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New business... Help Please!

Hi everyone.... new to the forum so be gentle... :)

Left uni last year, and now in a full time job which is paying the rent. As with many design graduates out there, I am finding it hard to break into the industry due to the classic "2-3 years studio experience required" catch 22 situation that is listed on so many job advertisements these days.

Anyway... I am trying to take a positive approach after being knocked back by a few design companies due to my lack of studio experience. While doing my full time job, I want to set up a small business doing design work in my spare time. This way I can build up my professional portfolio and back up my CV with some 'real' design examples. What would be the best way to go about doing this? In business terms I really am a complete novice, but I just want to get the ball rolling as I have some work coming in, but nothing official to back it up with.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I'll update with my progress once I get the ball rolling.

Many thanks,

Good advice Thomzo, I've been to some of these HMRC courses as part of my previous job... they wanted me to learn payroll for some reason!

My advice would be for you to use an accountant to work out your self assessment return, no accounts, no payroll and no annual return as you're not yet a registered company.

Your self assessment return will encompass all of your taxable earning and that's the only thing you need to do if you're not getting in massive amounts of business.

I've used www.taxreturnonlineservices.co.uk in the past, the lady there Karen gives great advice and will help you progress as your business grows from individual to company. Going to HMRC courses is one way to learn the basics, but if you don't have the time then just pay a company like Karen's to take care of it all and give you advice at the same time. It's a reasonably priced company too, make sure you tell them how much you intend to turnover etc so they can work out the cheapest possible service for you.
If you've got a full time job and will only be working on bits and bobs in your spare time I wouldn't worry about setting up officially (IE registering with HMRC) in the short term, especially if you are just trying to build up your portfolio.