[intro]In this Guide, we'll go through the different options you have available to you when registering your online shop as a business within the UK. [/intro]
At some point during the formation of your brand and your EKM online shop, you need to consider what kind of company you have. This is important as you will need to keep accurate records, receipts and other such documentation to ensure that your company remains ‘above board’. There are plenty of resources you can turn to help with this. The Gov.uk website lists lots of useful Guides which explain how to set up a small business which is probably your best place to start. If you’re confused by specific terminology, you can ask questions of other EKM online shop owners within ekmCommunity who will be able to help point you in the right direction - after all, they were there too once!
If you class yourself as a sole trader, you won’t need to register with Companies House, but you will need to register with HMRC and complete annual Self Assessment tax returns. The HMRC website is worth bookmarking, as you may be referring to it often, dependent on the kind of company you have. Create an account and use this to track what forms you have completed and what still needs your attention. It would be a good idea to use the Gmail account we recommended creating in Part 2 of this Toolbox, so you know all of your important correspondence is all stored in that same inbox.
However, if you’re not a sole trader and are instead a limited company (ltd.) or limited liability partnership (LLP), it’s a legal requirement that you registered with Companies House. This is part of the Gov.uk website, and deals specifically with companies, registering their information and making it publicly accessible. There’s a wealth of resources available here, and it’s important - and a legal requirement - to take the time to research what you need to do to successfully register your company.
If you choose to register with Companies House yourself, the fee is around £12 (at the time of writing) and you’ll be covered within 24 hours usually. However, postal registering is around £40 and this will see you set up within 10 working days. You can of course hire a third party to add you to Companies House and they will handle all of the paperwork, but of course, this comes with a fee.
At this point, you should have:
- Defined what kind of company you have;
- Registered an account on the HMRC website;
- Registered with Companies House (if applicable).
[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Ecommerce Expert or the Customer Support Team, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions Board. If you have a non-account specific question to ask the EKM Team, join us in EKM Community. If you need some inspiration for your EKM online shop, listen to our podcast on iTunes and Spotify.[/contact]