Monthly Archives: March 2013

Diary of a UK Start Up #9

Letterhead and invoices have some minimum legal requirements. Both should show the registered office address, the registered number and the country where the company is registered.  I have included my VAT registration number on both although it is only required on the invoice. Under the new Companies Act email should have the same basic content as a letter.

My letterhead is saved as a Word template and I use Excel for my invoices using a template I downloaded from Workpond (  So far my invoices have been sent out as PDF email attachments.

I designed my own logo using a combination of PowerPoint and Windows Paint.

I had my business cards printed at using a template that I created in PowerPoint.  I had some difficulty getting the font sizes exactly as I wanted them and probably should have paid the small amount extra to receive a printed proof.  It would seem a simple enhancement to the Vistaprint website for them to allow you to print a proof at home on standard A4 paper with a box showing the edge of the card.

It is not worth having too much stationery printed at the outset as there will inevitably be changes as you move forward.

By |March 27th, 2013|Business|0 Comments

Diary of a UK Start Up #8

Initially I started to keep my accounts on an Excel spreadsheet, but very quickly migrated to an open source package GNUcash (  This is free and has some limitations but provides better functionality than a spreadsheet.  It is easy to produce an income statement and balance sheet each month and “drill down” to see the individual transactions behind the account totals.  Recurring postings can be set for items such as depreciation and bank accounts can be reconciled to bank statements by ticking off the transactions.

For more sophisticated business models, or for business with higher transaction volumes, it is likely to be worthwhile investing in a paid-for accounting system.  There are a number of cloud based packages which bring other advantages.

By |March 22nd, 2013|Business|0 Comments

Diary of a UK Start Up #7

Bank account
From the first board meeting minutes you will see that I had already decided to use Nat West as the company’s bankers.  I have a good personal banking relationship with Nat West and my manager put me in touch with a business banking manager.

My company banking requirements are fairly simple.  Being able to add the company’s bank account into the same mobile app that I use for personal banking was very helpful.

I was surprised that the bank needed proof of identity for all shareholders owning at least 20% of the company (especially as both shareholders had banked with Nat West for over 20 years each) and this slightly delayed getting the account opened, which in turn delayed the application for VAT registration.

By |March 19th, 2013|Business|0 Comments

Diary of a UK Start Up #6

Statutory books

There are lots of free downloads on the internet. I am using an excel file that I downloaded from
I also downloaded a share certificates template and modified this for my needs. The minute book is just a straightforward word file.

By |March 15th, 2013|Business|0 Comments

Diary of a UK Start Up #5

The First Board Meeting
Having sorted out the quorum requirement to have a valid board meeting, I could now hold the first board meeting.  This is standard practice and confirms the steps taken during the incorporation and prepares the ground for some of the subsequent steps, such as opening a bank account.

The resolutions were as follows:

Steve Sampson was appointed chairman of the board until decided otherwise.
The company was incorporated on .
Steve Sampson was appointed the sole director of the company and authorised to act as managing director.
As permitted by the Companies Act no Company Secretary was appointed.
The director was requested to make the appropriate entries in the register of directors.
The share capital of 5 ordinary shares of £1 each were allotted 4 to Steve Sampson and 1 to .
The director was requested to issue share certificates recording the shares issued and to record them in the register of shareholders.
The Registered Office of the Company is established at .
The director was requested to open a bank account with .
The director was authorised to reimburse the pre-incorporation expenditure of £.  This is to be done by the establishment of a director’s loan account.
The director was requested to register the company for tax purposes.
The accounting reference date was fixed as 30 November.  The first accounting period will end on 30 November 2013.
Steve Sampson notified the company that he owned 4 shares in the company’s capital.
Steve Sampson be authorised to enter into contracts in the name of the company.

By |March 13th, 2013|Business|0 Comments

Diary of a UK Start Up #4

Modification to Articles of Association
I read through the model articles and discovered there was a problem.  I had appointed myself as the only director whereas the model articles require two directors to be at virtually all board meetings to take valid decisions.

This was easily fixed.  A shareholders’ meeting was hastily convened to modify the articles, making the following changes:

11(2) replaced with “The quorum for directors’ meetings is one.”

11(3) deleted

38(2) added “ If the company has less than three members, then one or more shareholders representing at least 25% of the share capital shall constitute a quorum.”

The final change means that we now don’t require both shareholders to attend every shareholders’ meeting, although they do need to be notified so that they can attend.

The amended articles were then sent to Companies House.

By |March 7th, 2013|Business|0 Comments

Diary of a UK Start-Up #3

Company formation
This step was remarkably easy.   I accessed the Companies House website ( and entered the required details:

Company name
Registered office address
Shareholders and shares subscribed for

Paid the £15 fee using my personal credit card and making a note to claim the money back from the company once it was formed.

The next day the company was incorporated and I received the certificate of incorporation by email.

I had spent some time working on the objects clause for the company not realising that it is no longer a requirement.  If no objects are specified the company can perform any legal business.

Then I downloaded a copy of the model articles (  The articles of association are the rules that govern how the company is run.

By |March 1st, 2013|Business|0 Comments

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