SaaS Branding

How a Coworking Space Can Turbocharge Freelancer Branding Efforts

A coworking space is a virtual office space shared by groups of independent freelancers. Utilizing a virtual office gives freelance professionals an instant branding boost. Coworking spaces free freelancers from the high cost of renting and equipping independent office spaces.

What is Coworking & What are the Benefits?

This fall sees the official opening of The Ranch Office in Houston. However, The Ranch is a little different from neighboring offices occupied by top Houston designers and automotive insurers. This is because The Ranch Office is Houston’s hottest new coworking space.

Busy Ranch yes people don’t populate office desks and conference rooms. Instead, every inch of The Ranch is at the disposal of Houstons vibrant freelancer community.

Coworking & Virtual Office Benefits

Gone are the days of freelancers sitting behind dusty typewriters preparing submissions for Readers Digest.

As of 2018, almost 50% of millennial workers freelance professionally. Moreover, according to freelance marketplace UpWork, freelancers are set to become a workforce majority in the United States by 2025. There is just one problem.

  • Freelance clients increasingly prefer to work with individuals backed by a bonafide business address
  • Office set up costs are prohibitive for many freelancers
  • Working as a freelancer can also be socially and emotionally isolating

Coworking spaces like The Ranch, therefore, strive to offer freelancers a solution to each of the above concerns.

Coworking Spaces Boost Brand Visibility & Trust

Affordable coworking spaces like The Ranch, provide individuals and startups with a real-world business address. The result is an instant image boost. However, specialty coworking and virtual office spaces like The Ranch, also go one step further.

  • In Houston, Ranch Office users can take advantage of for-purpose conference rooms
  • High-speed internet and basic IT infrastructure costs (copy, printing, etc) are bundled into monthly price plans
  • Coworking space areas can also host private events and freelancer exhibitions

Increased Productivity Benefits

Being a freelancer is hard. Individuals have to manage their workflow, client accounts, and product marketing 24/7. Thankfully, for-purpose co-working spaces alleviate some of these stresses. Specifically, by allowing freelancers to settle into a daily routine in a real-world office. 

Coworking Networking Benefits

As a freelancer, it can be easy to start living life exclusively via social media. Thankfully, coworking changes this by providing a one of a kind opportunity to network with other freelancers face to face. At the same time, freelancers can also build more meaningful client relationships. Specifically, by scheduling appointments and meeting with real-world clients in person.

Freelancer Bottom Line Benefits

Working from home can be rewarding. However, homeworking also has several limitations. Coworking spaces like The Ranch, therefore, allow freelancers to benefit from access to a centrally located real office. All without having to sign high-cost long-term lease agreements with regular office space providers.

Work From Anywhere

For freelancers who do decide to take their brand to the next level, coworking doesn’t have to come at the expense of surrendering their mobility. At present, coworking spaces can be found everywhere from the Azores to the furthest reaches of the Australian Outback. The only question in this case, is where would you like to work today?

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Legal Branding

Houston Drink Driving Penalties – Protecting Your Reputation

Drink driving penalties in Houston vary in accordance with the severity of offenses. Repeat DUI charges are felonies punishable by fines and jail time. Because penalties are severe, it is important to seek legal counsel from a Houston DWI lawyer, as soon as charges are brought forward

Surviving a DWI – Civil & Reputation Consequences

Drink driving penalties in Texas are some of the toughest in the United States. As for why this is, the reason is simple. In 2017, 944 DWI drivers in Texas resulted in 1,018 avoidable road deaths. Those killed in fatal crashes include passengers, other road users, and children.

Legal Advice for a First Drunk Driving Offense

There is a misconception that drink driving penalties for a first DWI offense are minor. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. In Texas, even a first offense DWI can result in up to 180 days jail time.

Drink Driving Penalties in Brief

  • First DWI offenses are punishable by $2,000 fines, accompanying jail time and license suspensions
  • Where intoxicated drivers have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15, fines start at $4,000. Jail time is often mandatory, and future driving restrictions may apply
  • Drunk driving while accompanied in a vehicle by a minor is a felony. Penalties include $10,000 fines and up to 2-years state jail time.

