security of your financial data

Incorporating complex encryption technology into the storage and transference of your business’s financial data, Xero’s cloud accounting technology is a reliable and secure means of keeping your accounts in order. With your data encrypted in both storage and sending phases, any records that you submit online are efficiently and effectively safeguarded - which means your business and its interests are also better protected.

Aligning yourself with future Making Tax Digital Requirements

Despite coming into effect for VAT-registered businesses above the threshold on 1 April 2019, future instalments of the MTD legislation are imminent and will incorporate other forms of business. The ramifications of this are yet to be seen, but depending on how the introduction of MTD for VAT-registered business pans out, there may be changes to the existing and planned tax lodgement processes - so embracing the cloud and familiarising yourself with a platform such as Xero is imperative.

How can Tax Agility help?

As a gold partner of Xero, Tax Agility is privy to a handful of benefits that other tax agents and accountants aren’t. As London’s local accountants for small businesses, we’ve been working with Xero since 2011 and as such, have cultivated a reputation for being experts when it comes to using their digital cloud accounting software – becoming certified Xero advisors in the process.

This certification means that we’re able to provide our clients with special benefits when it comes to subscribing to Xero and using their technology, as well as being able to offer discounts of up to 25% for new small businesses looking to make the switch. Not only can we make it more affordable for your business to migrate its finances to the cloud, but Tax Agility is also able to provide bespoke assistance for businesses whose transition might be more complex or complicated – we’re specialists in start-up and small business accountancy and have a proven track record of delivering reliable accounting advice.

If you have any queries as to the processes by which you can migrate your business’s finances and accounts to the cloud, or would like to get in touch regarding setting up with Xero, Tax Agility can advise and assist regardless of your business type or structure. Moreover, if you’re a small- or medium-sized venture that is interested in securing the services of a qualified, specialist accountancy firm familiar with your needs and your area, London’s local small business accountants, Tax Agility, can help.

Feel free to get in touch on 020 8108 0090 and find out how you can better manage your business and improve your business’s financial positioning.

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This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. 

Successful start-up concept image

Top tips to being a successful start-up in Central London

Successful start-up concept imageLondon is often referred to as the start-up capital of Europe, with a staggering number of new businesses registered yearly. Known for its vibrancy, a high concentration of capital, large international talent pool, as well as government support measures and accelerators and tech events - London has one of the fastest-growing, and most prosperous, start-up ecosystems in the world.

Despite this, the city also has the lowest rate of survival for start-ups in the UK, mainly due to London’s highly competitive climate and the volatile nature of establishing a start-up business. In 2018, small business growth saw a deficit for the first time since 2000 (-0.5%) with 27,000 fewer businesses than in 2017. In essence, while London is certainly the place to be if you want to build a successful start-up, you should consider whether the current economic and political environment in the UK is conducive to your business model.

Tax Agility, the London accountants for start-ups have worked with budding new businesses in the city for years and here, they offer a few insights into what makes a successful start-up and how you can apply them in 2019.

Why start a business in Central London?

Aside from London’s long-running history as a hub for large corporations and firms, the city has recently seen a shift in its business demographic - becoming a hub for more and more start-ups and small businesses. Drawn by good transport links, a deep talent pool and strong infrastructure, the climate in Central London is perfect for start-ups, and with a history of success, it’s only natural these businesses are increasingly making London their home.

Though it holds a reputation as one of the world’s foremost financial and business capitals, the balance of power between large corporations and smaller start-ups is beginning to even out. Offering a bounty of professional bodies, communications, publishing, advertising and media agencies upon which start-ups can rely for their services, London has established itself as a veritable breeding ground for small ventures looking to establish themselves in what is one of the world’s most competitive financial cities.

