Advice on starting a new business
started this topic @ 12:37 on 27/09/2012
My wife and I are thinking of starting a new web development business up.
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I am employed as a software engineer and have experience in web development. my wife is bringing up our two children.
Our idea was for her to set up the business, and do all the contract winning, communications, complete design and general admin, and for me to teach her the web development side as she goes along.
Initially we cannot see us doing more than a few sites a year, due to time constraints with the children.
We know that she would need to register to be self employed, and that because the profit will be well below the NI low earnings limit we can apply to exempt from the monthly payments.
Our questions really are as follows:
1. Do we need to register as a business?
2. If I am helping out with the business do I have to be paid?
3. How much can I help out without it actually being called a partnership?
I am sure I will probably have more questions as we go forward and I really appreciate any help and advice that can be provided.
RE: Advice on starting a new business
1. If your wife was to register as a sole trader with HM Revenue & Customs she would complete a form CWF1. It would be 'Mrs x trading as xx'.
2. You can help out as much as you want. It will be when you want to be paid that you will have to decide the best way to do this.
3. As in 2 above, you can help out as much as you want. Would a partnership be so bad? Your wife could have all or most of any profit share to make best use of her personal tax allowance.
Before you do anything, please check out www.hmrc.gov.uk and www.businesslink.gov.uk for useful information about starting a small business. They offer very useful free seminars on a variety of subjects. Also find local business groups in your area, you'll probably find a few clients there too.
Are your children pre-school or at school? If pre-school, do you really have the time at the moment? Should you wait until they are at school?
How many hours could you and your wife devote to get the business up and running?
Does your current employer have any rules about you working for another business while employed by them?
The most successful small businesses I have seen are the ones where they work as a team with each person having different roles. You could start with you being responsible for providing the technical side of things while your wife would have responsibilty for the admin support then providing additional technical support as she learns from you and as your business gets busier.
My initial thought was, if I was looking for someone to build a website today, would I choose one of the many established businesses out there or choose someone who is a relative novice? You would have to be the senior web developer of the business as it is your experience and expertise in this field I would be hoping would provide my business with a better website than one of your competitors.
Set-up your own website to showcase your skills/talents/experience/expertise.
Find a few clients and build their websites. Show these on your website to show the quality of work you can do. Build a portfolio on your website to show the different websites you can do and also the wide range of clients you have from different industries/professions/markets.