Hiring a Houston DWI lawyer is Not Optional

When charged with drunk driving, you need to hire a Houston DWI lawyer. Without legal representation, the civil and financial consequences of a DWI charge can be devastating.

  • Suspended licenses and jail time result in employment becoming untenable
  • Fines and jail time can devastate families and family finances
  • Many individuals charged with drunk driving, don’t realize what they are up against until it is too late

How a Houston DWI Lawyer can Help

How a Houston DWI lawyer can fight DWI charges, is always case specific. Where arresting officers can’t prove probable cause, DWI charges can be reduced or quashed. When making arrests, Houston police also need to issue sobriety tests following strict guidelines.

A Houston DWI lawyer will check to see that proper procedures have been followed. Lawyers also review evidence of medical conditions which may result in sobriety test false positives.

Can Road Users Decline Police Sobriety Tests?

It is possible for Houston road users to refuse sobriety tests. However, in Texas, implied consent to testing applies to all road users. When drivers refuse to comply with sobriety tests, fines and driving bans are, therefore, applicable.

Roadside Sobriety Tests are Never 100% Accurate

Contrary to what many believe, police issued sobriety tests are rarely 100% accurate. Drink driving penalties can, therefore, be challenged by lawyers, even when evidence seems stacked against defendants. The most important thing for defendants to remember is that legal advice should be sought as soon as possible after DWI charges levied by police.

Legal Branding

Why ICOs Need to Invest in Professional Legal Advice

Startups planning an initial coin offering, need to start investing in professional legal advice. As well as ICO regulation, startups planning an initial coin offering need to be aware of their full tax reporting requirements.

Legal counsel can help legitimize ICOs and increase fundraising success rates. Here’s how:

Tax Law & Legislation – What Do ICOs Need to Know?

Over the past five years, ICOs have transformed the startup business landscape. By using an initial coin offering to raise capital, startups free themselves from having to pitch ideas to conventional lenders. However, ICOs are coming under ever closer scrutiny by regulators.

Legal Challenges Faced by ICOs

There is a misconception that setting up an initial coin offering is easy. In the United States, there are no laws which explicitly ban ICOs. However, as cited by the likes of the ICO Law Group, ICOs are required to comply with U.S. Securities Law.

“It is generally unlawful to raise capital in exchange for your coins or tokens unless you comply with U.S. Securities Law.”

Why Stricter ICO Regulation is a Good Thing

In theory, anyone can set up an initial coin offering. However, as recently cited by Vitalik Buterin, the gold rush days of the cryptocurrency market are over.

“The blockchain space is getting to the point where there’s a ceiling in sight. There isn’t an opportunity for yet another 1,000-times growth in anything in the space anymore.”

As for why growth in the crypto space is slowing, the reason is simple.

In 2017, fewer than 20% of ICOs returned profits to investors. Some startups failed to use raised capital responsibly. Others were outright scams. As a result, all new ICOs are expected to register with the IRS just like regular startups. Much more importantly, if ICO coins can be considered securities, ICOs must register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Do You Need a Professional Business Attorney?

Does registering as a business seem like too much hassle? If so, you shouldn’t be running an initial coin offering.

When ICOs fail, they do so due to a lack of basic business acumen. Selling ERC20 tokens is easy. Putting funds to work and setting up a successful business, is an entirely different skillset. The good news, though, is that a professional business attorney can help.

  • Hiring a business attorney can help ICOs identify the best structure for their business
  • A business attorney can help startups get to grips with their true cryptocurrency tax reporting requirements
  • ICO specific legal advice can increase fundraising success rates by lending legitimacy to projects

ICO Laws Still Vary State to State

When setting up an initial coin offering, it is important to remember that ICO laws and regulations aren’t universal. Some U.S. States require a special license when engaging in altcoin activities. Others require startups to hold equivocal fiat cash deposits when issuing ERC20 tokens.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

To date, several individuals have been incarcerated in the United States. Specifically, for non-compliance with cryptocurrency specific anti-money laundering laws.

