31 March 2016

Running my business: where can I get help and advice?

You have to be pretty brave to start your own company. So there is no need to take any unnecessary risks. Find somebody more experienced to be your mentor, get a good accountant and make the most of any help available from your bank. When you are self-employed, forewarned is forearmed.

Start off on the right foot

So, you have decided! You are going to set up your own graphic design studio, repair shop or dental practice. Do not worry – there is plenty of help available. For instance, your bank can provide special services for starters. They can help you finance your project, of course, but they can also provide advice and help you draw up a business plan. They can also help you choose the necessary professional insurance policies.

Paying taxes: preparation is key

People often associate self-employment with freedom. But not when it comes to taxes. You will, for example, have to plan for advance tax payments (ATP) so that you do not end up having to pay more taxes. Usually you only pay taxes on your income two years after you have earned it. And so the authorities have put this mechanism in place to encourage you to pay what you owe earlier. Self-employed individual (FR) or company (FR)? When it comes to advance tax payments, the rule is the same for both groups: you absolutely have to pay them on time.

Surround yourself with pros

Surrounding yourself with the right people is essential. A good accountant will be indispensable because he or she will be able to give you a clear picture of your real financial situation. In addition, an expert tax adviser, an efficient payroll agency, an insightful lawyer and a bank manager who provides useful financial advice can help young entrepreneurs to save time and earn more money. If you have friends or relatives who have done the same in the past, it is also worth asking them for advice. And find out what kind of help is available, such as grants and subsidies (FR) and help from your bank.