Preparing your business for sale can be a lengthy process, and one which requires a lot of consideration if you are to get the best possible price for it. Whilst timing can be everything, there are other things you can do to maximise its market price. 

Even if your business is in financial trouble, it’s important to do what you can so that you stand the best possible chance of making a good sale. There are lots of professionals who can help you prepare, but here are a few helpful tips to get the ball rolling before you begin your new chapter. 

Know what you are trying to achieve 

When preparing your business for sale, it’s important to know your reasons for doing so. Do you have personal reasons for wanting to sell up, or is it a necessity? Whether your main objective is to sell as quickly as possible or for the highest bid, having a good idea of your objectives will give any professionals you have employed a clearer understanding of how they can help. 

Being able to talk about why you are selling and what you want to achieve from the sale is also important to potential buyers. For example, if you are still hoping to have a continued involvement in the business, a potential buyer might want you to define your expectations before they proceed. 

On the other hand, if your business needs new investment in order for it to survive or grow, you need to have your facts and figures in order so that you can guide the process effectively and secure the most appropriate buyer. 

Give your business a spruce 

As you would if you were selling your house, ensuring your business is operating at its best, giving your work space a face lift and generally making sure everything is running effectively is advisable when preparing your business for sale. 

This is especially important if you are wanting to maximise your profits. While sprucing up the business might cost you, speculating to accumulate has its advantages. Ironing out any issues before it is put up for sale will prevent potential buyers from having too much leverage to negotiate. 

Whether it’s minor aesthetic improvements to the office or more logistical updates to your systems to make them more effective, taking the time to paint your business in the best light possible will help create a good first impression once you put it up for sale. 

Know your business’s value 

Once you have identified what you want to achieve from the sale, it’s time to value your business. This can be based on a number of factors, but the valuation can often reflect the reason behind putting your business up for sale in the first place. If time is of the essence and you need a speedy exit strategy, you might want to consider how much you would be prepared to accept for the business in order to make a quick sale. 

It’s also important to view the business objectively. If you have owned the business for many years, it might be that you have invested emotional value in the company that outsiders might not be able to see in the same way. Trying to gauge an idea of how an unknown potential buyer might objectively value your business is a good place to start. Additionally, doing some research into sales of similar businesses in your industry may help give you a good guide not only as to their value but how long it took them to sell. 

In addition to this, be sure to obtain a professional valuation from a specialist. They will want to know and understand your aims and objectives for the sale before they can assess its value in the market. 

Ensure your accounts are in order 

To ensure potential buyers have confidence in your business, make sure your finances are in order and your business accounts are looking healthy. Have the relevant and accurate financial documentation to hand, as both the professionals you enlist to help with the sale and potential buyers will inevitably want to see them. Expect to provide at least three year’s worth of information such as company reports, asset valuations, turnover and profit figures. 

If you are hoping to sell the business due to financial difficulties, you might be worried that the business will be hard to sell at all. While some buyers may be hoping to get their hands on assets at a much lower price than they’d otherwise be worth, a struggling business can be attractive to ambitious investors who see an opportunity for a complete overhaul.

On the run up to the sale

When deciding to put your business up for sale, it’s easy to get bogged down in all the preparation, especially if you’re after a quick sale. Don’t forget that in the meantime you still need to keep the business ticking over. It’s important not to take your eye off the ball and give prospective buyers a reason to put in lower offers than you were expecting. 

Running frequent health checks on your business, making improvements where necessary and keeping the accounts in order as you would usually are all still necessary when preparing to sell. 

Tax planning for small businesses is never an easy ride and can be a minefield for business owners, especially entrepreneurs who are still finding their feet. 

While the use of a good accountant can make life easier, having some tax-saving ideas up your sleeve will help keep the business’s finances looking healthy and allow the money to be better spent elsewhere. 

We’ve put together 15 ideas to help you identify where and how those all important tax savings can be made. 

1. Use your allowances 

Basic tax reliefs and allowances can make you substantial savings, so don’t overlook them. By making the most of tax-free allowances on basic income, dividend income, capital gains and savings income, you may receive over £28,000 a year free of tax. 

2. Capital gains allowance  

Capital gains are the profit made from the sale of certain investments, and for 2019 - 2020 you can enjoy up to £12,000 tax-free. Be sure to use the full allowance within the tax year as you won’t be able to carry it over to the next. If you joint own assets with your spouse or civil partner, the capital gains tax-free allowance is doubled to £24,000.  

3. Contribute to a pension 

Pension contributions are tax deductible and are a way to make savings. Paying directly into a pension or making company contributions to an employee’s pension will reduce the amount of corporation tax you need to pay.

4. Know your VAT 

Business owners often lose out by misunderstanding VAT or paying more than they necessarily should. After registering for VAT, small businesses can make savings by signing up to the flat rate VAT scheme, under which you’ll only pay VAT as a flat rate percentage of your sales.

5. Transfer assets 

Avoid capital gains tax by transferring assets to your spouse or civil partner. A partner on a lower income may also pay a lower level of income tax, so if this is the case it may well be worth transferring savings and investments to them. 

