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Starting a Business in the UK – Initial Legal Implications

When you’re planning on starting up a new business in the UK, it’s important to make sure you have a good understanding on the basic legal requirements. Depending on the product you plan to develop and sell (if any), you may want to read up about trademarks, copyrights and patents. As an example, a trademark will ensure the product is identified as yours in the eyes of the public, whilst copyrights and patents work similarly, protecting your efforts against rival businesses and others people using them without your permission.

Of course, even before you start thinking about this, you need to understand your tax liabilities. Even early on when you are registered as self employed (and don’t have a LTD company) you will need to keep detailed records of your sales and purchases. The issue of VAT is enough to scare any new business but it’s not quite as scary when you understand a bit more about how it works. Think of it like this, as a British company, it’s your duty to act as a tax collector for the British Government, collecting indirect taxes on goods bought from you, passing those earnings on to Customs and Excise, and most importantly contributing to society. The main thing to remember about VAT is to keep accurate records at all times. You should also know that when you do have a LTD company you can put business expenses down against your gross profit reduces the amount of tax you will have to pay.

Staying on the right side of the law is easy as long as you are mindful. Having a basic understanding on tax, VAT, copyright, patents and trademarks will put you in good stead during your first few months, so make sure you do your homework first.

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