I've just joined up after reading a lot of great advice on the forums. I'm planning on starting my own business so have many questions that will no doubt receive great advice!
I've 20 years experience working in heritage organisations (and recently a private estate) for historic Grade 1 and 2 Registered large gardens, as a Gardener and Head Gardener and after my recent Head Gardener fixed term contract ended I have decided to set up my own business. I'm aiming to undertake the wide range of practical garden work as a sole trader, along with possibly advising garden owners regarding garden conservation, plant collection management, health and safety for estates that employ staff etc.
With my background and knowledge I'm hoping to eventually concentrate on the more complex gardens (not so much the average housing estate garden) but have a few questions below:-
With always working for an employer, I haven't much equipment myself so quite a bit will need to be purchased before I go self employed. Capital expenses such as van, machinery and tools will cost approx. £9,000 to £10,000. I will also have costs like a printer/photocopier etc and some small advertising.
Can I purchase all of these before I start trading and will the full amount I've spent be used for expenses (i.e not depreciated in any way)?
Is it better to wait until the new tax year to purchase equipment and begin trading for next year? If I get all the gear now and start trading I'll have to send the tax return for this year with a lot of expenses and not a lot of income. From April I'll have much lower expenses but (hopefully!) larger income. Or does it not matter where in the tax year it is to undertake the initial capital outlay?! Advice would be REALLY welcome on this!
I'm back living at my mother's house so will be using that as the trading address......I don't pay any bills directly (I pay her a monthly amount to cover things) so would that affect claiming for elec., heating expenses etc?
Apologies if it's basic stuff but I've never had anything to do with self employment before!