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Business Link's online record checker at www.businesslink.gov.uk/recordkeepingcheck will tell you which records you need to keep and give you feedback on any improvements you need to make.

"Whether you are a dealer working for yourself or you run a small business employing others, good record-keeping has a number of benefits," said a spokesman.

"For starters, if your records are up-to-date, it makes filling in your tax return easier and could help you avoid paying too much tax. Keeping track of your income and expenses will also help you budget for any tax you owe. And it can also help reduce your accountant's fees, if you use one, as well-organised information saves them time too."

HMRC have also produced a basic factsheet on record-keeping that covers self employment, contracting in the construction industry scheme, partnerships, VAT, employers and limited companies. See www.hmrc.gov.uk/factsheet/record-keeping.pdf