The services of an accountant are to be strongly recommended from the beginning because the legal and taxation requirements start immediately and must be properly complied with if trouble is to be avoided later. A qualified accountant must be used if a limited company is being formed but an accountant will give advice on a whole range of business issues including book-keeping, tax planning and compliance to finance raising and will help in preparing annual accounts.

It is worth spending some time finding an accountant who has other clients in the same line of business and is able to give sound advice particularly on taxation and business finance and is not so overworked that damaging delays in producing accounts are likely to arise. Ask other traders whether they can recommend their own accountant. Visit more than one firm of accountants, ask about the fees they charge and how much the production of annual accounts and agreement with the Inland Revenue are likely to cost. A good accountant is worth every penny of his fees and will save you both money and worry.

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