Utilise funding options

There are several ways to finance a new business. Traditional methods range from saving up the capital yourself to borrowing from friends and family or taking a bank loan. These days, however, there are alternative avenues to procure funding if you have a compelling business proposal. As a global financial centre, London offers them all:

  • Government support initiatives – Specific grants are awarded to some businesses for the purposes of generating employment and boosting the economy. If you are researching and developing a process, product or service or testing an innovation, you may be eligible for funding. You can visit Government sites such as Innovate UK and London Co-investment Fund to research the types of funding you may be eligible for and the requirements you must meet.
  • Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) - Designed to help small businesses raise equity finance in the early stages by offering tax reliefs to individual investors who invest in them. You can receive a maximum of £150,000 through this scheme. A qualified, specialist start-up accountant can assist you with applying for SEIS.
  • Crowd-Investing Platforms – Like traditional crowdfunding platforms, there are also crowdfunding platforms for equity that a new company can approach to raise funds such as Crowdcube or Seedrs.
  • Angel and venture capital investors - An angel investor is an individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. Venture capital investors provide a form of financing or funds to small, early-stage, emerging firms that have demonstrated high growth or are deemed to have high growth potential. They usually request upwards of a 20% stake.

Recruiting talent

To be successful in London, you will have to recruit the best talent. London has many leading universities and is home to over 350,000 students from the UK and overseas. It also has the largest percentage of working age population with degrees and National Vocation Qualifications (NVQ) equivalents, with 60.7% of the population possessing NVQ Level 4 qualifications or above.

This abundance of talent does come at a price, however. Driven by the high demand of these skilled workers, average weekly salaries in Central London average approximately £690.81. You can circumvent this problem by approaching local universities and colleges who can provide apprentices, trainees and interns for employment. You also have the option of hiring from outside the UK as the government offers visas for skilled workers to attract and retain the very best global talent.


Central London offers a wide range of properties for potential start-ups. Even with the timeless popularity of the area and a growing property boom, Central London still offers a wealth of available office spaces, from flexible co-working locations to serviced office spaces, multi-storey buildings and prestigious headquarters. As is customary, finding the right premises for your start-up will depend on your budget, the stage-of-development your company is at, and future expansion plans.

Business support in Central London

London offers simple and inexpensive incorporation services which can be accessed online, around the clock. There are a handful of online services that can perform this service. However, it is always advisable to consult a professional, specialist accountant to ensure that you are meeting all of the necessary requirements. London houses many accountancy firms, such as Tax Agility, who cater specifically to start-ups and small business enterprises and can assist with incorporating your business or provide financial and accounting services for your new company.

Incubators, resources and events

Central London has some of the largest and most well-regarded accelerators and incubators in the UK for businesses across a range of industries. These are support services which assist promising start-ups in the early stages of development by offering everything from office space to advice, mentoring, and even seed funding.

The city also has some of the best business resources, with Westminster’s library databases particularly useful for business and market research information. The British Library’s Business and IP Centre in St Pancras is also a valuable support for entrepreneurs, inventors and small business owners seeking networking, planning, copyright and IP guidance, as well as free industry guides.

New entrepreneurs will have no shortage of events and workshops. Every borough council runs events of some sort to support businesses, bringing together the most forward-thinking and innovative companies in the industry.

Marketing strategy

An innovative business idea will not guarantee success on its own. If no one knows about your idea or product, then your business has failed to employ an effective marketing strategy and in turn, has failed to effectively reach your goal of disseminating and selling said idea or product. To do this, you need a cohesive campaign that reaches your target market and illuminates the benefits of your product. Essentially, you want to invest in quality marketing in order to maximise your return with an efficient, targeted marketing campaign that gets quantifiable results. To do this, you need to define your end goal, maintain a consistent brand and message, determine your target audience and find a social channel for your start-up. It’s always advisable to consult a professional, industry-affiliated marketing provider to do this for you in circumstances where you’re not well equipped enough to do it yourself.

