Simply Business met with several British entrepreneurs at the Business Startup Show in London's ExCeL centre. We've asked business experts about their startup tips to guide new entrepreneurs through the process of starting or growing their business. In this interview, Stephen Seifert from Elliot, Woolfe & Rose encourages startup business owners to seek advice, be thoughtful about the structure of their business, and spend time on financial planning.
Simply Business: Hi there, could you introduce yourself and your business please?
Stephen Seifert: Thank you. My name is Steve Seifert. I am a part of a firm of accountants called Elliot, Woolfe, & Rose based in Edgware, Northwest London. We act for a range of clients, a range of sizes of businesses–anything from start-ups to existing organizations for whom we provide a full range of accountancy, taxation, and business support services.
Simply Business: So, if a business were starting up, what sort of considerations would they have to give from a financial point of view? What sort of advice would you give them?
Stephen Seifert: The most important thing is to have an initial consultation where we would run through a range of issues. The most important issues before you are going to start trading is to decide on your business structure. There are a number of possibilities, although the two main ones are whether you are going to start off as self-employed, or whether you are going to start off as a limited company. There are pros and cons, there are key points that have to be addressed, and we would compare and contrast these in order to make the right decision for you.
Simply Business: And where would you recommend that businesses starting up go to get that sort of advice?
Stephen Seifert: The reality is that there are a range of firms with accountants in the country, from very small to very big. Our firm has five partners, the history of our firm goes back over 60 years, and therefore we have a wealth of knowledge and experience dealing with small businesses to make sure they make the right decisions, and to help them to be successful businesses.
Simply Business: And if you’re already a small business that is up and running, what sort of considerations need to be made as the business grows, or as the business changes over the years?
Stephen Seifert: Well, the key points are… why is one in business in the first place? One is in business, really, to make money. Therefore, we give business support and advice to make sure that the business is running efficiently and is running effectively. One of the most important things is to ensure that a business complies with rules and regulations. But also, we want to make sure that when the owner or managers are going to be withdrawing money from the business, they do so in a tax-efficient means.
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