Starting your own business can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling decisions someone can make in their lives. The rewards can be substantial in terms of financial gain and self –esteem. Self – Employment requires Total Commitment, Physical and Mental Strength, Willingness to work long hours and Support from family and friends. Before starting your own business you should have identified a Market Opportunity, have the practical skills to do the job and have some business skills to enable you to run a business.

Legal structures: You can set up a business as a sole trader, as a partnership or as a limited company. The type of structure you choose depends on the kind of business you are running, with whom you will be doing business and your attitude to risk.

Sole trader: It is relatively simple to set up as a sole trader but if your business fails, your personal assets could be used to pay your creditors. Your main legal obligation is that you must register as a self-employed person with the Revenue Commissioners.

Partnership: This is where 2 or more people agree to run a business in partnership with each other. The partnership agreement should be drawn up by a solicitor. The partners are jointly responsible for running the business and if it fails all partners are jointly severally responsible for the debt.

Limited company: If you set up your business as a limited company, the business is a separate legal entity. If the company gets into debt, the creditors generally only have a claim on the assets of the company. The company must be registered with The Companies Registration Office (CRO) and the company reports and accounts must be returned to the CRO each year. Bank Borrowings will more than likely be secured by a personal guartantee.

Business name: Many businesses operate under the names of their owners, others adopt a business name. However, if you adopt a business name other than your true surname (and christian names) or registered corporate name (in the case of a company) you must register the name under the Registration of Business Names Act 1963 with The Companies Registration Office (CRO).

If a business name is used, the Certificate of Registration must be displayed in a prominent position at all locations to which customers or suppliers have access.

Keeping Records: Full and accurate records of your business transactions should be kept in full from the very start. Keeping accurate records helps you to evaluate the performance of your business, it is a legal obligation, accurate records are required to prepare and submit your tax return and your bank may require a copy of your accounts data.

A Vat registered person must keep full and true records of all business transactions which affect his or her liability to Vat and entitlement to deductibility. If you employ staff you are required to register as an employer and register for P.A.Y.E and P.R.S.I. As an employer you must maintain certain records such as hours worked, rate of pay, holiday and bank holiday entitlements and these can be inspected by the National Employment Rights Authority or the Revenue when requested.

Free No Obligation Consultation: If you have recently started a new business or are thinking about becoming self-employed please contact us today for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your requirements.

We can guide you through every step of the way from the Initial set up, Tax Registration, Book – Keeping Advice and Staff Recruitment.

To find out more call into either of our offices on the High Road Letterkenny or Main Street Killybegs or contact us by phone or email.