Skip to Content

4 business topics new business owners need to know about - now

4 business topics new business owners need to know about - now
Thursday, May 10, 2018

Running a successful business is a difficult task. On top of finding the spare cash to pay yourself for all the extra hassle and convenience of going it alone, turning a profit, and being responsible for other people’s employment, you need to keep up to date with the legislation that affects your business.

Here is Panthera’s quick guide to 4 different topics that new business owners need to know in 2018.


Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged on most products and services that VAT-registered businesses provide. Your business must register for VAT if your annual turnover is above £85,000.  If this is the case for your business, then you must then charge the standard rate of VAT on your products and services.

The three rates for VAT are:

  • Standard rate of 20% (This is for most products and services)
  • Reduced rate of 5% (this rate applies to a specific set of products, like children’s car seats)
  • Zero rate at 0% (This applies to most food, children’s clothes, and books)

If you are registered for VAT, you will need to submit regular VAT returns. Typically, this is every 3 months – it’s something called your “accounting period”. VAT returns are a part of the government’s new Making Tax Digital scheme so you’ll need an online VAT account to submit your return. Your account details will be given to you when you register for VAT.

You can authorise your accountant to submit your VAT returns for you which will save you time and money in the long run.

You will need to keep records of your VAT payments for up to 6 years. These records can be digital or they can be on paper.


If your business has employees, then you will need to understand how Real Time Information (RTI) fits in to the already complex PAYE process.

RTI is a government initiative that aims to increase the accuracy of the PAYE tax collection system.  The more accurate this process is, the less time and money HMRC needs to spend on sending corrections to employees and employers about incorrect tax payments.

You will need to submit information to HMRC each time you pay your employees, rather than at your payroll year end. This is done through sending a Full Payment Submission (FPS), which is normally completed automatically through your payroll software.

If you fail to submit your FPS, you may have pay a fine or a penalty.

Auto Enrolment

As an employer, you will need to deal with auto enrolment and workplace pensions. Legally, you must offer your employees a workplace pension in order for them to save for their retirement. With this scheme, both you and your employees must make payments into this pension.

If your employees are aged 22 or over and they earn above £10,000 a year, they are eligible for the workplace pension scheme.

The mandatory contribution levels for the pension are set to increase gradually over time. By 2019 the contributions will be set at a total rate of 8% (the employer contributions will be 3% and 5% for contributions by the employee themselves).

If your employee decides to opt out of the pension scheme, you will have to automatically re-enrol them every three years. They can then opt out again if they choose to.


The EU’s new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are rolling out this month (May 25th 2018) and it will change how your business can market itself to potential customers. The regulations aim to bring data protection laws in line with how businesses actually use data in the modern age.

Your business will now have to receive explicit consent in order to process and handle your customer’s data.

One example of how this will affect your business is with online registration forms. Pre-checked boxes, silence/inactivity, and opt out schemes are no longer regarded as legitimate consent under the new rules.

We can help

Make sure you’re following all the rules you need to follow and using Panthera to save as much money as you can. Call us today on 01235 768 561 or email

What our clients say

For us, there is nothing better than a happy customer. Here are just a few that let us know how much we mean to them.

Pete Dungey

Simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

We found Panthera via our search for a Xero expert. We knew the software we wanted to use, and needed a forward-thinking accountancy partner who could get us up and running, and teach us the ropes moving forward. Tory and her team have always been on hand to answer our questions, and help us to grow as a business, particularly during periods of big change, such as becoming VAT registered. They are always on hand to alleviate any concerns and help to keep our records in order, which makes our year-end accounts an absolute breeze! Being based in Bristol, our relationship is entirely email based, alongside one consolidation meeting at year end - this keeps things simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

Pete Dungey Kaleido Grafik Limited
Anita van Eijndhoven

Talk Our Language

The support and service we receive from Panthera Accounting is very good. Everything from regular meetings, a prompt e mail response and the transition of our Xero software (which we find very pro active indeed) has and is all remarkably efficient. We find Panthera talk our language and make any process as painless and easy as possible.

Anita van Eijndhoven Quidne-IT
Ash & Tim Lane

Panthera brush aside the stereotype of the typical accountant

We got in touch with Panthera Accounting by way of a recommendation; we haven't looked anywhere else since. They are an extremely professional yet relaxed group of people. We were slightly daunted by the idea of accountants but Panthera brushed aside y the stereotypes. They are very understanding when answering any questions we may have. They are completely efficient, offer sound business advice, and are fantastically priced. We will continue to recommend them.

Ash & Tim Lane Starveacre Fencing
Jayne Johnson

An Asset to my Business!

The whole team at Panthera are great! Working with them has been a huge support to my growing business. They help me to understand the numbers I need to know. They give me technology solutions like Xero so that I can process things quickly and have access to my own figures. They are quick to reply, highly knowledgeable, nothing is too much trouble and as well as making sure that everything is compliant and on time, they are enthusiastic, professional and fun to work with.

Jayne Johnson Better People
John Baker

Absolute joy - they provide a first class service on every level

Working with Tory and the team at Panthera is an absolute joy - they provide a first class service on every level; from simple Xero issues through to more complicated tax enquiries, they’re always on-hand to help me get it right. I’m certainly not their biggest customer, but I’m always made to feel like their most important one.

John Baker BKR Solutions
John Castle

Professional and Friendly

I would like to say that Panthera Accounting have helped me with my business accounts for more than 4 years now. They have consistently offered an excellent competitively priced service that works both professionally and in such a friendly way that I would highly recommend them to everyone considering using their services.

John Castle Ilexanna Limited & Birch Castle Homes Limited
Jonathan Morrison

They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues

I had been with Mr Dunn for 20 years when upon his death Panthera took over the business. They now play a bigger part in the running of my business, they do all the stuff that has to be done but I don't like doing ie book keeping, VAT, wages, and returns. They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues and make sure all Tax deadlines are met. Their costs are fair, service is great and I have and would highly recommend them.

Jonathan Morrison Wallingford Builders
Pippa Scott

Professional, friendly and personal service.

Panthera Accounting have gone above and beyond the call of duty to guide and support our Company. They offer a professional, friendly and personal service that can take the stressful and sometimes frightening feelings out of running a business. They have guided us through the working of Xero and have offered “teaching sessions” on the day to day running of the accountancy package. Our only regret is that we didn’t join their team earlier.

Pippa Scott Scott's Commercial Services Limited
Sara Southey

Panthera puts the personal back in to accountancy!

Tory and her team have provided a friendly, approachable and helpful service from the start. They have delivered a quality service, above and beyond anything I could have expected. Panthera, with the help of the Xero package, have taken the stress, strain and confusion out of managing my company and personal accounts. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Sara Southey Bluestones Garden Design
Tracey Miller

Panthera are fantastic.

Panthera are fantastic. Always professional, going the extra mile for their clients and delivering superb service. I recommend them all the time to my clients.

Tracey Miller Bigger, Brighter, Bolder BBB

Contact Us

Panthera will use the details that you have entered into this form to communicate with you on the subject of your message, and for no other purpose.
Please see our privacy policy for more details on how we manage your data.

Lets Get Started

Move to Panthera

Moving to Panthera is as easy as 1,2,3...

  1. We jump on a quick call to create the perfect service package for your business
  2. You e-sign your terms of engagement
  3. We get your authority to talk to HMRC on your behalf

And that’s it! From contacting your previous accountant, to updating Companies House with your new registered office address, let us handle all of the admin so that you can get on with running your business, safe in the knowledge that everything is going smoothly in the background.

Talk to Us