6. Extract profit 

If you are a business owner or operate through a limited company, extracting money via a small salary up to your personal allowance and topping this up with dividends is the most tax-efficient. 

7. Make the most of Entrepreneurs' Relief 

Tax savings can be made by using Entrepreneurs' Relief when selling shares or part of your business. Business owners get a reduced capital gains tax rate of 10 per cent on qualifying business assets. 

8. Don’t forget your expenses 

Keeping hold of all of your business receipts and claiming expenses can help make tax savings, as long as the items have been bought for business use. Business owners can also make use of the annual investment allowance, which allows you to deduct the full value of an item bought for business use from your profits before tax. 

9. Make another employee a partner 

If you operate a sole trader or limited company business, making another key employee a partner will make you both substantial National Insurance savings, whilst also giving them a role in the business. 

10. Employ your spouse 

Tax savings can also be made by employing your partner. Bringing them into the business means you can make use of their personal tax allowances too, thus doubling your potential tax-free income and spreading out the income you extract from the business. 

11. Employee benefits 

Treating your staff to bonuses can also help small businesses make tax savings. Make sure they are paid before the end of the tax year.

12. Use an accountant

Finding the time to successfully look after the books whilst trying to grow your business can be difficult. While the business will benefit from you dedicating some time to bookkeeping, taking on the services of an accountant will certainly help. While you may worry about the cost, you might otherwise fail to claim everything you are entitled to. 

13. Know your industry

Keep a finger on the pulse with your trade body or association, as many industries have special tax dispensations, such as uniform allowances.

14. Work from home

If you run your small business from home, there are generous tax savings to be made. HMRC allow a specific home charge per week of £4, but you can also claim tax relief on other bills as well. 

15. Plan ahead

Most importantly, tax planning should be done well ahead of the business and fiscal year end so that you can make the most of all tax reliefs available to you. Assessing your profits in advance will give you time to take any further action while you can, such as investing more in pension contributions or buying more machinery to reduce your taxable profits. 

The modern day dating scene is already complicated. But it becomes even more difficult if your sexual orientation or gender identity is different from the more traditional options. For transgender people, dating is an entirely different ball-game and the rules are a lot different. Hence, if you are a man genuinely interested in dating trans women, you need to do more than just get on the best transgender dating sites. There are a lot of basic things you should know if you will find the right person and if your relationship will be successful down the road. Here are some of the things you have to know and do: 

Do Your Research

If you intend to get into a relationship with a transgender person, it is only normal that you find out as much as you can about the subject and know what exactly you are getting into. While you don’t have to be a walking dictionary of transgender terms, knowing the basics of what it means to be trans will proof valuable in your relationship later on. By doing your homework before getting on a dating site, you will be free from misconceptions and misinformation and will refrain from asking offensive questions or use the wrong terms during your interactions with a tranny. You can throw a bigoted remark at your transgender lover and try to shrug it off with an excuse that you are ignorant about trans issues. Learn as much as you can about the subject. 

Break Off Negative Stereotypes and Wrong Mindsets

No transwoman appreciates being treated like a sexual unicorn. Sadly, many men (an even those who claim to be attracted to transwomen) don’t know this fact. If you will be successful dating a transwoman you have to shake off every negative perception and wrong images you have in your mind about them. Don’t approach a transwoman simply because you have a bizarre she-male fetish. You will only succeed in hurting her feelings and that will make you a terrible human being. Read more about transgender stereotypes that are totally inaccurate here

 Be Prepared for Awkward Situations

If you fall in love with a girl that is still transitioning, then you should prep your mind for some potentially awkward situation both in your private interactions with her and social interactions with other people. For example, don’t be too surprised if you see her wake up with a facial stubble or if someone asks you what sex with a transgender feels like. You have to brace yourself for awkward situations because they are almost inevitable. 

Drop The Comparison

There is a very good chance that you have dated cisgender women in the past. You might be tempted to make comparisons between your cisgender ex and the transgender girl you are dating now. Try to avoid making comparisons like this. Saying things like “a normal girl would never do that” is not only offensive but hurtful. 

Dating a Trans Woman Does Not Mean You are Gay

We should have probably started with this point since it is one of the foremost questions in the mind of most men that are attracted to transgender women. To allay your fears, being attracted to a transwoman does not mean you are gay. Even when she still has a penis, she is still a female and should be treated as one. Gay men are typically not attracted to femininity as you obviously are. 

Be Willing to Discuss

As with every relationship, having honest open conversations especially about important issues like sex is important when you are dating a transgender woman. There are major issues that must be discussed and settled especially when it comes to sex with a transgender person. Don’t hold on to an erroneous belief that a transgender person is down for anything, especially in the bedroom. You must be willing to discuss and decide boundaries and fantasies for both of you.

