Setting up your FreeAgent account

Here's how to set up your FreeAgent account.

Once your FreeAgent account has been activated there is a small setup process to complete which should only take you a few minutes.

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

When you first activate your FreeAgent account you’ll be taken to a welcome screen. Select “Okay I’m ready, let’s go” to start the setup process.

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1 Company Details

FreeAgent account type

For UK-based businesses you have a choice of four account types: UK Sole Trader, UK Partnership, UK Limited Liability Partnership and UK Limited Company. Make sure you’ve chosen the one that matches your business, because otherwise you won't see the correct tax calculations.

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Address and company number

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, 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.

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2 Accounting Dates

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Company Start Date

'Company Start Date' is the day the business officially started.

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

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

First Accounting Year End Date

‘First Accounting Year End Date’, will be used by FreeAgent to set the year end for future years too.

So if your first accounting year finished on 31st December 2009, FreeAgent will work out your accounts to 31st December 2010, 31st December 2011, etc. and produce reports ending on your first accounting year end date and for each year after that.

For most (but not all) sole trades 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 5th March 2010, your first accounting year end date would be 31st March 2011. 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.

FreeAgent start date

'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.

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. You can also enter these details after you've set up your FreeAgent account.

Not Registered

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

not registered for VAT

Applied for registration

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

VAT registration applied for

Already registered

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

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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.

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

More Information:

4 Bank Account

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 “HSBC 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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Business and personal accounts

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 account for your business, you can tick the box to make this a personal account.

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Learn more about the differences between business and personal accounts.

What’s the opening balance?

The opening balance is the balance as at the start of the day on your FreeAgent start date - which is the end of the previous day. So in this case, I would look at my bank statement as at 31st December 2008 and take the balance as at the end of that day, to put in here.

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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 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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