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Pandemic sparks surge in business start-ups

The backbone of the UK economy has always been the entrepreneur.

While Covid-19 has devastated many businesses, it has created opportunities for new enterprises too.

In the 12 months prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, from April 2019 to March 2020, our data shows that a total of 15,802 new limited companies were registered at Companies House across selected Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and Manchester/Greater Manchester areas. In the last 12 months, from July 2020 to June 2021, a total of 18,575 new limited companies have been registered at Companies House across the same areas. This is an increase of 2,773 new limited companies which equates to 18% more than in the previous 12-month period.

There are various reasons for a new limited company to be set up, however, from the clients we have advised regarding their new businesses recently, a number of these have been set up because of a Covid-19 pandemic related issue.

Following the initial panic and shock of the pandemic a lot of businesses used the furlough scheme and sent their talent home to wait out the storm.

Some businesses have suffered or restructured due to the pandemic which has led to redundancies and changes in employment requirements.

Some industries have undoubtedly been hit harder by the pandemic than others, but we can all probably relate to the pandemic giving us a fresh outlook on life in some way or another.

Prior to this most of the individuals we have spoken to would never have seen themselves as being business owners, however the pandemic has impacted on them in a variety of ways, including:

  • Unemployment
  • Changes in work routine
  • Extra/less finances
  • Death – a ‘life’s too short’ moment
  • Some or all of the above.

Some new business owners have obviously lost their employment during the pandemic and have been forced into doing something new with their time to make ends meet.

Others have realised that there is more to life than working 9 to 5 for someone else and decided to have a change of career, to try and find a better work-life balance or simply do what they have always wanted to do.

At Mitchell Charlesworth we pride ourselves on being a firm of accountants, tax and business advisors who can help some of the largest private businesses in the region as well as the new, innovative and different ventures we see as part of our new start work.

Over the last few months, we have helped to set up and advise new businesses including:

  • A lighting engineer for concerts who has retrained as a fully-fledged electrician
  • A small ironing service business owner who has followed her passion and retrained to become a personal trainer
  • A solicitor who has left the corporate environment of a large firm and set up their own practice
  • Digital advertisers who left jobs as employees to become their own bosses
  • An online clothing merchandiser who has taken a leap into social media advertising
  • A football coach who has branched out to become a football agent to fulfill a dream they have always had whilst working in this industry
  • An electrician who left 9 to 5 employment to set up their own fire and security systems business
  • Individuals who have managed to save some money during the pandemic now wanting to invest in property and becoming small property developers or landlords of buy to let/furnished holiday lets
  • A group of friends who came together to offer a dessert takeaway and delivery service during lockdown.

This is only a snapshot of the new businesses we have advised; there are many more.

As you can see, there have been many individual stories and with the help and advice of Mitchell Charlesworth they have managed to become business owners, allay all those fears of the unknown and concentrate on the business model and what they want to achieve, whilst we have taken all the strain out of the financial side of the business.

Some starts-ups do not require any actual initial compliance work as they use our in-house training sessions for bookkeeping and VAT and complete this on their own to reduce the first year’s costs. Most will only need their year end compliance function (which is a year down the road) and we are happy to advise them through this tricky first 12-month period.

We offer a free initial consultation and some use this to discuss their requirements and how we can assist them so they have a better understanding prior to setting up their business. We offer advice on becoming a director and what this entails, and also the requirements with regards to keeping proper accounting records.

We then follow this up with a fixed fee quote for the initial 12-month period outlining our services, which include:

  • Limited company set up and registration
  • Bookkeeping software and cloud accounting options
  • Application integration for ease of automating your internal reporting functions
  • VAT registration and completion of monthly/quarterly/annual submissions
  • Annual statutory accounts preparation
  • Corporation tax advice
  • Payroll
  • Construction Industry Scheme registration and ongoing compliance
  • Remuneration advice.

Although the pandemic has dramatically changed a number of lives and businesses, we are now seeing a really positive recovery as people adapt to their new surroundings and situations. We are pleased to be able to help and make the ride a lot smoother and less daunting for these new entrepreneurs who once again will become the backbone of the UK economy as we navigate a new post-Covid world.

If you are looking for advice and support on starting up a new business, please contact Mike Buxton or any of the new business start-up team:

Written August 2021.

Strength in Numbers

Summer 2021

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