What Tax Agility offers the start-up

The financial and regulatory requirements of a new start-up can seem daunting to a new entrepreneur. Innovative ideas may be exciting, but it takes a competent and trustworthy accountant to get your business started. Tax Agility, the London accountant for start-ups can advise you on important issues, and help you with accounting tasks such as:

  • Assessment of your financial requirements, including advice on finance sources, introductions to banks and preparation of the necessary proposals
  • Advice on the most suitable structure for your business – sole trader, partnership or limited company
  • Advice on tax-efficient investment schemes such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (“SEIS”)
  • Preparation of your business plan, cash-flow projections, budgets, and trading forecasts
  • Completion of registration with Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs
  • Management of company secretarial services
  • Advice on setting-up financial, management and record-keeping systems in compliance with statutory requirements.

Simply call us on 020 8108 0090 or fill out our Online Form for more information regarding your start-up business.

This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

Check out the other articles in our ‘Advice for start-ups in Central London’ series:

challenges faced by start-ups

Challenges faced by start-ups in Central London

challenges faced by start-upsWhile London may have cultivated a reputation for being Europe’s foremost start-up hub, the statistics for business survival rates are less than encouraging. According to data from the Financial Times, as of late 2017, only 50.1% of new companies in London lasted beyond three years. Add this to the fact that 2018 marked the first time small business growth numbers in the UK saw a deficit since the year 2000 (-0.5% growth), as well as figures suggesting that there has also been an exodus of start-ups from the capital into surrounding areas and other cities, and it becomes clear that start-ups in Central London will face serious difficulties when it comes to establishing themselves and staying afloat this year.

Let Tax Agility, London’s local small business accountants take a look at some of the challenges commonly faced by start-ups in the Central London area, and the ways your venture might be able to navigate and survive them.

High costs

It goes without saying that London, and in particular Central London, has always been among the most expensive places to settle and do business – primarily due to its status as one of the world’s finance and business capitals. Following the city’s recent start-up boom, an increasing influx of budding entrepreneurs has resulted in London becoming a victim of its own success, with high rents, tough competition and prohibitive initial start-up costs meaning new businesses are finding it harder to survive here.

While there is capital to be found in Central London, it’s an investors’ market - and as such, it isn’t always easy for start-ups to source the necessary capital required for establishing their business and surviving. Typically, investors in the UK are risk-averse and wary of ensuring their investments reap the best tax benefits, so funding momentum in the UK has never really taken off.

In order to survive, consider bypassing the traditional sources of capital. There are crowdfunding platforms that can assist with the funding of a start-up throughout its development and early years. Moreover, making use of more affordable co-working spaces instead of renting an office is also an effective strategy for reducing costs until you are well established and can afford your own space. These suggestions represent but a few of the plethora of tactics available to start-ups looking to find their place in the London market, and our local, specialist accountants are here to advise you on how best to do so.

Time management

Poor time management can hinder a start-up’s growth, and there are many distractions for a new business owner that can detract from workplace efficiency. From emails and phone calls to meetings and miscellaneous tasks, even the supposedly helpful incubators, accelerators and start-up conference events can hinder your business’s operations. Sometimes these events are more of an excuse for like-minded people within the start-up ‘industry’ to get together and engage in banter, and although this networking could potentially prove beneficial somewhere down the line, it’s not always the best way for an entrepreneur to spend their time.

Another potential time-waster you should be wary of avoiding is the “Hesitant Investor.” These are individuals who feign serious interest in your company, asking for information over and over again despite having already decided not to invest.

The key to navigating the issue of time management then is to be disciplined when it comes to your allocated tasks, which can be implemented by the use of a regimented planner to track and categorise all of your activities. You should determine the percentage of time you spend on each activity, and assess their importance and contribution to the overall growth of the business. Moreover, if you’re finding yourself inundated with work, another solution is to delegate tasks to employees or to outsource functions such as accounting, recruitment and marketing if they are not your main strength.

