Ditch the Crazy….. Sort the Facts…. – What You Must Include on Your Website
by Laura Macarthy from Now Accounting Services
Did you know there was a business called Potato Parcel, that writes custom messages on potatoes and delivers them?
How about that there were such things as virtual dating assistants? Doing everything from doing your online profile to arranging dates?
And there are coffee shops in Russia where the drinks are free, but you pay for the TIME?
This is crazy! And running a business is also a bit of that – manic, unchartered, reactive and well, a bit blooming bonkers!
But did you know, if you run a business and have a website, you should DEFINITELY make sure you have certain ‘let-me-tell-you-about-my-business-stuff’ on there, before you start to cover the crazy shenanigans.
So, when we are thinking about the ‘must haves’ in HMRCs eyes, it does differ between sole traders and limited companies.
Basically, the only obligation of a sole trader is to show a trading address and VAT registration details (if this is applicable to you) plus any trade bodies/professions you are a member of.
For limited companies, the company information you need to display is a little more complex….. Including…
- Full limited company name
- Company registration number as per your record with Companies House
- Your business’s registered address
- The country of registration e.g. England, Wales, Timbucktoo
- Your VAT number (again, only if you are VAT registered)
Remember, this is what ‘Big-G-Mrs-HMRC’ wants to see and they have some ‘punchy’ (ermmm, not) guidance on what shizzle they want you to show on your promotional items, which can be found here:
In addition, to this, there is a whole raft of additional items which you are legally required to have on your website……. Things like… Cookie policies, privacy policies, accessibility and having an ‘opt out’ bit to your newsletters…..
Legal stuff needs a legal bod, so make sure you are fully armed with a suitable professional to help you with this part. We would recommend Louise Hall and her team at 2020 Business Law (https://2020businesslaw.co.uk/) look them up if you need this type of expertise.
How does this translate to your accounting paperwork??? Y’know the old invoices that some people think ‘Oh they don’t really matter, a bit of paper will do, won’t it?’
Well, not really. Your invoices are SO important, they are a chance to end your business transaction in a professional, slick and amicable way.
You are saying ‘Hey, the work is complete, isn’t it awesome? Now pay up buddy!’
Like your website, there are certain things you need to show on your invoice.
As a basic, you need to show:
- A unique INVOICE number (that isn’t duplicated along the way – accounting software helps with that!)
- Your company name, address and contact information
- The company name and address of the customer you’re invoicing
- A description of what you’re charging for
- The date you SUPPLIED the goods / service
- The date of the invoice
- How much spondoolies you are charging
- VAT amount – if you are VAT registered
- The total dosh they need to hand over
If you are sole trader, make sure you show your NAME and the BUSINSESS NAME (often seen as ‘Trading As’ or ‘T/a’) AND the address where any legal documents can be sent to (let’s hope it doesn’t get to that stage, right?).
Then for the old limited companies you MUST show your FULL company name, as it is shown on your certificate of incorporation.
And if you are VAT registered, well, that is a minefield as you can see here:
That is where you need accurate, experienced and qualified help…… In the form of a cool little accounting services firm perhaps?
Stay safe everyone.
Laura Macarthy is a Director of Now Accounting Services (www.nowaccountingservices.co.uk), a small bookkeeping and accounting services firm in Hampshire. Follow regular updates via their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NowAccountingServicesUK