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  • Setting up a business .........

    Hello,

    Just wondered if anyone could give me some advice ........

    I'm looking to maybe start selling my wooden plaques that I make and wondered if I need to be insured/registered as a business before I can do this? As I thought that you couldn't just sell things nowadays ......
    Iv done a few plaques for Christmas presents this year and everyone has said they are really good and I could sell them but they're just a first attempt and turned out not too bad .........

    Any advice or information would be great thanks

  • #2
    Good luck with starting a business. I started my business in September and I remember I had so many questions before I started. The main things you need to do are register with HMRC and get product liability insurance before you start selling. Have a look around the forum and you will find lots of information and useful links.
    http://debbieclairegems.webplus.net
    http://www.facebook.com/DebbieClaireGems

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    • #3
      Originally posted by debbiev View Post
      Good luck with starting a business. I started my business in September and I remember I had so many questions before I started. The main things you need to do are register with HMRC and get product liability insurance before you start selling. Have a look around the forum and you will find lots of information and useful links.
      Thats the answer, our accountant did the registration for my wife, a good accountant is worth it, they will tell you how to record spend and sales and claim for stuff you didnt think you could.
      Dont forget you need to tell your car insurance.

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      • #4
        Thank you 😊
        So I must do all of the above before I can sell them?

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        • #5
          You HAVE to register with the taxman, you OUGHT TO get product liability insurance (and if you are planning to sell at fairs you'll need public liability too), and then we split into two camps the DIYers and the use an accountanters. Accountants can save you the money they cost - if you earn enough to pay tax. If you are starting off small and are watching every penny it's easy to do it yourself. It's also good practice. If you do not track where every penny goes how do you know if you are making the right decisions?

          On this forum you'll find all these points argued to death because there are so many ifs and buts. Different things suit different people. Cautious people register before they sell, chancers register after. (There is a chance of being fined.) If you put key words or phrases in the search box - top right on this page - you'll see a pile of threads come up. Have a little read and see what you think.

          Going back to registering with the taxman. You have nothing to lose but a couple of hours of your time. It won't cost you anything (unless you make it big time and even then you don't pay tax for a year). They should invite you to a seminar/talk/meet and greet session, where keeping the books, filling in a tax form/all the accounting stuff should be/will be explained to you.
          How to do it - look for your local tax office and phone them or I think you can do it online. You could try starting here https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/registration/options but I find the hmrc website very muddly and incomprehensible. I used to tell everyone to use the Business link one. It was a bit maze like but at least it spoke plain English. Unfortunately they've just changed it. Feel free to have a look https://www.gov.uk/browse/business and report back to us what you think.

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          • #6
            PS If you get bogged down with words you are looking for 'self employed' and 'sole trader'.
            (unless you are sharing your business with someone else - then you'd be a 'partnership' - or you are dreaming of world domination, then look into being a 'limited company'.) (And ignore VAT for the minute (or the next 10 years :-))

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            • #7
              In fact you don't have to do any of them. but the consequences are that you would be in trouble with HMRC when they find you..and they will remember that you didn't play nicely for the rest of your life
              And if your product gives someone a splinter, they get blood poisoning, gangrene and die, that's your house gone in damages and all your Christmas presents for the next 30 years
              Or...at a show, your stall blows away and smacks into the chairman's Rolls Royce - no more holidays for several years...
              so you don't have to do these things at all..but don't post back that you didn't realise the consequences of not doing them.

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              • #8
                Would you like some figures?
                HMRC can fine you £100 for selling things and not telling them. (Unless you are Amazon or Google, grumble, grumble, have we forgiven Starbucks? Must say I'm still popping into Costa for my coffee.)
                Nobody's ever asked me if I have product liabiliy (I have) but council owned properties, schools and museums insist on us having £5,000,000 public liability insurance. I do know someone who got sued when a bolshy drunk person had an accident on his prperty. The owner won his case but boy, did it cost him.
                I also know someone who had stock in their shop, all insured, but just before Xmas ran out of room and put some in his garage. The garage was broken into, the stuff stolen,the garage wasn't insured for business use. That made him bankrupt which wrecked his health, his marriage and eventually his life.
                I know of people who's houses have got flooded and one where DIY made the house next door fall down and another where a naughty teenager having a sneaky fag burnt her mum's house to a crisp. Where were you going to keep your plaques?

                So that's the case for being careful.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all the info, I'm going to read other conversations about this and have a look on the website and then get registering and get insurance.
                  I was planning to keep them either in the house or garage, not sure yet, see what room I have in the house. I made quite a few plaques for family for Christmas and just kept them in the house

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                  • #10
                    Hi,

                    one thing i'd recommend straight away is to take some pictures of your plaques and put them in a photo album on your profile. That way everyone can see what you make and you'll probably get a few encouraging comments. I did this recently when i started a thread, and after a few weeks I had several positive comments that gave me a real boost, plus around 50 visits to my profile (and presumably therefore, the photo album), so hopefully when i get my website set up there's already quite a few people who've seen what i make. It's fairly easy to do, reducing the file size of the photos was the main problem for me, but that wasn't too much trouble to sort out.
                    Give it a go. If you already have some photos, you should be able to put them on the site in 10-15 mins.
                    paul

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                    • #11
                      Thank you Paul, ill give it a go and see. Iv taken pics of all the plaques I made as Christmas presents for family this past Christmas so ill put them up 😊 ......... Or I'll try as I'm on my iPhone

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                      • #12
                        Done 😊 feedback would be great

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                        • #13
                          Hi,

                          i like the personalised aspect to your plaques. I would imagine that would be popular with customers, although it might make it difficult to make sales on the day at a fair, unless you could offer to write the plaques there and then. Depends on how you make them I suppose.
                          Personally I'd have liked to see more of the wood they're made from, like the first plaque with Maureen on it. If you're needing a colour to make the words stand, you could try painting the wood with just 1 coat of a light coloured paint, and then sand it. Depending on how much you sand it, you would be able to see the grain, but still have a colour over it. There's a couple of tealight holders in my album if you want to see the effect. It's an easy thing to try out, because if it's not to your liking you can either sand the paint off completely, or cover it with a fresh coat of paint. Give it a try on a few offcuts and see what you think.
                          paul

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                          • #14
                            Thank you! They're all personalised as they were for family members for Christmas. I'm planning to do others that aren't personalised for fairs and things but give them the option to order personalised ones. The Maureen one i never painted the background it is the varnish that's coloured the wood as I only painted the letters.

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                            • #15
                              Hi,
                              I wasn't referring to the "Maureen" one when i mentioned the background colour. All i was thinking was if you were to do one of your plaques with smaller writing and it was on a wood with a large grain pattern it might make the writing a bit difficult to see. A thin coat of paint partly sanded would have the effect of making the grain less distinctive. It would also have the advantage of allowing you to choose a coloured tint to the plaque if you wished, as well as offering that Shabby Chic look. (I know shabby chic is overused as an expression, but you know what I mean)

                              cheers (says he with a beer in hand! Kelham Island Easy Rider, before you ask)
                              paul

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