Building the right team

Often success for a start-up or small business relies on the talent at its disposal. If you can’t recruit the best talent, your business mightn’t be able to compete with start-ups that can, meaning you aren’t as equipped as your competitors when it comes to surviving. The cost of living in Central London is one of the greatest challenges faced by start-ups operating in this area and can be prohibitive, with average rentals higher than most places in the UK. Competition for talent has also driven up salaries, with the average weekly wage in Central London currently looming around £690.81, which your business may not be able to afford. Some solutions include hiring interns and apprentices from local universities, hiring from other countries and remote work until you can afford to hire in London.

Eventually, the long-term solution is to hire well and have a willingness to train. You might also want to consider applying for the Government’s Enterprise Management Incentive Scheme (EMI), which allows small businesses and cash-tight start-ups to offer employees equity in their company as a way of incentivising employment in circumstances where they can’t afford large salary packages. For more information about the EMI scheme, you can read here.

Marketing strategy

An innovative business idea will not guarantee success on its own. You need to know the best way to market your products and services via print media, online and mobile platforms, advertising and so on. The goal for this is simple, you want to maximise the return on your marketing investment, which means an efficient, targeted marketing campaign that delivers quantifiable results. It is usually best practice to outsource this if you’re not experienced or qualified, however, you don’t necessarily need to employ the services of an expensive marketing firm. A freelance researcher who has experience in your field of business can conduct market research to ascertain the most effective strategies for your company and will create a report with suggested niches, backed by potential profit margins and a complete SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Accounting and bookkeeping

Keeping track of legal and financial records can be a daunting task for a new entrepreneur, and it is best to engage professional help. There are numerous London accountancy firms such as Tax Agility that cater specifically to start-ups and small business enterprises. Whether you work in Information and Software Technology or have the next big idea for Courier Services, we can assess, advise, prepare and manage your company’s financial and bookkeeping needs, while recommending grants and reliefs that will save you money. With the Government’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ initiative coming into effect on 1 April 2019 for VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the £85,000 threshold, and for all sole traders, partnerships, landlords and trading companies by April 2020, we can help you to choose the best, most efficient method for keeping your accounts in order – as a gold partner of Xero, Tax Agility can assist your business’s adherence to the imminent legislative requirements.

Taxes your business will be liable for

As a new business, there are certain taxes you need to be aware of. A reputable local accountant can keep your finances up to date while advising you on the best avenues for limiting any exposure.

  • Corporation tax is the tax levied on a company’s profits. UK resident companies are subject to Corporation Tax in the United Kingdom on their worldwide taxable profits.
  • Income tax is generally deducted from an employee’s salary on a monthly basis, through an employer-run system known as “Pay As You Earn” (PAYE) - paid monthly to HMRC.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax on goods and services in the UK and European Union, with different member states having different levels of VAT.
  • National Insurance Contributions (NICs) is the UK’s social security mechanism. Both employers and employees contribute to NICs as a percentage of the gross salary paid to an employee.
  • Exemptions and relief - New businesses benefit from a variety of tax allowances and reliefs which can reduce their tax liability. Start-up businesses setting up in certain zones may qualify for a tax exemption of up to 100 per cent for five years. There is also an assortment of reliefs, such as capital allowance and research and development (R&D) relief which your business might be eligible for. Consult your accountant to see if your business qualifies.

What Tax Agility offers

The financial and regulatory requirements of a new startup can seem daunting to a new entrepreneur. Passion may not be enough to get you through, but a competent and trustworthy accountant can help. As local London accountants for small businesses, Tax Agility can advise you on important issues and help you with accounting tasks such as:

  • Assessment of your financial requirements, including advice on finance sources, introductions to banks and preparation of the necessary proposals
  • Advice on the most suitable structure for your business – sole trader, partnership or limited company
  • Advice on possible qualification for tax-efficient investment schemes such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (“SEIS”)
  • Preparation of your business plan, cash-flow projections, budgets, and trading forecasts
  • Completion of registration with Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs
  • Management of company secretarial services
  • Advice on setting-up financial, management and record-keeping systems in compliance with statutory requirements

For more information or to get in touch regarding your start-up or small business, simply fill out our Online Form, or call us on 020 8108 0090.

