Stephenson Smart is not only a firm of Chartered Accountants but also Business Advisors.

We have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share as start-up business advice, with advisors in offices across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

We have many clients whose unique, small businesses have grown significantly, and we have supported them through it. With our tailored and personal approach, advice and support is provided in a cost-effective way.

You can talk to us about starting a business – we don’t charge for an initial consultation.

As an entrepreneur, embarking on a new business venture is both an exciting and a challenging task, which carries with it an element of risk. Key decisions need to be made, and there are many factors to consider.

We can help you to formalise a business plan, research business financing options, decide what type of company to set up as and help you understand your tax, legal and insurance obligations. We can help you to prepare for starting a business.

20% of small businesses in the UK fail in their first year, and 60% fail within the first three years (source: UKMoney)

This is a daunting statistic, but many businesses fail because they have failed to plan and prepare.  The first steps of a start-up are to get some good advice from a qualified and experienced business advisor.  We can talk you through your idea and help to mitigate any risks that might see your business start-up fail.  Moving you from start-up failure to start-up success.

The benefits of using a business advisor:

  • Expert advice on planning and financing.
  • Accurate and informed business advice.
  • Help with writing your business plan.
  • Professional advice on what type of company structure you will be.
  • Support with compliance for tax and legal purposes.
Start Ups

The business advice service for start-ups we provide is:


Our teams are fully qualified and experienced in start-up business advice, to provide you with an efficient and personal service.


As chartered accountants we are aware of the compliance needed for tax and legal purposes.


The advice and support we can offer you and your start-up business will give you the peace of mind to allow you to concentrate on your dream.

Start Ups
Start Ups

Chris has been brilliant. I can literally send him a text with a quick question, and he is always so helpful. With each start-up I have worked on Chris has guided me through the process and helped me with the business model. I haven’t had the need to worry about anything because I know Chris is always at the end of the phone with an answer.

Sean Brown, Owner, Cambridgeshire Hair and Beauty

Start Ups

We can support your business start-up by:

  • Providing practical, expert advice on starting and running a small business.
  • Working to a pre-agreed, competitive fixed fee.
  • Offering a personal approach
  • Helping with accurate and timely bookkeeping.
  • Giving VAT advice and support.

Many of our advisors are recognised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants as Business and Finance Professionals (BFAs). This means that they have the technical knowledge, skills and experience in business and finance to expertly advise you on your business start-up.

Small business start-ups are an extremely important part of the economy. At Stephenson Smart we recognise both this and the role we can play in nurturing ambitious enterprises.

We are experts in business finances and how the tax system works. We would be honoured to join you on your journey into business and help you, every step of the way.


The key to any successful business is preparation and planning. Getting professional business advise for your start-up idea will help you to make sure that your business will be run well and compliant.
If you haven’t been recommended someone, then look for an advisor that is qualified and has had success in supporting other small businesses. Once you have found someone that has this, then simply contact them, and ask to meet to discuss your idea and get some advice. We don’t charge for an initial consultation.
or most individuals, starting out their business as a sole trader is the best option. However, there are some advantages to setting up as a limited company; the main one being that, legally you and your business become separate entities, which give a degree of separation if anything was to go wrong. There are also allowances and reliefs available to companies that you may be able to take advantage of. The main disadvantage is that the returns you will need to complete and paperwork you, or your accountant, need to provide to HMRC will be more involved. It is worth speaking to a qualified accountant or business advisor to determine the right choice for your business.
All businesses can claim tax back on most expenses relating to the running of the business; these may include IT equipment, IT software, office equipment, professional services, travel costs, stock purchases, phones, and broadband. If you are a new business, you may also have pre-trading expenses that you can claim once your business has reached its first tax year of trading. It is always worth employing an accountant to help you claim back any expenses and take advantage of any reliefs that are available to business start-ups.
It is best practice to keep a record of all financial transactions relating your business. This can be done on your own software or can be made simpler by using accounting software such as Xero or QuickBooks. In addition to recording income and expenditure these platforms both offer an easy way of digitally recording receipts and invoices.