In May, 24-year old Eldon Stone Ross from Pensylvania found himself jailed for selling cryptocurrency without necessary licensing. Moreover, anyone identifiable as operating an ‘illegal money transmission business,’ is liable for prosecution.

Does the Term Illegal Money Transmission Business Apply to ICOs?

Anyone who raises funds via an initial coin offering without proper licensing can be charged under different State anti-money laundering laws. This being the case, never risk launching an initial coin offering, before understanding your full regulatory responsibilities. Moreover, when in doubt, always make sure to seek out ICO specific legal advise from groups like the aforementioned ICO Law Group.

Legal Branding

6 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Startup Loan

 

You got the idea, skills, talent and time but in order to begin your startup journey; what you really need is money. Having capital gets you started. You need some form of capital to jump up your business. You are lucky if you already have 6-digits worth of savings upon birth. But not everyone is born with a silver spoon.

Looking for a capital can be tricky, but there are several ways to acquire a fund. One way to obtain your precious cash is through applying for a loan. There are several forms of loans; student loan, mortgage and auto loan but what you need is a business loan or startup loan. It is a loan designed to help fund business, investment and expansion. This financial service is provided by the monetary institution and guarded by strict guidelines and qualifications. Though it can be difficult to secure a loan, there are some practical ways to increase your chance of getting approved. Here are six ways to increase your chances of getting a startup loan and start building your business empire.

Provide a Great Business Plan/Proposal

Execute a convincing and clear business plan. You probably have the most disruptive, financially rewarding business idea but it will go to waste if you cannot properly deliver the idea to your prospective lender. A competent business plan needs to have an executive summary that clearly expresses your startup layout. You need to produce a convincing, credible pages of the executive summary to pick the interest of lenders, otherwise, they will not go through with the whole proposal. It should also include and explain your approach to competitors, market data, business model, expenses and industry landscape.

Have equity

Be ready with investing your own money. For a lender to approve your loan, they need a basis and proof that you are confident to repay them. Pledging your own money and owning at least 25% equity stake in the business will give the lenders an impression that you are serious and smart enough not to make any financial miscalculation. If you do not have physical money, then any personal asset with value like house and car can be used as collateral.

Start early

Begin your loan application early, as early as you need it. Securing a financing can take some time and take about a month or so before you hear an update.  Make early preparations with your financial documents and business plan as well. The lender can sense if you are scrambling to pass requirements. It is not a good indicator since it means you are have not come prepared and ready. Taking last minute action is an undesirable trait and can weigh in the decision to approve you.

Get Coached

Look for experts or seasoned businessmen who know the means and techniques to get approved. Have them review your plan and ask for a constructive criticism. Apart from individuals, you can also reach out to associations and business centres for assistance and reviewing your approach.

Check your credit standing

Aim for a positive strong credit rating.  A personal credit history can greatly affect your loan application. Lenders usually look at your payment behaviour and history. Paying out any floating financial obligation will improve your credit rating. Additionally, clear any possible involvement with disputes, litigations and collections. Involvement from these situations can compromise your loan application.

Go Local

According to a survey conducted by Federal Reserve, big banks display a steady decline in approving and providing loan services to small businesses. Only 25% of small business gets approved by traditional banks. So check out your odds with local and small banks. Community banks or smaller banks are more inclined to understand the needs of a budding business. Apart from that, they are more likely to approach applications individually.

Local Branding

Energy-Saving Tips For Businesses

By making a few simple changes, businesses can cut their energy usage by as much as 20%. Best of all, these changes either cost very little or cost nothing at all. A minor investment in energy-saving tools, technology, and techniques can have a big payoff for businesses.

Our goal is to help all of our commercial clients use energy more efficiently. To that end, we have put together a number of tips that are designed to help your company lower its energy expenses while at the same time improving sustainability.

The section below outlines some simple strategies that you can use to cut your energy usage. We also have officers available who can help you reduce the amount of energy that you use for everything from heating to lighting. Our experts can help you put together an effective plan for your business that will allow you to dramatically cut back on the amount of energy that you use.

