Author Archives: Mathew

About Mathew

Mathew is the Former Head of Content for Made Simple and has written about small businesses and how to set them up for over 14 years. A keen runner, he also enjoys a good beer in a pub, films and football, though not necessarily in that order.

Definition: “Last Accounts Made Up To”

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limited companyLast Tuesday we posted an explanation of what “Last Returns Made Up To” meant in a limited company sense. Today we’re going to look at a similar topic, “Last Accounts Made Up To”.

The Companies House webcheck and our very own company admin portal both have an area dedicated to “Last Accounts Made Up To”; this is often followed by a date. This date is the period that the company’s last accounts covered up to. If there is no date the company is yet to file any annual accounts.

 

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How to file your first Self Assessment

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The words “Self Assessment” tend to send a shiver down the spines of sole traders and limited company directors. Getting yourself registered, getting your records in order, and filing with HMRC before the 31st January deadline can be a stressful task, especially if you either leave it to the last minute, or if you’ve never filed one before. Continue reading

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How dropshipping works and how to set up a dropshipping business

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Dropshipping is not a new concept. However, it is a flourishing concept. In 2023, there are hundreds of dropshipping businesses and whilst it is a competitive market it is still possible to make a great income from dropshipping. In this post, we’re going to take a quick look at what exactly dropshipping is, how dropshipping works and how you can go about successfully setting up a profitable dropshipping business.

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Can I change my Companies House WebFiling Authentication Code?

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Yes you can. The Companies House WebFiling Authentication Code is a 6 alphanumeric code that Companies House provide upon company registration (if we registered your company, you can find this by logging in and then clicking on your company name).

This is the code that enables you to carry out online filing for your company, both with Companies House and with us.

If you wish to change the code that has been allocated to your company:

  1. Login to the Companies House system (or register if you haven’t yet)
  2. Select the country that the company was registered in and then enter the company number and the current code – click “Sign In”
  3. Select “Company Authentication” on the left of your screen
  4. Enter the new code (it must be 6 characters long) twice and select “Change code”

There you go – confirmation will then be posted to your registered office address.

Don’t forget, if your company is on our system you will need to to update the code on here too. To do this:

  1. Login
  2. Select “My Companies”
  3. Click on your company name
  4. Select “Update Code” next to “WebFiling Authentication Code”
  5. Enter the new code and then select “Change”

We hope that you found this post helpful.

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I’ve just formed a company, how do I get my UTR (Unique Tax Reference)?

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Cosec: A Powerful Management Tool Synced With Companies House

The Unique Tax Reference (UTR) is a 10-digit number unique to your company that’s issued by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). HMRC are notified once as your company has been registered, they’ll then mail (regular mail, not email) your company’s UTR to the Registered Office normally within a few weeks of incorporation. You need not do anything, this all happens automatically once your company has been formed. Continue reading

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How do I let Companies House know that a Share Transfer has taken place?

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The only way to notify Companies House about a change in your limited company’s shareholding situation is to file a confirmation statement.

Whilst the J30 stock transfer form/s should be completed and kept when the transfers take place, the confirmation statement is the actual method used to let Companies House know about the change. If a company’s confirmation statement is not due for a while and the directors are eager for Companies House to know about the new shareholding, an early confirmation statement can always be filed.

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Making a Corporate Appointment: Governing Law and Legal Form

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When forming a limited company it’s possible to have another company acting as any of the following: director, shareholder, person with significant control (PSC), and secretary. These are called ‘corporate appointments’. The information that you provide for a corporate appointment differs slightly from the information that you need to provide for a regular human appointment. Two terms that cause particular confusion when appointing a corporate director or corporate PSC are ‘Legal Form’ and ‘Governing Law’. In this post we’ll explain what these mean. Continue reading

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Registering a company – challenges you may face post-formation

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Registering a company - what challenges will you face post-formation?

The process of registering a company is a very simple one. In fact, with Companies MadeSimple it is just 4 simple steps. It is a quick process too, normally done within 3 working hours. However running your own company is the next challenge, we’re here to help. As a company formation agent, we have helped create over 1 million companies- so let us share some of the most common challenges faced post-formation.

