With his wife Dagmar, Thomas Smit runs Elegantes London, a luxury perfume business.
The entrepreneur has a strong background in business having worked on the IPO for The Body Shop in the 1980s. Dagmar and Thomas also set up luxury hotels in Prague and Dubai.
How did you end up starting Elegantes London?
“I've been doing corporate finance for almost 14 years which has given me lots of insights into different industries including the retail and beauty sectors.
“My wife had a large collection of perfumes and she said she would like to create her own. In the hotel we provided amenities such as shower gel, so we decided to come up with our own collection of perfumes.
“The first question to answer about the new business was who would buy our perfume?
“I carried out a lot of research and wrote a 34-page brief which was based on the personality types of our target customers. Running our hotel, we learnt a lot about the characteristics and personality types of the people who visited, including film stars, actors, politicians and the then Prince Charles. We used the brief to find our perfumer, Julian Rasquinet.
How did you end up using the services of TaxAssist?
“I met the partner of a City of London accounting firm at a charity event and I kept his business card. When we relocated to London from Dubai and needed an accountant, I remembered him. He was a nice guy but it turned out he had no interest in our business which proved to be a problem.
“His firm didn’t do their job properly and we ended up with penalties from Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs. It was a mess and we were paying them a fortune.
“It needed to be fixed so I looked for local accountants so set up a meeting with TaxAssist Accountants.”
How has TaxAssist helped your business?
“When we first got in touch with TaxAssist, we needed to act quickly. The end of the tax year was approaching and the penalties were mounting.
“From that first meeting, everything was so fast. They essentially had to start from scratch. They had to bring the bookkeeping up-to-date, look at the tax filing and deal with Companies House and HMRC.
“I can’t give more credit to TaxAssist in terms of service. They are so professional. The transition was smooth without any delays or hassles. There’s never a problem, always a solution and lots of good advice.
What advice do you have for fellow business owners?
“My advice to any other entrepreneur out there is to get an accountant. Tax filing is a pain so why should you spend your time focusing on tax issues when somebody else can do that for you and you can focus on your business?
“Find people who understand your passion, your drive, your integrity and your purpose.”
Date published 18 Sep 2023 | Last updated 19 Sep 2023
Choose the right accounting firm for you
Running your own business can be challenging so why not let TaxAssist Accountants manage your tax, accounting, bookkeeping and payroll needs? If you are not receiving the service you deserve from your accountant, then perhaps it’s time to make the switch?
We specialise in supporting independent businesses and work with 80,684 clients. Each TaxAssist Accountant runs their own business, and are passionate about supporting you.
We enjoy talking to business owners and self-employed professionals who are looking to get the most out of their accountant. You can visit us at any of our 409 locations, meet with us online through video call software, or talk to us by telephone.
Changing accountants is easier than you might think. There are no tax implications and you can switch at any time in the year and our team will guide you through the process for a smooth transition.