How to register a business with the government
You have a few official steps to walk through before you’re in business:
- Set up as a sole trader: You can set yourself up quickly and easily at gov.uk. During the process, you’ll register with HMRC for tax, and for VAT if you’re going to be VAT registered. Check our guide on VAT accounting schemes.
- Set up as a partnership: You’ll need a name, and a ‘nominated partner’ who is responsible for keeping the business records and reporting taxes. Once you have those, you can get set up with the government. During the process, you’ll register with HMRC for tax, and for VAT if you’re going to be VAT registered. Check our guide on VAT accounting schemes.
- Set up as a company: Besides naming your company, you’ll need to appoint directors and adopt articles of association – you can get some written or use templates. Once that work is done, it’s relatively simple to get set up with the government. During the process, you’ll register for corporation tax. You may also need to register for VAT.
Do I need to tell any other regulators?
There may be more to do if you’re entering a regulated industry, such as liquor sales. Speak to friends in the industry, or the industry representative body, to find out if there are special requirements for your type of business.
Should I trademark a business name?
You can legally protect a business name and logo to prevent others from mimicking your identity. This can be a valuable step for businesses that plan to invest a lot in making their brand widely known.
This area of the law can get complicated – especially if you expand into overseas markets and find there’s a business there with a similar name. Ask for advice from a legal professional with experience in this area.
Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the provided content.
How to start a business
Thousands of new businesses open every day. If all those people can do it, why not you? Here’s what to do, and when.
- How to do market research
Your business idea is clearly inspired. But it helps to check you’re not the only one who thinks so.
- How to write a business plan
Writing a business plan will help nail down your idea and give you a blueprint for executing it.
- Budgeting and forecasting
It’s time to run some numbers on your business idea. Budgeting and forecasting help with that.
- Pricing strategies and cost of goods sold
Your prices can influence the number of sales you make and the profit you earn on each transaction.
- Types of business structure
Your business structure can affect how much tax you pay, and how you're treated by the law.
- Small business accounting
If you’re starting a business, then you’ll need to get familiar with some accounting basics.
- Registering a business and other admin tasks
After all the excitement of deciding to start a business, you’ll have some paperwork to do.
- How to create a business website
Treat your website like an online version of a storefront. It’s the first impression for many customers and prospects.
- Tools and guides for your business
Now that you’re in business, you want to stay there. Xero’s got resources and solutions to help.
Download the guide to starting a business
Learn how to start a business, from ideation to launch. Fill out the form to receive this guide as a PDF.