Business Services

Acquisitions & Disposals

Sometimes the best way to improve your competitive position in the marketplace is through an acquisition or merger. Not only is this a complex and time consuming process, if it is not well researched and skilfully negotiated it could make matters worse, not better.

This is definitely a situation where you need the support and assistance of trained professionals. We can help you:

  • Identify potential targets for M&A
  • Screen targets for suitability
  • Prepare a negotiating strategy
  • Raise the necessary capital
  • Develop an integration plan
  • Optimise the tax and financial position of the combined enterprise
  • At other times you may decide to improve your profitability through a disposal. Again, we can help with valuing the assets, finding suitable purchasers, and negotiating the sale.

Don’t take risks with your business – let the professionals help you.

Company Secretarial

The last thing you need as a busy business owner is to use up valuable time and resources making sure you are complying with the Companies Act.

Moreover, with company legislation changing at the rate it does, you need to be sure you are fully aware of how the changes affect you and your fellow directors.

We can give you complete peace of mind in this area by carrying out your company secretarial duties for you.Our services include:

  • Company formations
  • Preparation and filing of statutory returns
  • Preparation of all documentation related to minutes and resolutions
  • Maintenance of statutory books
  • General advice on company law

Corporate Finance Services

Whether yours is a new or a mature business, ensuring that you have the necessary finance is essential for achieving your objectives. Indeed, one of the most common causes of business failure is badly structured or inadequate financing.

We can help you:

  • Conduct a feasibility study of your projects
  • Decide on the most suitable sources of finance – personal capital, bank overdraft, long-term commercial loans and mortgages, national and regional agencies, venture capital, or equity capital
  • Prepare the necessary business plan, forecasts, prospectuses, etc.
  • Present your proposals to your chosen finance source
  • Arrange a disposal, merger/acquisition, or management buyout/in
  • Our expertise and contacts will help you open doors that may otherwise have remained closed for you.

Business Start-Up Services

Most people who start up in business do so because they have a good business proposition and the enterprise and commitment to see it through, not because they are experts in the legal, financial, and fiscal aspects of running a business.

Indeed, these matters can often seem daunting, and even off-putting, to the budding entrepreneur. The good news is that you do not need to be an expert in these fields to succeed in business. All you need is the support of a team of trained experts.

That’s where we fit in. Bring us your business ideas and we’ll help you to evaluate them in a constructive and realistic manner. We can also help you:

  • Decide on the most suitable structure for your business – sole trader, partnership, or limited company
  • Prepare a business plan, cashflow projections, budgets, and trading forecasts
  • Assess your finance requirements, advise on the best sources of finance, and draw up the necessary proposals
  • Establish a good working relationship with your bank
  • Complete any registration procedures with Companies House, Inland Revenue, or Customs and Excise
  • Deal with company secretarial issues
  • Set up a recording system for your internal use and for complying with statutory requirements

Start your new venture on a sure footing – call us for an initial consultation today.

Payroll Services

Administering your payroll can be time consuming and burdensome, diverting energy and resources from the core activities of your business. And the task is made all the more difficult by the growing complexity of taxation and employment legislation and the accompanying regime of penalties for non-compliance.

We have dedicated staff who can relieve you of this burden by providing a comprehensive and confidential payroll service, including:

  • Customised payslips
  • Administration of PAYE, national insurance, statutory sick pay, statutory maternity pay, etc.
  • Completion of statutory forms, including year-end returns, to issue to your employees and submit to the Inland Revenue
  • Summaries and analyses of staff costs
  • Administration of incentive schemes, bonuses, and ex-gratia and termination payments
  • Administration of pension schemes

Even if you have only a few employees, you will make savings by engaging us to administer your payroll.

Rescue & Recovery Services

It is a well-known fact that many business failures could have been avoided if the owners had taken the right advice at the right time. Some of the commonest causes of company collapse are bad debts, reduced demand, excessive borrowing, and low property values. All too often business owners do not face up to these problems until it is too late.

Moreover, directors who ignore such problems run the risk of committing offences under the Insolvency Act such as fraudulent trading, misfeasance, wrongful trading, and preferential or undervalue transactions – for which the penalty might be disqualification, or worse!

The key is to seek professional help as soon as the first signs of difficulty appear. With timely advice a company may be saved from liquidation or receivership, particularly if there is a genuinely profitable core to the business.

Our team of trained professionals can help you identify the cause of your problems and recommend solutions to improve profitability and cashflow. In some cases we can help you arrange a corporate or individual voluntary arrangement, which will allow you an opportunity to try to trade out of difficulty.

If it is necessary for your business to go into administration, receivership, or insolvency, we can advise and assist you, but the best advice is to come in for regular business health checks so we can identify potential difficulties at an early stage and recommend appropriate courses of action in good time.

Strategic Planning Services

Everyone knows that a successful business must plan ahead, but all too often the pressures of keeping the business going on a daily basis mean that strategic planning is not given the attention it needs. The result is often rushed judgements, over- or under-capacity, or missed opportunities.

Every business owner needs a planning adviser who has the time and space to take the long view and advise on appropriate courses of action before it is too late. With years of experience advising the local business community we have a wealth of experience and expertise for you to draw on. Contact us today for a planning review.

Audit Services

Though business owners traditionally regard the annual audit and preparation of annual accounts as a cost centre – a necessary evil that adds no value to the business – we strive to transform it into a profit centre.

Besides helping you meet the statutory requirements, we also take the opportunity to conduct a review of your financial and management systems. This can often result in our identifying potential problem areas and recommending opportunities to improve your business performance. We discuss the problems and opportunities with you and help you implement any agreed solutions.

