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Opening a paint shop


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My fiancé and I are in the very early stages of opening a paint shop (for the trade & public) in an area where we’ve identified a gap in the market in a busy town.

We have both been in the industry for over 10 years & believe we have a strong business plan. We are close to obtaining a suitable premises.

The part we are really struggling with is Business registration & VAT registration. We haven’t got a clue whether we should register as a partners, just myself as a sole trader (at first) or set us both up as directors as part of a ltd company. Trying to research online & going on the government website has confused us even more. (Just for info, it will just be myself and my fiancé working in the shop and we have no plans to employ any staff especially in the beginning)
As for VAT registration, is it correct that we will need a VAT number so we can charge VAT when selling products? If so, can we apply for this as soon as our business is registered?

Thanks for reading, & if anyone has opened a new shop in the UK recently then any other tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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