Author:  Xavier Abraham

How easy it is to start a business in the UK

1. How easy it is to start a business in the UK.

Historically UK is considered to be an extremely popular business location the international community. UK still continue to play significant role in international business and is still is a very attractive location for the international community.

Generally straight forward new businesses can be set up within a matter of days in the UK. New companies can even be formed on the same day.

However for more involved and complex businesses, particularly where permits and licenses etc. are to be obtained, commencing a business can become a prolonged process.

Apart from what business (which I assume one would have already decided) a key decision to consider and make is choosing the right structure for your business.

A UK business can be operated through one of the following routes:-

• Sole Trade

• A form of Partnership – either as a simple partnership, or as a limited liability partnership(LLP) or through a limited partnership (LP)

• A Corporate vehicle such as a private limited company or a public limited company (PLC)

It's critical that you choose the correct legal structure when starting up as it will affect things like the tax you pay, registration and reporting requirements, and your personal financial liability. In any jurisdiction starting your own business is one of the most exhilarating and daunting activities you can undertake and it is important to have a sound business plan to set you on the right track. You must have the right advisors such as business consultants/accountants and legal experts to guide you through steps of the process.

2. Which area or segment is the most favoured by newly arrived immigrants as small scale business?

When starting a business it is easier to choose a business that you know – i.e. a sector where you have expertise and have passion for.

“Never invest in a business you can’t understand.” – Warren Buffett (one of the most successful businessman and investor of our time)

UK is nation that has hugely benefited from the enterprise spirit of the immigrants over the decades. Following industries have been popular with the migrant population over the years:-

• Hotel and Restaurant Industry

• Wholesale food manufacturing

• Retail trade – mini supermarkets, convenience stores etc

• Wholesale distribution

• Healthcare industries – nursing/care homes, pharmacies, GP/dental practices

• Travel and Tour related operations – travel agencies & tour operators, passenger transportation (eg taxi firms)

3. What do you suggest or advice for those who are already running side businesses?

Often a good way to venture into business world without losing your regular employment income is by starting a part-time business along the side of your fulltime work.

This approach may help you to either test the waters at relatively low exposure whilst retaining a regular income or have a second (or third) source of income to augment the income from your main source.

However as those who do it this way would have already experienced this mode of operation has it its own merits and inconveniences. In due course depending on the involvement and success of the business you may decide to engage full time.

Whichever business route you choose it important to have a clear vision for your business and its objectives from the very start. A regular review of the actual business results Vs objectives/projections is vital to ensure you are on the right track and your business is delivering what it supposed to deliver.

4. Can u help people to set up businesses in India or Kerala?

Abraham and Associates Limited is based in the UK. We provide business structuring, taxation and accounting services and support to our clients based in the UK and abroad. We have also in the past assisted several Indian businesses to set up their operations in the UK.

We have a network of professional contacts in major Indian cities including Kerala whose expert skills may be utilised for those wishing to set up businesses in Kerala or in other parts of the country.

5. Any advice for young entrepreneurs?

Anyone who has taken courage and effort to start in business has already taken the most important step and deserves a big pat on the back. I would stress on the importance of strategy and planning from the very beginning. The good old saying ‘Well began, half done’ is still very apt.

The first few months can be very challenging and exhausting for any new business. With advancement of technology the business world is full of new opportunities and the geographical limitations are becoming less and less, but this also may mean that you could be competing with a greater list of competitors.

Try to keep focussed, have a clear vision and strategy, take good professional advice, identify and focus on your Unique Selling Points (USPs) and have lots of self-motivation and perseverance in preparation for the rough road ahead.

A brief about Xavier Abraham

Xavier Abraham FCCA, TEP, CertPFS is the founding director of the leading Chartered Accountancy Practice Abraham and Associates Limited (www.abrahamandassociates.co.uk) .

Xavier is a UK trained and qualified Chartered Certified Accountant and Trust and Estate Practitioner.

He has over fourteen years of UK experience in the accounting, tax and business consulting world and he has in the past held some very senior positions with some of the leading firms in the UK. Immediately before starting Abraham and Associates Limited he was the head of tax department for a multi-national firm based in London.

Xavier has particular expertise in advising small to medium sized enterprises and start-up businesses, ensuring they start their business on the right foot. He is also well experienced in dealing with international tax matters, offshore tax planning, non-residence aspects of UK taxation, and on double tax treaty matters which are particularly important for people/businesses that conduct business internationally.

Xavier holds the following professional qualifications and memberships:-

• Fellow of Chartered Certified Accountants UK

• Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and fully qualified Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP)

• Member of the Chartered Institute of Insurance (CII)

• Member of the Personal Finance Society (PFS)

Xavier Abraham can be contacted on Tel: 01702 808 815 or email: info@abrahamandassociates.co.uk

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