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UK Blacks: Steps You Should Know Before Starting a Business

Oct 05, 2022 11:00AM ● By Anand Subramanian

As you are aware, Africans are establishing firms in the U.K. as a hedging strategy in an uncertain economic environment and to capitalize on global trade possibilities that the U.K. is well-positioned for. The U.K is one of the world's top investment locations for corporations moving or expanding their worldwide operations. Despite the apparent attraction, organizations looking to join the U.K. market can anticipate extensive red tape. You have a fantastic concept, the funds, and the enthusiasm to get started. However, legal and registration criteria must be met before launching an S.M.E. Before you start, you must lay a solid foundation that includes your concept and unique value proposition (U.V.P.), as well as how you will organize and sell your firm and set up your business finances. With this in mind, let us look at the procedures Africans must follow before beginning a company.

Experimenting with the Concept - 

Your company concept should address an issue for individuals, fill a market need, and bring long-term value to society and the nation. To determine if your idea is feasible, it is advisable to do a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis. There are a few questions that must be answered while doing the analysis. 

  • What distinguishes your company from the competition? 

  • Do you have a superior product? 

  • Are you able to compete on price? 

  • Do you have further knowledge or industry experience? 

  • What may be holding you back? 

  • Is there anything that the competitor does better? 

  • Do you have any weaknesses? 

  • Why is now the best moment for your concept? 

  • What issues do customers have that you can help them with? 

  • Is there a lack of competition in this field? 

  • Is the market trending in your favor? 

  • What are you likely to face in your business? 

  • Are new challengers on the horizon? 

  • Is there a chance that the market may change? 

  • Could regulatory reforms create issues?

Completing a thorough SWOT analysis can provide a clear picture of where you are now and if your concept is worth pursuing. 

Don't let the destructive features of SWOT analysis deter you. Instead, consider how you might transform your flaws into strengths and opportunities.

The Importance of Branding in Marketing - 

Your market analysis should provide details about how your rivals portray themselves. Put your newfound knowledge to use and build a brand that will be remembered. At this point, settling on your company name and logo is essential. A website and other marketing materials may be added later, but they aren't necessary to establish brand identity. Your company's name and logo are the sparks that ignite your concept. Getting them correctly is crucial since they're the initial impression customers get of your company. 

Before settling on a company name, you should consider these four criteria seriously. 

  • New 

  • Sharp

  • Active

  • Low-Fuss 

Like your company name, your logo should be easily recognizable, straightforward, ageless, adaptable, and suitable. 

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Corporate Strategy - 

A business plan is a set of detailed instructions for achieving your goals. 

This item is multifunctional. To aid you in determining the best course of action for your company and persuade others that you're on to something worthwhile. 

Some of the essential parts of a business strategy are: 

  • Explanation of Business 

  • Plan of Action 

  • Sales and advertising plan 

  • organizational framework 

  • The Workings of a Business 

  • Economic forecasts 

Although length isn't necessary, your business plan should cover all the bases. How much time and detail you need to demonstrate mastery of the market, your strategy for moving forward, and your financial plan/funding strategy will determine the optimal length. Include short-term and long-term goals to give investors’ confidence in your company's ability to meet its immediate goals and grow over time. You should always revise your business plan to reflect the current state of your company and include any new information you've gathered along the route.


How to Decide on a Company Structure - 

When registering a company, you must choose a legal structure from the following options: 

  • Independent Business Owner 

  • A firm with Limited Liability 

  • Partnership 

  • Partnership with Limited Liability 

There are advantages and disadvantages to each possible company structure and specific legal, tax, and accounting responsibilities. Learning the ins and outs of U.K. company registration is crucial. 

Having a separate company checking account from your account is essential in maintaining a professional image and a well-organized firm's finances. So, keeping the books and filing taxes will be less hassle. Recognizing your company legally requires registering with either the U.K.'s HMRC or Companies House-approved formation agency. Tide makes it simple to create a business checking account and register your company online for free.

