Monday, 26 March 2012

The tax implications of buying a used van for your business

If you have a used van that you use for your business and for private use, you may need tax advice. To find out more visit

If you’re running a small business, you will already be aware that there are certain things that you buy for your company that may have tax implications. Many things can be “written off” against your tax bill, whilst others may incur tax charges. IF you haven’t already, it usually makes sense to use the services of a specialist tax accountant to handle your tax affairs. A good tax accountant could help you to make sure that you only pay the tax you need to, and that you don’t miss any payments that you’re legally obliged to make.

How does a used van make a tax difference to my business?

The rate at which you are taxed for the van you use depends largely on who uses the van and when. If you use your van for personal journeys as well as business journeys, then you will be liable for a tax charge. Similarly, if you make your van available to other directors or to employees of your business for their own personal use, or if a member of your family, who isn’t employed by your business, drives the van, then you may be subject to a tax charge.

These charges can be reduced if the van has only been available for part of the tax year. So, for example, if the van was only available to you or an employee for private use for 6 months of the tax year, the charge would be halved. If you have had shared use of the van, the charge is split between you and the person or people you shared it with.

You may also incur charges if your private fuel is paid for by your company, or for any other uses of your van whilst it is owned by your business.

Business tax is a complicated area, which is why it’s always advisable to seek the advice of an expert who can look at your current situation, including how you use your van, to determine how much or how little you need to pay in tax. There will be many tax accountants in Portsmouth and around the country who can help you to ensure that your business doesn’t fall foul of the Revenue and Customs office and to give you peace of mind that your business interests are being looked after.

Why a used van could help your business in Portsmouth

Buying a used van could open up your business to customers beyond Portsmouth. To find out more visit

Are you ready to expand your business? Do you want to offer your goods and services to more people? If so, you’ll probably need reliable transportation – either to make essential deliveries, to collect supplies, or to carry the equipment you need for your business. A brand new van can cost a lot of money, so it makes sense to look for a used van that can do the job.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to increase the amount of business you can do is what differentiates a successful, growing business from one that doesn’t move on at all. When new sales or client openings appear, it’s up to you as the business owner to decide how to make the most of them so that you can increase your income and your profits. In some cases, this may mean taking on an extra member of staff, increasing your stock orders or looking for larger premises. Or, you may need to invest in some transport so that you can visit clients that are at a distance, or offer delivery further afield.

If you are relying on your van to maintain this increase in business, then you need to ensure that you buy a van that’s reliable and fulfils the needs you have for it. That’s why it’s important to work out what you need and why you need it before you actually commit to buying anything. Wasting your money by rushing into a van purchase won’t do anything for your business, whereas making a well-judged and sensible buy could make a big difference in the long run.

At VanMart, we know that your used van is an important part of your business and that sourcing reliable vans that keep you on the road is a key part of your buying process. That’s why we’ve teamed up with a number of specialist van dealers to give you the widest possible choice in used vans, and to bring you great deals, which can include warranties, sign-writing, safety and maintenance checks, and insurance. We’ve made it easy for you to search by make and model, or by getting in touch with the dealer direct so that you can find the van that meets your needs.

How to start a new business

Starting a business can be very tricky, and often involves a great deal of personal risk. From developing your initial business idea to arranging a commercial mortgage, there is a lot to think about. You must ask questions such as what is BI and how can it help my business?

Setting up a new business is a process rather than an event. Before you can even start thinking about applying for a commercial mortgage, there are a whole host of other things to consider and arrange.

The Big Idea
Research has shown that there are four main sources for business ideas:

  • Invent something new
  • Copy someone else's idea
  • Spot a gap in the market
  • Develop your own skills and interests

Market Research
Unless you investigate the competition thoroughly you won’t know if there are customers willing to buy what you are selling. You can build a picture of general trends using a whole host of published market information - from free government statistics and data to paid-for market reports from commercial providers. Your own contacts and sales records can also be a great resource.

Business Plan
A business plan won’t just help you to create a successful business, it is also your main sales tool in getting a commercial mortgage. Before potential investors risk any capital, there must be a firm assurance that you know exactly what you are doing, that plans have been thought through carefully, and that you can respond effectively to problems and opportunities. A well-constructed and carefully presented business plan will produce a much more positive reaction.

Professional Help
Here are some of the professionals who can help you in the early stages of start-up and beyond:
  • Business Advisors - They can give you one-to-one advice and ongoing support, to make sure your business is well planned and you're well prepared
  • Accountants - Accountants can offer your business a range of services from basic book-keeping to specialist business advice, such as start-up business advice
  • Lawyers – it’s important to choose the right solicitor at the start, as it is far easier to sort out any legal issues at the outset instead of later, when they can be more problematic and expensive to solve
  • Commercial Mortgage Broker – an independent mortgage broker can often offer you better deals than your high street bank

Type of company
There are three main choices for legal status of a new business:
  • Sole Trader - this is the easiest and quickest way to get started. You alone are responsible for any profits and all losses, and there is no safety net
  • Partnership - partners are responsible for debts 'jointly and severally'
  • Limited Company – this is a separate legal entity, with directors and shareholders. It can either be private, referred to as Ltd, or public, a PLC. You need to register your business with the Registrar of Companies (Companies House)