Money Laundering Photo courtesy of TaxRebate.org.uk
There are regulations you need to know if you’re a Virtual Assistant offering Bookkeeping Services
If you’re a Virtual Assistant offering a bookkeeping services without a correct HMRC MLR license, do you realise that you are making your Clients’ insurance null and void?
Yes that’s right. You are not only compromising yourself, with the prospect of hefty fines from HMRC. You are also putting your clients business in jeopardy.
If you are not a member of a recognised professional body, you are required by law to register and pay for MLR registration, even if you are offering the service for free – i.e. if you are the family member or friend of a small business owner. You have to register, even if you’re not a business owner. You can’t just do a favour for that friend, even if it’s not a business, not done for profit, or done for any fee. If help is provided “by way of business” although free of charge. You have to follow correct HMRC MLR procedures.
I would suggest that if you have been offering a bookkeeping services without an MLR license. Or, if you are confused as to whether you need to be registered as an ASP – Accountancy Service Provider. That you call the HMRC help line and hope that you get a sympathetic person to talk you through it, as it is complicated.
As an addition. MLR certification is required even if you are only recording a business’s transactions i.e. Data Entry. The services you provide can be recording, reviewing, analysing, calculating and reporting on financial information for other people.
Give your prospective clients assurance
Above all. Give your prospective clients the assurance that you are a competent person handling their financial affairs. Even if it’s in a data entry capacity.
You are not only doing your clients’ a disservice. You are also harming your own Virtual Assistant business, for the sake of £115 a year. This is based on the premises you include in your application. So, if you are a Virtual Assistant offering the Bookkeeping services from multiple premises, you have to include and pay for all of them.
I offer Bookkeeping as a service and I have current MLR Certification. I did my homework before offering Bookkeeping as a service, I advise you do the same.