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We've scoured the web to get you the most up-to-date advice which includes the most useful tools on offer from the officials themselves.

Effective tax planning is essential if you are to minimise your tax bills. Simple tax planning can significantly reduce your tax liabilities.

The self-assessment tax return is an unavoidable burden if you are liable for self-employed tax or have complicated income tax affairs.

Corporation tax is charged on a company's profits. If you trade as a limited company, ensure that paying this tax is as painless as possible.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are payable whether you are self-employed or employed by your own company, although different rates apply.

As well as your legal obligations, you’ll want to ensure that payroll is painless and that you use any opportunities to improve your tax-efficiency.

VAT

Effective VAT planning aims to ensure that VAT is relatively painless, and that you are reclaiming as much as possible of the VAT you pay.

Capital gains are made when you sell something for more money than you paid for it. As a result, you can be subject to tax. Take professional advice.

Business property taxes apply to businesses with commercial premises.There are two commercial property taxes: business rates and stamp duty land tax.

If you have tax problems or face a tax investigation, it pays to seek professional advice and you must act rather than just hoping for the best.

2019 was a bumper year for UK start-ups

21 January 2020

Last year, almost 700,000 new firms were launched in the UK, a 2.8% rise compared to a year ago.

New analysis by LearnBonds has revealed that 681,704 new businesses were established in the UK in 2019. Over 45,000 of these were tech start-ups, accounting for 6.6% of all new businesses. However, new firms were launched in over 700 different industries, according to research by the Centre for Entrepreneurs.

Its analysis also reveals that growing high-tech firms attracted £10.1bn from private equity firms last year, a 44% jump compared to a year ago which broke the industry's all-time high set in 2017.

The broad scope of business types launched in 2019 includes ten businesses raising llamas and alpacas as well as the formation of 429 driving schools. The continued rise of food delivery firms saw 14,363 new take-away food shops and mobile food stands registered in 2019. This significantly outnumbered the 9,405 licensed restaurants opened last year.

"It is encouraging that despite a politically turbulent year in which business confidence hit new lows, business formations continued to set records," said Matt Smith, director of policy and research at the Centre for Entrepreneurs. "It suggests that entrepreneurial spirit is well and truly embedded across the UK with entrepreneurs continuing to turn their ideas into action".

London continues to be the centre of new businesses in the UK, with 221,373 start-ups last year, a 2.4% increase. However, it's important to remember that London hosts several firms that register and act as virtual offices for new businesses around the country.

The top ten UK business regions by new firms registered in 2019 are:

  • Greater London - 221,373
  • Birmingham - 14,509
  • Manchester - 9,064
  • Leeds - 7,492
  • Glasgow - 6,733
  • Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch - 5,627
  • Bromsgrove - 5,522
  • Liverpool - 5,421
  • Edinburgh - 5,155
  • Leicester - 5,060

Strong new business growth relative to population size in Cheshire East, Salford, Trafford and Stockport make the North West a top performer in terms of new businesses. The North East, Yorkshire and Humber, Wales, Scotland and the South West are the five least entrepreneurial areas of the country.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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