These are some useful phrases and tips to help you with your English speaking when you’re thinking to start a business abroad. Don’t hesitate to try our SmallTalk English for Immigration course to role-play real-life dialogues and get prepared for your new life abroad!
Check out all SmallTalk English speaking courses here.
- I’m going to set up a company.
- I’m planning to start my own business.
- I’d like to apply for …
- My responsibilities include … / I’m in charge of … I need some advice on writing a business plan / help with tax / financial help / regional help with exporting.
- I have a couple of questions.
- Could you help me please to …?
- Where can I …?
- What should I do next?
People: Business Support Helpline adviser, applicant.
- Sole trader — you run your own business as an individual and are self-employed. You can keep all your business’s profits after you’ve paid tax on them. You’re personally responsible for any losses your business makes. You must also follow certain rules on running and naming your business.
- Limited company — its finances are separate from your personal finances, but there are more reporting and management responsibilities.
- Partnership — the simplest way for 2 or more people to run a business together. You share responsibility for your business’s debts. You also have accounting responsibilities.
Documents & procedures: application form, photo, original documents, copies of documents, licence, permit, insurance, running payroll, paying for employees’ National Insurance, providing workplace pensions to eligible staff, records, registration for tax/VAT.
Read the dialogue, then record your voice reading the dialogue out loud.
Dialogue. Starting a business abroad
BSH* adviser: Hello. How can I help you?
Applicant: Hello. I need some advice on starting my own business in the UK.
BSH* adviser: I’ll be happy to help you. What questions do you have?
Applicant: First of all, what do I need to set up my business?
BSH* adviser: What you need to do to set up depends on your type of business, where you work and whether you take people on to help.
Applicant: OK. And how can I register my business in the UK?
BSH* adviser: Most businesses register as a sole trader, limited company or partnership.
Applicant: I see. What’s the difference?
BSH* adviser: If you’re a sole trader, you run your own business as an individual and are self-employed. You can keep all your business’s profits after you’ve paid tax on them. You’re personally responsible for any losses your business makes. You must also follow certain rules on running and naming your business.
Applicant: Hmm… What about other options?
BSH* adviser: If you form a limited company, its finances are separate from your personal finances, but there are more reporting and management responsibilities. Some people get help from a professional, for example an accountant, but you can set up a company yourself.
Applicant: Thank you. You mentioned partnership as well, didn’t you?
BSH* adviser: A partnership is the simplest way for 2 or more people to run a business together. You share responsibility for your business’s debts. You also have accounting responsibilities.
Applicant: Thank you. I guess I should start as a sole trader. Where can I find the information about all the legal requirements?
BSH* adviser: On our official website you can find detailed information on licences and permits, insurance, selling goods online, buying goods from abroad or selling goods abroad, storing or using personal information.
Applicant: Great. I’ll check it out.
BSH* adviser: Do you have any other questions?
Applicant: Could you tell me please what responsibilities I’ll have if I take on people to help?
BSH* adviser: There are things you’ll need to do if you take on your own employees. You’ll have more responsibilities, including running payroll, paying for their National Insurance, providing workplace pensions to eligible staff.
Applicant: I see. What should I do next after I decide if I should be self-employed or start a company?
BSH* adviser: First, you check on our website if being self-employed is right for you. Then you choose the name you want to trade under. After that you check what records you’ll need to keep and register for tax. Many of these operations you can do online. You can find the links on our website.
Applicant: Thank you a lot.
BSH* adviser: You are welcome.
BSH* adviser: Goodbye!
* Business Support Helpline ** https://www.gov.uk/set-up-business. Options & requirements depend on a country where you are going to operate. All information on this website is given to practice English only. All legal information should be checked on relevant official websites.