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Business Basics

At Trust Formations, we strive to make the company formation process fast and simple. We provide your company with the best possible chances of success. But once your business is up and running, it is entirely up to you to decide how you would like to manage that success.

From business banking and insurance to social media and marketing, there will be quite a few decisions that need to be made shortly after your company is incorporated.

This guide provides a brief outline of common basic business tools, how to use them and why they are worth pursuing.

Bank Accounts

Immediately after incorporation, you should ask yourself what sort of business bank account you need to find.

Technically speaking, you are not legally obligated to open a separate bank account for your business. But it does make things a lot easier from a legal point of view. It is important to remember that your company is its own legal entity, which means it can become slightly confusing for the government to tell the difference between your company finances and your personal finances if both are sharing the same bank account. When in doubt, it’s safer from an accounting point-of-view to simply create a business-specific account for your company shortly after formation.

Opening a business bank account in the UK is fairly similar to opening a personal current account. At most banks, you will be asked to complete a short application form. You will also need to provide your incorporation documents, and elect which company directors will act as the account signatories. Account signatories are the people who will be allowed to access your company’s account. Please note that all account signatories are liable to routine credit checks during the application process.

Every business bank account boasts its own pros and cons, but here are a couple of points to look out for when searching for our company’s first account:

  • Fees and charges
  • Interest rates
  • Online banking facility
  • Telephone banking facility
  • Extra incentives

When in doubt, take the time to shop around before you apply for your first business bank account.

Business Insurance

Next, you may have to take different insurance into consideration before you begin selling things. Depending on the type of industry you are in, your company may be legally required to take out certain forms of coverage. However, no matter what type of business you are running, you will most likely require these forms of insurance:

  1. Employers’ liability insurance

If you plan on hiring another person to work at your company, you will be required by law to take out employers’ liability insurance. This will ensure that your staff members are protected if they become injured or ill while at work. You must display this insurance certificate somewhere your employees can see it.

  1. Public liability insurance

Most businesses will also require public liability insurance. This coverage is legally required for all businesses that plan to allow members of the public onto the premises. It also covers any potential public damage that your operation may cause.

  1. Buildings Insurance

If you own the property that your company is using as its commercial premises, you should protect that property from damage. Basic forms of coverage are typically limited to fired, flooding and natural disasters; however, different policies cater to different issues.

  1. Vehicle insurance

If you own or operate any company vehicles, you are legally required to obtain a third-party insurance in policy for the use of those vehicles. But depending on each vehicle’ range of use, you may want to think about extending coverage.

If you are unsure which types of insurance may or may not apply to your company, check with the UK Government.

Websites

You must also think about marketing and publicity. Most companies will not succeed without a strong web presence. There are a number of hosting sites that enable you to create a simple website through user-friendly templates, and also purchase your own unique domain name. Then, it is time to think about the content you are placing on your website.

If you would like to generate online sales, you will need to populate your website with engaging content that will give users a reason to visit your site. To do this, you should try to make sure that you answer any and every question that a customer could possibly have about your business, your products and your services. Try producing a company blog that takes on industry news and adds colorful commentary or insights that users will not find anywhere else.

Finally, you should utilise Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If you would like your website to come out on top of search engine results pages, you will need to ensure that your company website contains the right keywords to help customers find it. Think about what you would search for when looking for your company’s products, and be sure to include those words and phrases organically into your text.

If you are stuck for ideas, the UK Government provides advice on how to develop a business website here.

Marketing

You should also consider what types of marketing materials might benefit your new business. There are literally thousands of different ways to approach marketing your business, and some methods will work better than others. The key to finding success early on is to conduct adequate market research. Find out about your competitors, what they sell and how they operate. Find out what their customers do and don’t like, and what is and isn’t working. Then, develop an action plan to solve for those problems.

No matter what type of business you are trying to promote, these three tips will almost always be applicable:

  1. Create media buzz

Find out what sort of publications or websites members of your target audience utilise, and find out how you can get your company name in those publications. If you have got valuable experience to share, write a guest post. Or, if you believe a local or trade publication might take interest in your services, try writing a press release.

  1. Use social media

Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have over 1bn users each. No matter what type of business you are, most of your customers will be on these and other social media sites. Establish a company presence on these sites and try to engage with them.

  1. Generate referrals

The most powerful marketing tool is word of mouth. Encourage your happy customers to leave online reviews of your company so that it is able to build its online reputation. The more positive reviews your company earns, the more likely customers will be to choose it.

For more details and advice on how to market your business and gain publicity, visit our blog.

How do I close my Company?

If you decide to close your company, you can do this in one of several ways. If your company is insolvent, you can close it through creditors’ voluntary liquidation. Or, if your company is solvent, you could simply apply to Companies House to have it struck off the official Companies Register. Finally, you can close a company through a members’ voluntary liquidation.

Ready? Let’s form a Company

Trust Formations can ensure your company is fully incorporated within three hours. Click here to get started incorporating your new business. Or, if you have got additional questions, please contact us. Our dedicated team of customer service agents are always happy to offer you advice.