Generally speaking, any business expenditure that you make up to seven years before you actually start trading, is treated for tax purposes as if it was incurred on the first day of trading.   This expenditure includes rent, rates, insurance, wages and other costs that you have had to pay.   You can also claim capital allowances for qualifying assets. Again, they are treated as being made on the

 Talent Management   The “war on talent” seems to be raging on. Large businesses are competing to recruit the best graduates straight from university and many firms are prepared to pay well for the most experienced candidates. As a result, all businesses need to manage the talent they already have.   Talent management is often considered to be an HR matter but the management team in any business should be

  Despite the new dividend rules and the possible introduction of a new “look-though” entity many unincorporated businesses are still considering trading as a limited company. It is also important to consider the VAT implications of incorporation.   Where the new company carries on the same kind of business as the predecessor, the transfer of the trade and assets will normally be regarded as a transfer of a going concern

  Another important announcement in the March Budget was the proposed relaxation in the rules for setting off a company’s losses against the profits of future periods. These proposed changes that will allow set off against profits of any source are currently being consulted on and, if enacted, will apply to losses arising from 1 April 2017 onwards. Until then the set off of losses remains restricted, particularly when there

  One of the anti-avoidance measures being introduced by the latest Finance Bill potentially changes the way that certain payments to shareholders will be taxed. This may result in payments following some company liquidations being taxed as dividends instead of capital gains.   The Government is concerned that the new higher rates of income tax that have applied to dividends since 6 April 2016 may tempt some shareholder / directors

  In the March Budget it was announced that the Government are considering the introduction of a completely new system of small company taxation and have asked the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to consider this possible new system in more detail.   It is proposed that the new system, if introduced, would apply to micro-entities with 9 or fewer employees and would tax shareholders directly on their company profits

  Keeping your head down and working hard is important but we all know that in business you have to “play the game” and develop effective personal relationships with the key stakeholders across your firm. As such, networking with internal contacts is as important as networking with external customers and target clients.   The number one word for managing office politics is diplomacy. Keep it professional at all times and

  Your business’s strategy says a lot about what you and your firm believe in and where you are going to invest your resources. But what does your strategy say about your firm from your customer’s perspective?   Your customers want to know that you and your business care about them. They want to feel important and that they are at the centre of your universe. Without your customers, your

  Today’s hyper-connected business people are bombarded with more information than ever before. We are all faced with information overload.   Many businesses have tried to encourage their offices to go paperless. However, people still have stacks of paper, magazines, articles and reference materials all around their desks. Inboxes are overflowing with ever increasing volumes of emails. Businesses are spending more and more on digital storage (and physical storage). So

  Most good marketing campaigns will focus on communicating a firm’s Unique Selling Point (USP). In today’s crowded market, customers have more choice than ever before. This increase in competition makes finding, defining and communicating your USP more important than ever before.   So what is your firm’s USP? Do you offer the faster or better or cheaper product or service? Maybe your people are regarded as the best or