Setting up a cattery in Essex can be a rewarding and profitable small business venture for animal lovers. However, it requires careful planning and preparation to ensure that the cattery is safe and comfortable for the furry guests, and meets all legal requirements. Here are some steps to follow when setting up a cattery in Essex.
1. Research The Market
Before setting up a cattery, it is important to research the market to determine the demand for such a service in Essex. This can be done by conducting a survey or talking to pet owners in the area. It is also important to research the competition to determine the services they offer, their pricing, and their customer base.
2. Choose A Location
The location of the cattery is crucial to its success. It should be easily accessible to pet owners and have ample space for the cats to roam around. The cattery should also be located away from busy roads and other sources of noise and pollution. It is also important to ensure that the location is zoned for a cattery and meets all legal requirements.
3. Obtain Necessary Licenses And Permits
For a cattery to operate in Essex, it is required to obtain the necessary licenses and permits from the local authorities. This includes a license from the local council, which ensures that the cattery meets all health and safety standards. It is also important to obtain liability insurance to protect the business in case of any accidents or incidents.
4. Register The Company
As a small business, a cattery must register on Companies House, file annual accounts and register for Corporation Tax with HMRC. If turnover is expected to exceed £85,000, the company will be required to register for Value Added Tax (VAT). It is advised that a business register for VAT earlier rather than later to avoid penalties. Registering for VAT can even prove to be a net gain to an organisation under certain circumstances.
To ensure a small business is as successful as possible, it may be a good idea to look into a professional accountant. An expert who can direct the business to make the best financial decisions and optimise tax efficiency.
5. Design The Cattery
The design of the cattery should be based on the needs of the cats and the preferences of the pet owners. The cattery should have separate areas for sleeping, eating, and playing. It should also have ample space for the cats to move around and exercise. The cattery should be designed to be easy to clean and maintain, with proper ventilation and lighting.
6. Purchase Equipment And Supplies
To operate a cattery, it is necessary to purchase equipment and supplies such as cat beds, litter boxes, food and water bowls, toys, and cleaning supplies. It is important to choose high-quality equipment and supplies that are durable and safe for the cats.
7. Hire Staff
To ensure a cattery small business is successful, it is important to take on employees who are experienced in caring for cats. The staff should be trained in handling and caring for cats, administering medication, and dealing with emergencies. It is also important to ensure that the team is friendly and professional, and able to provide excellent customer service. A good “bedside manner” with human and feline clients alike is preferred.
When employing regular workers the small business should register for PAYE in addition to the taxes mentioned previously. Employers are also required to provide workers with an employment contract, safe working conditions and a wage equal to or exceeding the national minimum wage.
If you are thinking of setting up a cattery, or another small business in the Essex and London area, get in touch with the friendly team at Neil Smith Accountancy. They have the experience and know-how to help your company achieve its goals and stay tax compliant.