This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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Guide to setting up a retail outlet in Central London

London is one of the fashion and shopping capitals of the world, so it’s only natural that retail businesses represent a substantial cross-section of London's economic landscape.

The retail industry today contributes significantly to London's economy, with the sector accounting for about 40% of all money spent in London and providing approximately 400,000 jobs or 9% of all employment in the metropolitan area. In recent years the city has become much more accessible for small businesses and start-ups, which is why so many small retailers can thrive in the financial capital.

Is Central London right for your retail outlet?

As the focal point for the city’s tourism and a locus for energy and activity, Central London offers tremendous potential for shopping and retail. It is home to many offices, businesses and cultural attractions and well served by rail and Tube transport links. Central London has also been popularised for its distinctive shopping areas like Oxford Street, Soho, Covent Garden and Carnaby Street and is continuing to sprout vibrant new commercial districts. As London’s local accountants, we understand the need for the perfect location for your business and can provide advice on the potential of various locations around our city.

Start with a business plan

To begin with, a formal business plan helps to determine how much money you need to start your business. This should include realistic, well-researched calculations for start-up costs and the monthly operating expenses for your retail outlet.

The plan should also show financial forecasts, as well as how long it will take until your business breaks even. A 5-year Financial Projection of Income and Expenses should be included, detailing the forecasts for the first three years on a monthly basis and then annually in years four and five.

A comprehensive business plan should give you a realistic idea as to how much capital you will need for your business. It proves to the bank or any other lenders that you have considered all of the costs and risks of running the business, and that your start-up is worth the investment. For bespoke advice on the best options for lending capital to start your small business, consult Tax Agility, your local London accountants.

Estimate expenses for your retail outlet

One of the most challenging tasks when beginning a small business in Central London is making a fair, unbiased assessment of your future expenses. Underestimating these can be incredibly dangerous for your business and its long-term prospects, so it is always advisable to be conservative and overestimate rather than underestimate when forecasting your business’s costs.

Unforeseen costs are always likely to arise once the retail outlet opens for business, and no matter how big or small, these items need to be accounted for as they can eat into your revenue over time. Making room for these expenses is the best course of action, and pre-empting unexpected leaks by being as thorough, accurate, and realistic as possible in the planning stages is good practice. When preparing your business plan, you should include a 24-month cash flow budget, and some of the expenses you should include in this are:

  • Basic Start-up Costs – This list should include everything that your retail store will need to open the doors and keep them open. Identify every single expense required for the business to run, right down to the toilet paper, then research how much each line item will cost. A typical list will include rent, license and permit fees, store fixtures, inventory, equipment and technology, web hosting, cleaning services, business insurance, advertising and professional services.
  • Operating Expenses – These are expenses that maintain the business until it breaks even. Many of these will be included in your initial start-up costs. Most businesses do not make a profit in the first months and for some it can even take years.
  • Borrowing Costs – For small business owners, the most likely source of financing comes in the form of a small business loan from a reputable bank or savings institution. These are accompanied by interest repayments which will need to be forecast and accounted for.

If you would like more information regarding the potential expenses your business may incur or require assistance with your plan, Tax Agility is more than capable of providing helpful guidance and insight.

Finding your small business’s niche

Finding your niche should be the first decision you make when starting a shop. Survival in the highly competitive retail industry depends on your business finding a niche in the market and catering to this. If you don’t have your own product to sell, then identifying your target market and selecting the right products for this market is of critical importance.

Ideally, you should be selling a product that you are passionate about, have made yourself, or understand well before committing to setting up a shop. You should also ensure that you’re able to make or order enough product to stock up your shop in order to keep up with sales. This will likely mean looking into outsourcing your production once you start generating enough business.

Store location

For a brick-and-mortar store, location is of the utmost importance and can make or break a new retailer. When looking for a commercial property, the retail entrepreneur should make sure that the local area has enough walk-in traffic to sustain the business, otherwise the store will need to make up for this in the form of advertising.

