Legal and Business Requirements for Your Online Entity

Part of the Starting & Running an Online Business Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Here are some important action points to get cracking with as soon as possible in terms of both the functionality and the legality of your online business.

  • Decide what type of business you’re going to be: Are you going to be a sole trader, a partnership, or are you going to become a statutory business entity?

  • Register with HMRC: You’re required to register your business with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and you’ll probably have to register for VAT as well.

  • Choose an accounting method: You can either use cash-basis or accrual-basis accounting.

  • Choose an accounting period: The calendar year is simple, but you can also choose a fiscal year.

  • Record your revenue: Write down the amount you receive, the form of payment, the date, the name of the client, and the goods or services you provided in exchange for the payment.

  • Keep track of expenses: Write down the date the expense occurred, the name of the person or company that received payment, and the type of expense incurred.

  • Be aware of Health and Safety restrictions: As soon as you set up and register your online business, you must create a safe and risk free environment for your employees (even if the only employee is you!).

  • Research your trade name: Do a search on the Internet followed by a search of Companies House.

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Starting & Running an Online Business Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

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