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Setting up your FreeAgent account

Welcome to FreeAgent! Here's how to set up your account.

This article is for UK-based businesses. If your account type is Universal, please see the Setting up your Universal account article or the Setting up your US account article.

When you first sign up to FreeAgent you'll receive an activation email. Follow the link in this email to get started.

1 Business Details

UK-based businesses have a choice of four account types: Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership and Limited Company. Make sure you choose correctly, because you won't be able to change this later.

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Next, fill in your business address details. These details will appear on the invoices you create in FreeAgent, so make sure they’re correct.

If your business is a UK limited company or a limited liability partnership, fill in its registration number. You’re legally required to put this on your invoices.

Select ‘Save and Continue’ to go on to the next step.

2 Accounting Dates

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When did you officially start your business?

For sole traders and partnerships, this will be the day you began trading, as notified to HMRC.

For limited companies and limited liability partnerships, it’ll be the incorporation date as shown on the certificate of incorporation, which is issued by Companies House.

When did your first accounting year end?

This date will be used by FreeAgent to set the year end for future years too.

So if your first accounting year finished on 5th April 2017, FreeAgent will work out your accounts to 5th April 2018, 5th April 2019 etc, and produce reports ending on your first accounting year end date and for each year after that.

For most (but not all) sole traders and partnerships, the year end date will be 5th April, to coincide with the tax year, so unless you know differently, use this date.

For limited companies, this will be a year from the end of the month in which you started the company. So if your company start date was 6th April 2017, your first accounting year end date would be 30th April 2018. This applies unless you've filed a form with Companies House to change your accounting date.

If you're not sure what your year end date should be, then ask your accountant or take your best guess. Don't worry, you can change the date later. See how to change your accounting dates.

When would you like to start keeping your books from?

What we sometimes refer to as your 'FreeAgent start date' is the date from which you’re going to start keeping your books on FreeAgent. It might be today's date, or you might decide to start keeping your books on FreeAgent as from a new VAT quarter, or (perhaps the easiest because you'd be able to easily collect opening balances from your accountant), the start of a new accounting year for your business. It is also possible to choose a FreeAgent start date in the past, if you like.

You shouldn’t enter any transactions dated before the FreeAgent start date, and all your opening balances will be as at that date too.

Select ‘Save and Continue’ to go on to the next step.

More Information:

3 VAT Settings

This is where you have the option to enter your VAT information. If you don't have the details to hand or want to add these later, choose "Not Registered" so that you can finish the setup process, but remember to fill in the details later before you issue your first invoice.

Not Registered

If your business isn’t registered for VAT, choose “Not Registered” from the drop-down list.

Registration applied for

If you’ve applied for registration but haven’t yet had your VAT certificate from HMRC, choose “Registration Applied For” and put in the date you expect the certificate to take effect.

Registered

If your business is registered for VAT, choose “Registered” and fill in the details.

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Select ‘Save and Continue’ to go on to the next step.

More Information:

4 Banking

Banking lies at the heart of FreeAgent. Money in and out of your business is analysed from your bank accounts to build a true picture of your business’s accounts.

Account name

Give the account a name such as “RBS Current Account” so that it’s easy to identify this account later, if you put in more bank accounts. Please see this article here for how to set up a new bank account once you’ve finished the Getting Started process.

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By default FreeAgent assumes that all bank accounts are business bank accounts. But if you’re a sole trader, or a partner in a non-limited liability partnership, and you haven’t yet opened a dedicated bank account for your business, you can tick the box to make this a personal account.

Learn more about the differences between business and personal accounts.

Opening balance

The opening balance is the balance as at the start of the day on your FreeAgent start date - which is the balance as at the close of play on the previous day.

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Sort code and account number

If you want to take advantage of FreeAgent’s quick and easy categorisation of your bank transactions by uploading your statements electronically from online banking, you’ll need to fill in your bank account’s sort code and account number. If you don’t want to do this, just leave these boxes blank.

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Select 'Save and Finish' to complete the setup process and start using FreeAgent!

What should I do next?

You should now be setup and ready to start using FreeAgent, why not:

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