Read here for more tips for dating a transgender man or woman. https://pairedlife.com/gender-sexuality/How-to-Date-a-Transgender-Person-5-Tips-for-Starting-a-Relationship-With-a-Trans-Woman-or-Trans-Man

It's Not Just About the Sex

If the only reasons you want to get down with a transgender person is simply for the sex then all you have is a fetish and not genuine feelings. You should understand that dating a transgender person is just like any other type of relationship. It goes far beyond what goes on in the bedroom and if you are unwilling to accept that then you are simply fooling yourself. 

Conclusion

There is plenty to do and learn in every type of relationship. Your success on any dating site and in your relationship with a transgender woman or man depends on how much you are willing to learn. The fact that you are willing to accept your attraction to a transgender person is the first step in the right direction. But there is still a lot to learn down the road. Keep learning, having fun and growing with your lover. 

The term cloud accounting tools can seem a bit intimidating to some people, however in reality it is a simple concept. Anything that is described as being cloud based means that it can be accessed remotely via a website, as long as you have an internet connection. This makes it much more convenient than software that has to be downloaded onto a specific computer. So, a cloud accounting tool is software designed to help you carry out accounting tasks for your business, from anywhere you want. 

Efficiency

Using accounting software helps you to save time, as it manages lots of different responsibilities for you. For example, it will automatically generate invoices at the right times using the right information, send them and chase them up if they are not paid. Having an automatic rather than manual system also helps to cut down on human error; minimising mistakes, complications and therefore improving the reputation of your business.

Furthermore, using cloud accounting software gives you more value for money than hiring a member of staff to look after it, just check out this Xero vs Quickbooks comparison for example. Accountants are notoriously expensive but if you prefer to have a real person looking over your accounts, it is easy to blend your software with their methods on a part time basis as it has also been designed for this.  

Design

Cloud accounting software has been designed with the user in mind so don’t be intimidated by the perception of accounting being complex. It’s a way to have more access to your accounts without having to organise them yourself. The remote aspect of cloud-based software makes it highly convenient, and ideal if you’re always out and about looking after various aspects of your business. 

Another benefit of using accounting software is that it stores your and your customers’ information securely, with easy access to it. If you use a service like Piesync to sync the various apps you use for your business such as marketing, accounting and email apps you can access useful information from them all and use it for accounting purposes, such as customer contact details. 

Relevancy

By using software to help you with your business operations, you benefit from the most up to date industry information as it is updated all the time. Constant improvements are also made to the software itself via automatic updates, and you can communicate with a network of other business owners to discuss and help each other with the various challenges you’re facing. 

Using cloud accounting software is a great idea for businesses for a number of reasons. Firstly, it uses time far more efficiently thanks to its automatic processes, in comparison to you attempting to handle your finances manually or hiring an accountant. It also carries out a better-quality service. It is designed to be easy to use and is remote so you can use it anywhere. Furthermore, you can sync your apps to be able to access information like contact details easily, and you benefit from industry updates and a community of like-minded users. Take a look at imafish.co.uk for more business tips such as small business accounting principles.

Few would disagree that small businesses are now under an immense amount of pressure to perform. This pressure is something that the media are happy to highlight as well; with countless stories doing the rounds at just how hard it is to survive as a new company.

It means that certain things sometimes get left to the side. In a battle to realize the latest and greatest product idea, or to stay on top of more day-to-day tasks, accounting gets left behind.

As it turns out, this is something that can help your business get through those first few years unscathed immensely. Using a company like the 3 Wise Bears is something that can unearth mistakes and create efficiencies, and this is what a lot of these young businesses crave.

In terms of specifics, today's article will jump into some advice that all small businesses should be looking to follow when it comes to their accounting practices.

Make a clear line between business and pleasure

It might all be “your money”, so to speak, but try and make sure that you have separate business and personal accounts. It might be something else that you need to think about as you start out, but when it comes to filing your accounts it will do you the world of good.

As well as the convenience-factor, this is an approach which is also important from a legal perspective. It means that your personal money isn’t going to be at risk under limited liability regulations.

Keep on top of each and every expense

Again, this next task might sound a little mundane, but it will help you with your accounting practices significantly.

Sure, gathering receipts isn't anyone's idea of fun - but it gets the job done. Every time you make any sort of payment in relation to your business, even if it's catching a bus to meet a potential client, make sure you get paper or digital evidence. This doesn't just give you a true representation on how much money you are making from a net perspective, but it will also make your job of filing expenses so much easier when it comes to your tax return.

Collect taxes when you make a sale

This next point can be hard for new businesses to come to terms with. After all, those initial days are difficult, and parting with profits from the outset is something that can really put financial stress onto your shoulders.

Of course, when it comes to taxes, this money is going to leave your account at one point in time. The mistake that a lot of business owners make is forgetting about this - meaning that at the end of the year they are left with a hefty tax bill. Don't fall into this trap by deducting taxes every time you make a sale.

Understand your tax requirements

On the subject of tax, you need to understand exactly what you need to file. This doesn't just occur from a tax bracket point of view, but also the types of expenses you can file. A lot of small business owners don't understand this and ultimately, it hinders their profits.

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