Specialist contractor and
freelancer accountants
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FAQ

Who we are and what we can do for you?

Zest Accountancy is an accountancy practice specialising in providing tax and accountancy solutions for small and medium sized limited companies, Our focus is primarily in providing services for Freelancers, Contractors, consultants and locums. We also able to offer an Umbrella company solution for those who chose not to have their own limited company. Our services range from setting up those limited companies and assisting our clients with all aspects of running those companies and their legal requirements.

Umbrella vs Limited?

Whether you use your own limited company or make use of an umbrella company service it is an important question that needs to be answered before you sign a contract with an client or agency.  In Broad terms the factors that we look at are the length of your contract, your rate of pay as well as your personal preference. We are more than happy to discuss the two options with you and we will let you know which is financially better for you. For further information please call or email us.

How easy is it to set up a limited company?

Setting up your limited company through Zest Accountancy couldn’t be easier. All we need is some information from you and a company name and we will do the rest, from the appointment of directors, shareholders and registered office, to registration of VAT, PAYE and Corporation Tax. We can even help you open a business bank account with our nominated bank. While some of the registrations may take a few weeks to come through, you can start trading through your limited company once it is formed, this usually takes 4-6 working hours.

How do I pay myself?

We would like to go through in detail with you but in summary there are three ways to take money out of your company. Reimbursed cash expenses, Salary and Dividends (dividends will depend on your IR35 status) We suggest that you set up an online payment to your personal account from your business account and make a payment to yourself as per your individual budget plan that we will prepare for you on our first meeting.

How much do you charge?

Our charges depend on the level of service that you wish to use, We offer different packages that will cater for most clients needs but we also offer a bespoke service that can be tailored for your accountancy needs.

What does my fee cover?

The fee quoted on our website is all inclusive for the package chosen, there is almost nothing extra you will need to pay in the course of running your business. On some of our packages we even include the companies house annual return charge of £14.00 per year. 

There are additional charges for closing down your company or additional services that you wish to add on top of our chosen package. We can let you know what these are or quote you for the additional work.

Do I have to pay you if my company is not trading?

Yes, if your company trades for any length of time during the company’s financial year, then the work we need to undertake on your behalf is no different than if the company had been trading for the whole year. We work out our fees on an annual basis but simply split it over 12 months to make the payments more manageable. We do have a dormancy fee as we recognise there is a decrease in the amount f work that we do for you in the times the company is not trading. This fee is £30.00 plus vat per month. Please call for further details on the terms of the dormancy fee if this becomes relevant for you.

What information do you need from me in order to complete my accounts?

We require details of your bank statements and expenses claims against your business, as well as the invoices you have issued to your clients or agencies. We operate a simple spread sheet system that we request you complete on a monthly basis and email it over to us. We also ask you to send us any HMRC communications so that we can respond to HMRC  if required.

Do I actually need an accountant?

The truth is that for a small limited company you are not required to appoint an accountant, but is this a wise idea?  Tax laws are changing continuously and getting things wrong could be costly for you and your business. Your time could be better spent doing what you do best and leaving the numbers to us. After all its our area of expertise.

Can I use my personal bank account to receive payments?

No, your limited company is a separate entity to you and therefore requires a separate bank account. Agencies and clients would not wish to pay into your personal bank accounts as the contract is with your limited company and this protect both you and them against certain legations. 

Can I meet up with you?

Yes, we offer free initial face to face meetings and we are always happy to meet up. Simply let us know you would like to meet up and we will do whatever we can to make an arrangement that is convenient, in both timing and venue for you.

Do I need business insurance?

We recommend that you take out business insurance to ensure that you are covered for any commercial risk and it also helps with your IR35 status. Also most contracts will state that you require a certain level of business insurance.

Do I need to be VAT registered?

You only need to be VAT registered once your annual turnover reaches £77,000 but we do recommend that you voluntarily registered for VAT as there are potential savings to be made under the flat rate VAT (FRV) scheme. The FRV scheme means that you continue to charge vat on your sales novices at 20% and don’t need to worry about splitting out VAT on your purchases. The Vat paid over to HMRC is simply worked our as a percentage of your  Gross sales. The percentage depends on the market sector you are in. We will discuss this with you and register you for VAT and FRV if you happy for us to do so.

What happens if I stop trading?

You have a few options but this will depend on what your future plans are. The company can either go into dormancy or we can close the company down. If the company is in dormancy then we reduce our fees to recognise there is less accountancy work to be done but the company is ready for when you require it again or you can close it down at a future time. It is always best to chat through your plans and options with us so that we can advise you correctly.

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