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Starting a Part-Time business while working - beginner’s advice

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by Startacus Admin

Before you begin

The most important thing you can do is make sure that your idea is well developed and you are ready to take on the extra responsibilities part time businessand inevitable stress that will come with starting a part-time business. Some things to consider are:

  • What product or service are you going to sell? Do you have the necessary skills to deliver these to a professional standard?

  • Is there a market for your product or service?

  • What aspects of the business are you confident you can run yourself? Are there any areas where you may require assistance e.g. finances/marketing?

  • Every business, no matter how small, requires some level of capital investment to get it off the ground. Are you financially able to provide this? Are there any start-up loans or grants in your areas that may be able to assist you?

  • What will the legal structure of the business be e.g. sole trader/limited company etc

  • Where will you run your part-time business from? If running it from home there may be tax, health and safety and security issues to consider

  • How are you going to divide your time between your new part-time business and your existing job responsibilities? Set out a realistic schedule making sure you do not spread yourself too thin.

Taxes and Legal Stuff

One of the key things that puts people off starting their own business is that they are unsure of the tax and legal obligations that they will be taking on.

  • The UK government requires anyone who is self-employed (i.e. who makes all or some of their income by working for themselves) to pay their own income tax and national insurance contributions. You must register as self employed with HMRC, this can be done very  easily online and should be completed as early as possible to avoid any fines.

  • Most self employed people are required to pay class 2 national insurance contributions (about £2.70 per week) however if you are earning under £5,753 per year you may not be required to.

  • Once registered as self-employed you will complete an annual self assessment tax return which will allow the government to see the finances of your business and calculate how much you need to pay.

  • Don’t forget that you will need to keep detailed records on your businesses outgoings and income as proof that your tax return is correct

  • Depending on the nature of your business you may need to get permission or permits from your local council

  • If you plan to continue working as you set-up your business, check your employment contract as you may have a legal obligation to inform your boss of your new enterprise, especially if a conflict of interest is likely to arise.

  • Be careful to ensure that you separate your personal business activities from your salaried position and so not allow your new business to effect your existing job in any negative way

Whatever type of business you are setting-up there is a lot to consider. We hope you found this quick introduction to starting a part-time business helpful and be sure to keep an eye for more articles related to this topic in the near future. In the meantime why not have a look at our 'How to start a part-time fitness boot camp' which has lots more advice and tips on starting a part-time business!

*Please keep in mind, that here at Startacus we ain’t any finance or legal experts, so be sure to check out the HMRC page for all the up to date info you will need to make sure you stay on the good side of the law! 

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Published on: 12th September 2013

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