Tips For How Small And Medium-Sized Businesses Can Save Energy

According to Josco Energy you should consider using motion sensors throughout your building to automatically turn off the lights in rooms that are not currently occupied. Motion sensors are particularly effective when they are used in restrooms, conference rooms, closets, or other spaces that are not continuously occupied.

During the day, try to use natural light as much as possible, turning off the lights if there is enough light coming in through the windows.

If you have the budget for it, consider investing in retrofit lamps. Alternatively, you can also make a larger investment in a full lighting refit. Although it costs a little bit more, it can result in dramatic energy savings, allowing you to recoup the cost relatively quickly.

Switch your current light bulbs out for energy-saving bulbs. If you have lights that use fluorescent tubes, replace them with slim-line tubes.

Check your electronic devices to make sure that any energy-saving features are turned on. Consider using timers to automatically turn off devices at the end of the day or over the weekend. Avoid leaving phone chargers or laptop chargers plugged in all of the time to keep them from drawing energy when they are not being used.

Assign the task of controlling the heat to a single person rather than allowing employees to adjust the thermostat on their own.

Depending on the size of your business, you may want to consider choosing someone to act as the lead in regards to your company’s energy usage. You may even want to put together a heating policy that lets employees know how warm or cool the building will be at specific times so that they can dress appropriately.

As a general rule of thumb, you should set your air conditioner to a temperature setting that falls somewhere in the 19 to 24°C range. This is cool enough to be comfortable but not so cool that the air conditioner has to run constantly.

Similarly, if you have a refrigerator in your workplace, avoid setting the temperature too low. Vending machines and beverage machines should be shut off at night or during the weekends when no one is around.

Takeaway

Finally, consider investing in a hot water dispenser rather than using a kettle to heat water.

Feel free to reach out to us for more energy-saving ideas. Our goal is to help you save as much energy as possible with your business, lowering your costs while at the same time doing something good for the environment.

Local Branding

Sign Advice for Businesses

We often are asked to help a business in making new shop signs for their advertising needs. Since this is the case, here is a list we have compiled at our headquarters in Mansfield that will help you get a great looking sign that attracts clients.

Give The Sign Some Life

You will want to make sure your sign has some life and will draw in people who are looking for your company. You probably have a lot of personality in your shop, but you need to make sure the sign you are using is going to reflect this personality as well. You just want to think about the impression you are going to make to your customers. Is the shop a fun place to be or is it one that has a more professional setting? No matter what, you will want to make sure the sign you are getting is going to give the visitors an idea on the type of things they can expect to see in the shop.

Remember: Good signs are going to tell the clients what they can see in the business and know what kind of line is in the brand.

Do Not Overdo It

You will want to make sure your signs are short and to the point. You just want to make sure your sign does not fail. You want o make sure you get your key point across quickly, not have multiple points on a single sign. By getting the main point listed, it will attract potential customers, but it will also make it easier for people to know more about what they can expect to see when they are here.

You will want to be to the point, but you need to remember that you can still be funny if you want to be.

Fonts

You will find that the first step is to find the best font for your sign – your sign company can help you here You will notice that quite a few sign shops have been ruined because they did not properly pick their logos. The shop sign is going to need to get the attention of people who are driving or walking by, so you need to make sure the letters are big and easy to see. Remember: People typically will not take the time out of their business to read what your handwritten script is going to say.

Colors

You will want to consider a variety of colors for your sign. Will they look good in the sunlight or when it is evening? What color pattern is going to make the shop sign look great and standout from the rest of the place. To really look at the colors you may want to look at the other signs in the area. You will think about the red ads in the paper, if it has other red ads it can be hard to see, but you will want to check out the how your sign can stand out. You will want to find colors that are going to look great, but also think about the people who have vision problems when looking at the sign and suffering from color blindness.

Design

You will notice that one thing that is going to really bring the sign together is the brand that you are going to present with the sign and how everything is tied together. You do not want to change things simply because you can, but you will want to make sure you have a uniform brand across the platform. Remember when you are launching your business you want to make sure it is going to look great and have an amazing feel.

