Adventures in micro-business: Company cars provide fuel for thought
Each month Professor Russell Smith answers your queries, and profiles a small business facing a big challenge
Tuesday 04 March 2008
Q My small business provides me with a company car. Is it advantageous for me to have all fuel paid for by the business as well?
A From 6 April 2008, the cost of providing fuel free of charge for company cars goes up by more than 17 per cent. However, you should speak with your accountant about what would be best, since that advice must take into account you as the employee together with you as the business owner.
Q I started my own business last year. When do I need to start thinking about pension schemes?
A Immediately! Start by learning more about pension schemes and benefits from the Government's Pension Service website (http://www.thepensionservice.gov.uk">www.thepensionservice.gov.uk). Then speak with an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) – your accountant will be able to suggest one local to you. IFAs are not linked to schemes from one supplier and can therefore recommend the right one for your specific needs. It would also be sensible to look at insurance options at the same time. Many small business owners are under-insured: remember that an accident or an illness could prevent you from working and hence generating revenue from your business. In addition, "Key Person" insurance could provide money for your business if you were unable to work – money that could be used to hire a temporary replacement for you. Your accountant will be able to advise on these issues and recommend a good insurance broker.
Q I have just turned 50 and have always wanted to run my own business. Have I left it too late?
A Absolutely not. An increasing number of people in your age group are starting businesses, partly for lifestyle reasons and partly to generate additional income to supplement pensions. PRIME is a registered charity that runs a national scheme designed to help anyone over 50 to start a business. Download the "Working for yourself" booklet from their website as a good starting point (www.primeinitiative.org.uk). In addition, visit their business club website (www.primebusinessclub.com) for more information about how people in the same situation as you have started businesses. PRIME also runs seminars around the country that are well worth attending – call their helpline number (0800 783 1904) for further details.
Q I work as a part-time employee in my daughter's business but my son would like me to become a director of his new company. Can I be an employee and a director at the same time?
A There is nothing to stop you holding both positions. Assuming that your son intends to pay you as a director then you will need to decide which employer – your daughter or your son – represents your "main source" of employment and let your tax office know. It would be sensible to have this dealt with by the accountant acting for your daughter's business since she is your current employer.
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
People are criticising Fifa World Cup sponsors with corrupt corporate logos
Natalie Portman tells Harvard graduates: 'Accept your lack of knowledge'
British tourists complain impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Fifa corruption live: Sebb Blatter warns 'more bad news may follow' as he clings to power
Skull found in Spain could be the world's first-ever murder victim
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...
£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...