Commerce Legislation and Policy - 

While there is a great deal of bureaucracy to navigate, all of the resources you'll need to do so are readily available, at no cost to you, on the internet. If you own a company in the United Kingdom, you can find all the information you need on the dedicated part of GOV.UK. Although not all of it may be directly applicable to your company, a good chunk of it likely will be. 

Here are some possible stumbling blocks you should familiarize yourself with: 

Taxes related to running a company include filing returns and being compliant throughout the year, calculating and reporting V.A.T. and Corporation tax, and disclosing any changes to your accounting procedures. 

  • Business liquidation, C.C.J.s, debt collection, claims, and reviving a defunct firm are all part of the insolvency and debt resolution process.

  • Pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) systems, tax computation, Capital Gains tax, employee loans, and expenditure reporting systems. 

  • Labor laws. Leave policies include vacation time, sick time, family leave, and other types of rest. 

  • Topics covered include the U.K. Trade Tariff, importing and exporting items, transporting those commodities, obtaining duty relief, using export agents, and the Excise Movement and Control System (E.M.C.S.). 

  • Topics covered include filing for a patent, protecting your I.P., legally utilizing another party's I.P., trademark registration, and licensing. 

  • Data security, including General Data Protection Regulation, responses to data protection requests, and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Act. 

  • Adverse effects on the environment are caused by garbage. Commercial waste tax exemptions, car fuel emission reduction programs, and other environmental tax relief and incentive programs.

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Funding and Expenditure Planning - 

In your business plan, you'll detail everything it will cost to get your company up and to go. To have a clearer picture of your total outlay, it is helpful to split these prices into parts. 

Consider the following preliminary expenditures and costs: 

  • Rates for Commercial Space and Inventory 

  • Insurance and permits 

  • Advertising collateral 

  • Financial and legal counsel that doesn't move 

  • Taxes and Social Security 

The company may be financed in several different ways. A few of the more typical methods include - 

  • Financial Institution Loan, 

  • Borrowing for New Ventures 

  • Scholarships for New Businesses 

  • Funding From Anonymous Sources 

  • Crowdfunding


Legal authorization - 

A license or permission may be required before you may lawfully do business in the United Kingdom. If your company fits any of the above descriptions, then this is the case: 

  • Sale of Tobacco and/or Alcohol 

  • Kitchen work 

  • The Restaurant Industry 

  • Taxiing 

  • Instruction in Sport 

  • Caring for Children 

  • Exchange of Agricultural Goods Abroad 

  • Manufacturing 

  • Hairdressing\Hospitality 

  • Management of waste 

The first thing you need to do is research what kind of license you'll need. The GOV. U.K. License Finder is a useful tool for this. This resource may also direct you to the appropriate department head in your local government. The total cost of your license application will include application fees and any other charges that may be incurred. To apply for a liquor license, for instance, you'll have to pay a charge proportional to your property's assessed value. The Valuation Office Agency calculates your property's rateable value using factors such as yearly market rent, square footage, and the kind of business you run. For certain licenses and permits, you may additionally be required to provide proof of completion of an approved course of study. To sell alcoholic beverages legally in the U.K., for instance, one must have the appropriate license.

The Final Word - 

Being meticulous is essential while building a company from the ground up. As well as making significant effects across several industries, Black-owned small enterprises in the U.K. are also altering the country's broader commercial environment. Having data that covers a complete spectrum of ethnic identities is the first step, but more can be done to celebrate diversity in the corporate world further. Moreover, there has to be a more open and accessible environment for fundraising, from building up the business community to expanding external investment networks. Money is crucial to every enterprise.

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 Anand Subramanian is a freelance photographer and content writer based out of Tamil Nadu, India. Having a background in Engineering always made him curious about life on the other side of the spectrum. He leapt forward towards the Photography life and never looked back. Specializing in Documentary and  Portrait photography gave him an up-close and personal view into the complexities of human beings and those experiences helped him branch out from visual to words. Today he is mentoring passionate photographers and writing about the different dimensions of the art world.

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