We see the preparation of your annual report as an opportunity to enhance your external image. A well-prepared report can have a considerable positive impact on the perceptions of investors, potential finance sources, customers, prospect, referral sources, and even your own staff – all of which greatly improves your business prospects for the future.

Corporate Tax Planning

Corporation tax represents a substantial part of your trading costs. Moreover, the increased reporting obligations, robust investigation policies on the part of the tax authorities, and harsher penalties for non-compliance mean that an undue amount of your time and resources can be taken up collecting revenue for the Government.

We offer a range of services to help you minimise your corporate tax exposure and relieve you of the administrative burden of complying with tax legislation. These include:

  • Determining the most tax effective structure for your business
  • Taking full advantage of tax opportunities and reliefs
  • Achieving the optimum capital or revenue tax treatment
  • Reducing tax on disposals and maximising relief on acquisitions
  • Making the most of tax opportunities specific to your industry
  • Meeting the rigorous demands of compliance including corporation tax self-assessment
  • Acting on your behalf in discussions with the tax authorities
  • Efficient corporate tax planning can result in potentially significant improvements in your bottom line.

Personal Tax Planning

With the tax regime becoming more complex and more emphasis being put on taxpayers’ individual responsibilities, everyone who is subject to taxation needs professional advice and support if they are to optimise their tax position and ensure they meet all the compliance requirements.

We are the tax specialists. We can provide you with year round tax advice on:

  • Income tax
  • Capital Gains tax
  • Inheritance tax
  • Trusts and estates
  • Non-domiciliary tax issues

Every pound of income tax you save means more income at your disposal, every well planned disposal of assets means minimal loss of capital gains, and every inheritance tax saving means more benefit for your beneficiaries.

Make sure you take full advantage of the tax saving opportunities open to you – call us today for a personal tax planning review.

Self-Assessment Services

The term ‘self-assessment’ is proving to be one of the great misnomers of all time. Many taxpayers struggle to understand the complex tax returns and complete them correctly. In the first year of the regime alone, 775,000 taxpayers received £100 penalties for failing to submit their returns on time, and some 400,000 incurred further penalties because their returns were still outstanding six months later!

The constant stream of changes to tax legislation means not only that the returns are becoming even more difficult to understand but also that taxpayers risk incurring more penalties through failing to complete their returns on time or correctly.

We can save you a lot of time, worry, and money by handling your self-assessment for you. We will do all the necessary computations, complete your return, and even offer advice on how you can minimise your tax liability.

We can act as your agent, dealing directly with the Inland Revenue on your behalf and, should you be selected for a self-assessment enquiry, act for you at any meetings.

VAT Services

Value added tax is one of the most complex and onerous tax regimes imposed on business – so complex that many businesses inadvertently overpay or underpay VAT.

The ever widening scope of VAT, the constant stream of detailed changes to the regulations, and the ever growing demands of Customs and Excise call for a trained professional eye to ensure that you do not fall foul of the regulations and do not pay the Exchequer more than you need to!

We provide an efficient cost effective VAT service, which includes:

  • Assistance with VAT registration
  • Advice on VAT planning and administration
  • Use of the most appropriate scheme
  • VAT control and reconciliation
  • Help with completing VAT returns
  • Planning to minimise future problems with Customs and Excise
  • Negotiating with Customs and Excise in disputes and representing you at VAT tribunals

Estate Planning Services

Few of us like to think about dying, but equally few of us could live with the thought that we have not made adequate provision for family and friends who survive us.

The legislation that governs passing on your estate to your chosen beneficiaries requires you to plan well in advance. Since none of us knows when we shall die, this means making the necessary provisions now.

The earlier you make the arrangements, the greater your chance of taking full advantage of the tax opportunities available and thereby maximising the amount that goes to your beneficiaries. Nothing is more demoralising than the thought that a substantial slice of the wealth you have worked hard to accumulate will end up in the Government’s coffers!

It is equally important when planning to transfer your estate that you make adequate provision for yourself and your spouse in your later years. Striking this balance calls for considerable skill and foresight – and a detailed knowledge of the tax regime.

We provide a discrete estate planning service that includes:

  • Help with drawing up and reviewing your will
  • Making full use of exemptions and lower tax rates on lifetime transfers
  • Optimising lifetime transfers between spouses
  • Transferring agricultural or business property
  • Transferring assets into trust
  • Arranging adequate life assurance to cover potential inheritance tax liabilities

We strongly advise you to begin your estate planning right away by contacting us for a preliminary review.

Retirement Strategies

Everyone hopes to maintain the same standard of living in retirement as they presently enjoy while working, but to achieve this requires considerable forward planning. Here are some important questions you need to ask yourself:

Exit strategies

If you are in business, the first thing you need to consider is your exit strategy. Will you withdraw from the business, leaving it for the next generation, or will you hope to sell the business? If you intend to hand the business over, do you have a workable succession plan? If you intend to sell, how will you value the business, find a suitable buyer, etc.? Are you aware of all the tax implications of the timing of disposals?

Pension provision

Have you made adequate pension provision, and do you have the right type of pension? Are you aware of all the pension possibilities open to business owners and directors? Are you making full use of all your allowances?

Savings and investments

Do you have the right balance between savings and investments, and between high and low risk exposures?

Life assurance and long-term care

Do you have adequate life assurance, and have you made provision for long-term care and medical insurance for you and your spouse in your later years.

We can help you answer all these questions and recommend solutions tailored to your particular needs.

Trusts & Executorships

Trusts are relatively easy and very tax efficient way to set aside assets for future beneficiaries outside of the inheritance tax net. We can advise on the most suitable type of trust for your purposes, set up trusts, and provide a full range of accounting services for trusts.

We can also advise you on the preparation of your will.

Where appropriate, we can act as trustees or executors.