Starting Your Own Business
Here is how we can help:
- Advice on structure of business e.g. sole trader, partnership or limited company.
- Advice in relation to company formations and arranging formations including advice on shareholding structure, shareholders agreements etc.
- Explanation of the obligations and responsibility for business owners and company directors.
- Preparation of break-even projections/business plans to assess the cash flow requirements and viability of the business.
- Provide assistance in setting up your management accounting/ book-keeping systems.
- Tax consultancy so that your tax bill is kept to a minimum.
This is where you trade on your own account. It is the simplest form of business structure. It has the least amount of administrative burden and commencing and ceasing as a sole trader is relatively simple. If you trade under any name other than your own name you must register a business name with the Registrar of Business Names. This is a relatively straightforward procedure and a nominal fee is payable. A sole trader does not enjoy the benefit of limited liability and is personally liable for any debts that his business may incur.
This is where two or more people come together to run a business. If there is no partnership agreement it is governed by the Partnership Act 1890. It is relatively straight forward to set up, the partnership does not enjoy the benefits of limited liability, and the partners are liable for any debts that the partnership may incur.
Limited Liability Companies
A limited liability company is a separate legal entity. The company is owned by its shareholders. The shareholders appoint directors who run the company on behalf of the shareholders. For most small companies the directors and the shareholders are one and the same albeit they have different responsibilities. As a limited company is a separate entity shareholders only risk the share capital they have invested in the company. Limited liability is the preferred option for most small businesses of a certain scale.
If the limited company is the right option for you the next step is to decide on a company name. We can arrange a name check on your behalf to ensure that the name is available. We can also advise you on the appropriate shareholding structure depending on the requirements of the individual shareholders. It is important when a company is formed that shareholders are clear in regard to their responsibilities and obligations and in particular about such matters as when a shareholder can exit and who his shares can be sold to. Different shareholders can have different time frames and different views on how they would like to exit or indeed increase their shareholding in the company. All of this can be dealt with in a shareholders agreement and the best time to draft a shareholders agreement is when the company commences. We can advise and assist in drafting suitable shareholders agreements.
Responsibility of Company Directors
The responsibilities of company directors are set out in the Companies Acts. It is important that each director of the company is aware of his or her responsibilities. In the event that the company has not complied with any of its obligations it is the company directors that are accountable. We can assist directors and provide relevant information to them to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities. We can also assist on a day to day basis in compliance with Companies Registration Office requirements e.g. in regard to the filing of annual returns, accounts etc. and in the preparation of accounts and ensure that they are prepared promptly and filed on time. Ultimately the responsibility for these matters rests with the directors. We offer every assistance in that regard.
Preparation of Projections/Cash Flow Requirements.
Thankfully many of the banks are lending again. We can prepare loan applications together with cash flow projections, and accounts.
Management Accounting/Bookkeeping Systems
We have wide experience in devising management accounting/bookkeeping systems for different businesses and we can assist in the installation and the maintenance of accounting systems.
The amount payable to the Revenue Commissioners in respect of income tax, corporation tax, VAT and PAYE/PRSI/USC represents a very significant cash outflow for most businesses. These bills can be kept to a minimum by careful planning and it is a matter to which our practice pays great attention. We are also aware it is important that most businesses be confident that their affairs with the Revenue Commissioners are kept up to date so that the risk of Revenue Audit, interest or penalties are kept to a minimum. We take a proactive approach on this to ensure that our clients returns and payments are filed and paid on time. It means that the Revenue’s engagement with the company is kept to a minimum and that no more than the amount due to them should be paid.