Common Small Problems Faced Post-formation

Certain business issues are very common, and as a result, you are much more likely to face them. It might not be possible to avoid the challenges, but you may be better prepared if you know what to expect.

Some common challenges include:

  • Over Planning – Let’s get this straight, planning is important – but only if it’s followed by doing. You might find that your business progress stalls if you spend too much time in the planning phase, this is a big problem. Planning can become a crutch, a way of procrastinating, we are all guilty of it! So try and find a balance, allow planning time – but remember that the execution of those plans is what really matters. 
  • Relying on Clients – When you first start getting clients, you are going to be a bit dependent on them. This is especially true if you have a large percentage of your income depending on a single client, this leaves you vulnerable if one or two of your repeat customers change their minds or pull back. Remember to work on customer acquisition as well as keeping your loyal clientele. Look at what some larger companies do. Such as sign-on deals, offering extended warranties to find new clients or a loyalty programme to encourage returns. 
  • Customer Service – Over-committing and under-delivering is a common problem, of course, you want to impress and retain clients but don’t make promises you can’t keep. This will lead to disappointment on both ends, make sure you are promising and committing to deliverable customer service. A bad review can be detrimental to your business. Customer service guru Ruby Newell-Legner states that “it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for 1 unresolved negative experience”.

There are many other common problems, but these are some of the more interesting ones – and ones you might not have necessarily expected. Other common problems include money management, cash flow and finding the right staff. However, you can make use of digital software to help automate certain processes. 

Deeper Larger Problems Faced Post Formation

Smaller problems may be easier to manage, or at least focus your attention on, than the broader and more nebulous ones. There are many of these, but the main three include:

  • Marketing – Keeping a customer base is a big challenge, as is gaining potential new customers. Neal Jenson, a business mentor with experience at Citigroup and Bank of America said “Figuring out the right marketing channels is key for businesses to be successful in the future” – so identifying customer wants and tailoring your marketing around is a significant challenge. However, there is a ton of free and paid resources available to help you out. Consumer groups react positively to small and medium-sized enterprises so a more personable marketing technique may suit you best. 
  • Reputation – Sometimes in business there are bad decisions made – and your reputation suffers. If people judge your company to be in the wrong, it will negatively affect this – but on the other hand, a positive impact can be made too. Your integrity and trust start from within the company, so making a proactive effort to foster a positive culture is a good idea. You might want to consider writing down your company’s ethics and promises from sustainability to impact reports. This manifesto reflects positively on your business and we have seen consumer desire to intentionally shop from socially responsible businesses. Making a positive impact is great for your employees too, where reputation is most strongly felt, it can give you an edge when recruiting and retaining great talent.
  • Competition – One of the larger challenges faced by a business is remaining competitive, or even being competitive in the first place. Neal Jenson concludes “The ease of starting a business creates a much broader level of competition” and that “will make it more difficult for businesses of all sizes to retain customers who can change their suppliers with the click of a mouse”. The challenge covers marketing as well as reputation but also counts on the focus of the business owner themselves. Keep tabs on your competitors and their business changes and functions, it can help you adjust your business or find a gap in the market within your industry. 

Generally speaking, these are much deeper and larger problems and they tend to stick around, in fact, you should regard marketing, reputation and competition as something of an ongoing challenge.

Solutions

Although it is very important to be aware of challenges, the real trick lies in finding solutions. Adapt and evolve to become a better business, or you may find that you’re left without the edge you need to survive in the business world. We can advise as best as possible, but when running a business you’ll find that your experience will help you make creative solutions to these age-old problems. 

Did you find this useful? If so please be sure to comment and let us know. Make sure that you check out the rest of our blog for more useful hints and tips. Particularly the posts on ‘Company Registration’.

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How many people do I need to form a company?

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Are you in the process of becoming a ltd company?

It’s worth knowing that you can register a UK limited by shares company with just one person. This person can be a national and resident of any country (although the company’s registered office needs to be in the UK) but must be aged 16 or over.

If you are forming a company with one person they are required to fill the following roles:

• Director (the person who runs the company)
• Shareholder (the person who owns the company)

The secretary appointment is optional.

This post was brought to you by Mathew Aitken at Companies Made Simple – The Simplest Company Formation Service

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