Materials

Now that you have a great design in mind, you should know how to bring your signs to life. When are you going to be opening and what time frame as well? Are you going to need to have lights installed on the sign to make it easier for you to see the sign? Is the brand more of a high end location or a mass market place? What types of materials would you need to get to reach your target area? You want the sign to look great and not make your customers think you are cheap.

You will find that you have multiple choices of materials, which is why you need to find a material that will suit you best.

Size

You will want to know more about the amount of space you have available for the sign and how you can use this space properly. You will notice that signs can go on brick, hang out front, or even be above the windows to draw in attention. So you will want to know more about how to use the most of the space to get the attention you need to have.

SaaS Branding

5 Tips To Trick Out Your Office

1. Plants

When you bring the outdoors indoors you bring a part of nature to your office. Plants can help to keep the air clean and pure and they can give you a much-needed change of pace. They are appealing visually and they help to add an ambiance to the area.

The best plants to incorporate into an office atmosphere include the Spider or Airplane plant. This plant is easy to grow and will help to purify the air and it will send off babies that are called airplanes or spiders to create more plants. You can also opt for the Peace Lily that is easy to care for and cleanse the air or the English Ivy. These grow well and can help to reduce mold. Water features are now also available for indoors and these from Soothing Company are excellent options.

2. Freshen-Up

There are many great personalized desk accessories and one of them is plants. If you can’t pain, you can readily use storage boxes or magazine holders to create your own personal ambiance.

One way is to use blackboard paint over a storage box and you can then use the outside of the box to make memos or notes of the contents or just to personalize your space.

3. Alternate Lighting

You can also decorate your office with alternate lighting. Change the tone and light up darker areas of your office with mini lamps or LED mason jars. This can give a clearer working area and help to set the pace.

4. Tidy Up

Be a little bit OCD about tidying your desk. Use accessories to keep things neat and tidy such as mason jars or simple boxes. A bit of decor that is all in the same theme can brighten your mood and tidy your desk nicely.

A clean desk makes you more productive and it helps you to focus more on the tasks at hand during your workday.

5. Post It Art

Everyone has seen pixel art. Why not try some post-it art? A man in San Francisco gave his desk a makeover with some creative post-it art. He used just over 8000 post its to create a floor to ceiling portrait of a superhero. Entire office teams can join in and have fun with this sort of project. The best part is that it can be moved around and changed at whim without damaging anything. No need to paint, remove walls or adjust anything just use post-it notes and have fun as an office.

SaaS Branding

How To Stay Focused And Energized At Work

Do you need to stay focused and energised at work – these tips will help you do just that.

Good Sleep

Get a good night’s rest before you go to work. The best way to achieve this is to have a comfortable sleep setup and this can be achieved with a great mattress. The mattress one mattress is meant to be great and can really be the foundation of better sleep and more energy.

Workout In The Morning Before Heading To Work

Taking on regular body workouts moments after waking up does more than warm you up. It helps keep the blood pumping making you feel refreshed. Just remember to take a shower and a good breakfast to push you through the day.

Take A Power Nap (20-Minute Nap)

While sleeping on a job isn’t recommended, studies show that taking a 20-minute power nap helps to rejuvenate body processes for the rest of the day. The power nap enables brain muscles to relax thus improving your concentration – especially in the afternoon.

Don’t Hold Grudges

Anger and emotions can affect your performance and output at work. Holding grudges with coworkers and even people outside the workplace takes up lots of energy in the process, and can be distracting as well. Most people only mask the emotional baggage they have on their coworkers, a habit that only drains their energy even farther. The best way to remove personal grudge is by reconciling with the persons you have wronged (or vice versa). This eases pressure on your mind.

Laugh

Laughing at anything funny, jokes included, helps the body produce endorphins. Endorphins are feel-good hormones that make someone happy and have a jovial mood.  You can either look for friends to crack jokes and have fun conversations with or even make YouTube your friend. There are plenty of humorous and funny video clips on YouTube that can make you laugh even if you are not in the mood to. Consider having your dose of laughter a few minutes after lunchtime when everyone goes into the afternoon slumber mode.

