Establishing a business ... now that I'm AAT qualified

Good Morning folks

My partner and I are thinking of buying or leasing a shop which is either a fish & chips , post office or a newsagents. I am ideally thinking of having a hands off approach and just do the accounts. I have a few questions which I hope you folks out there would be able to answer:

1. Which business would be the most profitable? We are inclined to go with the fish and chips because we have a family friend who has worked in a chippie for the past 5 years and has 'contacts'.
2. Is it better to buy or lease?
3. My partner and I are thinking of having a hands off approach to this, because we have our 9 to 5 jobs. We are thinking of employing other staff to set up and run the shop. Do you think it is a bit of a risk?
4. Finally, where can I get further advice regarding buying/leasing a shop?

Thanks very much in advance for your responses.


  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    I can't necessarily help you directly as I don't have a vast amount of experience with the above types of businesses. There is a good reason for this though. They are all open to fraudulent accounts as there is so much cash. By advice would be to get 3 years sets of accounts and then 3 years tax returns for any of the businesses. HMRC have been known to target Fish and Chip shops as the turnover on Tax Returns has often not managed those when advertised when selling. Your problem as a buyer, which is the truth!

    With such a cash based business there is a clear risk with staff of cash going missing. Finding good, loyal and trust-worthy staff may be your sticking point, particularly as you will have little involvement. Personally I would consider there are other more viable businesses to start/purchase such as maybe a childrens nursery as it's always in the news about the lack of good quality childcare, you have more skilled staff and it is easier to potentially take a back seat. Again I have no direct experience but my understanding is profit margins can be high when you can work to the peak of your allowed numbers.


  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    Ignore me if you like as I know nothing about running my own business, but why would you set up a business in an area you know nothing about? Surely if it were as easy as just leasing a building and making it up as you go along, we'd all be millionaires by now. Sorry, but it sounds like a recipe for disaster.
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