Providing high quality business support and advice

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Providing high quality business support and advice across York and North Yorkshire

Questions answered

Below are some questions that are frequently asked by new and existing businesses.

Click any of the questions to view the answers.

Employed or Self-employed?

A worker's employment status, that is whether they are employed or self-employed, is not a matter of choice. Whether someone is employed or self-employed depends upon the terms and conditions of the relevant engagement.

HMRC offer guidelines to help determine your status. These can be viewed at the following link:

HMRC IR35 Status

Is grant funding available for my idea/business?

Grant funding is a rapidly changing environment and we need to assess your business to help direct you to appropriate sources of funding. Business Support York & North Yorkshire can provide advice and information on accessing available funding or loans.

An application for funding usually requires a business plan and financial forecasting and more information can be obtained from your BSYNY Business Support Specialist. For information on funding currently available in the York area click the Whyte Knight Fund link.

I need to prepare a business plan, what is it and how do I prepare one?

A Business Plan is a working document for YOURSELF that reflects your business idea and the elements that will make it work. You typically will refer to it periodically to establish that the business is 'on-track' and identify if changes are necessary or desirable. If you intend to apply for funding, raise money through a bank or lease premises you will be asked to provide one.

Make an appointment with a  BSYNY Business Support Specialist who will demonstrate how to prepare a business plan. An easy-to-use template is available for download in our Business Toolbox.

Do I need a website and how much will it cost?

Not all businesses NEED a website but there are sometimes compelling reasons to have one. For example, you don't need a website in order to have a unique email address!, and you don't need a website because you secure a Domain Name!

Costs vary depending on whether you DIY, opt for a content managed or bespoke site with a qualified professional to carry out the work. Planning the site content and ensuring correct ownership as well as copyright protection is important.

For more in-depth information contact your BSYNY Business Support Specialist who will help you consider the options.

Where can I find premises?

There are many routes to finding suitable premises depending on what type you require. The new York Eco Business Centre has a range of office and workshops at attractive rates & terms specifically aimed at helping new businesses find their first base.. For more information on YEBC click here. Other options may be the local authority, commercial agents etc. We sometimes have creative ideas for finding suitable premises and of course we need to understand your requirements so make an appointment with a BSYNY Business Support Specialist who will help you.

Do I have to register my business name? What does it cost?

If you're a Ltd (Limited Company) or LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) - Yes! This will be done through the registration process. The cost varies between £50-£300 depending on whether you DIY, (not recommended), or if you use a professional service i.e. Lawyer/Accountant.

If you are a Sole-Trader or Partnership there is no official registry of business names. There are some commercial alternatives but if you're looking to protect the name or logo through copyright, speak to your BSYNY Business Support Specialist who will provide information on the options some of which involve nominal costs?

Do I need insurance for my business?

Yes! - it will depend what type of business you are planning which cover may be appropriate. Some examples are Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, Employers Liability, Loss of Profits etc and of course if you are using a vehicle for business that will need 'business use' cover too!

Speak to a BSYNY Business Support Specialist who will guide you on which insurance is most appropriate and how to obtain it cost-effectively.

Is it necessary to register for VAT?

Registering for VAT is compulsory if your turnover exceeds the registration threshold in any 12-month period. There are circumstances where you might wish to register for VAT voluntarily, for example if you are considering purchasing substantial capital items where VAT is applied. There are a range of schemes to help aid small business cash flow but these have strict rules. HMRC have introduced compulsory filing and payments for existing registrations where turnover exceeds £100k per annum and for all new businesses registering for VAT for the first time regardless of turnover.

For more information and an indication of whether it might be worthwhile to voluntarily register or to discuss your circumstances view the HMRC videos & documents in the BusinessToolbox section or contact a BSYNY Business Support Specialist.

How will I account for Tax and National Insurance payments?

This depends on how you receive income and your status as a Sole Trader/Partnership/Limited Company or Limited Liability Partnership. The basis is either through PAYE or under the Self-Assessment scheme.

To understand which is appropriate for your particular circumstances, view the HMRC videos & documents in the Business Toolbox section. Alternatively talk to a BSYNY Business Support Specialist who will review your position and offer you guidance.

Do I have to consider Health & Safety issues and how do I implement them?

It depends on a number of factors, the type/style of business, if you have staff/employees etc.

We can provide you with access to basic information or arrange a cost-effective Health & Safety Assessment at a very competitive price, for you to maintain. If you require a Health & Safety Policy at Work we can provide this too but we will need to have a closer understanding and inspection of your business and a competitive fee would be charged, subject to the amount of work involved.

Come and discuss it with a BSYNY Business Support Specialist who will arrange for a specialist consultation.

How do I market and sell my products and/or services?

Initially an appointment with a BSYNY Business Support Specialist will provide you with some creative and thought-provoking ideas. To help you understand some basic principles of Marketing/Sales/Negotiating we are developing some high quality, interactive workshops that will give you the starting skills required. Details of seminars will appear in the appropriate section.

Does your help stop once my business has started?

No! we provide an ongoing programme of support through a Mentoring programme. Many existing businesses use our expertise on an ongoing basis and this has proved a very cost-effective way for you to access ongoing business support. Your BSYNY Business Support Specialist will talk through the benefits and more information is available in the Business Mentoring section of this site.

Why should I ask for support?

Businesses are constantly evolving and so are their clients. That process of evolution will present, from time to time, unique challenges where the impact is often not fully recognised because focus is on day to day business operations. Small businesses don't usually have the resources to employ the right expertise to plan or overcome potential problems. BSYNY Business Support Specialists have a wealth of active business experience in a wide range of companies. They provide independent help on the basis of impartiality, confidentiality and represent excellent value.

Business Mentoring may be the answer? - see the Business Mentoring section on this site.

National research has shown that one in three businesses fail in the first year of trading, but that this ratio improves dramatically to one in nine when support, advice and training have been sought.

Convinced? - contact a BSYNY Business Support Specialist now - WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

How much will your assistance cost?

The basis of our cost will be determined by whether the service being provided has a subsidised element. It will also depend upon the amount of work involved and if specialist work is required. For example, we can provide a 'business health-check' diagnosis and report on your business - this is a 'snapshot' of your business and will determine areas that may need attention and action. We will discuss the most appropriate and cost-effective way to complete YOUR objectives - isn't  it time you considered YOUR options?

It's probably the best investment in your business you can make.

Contact a BSYNY Business Support Specialist NOW!, to arrange a diagnostic visit.

How does the Disability Discrimination Act affect my business?

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) aims to end the discrimination which many disabled people face. This Act gives disabled people rights in the areas of:

  • employment
  • access to goods, facilities and services
  • buying or renting land or property.

How it affects your business will depend on the type of business and its operations but you need to be sure that you can comply. For further help and information contact your BSYNY Business Support Specialist who will offer clear guidance for you to follow.

Do my staff need a contract of employment?

Yes! - All employees, regardless of the number of hours they work per week, are entitled to receive a written statement from their employer within two months of accepting the position. The statement should describe the main terms of the contract of employment. The employee is entitled to the statement even if the job finishes before the initial two months, as long as the job was supposed to last for more than one month.

Speak to a BSYNY Business Support Specialist who will guide you on all aspects of employing staff.


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