When researching the area, check out any potential competitors nearby, the amount of organic, pedestrian traffic, the cost of the area and whether the premises has sufficient available space. While there are risks when opening a physical storefront, the opportunity for success and profitability is also one of its biggest drawcards.

Having a physical store does not mean you cannot sell online too. If you’d like to know how to make your website work smarter for you, click on the link and have a quick read.

Shop branding

Branding is the paradigm that consolidates your business’s identity. Integrating your shop’s name, the business’s logo, your merchandise, and the store’s aesthetic is an important strategy in any business. As effective branding is vital to the growth and profitability of your store, consider:

  • Communicate your business’s personality. Whether your store is high-end or casual, the branding should convey the tone of your business and should make this apparent to your customer.
  • Appeal to the tastes of your target audience and represent their values and preferences.
  • Guarantee the quality of your product and promise a good shopping experience.

Equipment and utilities

More than likely, your shop will need to be equipped with the necessary equipment for displaying merchandise, as well as a counter, over which you can accept payments. You will also require a till, an Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system, and possibly some form of inventory management system, depending on the scale of your operation. These will all contribute to your initial start-up costs and should be included in your expenses and business plan.

Shop regulations

To satisfy certain legal requirements, the new shop owner needs to ensure that the business complies with various regulations. The Sale of Goods Act 1979, the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 and the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 outline the requirements of retailers and they mainly cover the quality of goods for sale and the accuracy of their descriptions. Moreover, as a business, you will need to adhere to the tax and Value-added tax (VAT) regulations as dictated by HMRC.

Further to this, there are a number of health and safety regulations set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 1974, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) 1999 and The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995. UK businesses are also subject to the European-wide General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which limits what they can do with customers’ personal data. For any assistance with the tax regulations outlined here, our specialist start-up accountants can offer bespoke, helpful advice tailored to your business.


Depending on the nature of your retail business, there may be various permits and licences you will need to:

  • Sell alcohol or tobacco
  • Run a pet shop
  • Trade through a street market stall
  • Prepare and sell food and drink on your premises

In order to apply for one of these licences, you will need to consult local council authorities to have your business verified and have your licence approved. Running a business without the applicable licence can incur large fines and sanctions for the proprietor.

Shop insurance

All businesses need to have insurance to cover various eventualities. For retailers, the most common ones required are:

  • Public liability insurance provides coverage for the business in the event that a customer suffers injury, illness or damage as a result of your business and makes a claim against you.
  • Product liability insurance provides coverage for the business in the event that a customer claims they have suffered a personal injury or property damage as a result of a product they purchased from your shop.
  • Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement and covers claims from employees who suffer injury or illness as a result of working for you.
  • Equipment cover is applicable for equipment like electronic tills and POS devices, which are expensive. Having them insured in case of damage or theft is a good practice.


You may start by running the business on your own, but as you begin to grow, the business will require staff to share the workload. Further to this, you may need to employ someone with skillsets that can complement yours. For specific services like accounts and bookkeeping, as well as payroll, consider outsourcing them to a trusted local accountant.

How Tax Agility can assist your retail business in Central London

The financial and regulatory requirements of a new start-up can seem daunting to a new entrepreneur. While passion may not be enough to get you through, a competent and trustworthy accountant in London definitely can help.

At Tax Agility, we are trusted accountants for small businesses. We can advise you on important issues such as:

  • Assessment of your financial requirements, including advice on finance sources, introductions to banks and helping with the necessary proposals.
  • Advise on the most suitable structure for your business – sole trader, partnership or limited company.
  • Advice on getting your capital through tax efficient investment structures such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (“SEIS”).
  • Preparation of your business plan, cash-flow projections, budgets, and trading forecasts.
  • Completion of registration with Companies House and HMRC.
  • Management of company secretarial services.
  • Advice on setting-up financial, management and record-keeping systems in compliance with statutory requirements.

Call us today on 020 8108 0090 or use our Online Form to set-up a no-obligation meeting.

This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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