Many essential start-up costs, such as incorporating the company and paying accountants, building and promoting your website and advertising your services may well need to be paid for before you have your first clients or commissions – meaning that you could have to dip into your personal finances.
If you had to pay out for any legal, accounting, insurance, surveying or architect’s fees when setting up your business, you can of course claim these back in full, and they are entirely tax deductible. The same goes for bank and overdraft charges, credit card and hire purchase interest – as long as these costs only relate to business-related payments and purchases.
Money spent promoting your business through advertising, including paid directory listings, mailshots and providing free samples all qualify, as do the costs of launching your website. You can also offset the costs of membership to any of the HMRC’s approved professional bodies, listed here.