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Starting A New Business: The First Sturdy Timbers

The sturdy oak posts were at least 10 feet long. They had been hewn from mature oak trees that had all been felled in the Spring of 2049 BC.

55 posts were carefully arranged in a close fitting pattern, forming a circle 21 feet in diameter. An upturned tree stump was placed in the centre.

As the years passed by, in the Early Bronze Age, the surrounding salt marsh, once grazed by animals, became waterlogged. Freshwater and reed swamp began to encircle the construction. Alder trees grew, and eventually peat covered the timber circle. In time, the timbers became covered with sand, and then the sea encroached upon them.

In 1998, the timber circle was discovered on the beach at Holme Next the Sea in Norfolk.

Evidence suggests that as many as 50 experienced local farmers had been involved in the construction, 50 lifetimes ago. Careful planning, considered choices, and shrewd timing had enabled their work to survive in the long term, in the face of a constant sea of change. We now know this historic structure as Seahenge.

Commencing trade is a significant event for any Proprietor, and the engagement of an Accountant is not usually thought of as a priority, until after the business has started trading, and perhaps not until the tax deadlines begin to loom. Since the purpose of starting your own business is usually the generation of a growing and sustainable income, careful planning, a considered selection of a capable and supportive Accountant and shrewd timing will stand your business in good stead in the long run. With the benefit of experience, we know that there are several things that every new Businessperson should know, in advance of starting their own business. Here are four of them:

1 Choosing your first accounting period-end can significantly affect the amount of tax to be paid in the early years.

2 Pre-trading expenditure incurred, even well in advance of opening the doors for business, may be allowable for tax.

3 Costs incurred to restore the premises, prior to starting to trade, may also potentially be allowable for tax.

4 If the business makes a Loss in the first few months of trading, this may potentially be offset against income from employment or other activities in prior years.

Since these four factors, and several others may also have an impact on your main business objectives (success, income generation and growth), it would be advisable to benefit from the insight of a good Accountant before you commence trading.

At Brierville, we are happy to provide this advice and input at the planning stage, as part of our service, and it costs no more to take the advice as foresight, than when it is almost too late, at the point of Tax Return. In fact, we prefer to add value at the beginning of the process, at the critical time when the first sturdy timbers need to be laid.

Robert Cocks FCCA

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