Take A 15-Minute Brief Walk

Taking some time away from your station/office can be a great way to re energize. Take a few minutes’ walk outside, in the streets, or even the park to breathe the fresh air. Don’t bring your smartphone along, as this could be distracting. A 5-minute walk outside the workplace is good for your heart and helps keep the blood moving. Doing this keeps you feeling energized and sharp through the remaining hours at work.

Have a Good Read

Reading an exciting novel or even a storybook not only helps clear the mind but resets your energy as well. Reading one story or a chapter after lunch gives you a sense of completion is entertaining, and helps bring the confidence and drive you had in the morning. If you however aren’t sure where to start, you could try Rudyard Kipling or even Mark Twain for inspiration.

Resolve Disagreements with Colleagues or the Boss

Running away from conflicts and disagreements will only put more weight on your shoulders, which can be tiring at times. Instead of running away, confront any issues you might have head-on, but in a diplomatic, empathetic and open manner. How you approach some of these disagreements will determine how well you will relate with the colleague or the boss. Some of the strongest relationships and friendships out there started out with a challenge or a disagreement.

Lend a Hand or Ear to Someone or Even a Colleague

Although most people walk with their heads held high, many of these are hurting inside. Lending a listening ear or a helping hand can help put a smile on their faces. Positive energy can be transmitted from one person to another, doing something nice for a friend, colleague, or even your boss will not only light up their hearts but also give you a gratifying feeling. This trick works wonders in helping you remain focused and energized through the day.

Local Branding

10 Fundamentals For Creating A Sock Brand

Sock brands can be very profitable – everybody wears socks after all. So, how do you create one that can really be a business success? We take a look.

1. The Concept

Obviously, you can start anything without a proper idea. The only problem is that ideas can’t be forced to come along. Sometimes, you have to spur the inspiration on by putting yourself in the right environment. And you know exactly what type of environments this can be. Maybe your creative juices flow better when you are in a group setting, like between friends. Or maybe you think better when you take a walk in the park. The point is to come up with a concept or idea that will keep you motivated and passionate enough to push through the challenging parts.

Remember, concepts can be odd and do well – Lovimals, for example, is a business that prints people’s animals on their socks. It’s an interesting idea and one that’s become very successful.

2. Proof Of Concept

Now that you have the concept of your sock brand in place, it’s time to test whether there is a market for it. One of the best ways you can do this is by creating a few prototypes and see how people react to them. But don’t stop there. Spend some time researching the market in general and finding out more about your competitors. You can even take notice if your product is attracting only certain people, like women under 40. Unfortunately, sock brands are not new, meaning you have to make your way against a wave of competition. The more you research, the better you can find your place in a competitive market.

3. The Name Of The Brand

When choosing a name for your brand, you are essentially choosing the word/s that will embody the creator behind the product. In other words, you can be cool and professional, or you can be fun and quirky. But you have to come up with word that won’t just describe the essence of your brand, but it should grab attention as well.

4. Brand Protection

Never invest in a brand name unless you’ve done the necessary trademark checks. This means running a thorough check if someone could’ve beaten you to the name and see whether the URL for the website is still available. Don’t forget to check social media platforms as well, because the last thing you want is someone taking you to court about stealing their brand name.

5. Finding A Manufacturer/Producer

There is no question that you have to take a personal trip to the manufacturing site. This will give you a good idea of whether they are following high-quality standards and if they can do your brand justice. At the same time, you want to get clarity about things like the minimum order quantity (MOQ), which pretty much speaks for itself. Keep in mind that a lot of communication is going to take place between you and the producers, making it critical that you understand each other regarding every aspect.

6. Taking The Brand Online

By taking your brand online and using a platform created for entrepreneurs, like Shopify, you don’t take on too much financial risk or responsibility. Instead, you spend as little to get as much exposure as possible. However, it’s important to establish how your order fulfillment is going to work in terms of packaging and delivery. Of course, you can always get a company to help you with this responsibility once you start seeing some consistent sales.

