Starting our company with my partners, I am realising how much work it actually is (and am very thankful I am not doing it on my own). There are so many things we need to do before the company gets alive!
At the moment, I am researching a lot about forming an ltd company, using formation agent. I would think it must be very straight forward. And in a way it is. You fill in some data and the agent sets up your company. But what if you have concerns, what if you want to make sure your company’s articles fit your situation, how does a formation agent know how you want to run your company and if you don’t want to have standard articles, how much do you pay to change it? And can you change it? What if me and my partners are not from Britain or EU? Registering an official address with your formation agent is a way to protect your privacy, you pay annual fee for it and it is extremely important to trust your agent to handle your formal post. I think it is extremely important to get a reliable agent, and it is also very difficult to assess them. I contacted about 4 or 5 last week and none of them replied my message. Ah…
Anyway, it turned out that forming the company is not the most urgent area at the moment, as paying yearly for the registered office would be an unnecessary expense. It was agreed; the company will be set up, when we are ready to start trading. Unfortunately, that means we can’t get any bank account at the moment either, so it will be more difficult to watch our finance. Ah yes, finance, it also means we will use our personal finance without any agreement. Well, I guess it is ok, I trust my partners and we are not planning any extreme investment in the pre-forming phase and if we could not trust each other now, would there be any point in starting business together?
However, finance need to be watched, so that brings me to another topic. We need some software for it and I need to start using it ASAP. Ideally for free for first couple months. I read loads about it, you see I always do my research. It should be online, so I can access it from anywhere and it can’t be too simple, I prefer using accounting terms than non-accounting. I want a simple transfer of the data to accountant in the year-end and lots of additional advice/services available. And I want it to be sufficiently detailed and cheap. 🙂 I found a few suitable ones that can keep our finance clear and transparent.
XERO seems quite good, you start paying when you are ready, after that it would be 19£/month. Winweb looked affordable with one user for free and up to five users 12 or 19£/month. Liberty (29£+VAT/ month) and Twinfield (24-34£/ month) looked more appealing, but are a bit too expensive at the moment, as our start is very lean. I am aware that once your company gets going, it might be difficult to change the accounting system provider later, especially if your accountant is “attached”, but there is no money to be wasted.
Accounting system, registered address and forming ltd and we are already talking about 300£ expenses in the first year. Plus accountant, eshop, domain, emails, webhosting… It is a good time for me to start working on budget, but hey! First we will figure out our possibilities, what we need, can/can’t get and what can wait. It is lots of “invisible” work.
Most importantly, we need to get the products ready, so we can get the company going! That includes an incredible amount of work and I reserved many lines for it in the budget…
As I said before, I am happy there are more of us.