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What are my likely Annual Accountancy Fees for running a Limited Company?

Limited Companies & LLP’s Need Not be that Expensive to Run

The annual fees for running a small business start up or even a small growing company need not be that high but, like everything, it also depends on how much you want or can do yourself. And, as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for! Certainly there are many accountancy software packages on the market aimed at small to medium sized enterprises (SME’s), many of which are very good. However, most small business owners – especially in a business start up – are best advised to appoint a qualified accountancy firm to take responsibility for their accountancy, VAT and Companies House submissions. The last thing anyone in a business start up wants is an unnecessary ‘brush’ with the authorities especially as fines for late submissions are now rather high, but even more importantly a qualified accountancy firm (who are members of CIMA, the ACCA or, especially, the ICAEW) and not mere accountancy technicians but a lateral thinking business advisor aware of all the current tax breaks and schemes available to make your business as successful as possible.

Are there any good Package Deals? Yes, many company formation agents offer very attractive start up accountancy packages but it is well worth your while to investigate if the accountancy firm is properly qualified, preferably certified or chartered as these really are the crème de la crème and well worth any small extra expense in the long-term. The ideal situation is where the company formation agency firm is owned by qualified accountants or lawyers, or even better both, as this ensures that, in future years, you have a wide selection of specialists from which to choose and develop your business including in certain cases even international tax planning experts. At all times, remember that many professional firms and banks are seeking your business, and many good deals and especially ‘packages’ are available as “loss leaders” so investigate carefully, but remember that cheapest does not equate with the best. As a general rule, make sure that your accountancy provider gives direct access to a qualified accountancy firm, that you feel you can develop a genuine long-term business relationship with them, and that they have access to lawyers, preferably in-house, so that you have a powerful team ready to push your business forward.

So what can I realistically expect to pay? On the assumption that we are talking about a one or two person enterprise (whether a limited company or a LLP) expecting to have a turnover of no more than £350,000.00 in its first few years and that sales records and statements are well and accurately kept and that the company is VAT* registered, one could expect a package from a professional firm to cost around £160.00 to £200.00 per month plus VAT, the latter of course being reclaimed within the Package!

Likely Accountancy Fees for a Limited Company

 

This may sound like a substantial commitment but it takes all the bureaucratic pressure off the businessman/woman and allows them to concentrate on their business start up. In the case of specialist areas, such as for builders using subcontractors under the construction industry scheme (CIS), one can realistically expect monthly fees around £300.00 pcm, provided there are 10 or less sub-contractors. However, these are just estimates and they can vary greatly depending on many different factors, so at the end of the day the key factor must be the ‘feel good’ factor … If the firm is professional, fair (there are no bargains in life) and takes a long-term perspective, go-ahead and instruct them.

 
* It should be noted that all companies with a turnover of £70,000.00 or more are required to register for VAT in the UK – 01/04/2010