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I've been bootstrapping my company off profits for the last couple of years - from £1500 initial investment to ~£100k/yr profit now. I can offer advice on how to go about doing something similar.

Basically: go with what sells, reinvest as much as you can afford, and pick an area with lots of potential avenues to go down that isn't very crowded with competitors - Open Source Hardware FTW! It's possible to teach yourself what you need to know as you go along; there is plenty of info on the internet (I don't have an engineering background, but learned 3D printers through trial and error and consulting online fora)

about 3 years ago
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I've been putting off registering a Ltd company for some time now. I'm (perhaps irrationally) weary of high accountants/advisors/consultants fees, and at first glance it doesn't seem that difficult (and I think that it'll probably still take up almost as much of my time finding and liaising with an advisor as filing the various forms myself). You can register with Companies House online, and also deal with pretty much all tax stuff online through HMRC.

However, I'm currently stuck on one issue: I'll need to transfer assets that belong to me (currently set up as a Sole Trader) to the Ltd company when it's incorporated. Is it as simple as creating some area of my spreadsheet called a "Director's Loan Account", crediting it with the value of the assets, writing some simple statement saying I've loaned the assets to the Ltd company, and then gradually getting the company to pay me back through the loan account? Do I have to report any of this to Companies House or HMRC? Or can it wait until my Annual Return and tax returns are done?

Oh, and for share capital, can I issue 10,000 0.1p shares, so as to make transferring shares (to employees) easier down the line? Or is it best to stick with 1 £1 share for now and then issue more when I want to give some to employees.

I should also note that I'm fine with any advice provided being in an unofficial/"off the record" capacity, and accept that if I do go down the DIY route, I bear the sole responsibility for any mistakes. I'll also be interested to hear if anyone knows any stories of people setting up Ltd companies without professional help.

about 3 years ago