7. Marketing

If you want people to buy your brand, you have to make them aware it exists. But you also need to build consumer trust, which is why you want to get some free samples to some influential people. These people could be bloggers with big followings, and they should be covering products that are relevant to yours. But there are many marketing strategies you can use, like search engine optimization, which will boost your website rankings and gain organic traffic. And what about trade shows? You are only limited by your imagination in terms of marketing, even with a small budget.

8. Getting The Brand In Stores

The next part of your journey will be getting your brand out to retailers. For this, you are going to need to write engaging emails that convince buyers your brand is worthy of retail space. Of course, adding one or two photos to stir more interest is recommended. It is also suggested to play to your strengths. For example, did your brand get featured in a special magazine the retailers should know about? Use everything you can to impress distributors, because they can be tricky.

9. Build A Support Network

As mentioned earlier, you want to do as much research and gain as much knowledge as possible. But you should also try to put a support system in place. This system can consist of family, friends, or individuals who want to invest in your idea. The point is that you don’t want to do this alone if you don’t have to.

10. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself

If you are going to put up all the money for the business, you probably have to keep working while starting your brand. In other words, find a balance between maintaining your responsibilities as well as giving time to your business. Sure, it’s understandable that you want to leave everything and just follow your dream. But taking small steps will ensure you keep going forward.

Legal Branding

VAT Tips for Small Online Businesses

If your taxable turnover exceeds £85,000 you are required to register for VAT. If your turnover is less than this amount, you can voluntarily register for VAT. Sales relating to goods and services that are not VAT exempt are referred to as taxable turnover. Health services, postage, and insurance are some of the exempt supplies. 

It’s important for you to think about the schedule of your VAT quarters before registering for VAT. Lining up the end of your VAT quarter to be on the same date as your year-end will make your accountant’s work much easier.   

Since there are several VAT schemes available, you need to take the time to pick the perfect fit for your business:

  • Standard VAT
  • Flat Rate Scheme
  • Cash Accounting Scheme
  • Annual Accounting Scheme

The cash accounting scheme may be better suited to your cash flow if your customers take longer to pay invoices.  In this scheme, you are only required to pay VAT after customers pay the invoices; while you reclaim VAT after you pay your suppliers.

Businesses with an annual sales turnover under £150, 000 a simplified scheme, flat rate accounting, is a better match. You are only required to cover a flat Value Added Tax rate on the market sector you operate in. However, you do not qualify for any VAT reclaim.

After VAT registration

It’s upon you to maintain accurate purchases and sales records. Investing in a computerized might be worthwhile for you if you have a huge number of transactions to process. You may be charged with a penalty by the HMRC if they find that your records are lacking when they carry out a routine inspection at your business. 

It’s upon you to ensure that each sales invoice you issue should have a unique number. Furthermore, each invoice should come with your VAT number.

You are also required to maintain VAT return copies and proof to back it up. In the event of an inspection, these documents will be checked according to VATGlobal.

If you have any purchases that you will be claiming VAT on, be sure to request for VAT receipts on them. However, you may not be able to claim VAT on some businesses as they might not be registered.

It’s worth noting that you have to abide by a set of special rules for determining the amount of VAT to be reclaimed on staff travel and motor vehicle expenditure, in addition to the fact that you cannot claim VAT entertainment-related expenses.

HMRC payments covering PAYE, Corporation Tax, NIC, and VAT as well as staff wages are all outside the scope of the VAT. As such, they should be excluded from your VAT return form. Other expenses that should not be in the VAT return include MOT costs, road tax, loan repayments, rates, dividends and drawings paid. 

A C79 form will be sent to you on a monthly basis if you are involved in the importation of goods from a country outside the EU and hire the services of an agent when it comes to handling import duty, VAT payments, and declarations. The form captures the VAT paid on the imports, on a monthly basis, that should be included in the VAT return. These forms are used as proof during VAT reclaim and must, therefore, be maintained.

The VAT return form can be used to record purchase and sales figures when it comes to dealing with goods moving within the EU.