Small Business Accountants Manchester

As a small business owner, there might be many aspects of running a business that you may not be familiar with. Your main focus will probably be to make money, however it’s important to keep on top of the various taxes and regulations imposed upon you by HMRC.

Manchester small business accounting specialists

At Quay Accountants, we specialise in helping small business owners get on with what they do best and have a range of small business accountant services to suit you.

What is classed as a small business?

Small businesses can either be a limited company or a sole trade. They are privately owned and if it is a limited company, they have fewer than 50 employees and are eligible for certain tax benefits, grants and discounts.

What are the key features of a small business?

  • Usually owned by less than 2 people
  • Has fewer employees than a regular sized business
  • Has less annual revenue and profit than companies that operate on a larger scale
  • Small businesses usually serve a smaller area than much larger businesses
  • Usually operate as a sole trader or limited company

What tax does a small business pay?

The business accounts and taxes you pay as a small business differ, depending on the type of business structure you have chosen to operate as, whether that be as a limited company or a sole trader.

Failure to get to grips with the small business taxes you’ll need to pay can have major consequences with the tax man.

Here is a brief explanation of the main small business taxes to help you get a better idea of what taxes you’re expected to pay:

Corporation Tax

All limited companies pay corporation tax on their profits before dividends have been withdrawn, but after salaries and other business expenses have been paid.

The current rate for corporation tax is 19% (in 2021/22).

Corporation tax returns are to be submitted annually to HMRC. Your business needs to pay corporation tax nine months and one day after the end of your accounting year.

Sole traders don’t pay corporation tax.


Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax that is added to the price of most goods and services consumers buy and is applicable to any business, regardless of business type.

If your business is VAT registered, then you must charge VAT to customers. The good news is that you can also claim back VAT on any products and services you buy (who are also VAT registered).

Businesses don’t need to register for VAT until their annual turnover exceeds the VAT threshold, or if they decide to register for VAT voluntarily.

VAT registered companies must submit quarterly returns and pay your VAT liability to HMRC.

The government introduced Making Tax Digital (MTD) for businesses on 1st April 2019, meaning VAT registered businesses must use MTD compatible software, such as Xero accounting software.

Income Tax

Put simply, income tax is a tax on income and applies to both limited company directors and sole traders.

For company directors, any dividends you take out of the company attract income tax. Income tax will also be paid at source through your company’s PAYE scheme if you draw a salary above the annual personal allowance.

For self employed people, income tax is paid on the profit you make from your business, which you include on your annual self assessment tax return.

The deadline for Self Assessment filing and paying any tax you owe to HMRC is 31st January each year.

If your Self Assessment tax bill is more than £1,000, you’ll have to pay a Payment on Account due on 31st July each year.

National Insurance

National Insurance Contributions (NIC’s) are paid by both employees (or ltd company director’s) and employers who are over 16.

Directors of their own limited companies are classed as an employee (rather than self employed), so the company will need to pay Employer’s National Insurance (if your salary is above the NI Secondary Threshold), as well the Employee’s National Insurance on your salary.

Business rates

You’ll need to pay business rates if you run your business from a non-domestic property (e.g. shop, an office or warehouse).

Why choose Quay Accountants for your small business?

We are Chartered Certified Accountants who are passionate about supporting our clients and seeing them grow.

We specialise in helping small businesses, and our friendly and experienced team know exactly how challenging it can be at times to juggle running a business and family life, whilst trying to keep on top of the accounting side of things.

Our mission here at Quay Accountants is to relive the stress of the accounting side of running your business, keeping you in HMRC’s good books and letting you get on with what you do best with the people you care about.

The standard traditional accountant that only speaks to you once a year just isn’t us. We are small business accountants and are:

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To find out more about the small business accounting services we offer, contact us today!

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What chartered accounting services does Quay Accountants offer for small businesses?

At Quay Accountants in Manchester, our passion is supporting small businesses to help them grow. We offer a wide range of small business accounting services which include:
small business accountants in manchester

How will I know what services my small business will need?

There will be some services that your business will legally have to complete to keep on the right side of the tax man.

Having a discovery call with an accountant about your growing business will help you decide what services you definitely need, and what services would be advisable to you in your current situation. It also means that there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises along the way.

We offer all the above services, but no business is the same so we tailor a package with you, for your business to ensure the basics as a minimum are covered. We then tailor the package to where you are right now, what you’re trying to achieve and what challenges you’ve got at the moment so the business can work for you.

Do I pay an accountant a one-off lump sum at year end once the work has been done?

At Quay Accountants, all our small business clients are charged on a monthly basis by direct debit in line with your year end. Having a monthly direct debit rather than a one-off invoice when the work has been completed helps with your cash-flow which is so important to manage as a small business.

What is Xero?

Xero is beautiful online accounting software that lets you automate day-to-day bookkeeping tasks, so you have more time to focus on things that you love and run your business.

With Xero you can import bank transactions and send invoice reminders, pay your staff with Xero Payroll and drive profitability with Xero Projects.

Does a small business need an accountant?

Accounts and taxes are rarely the favourite tasks of any small business owner. It can be onerous, costly if done wrong, and can rob you of valuable time, which could be spent on growing your business.

While there isn’t a legal requirement for small companies to use an accountant, there are many advantages in doing so.

Hiring an accountant gives you peace of mind that your finances are in the hands of a professional who can provide invaluable support and who keeps up-to-date with the ever changing rules, regulations and legislations set by HMRC.

Also, factor in the many hours you will save not typing up bank statements into spreadsheets and organising endless amounts of paperwork.

Finally, an accountant can save you money in many ways by making your business more tax-efficient and by improving cash flow to name a few!

Can an accountant help me set up my business?

Hiring an accountant to help you set up your business will not only save you time, but it will ensure that it is done right from the get-go, reducing any problems in the future.

The first decision when setting up your company, is to decide on the best legal structure for your business. An accountant can advise you what structure would be best, taking into consideration your personal circumstances and the tax implications involved.

Once you have decided what structure is best for your business, an accountant can register your business with Companies House advising you on the share certificates, Certificate of Incorporation and Memorandum of Association or register you as self employed with HMRC.

Once your business has been set up, an accountant can also advice you on your new tax liability and liaise with HMRC to register you for VAT, payroll if you are an employer and Corporation Tax if you have a limited company.