Basic Admin For Builders

Jun 16, 2017 by

Basic Admin For Builders

Hate Paperwork? Don’t Ignore These Essentials

As a self-employed builder, you would rather be out there earning money than worrying about admin. But here are five tasks you can’t ignore.

These days, there are more people taking the self-employed option than ever before. Part of this is down to the digital revolution, making it easy to set up on your own in a tech business with little or nothing in the way of startup costs.

But not every small business or self-employed entrepreneur spends all day sitting in a coffee shop staring at a laptop over his beard and his gingerbread latte. There are still as many traditional tradesmen as ever striking out on their own as builders, electricians, plumbers and so on.

You might think that a latte-sipping digital marketing consultant has little in common with a white van driving builder, and in many respects, you would be right. However, one common factor is that both operate in a competitive environment and need to be 100 percent focused on doing a great job, in order to succeed. This means that neither wants to be bogged down with administrative details when they could be focused on revenue generating activities.

Yet while someone working in tech will at least have the paperwork at their fingertips, if you are a builder, it can be a real challenge to find the time to sit down and deal with the basic admin of running your own business. But in some cases, it can be a real risk to put the admin to one side. So set aside an afternoon of your time and ensure that these five aspects are dealt with:


Construction is one of the most hazardous jobs around, so insurance for builders is an absolute must. By taking out a bespoke policy, you can ensure that all the necessities, such as public liability, employers liability, tools, etc are covered in one place. Not only does that give you peace of mind, it also saves you time, money and hassle.

Registering with HMRC

If you are self-employed (or working in a partnership), it means you are responsible for paying your own income tax and National Insurance contributions. You will need to register with HMRC, and can do this any time up till 05 October of your operation’s second tax year.

The mechanism for doing this depends on your individual circumstances, so if in doubt, check with HMRC.

Registering for VAT

If your business turns over more than £85,000 per year, you will need to register for VAT, and failure to do so leaves to liable for significant fines. You might decide to become VAT registered even if the turnover is below this amount, as having a VAT number has certain benefits, in terms of increased credibility and the ability to reclaim VAT on certain expenses.

Open a business account

You need to keep business and personal expenses separate for tax purposes, so even if your business is small, it is worth opening an account. Shop around the different high street banks to get the best deal.

Keep records

It is absolutely essential to keep on top of your income and expenditure, or the end of year tax returns will be a nightmare. It does not have to be complex, all you need is a summary of ins and outs, and to keep hold of your receipts.

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