HM Revenue & Customs
As they are responsible for tax collection in the UK this may not be everyone’s favourite organisation. However, HMRC’s website is a mine of useful information. There are full details of Income Tax, Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, VAT, Excise duties and Stamp duties, including all rates and allowances. The site can be accessed via their Home page at

You may find the following pages useful: – This Employment Status Indicator tool will give their opinion of whether someone is your employee or is self-employed. – Guidance on the employment status of workers – A guide to starting up in business – A useful guide to VAT, including when and how to register – A basic guide to how and when to operate PAYE – What to do if you cannot pay your taxes immediately – Advice on the the flat rate scheme of VAT which can be advantageous under certain circumstances – Guidance on how to account for VAT during the transition to 20% standard rate

Budget 2011 Details of the recent budget can be obtained here

Are you looking to see whether your buiness qualifies for any form of grant or funding.  If so, then one very useful website to look at is  This website carries details of a wide range of grants and has a useful search facility.

Business Link
Business Link is a business support and advice organisation which is funded by the government, and provides a wide range of free practical help and information. Topics covered include starting a business, employing people, finance and grants, importing and exporting, health & safety, employment law, information technology, and many other topics. This site is well worth a visit, and you can register your business with them to gain access to an even wider range of services and tools. Their Home page can be found at:

Companies House
Companies House maintains details of all companies registered within the UK, including details of the company’s directors, registered office, and mortgages, as well as copies of the latest accounts. For a small fee you can order any of these for delivery either electronically or by post. There is also a substantial amount of guidance on forming and running a company, and the obligations and duties of the company’s officers. You will find the site at

Citizens Advice Bureau
More advice on a wide range of topics can be found on the Adviceguide website operated by the Citizens Advice Bureau. Topics covered include employment law, taxation, debt management and advice, social security benefits, housing issues, health matters, and discrimination law. The advice given is vast. For instance, the health section provides information on what help is available through the NHS, patients’ rights, help with health costs, how to make a complaint, and details of health services for people from abroad. This can all be found at

Direct Gov
The central site pointing you to the government’s latest information and advice on their services including information on retirement, caring for someone, motoring, travel, the environment, living abroad, parenthood, disability, plus many others. Matters covered include details of the government help and support available towards the meeting the cost of these items. All of this free advice is available at

Business Network International
A business referral organisation to which we belong. We are founder members of the Warrington group which has been in existence for over 10 years, and details of which can be found at Only one member is allowed from each trade or profession. If you think that this may be for you and you cannot see your business sector listed in the members list then contact us and we would be pleased to invite you along as our guest.

Free Software
There are a couple of free programs which may be useful for small businesses. – A Microsoft Office look-a-like which includes a word processor, spreadsheet, database and presentation program. All modules can read and write documents in Microsoft Office format, although there is some loss of functions. – A free download that will translate word document files into Adobe PDF files.