When should I change from sole trader to limited company?

Many businesses begin life as a sole trader by default: it’s just how many people start out. But when is it time to make the change from sole trader to a limited company? With more personal responsibility on you when it comes to factors such as losses and tax, changing to a limited company structure might be the best option for you and your business.

CO-WORKING SPACES

Limited company formation is a good route for most new businesses. This is because it’s a structure that provides some protection for you as an individual. According to gov.uk, the definition of a private limited company can be understood as something which is a legal entity in its own right and is separate from the people who own it. A limited company is also considered separate from your own personal finances. Owners are given limited liability and are only liable to for debts up to the value of what they have invested.

There are certainly some considerable advantages in changing from sole trader to limited company, and a change of structure could definitely pay off in the long-run. Let’s take a look at why you might want to make the change to sole trader sooner rather than later.

 

Protect your business name

One excellent advantage of forming a limited company is that you can secure the name you’d like for your company. This is particularly handy if you want to create a website, produce business cards or get a logo designed. Protecting that name puts you safely in the knowledge that no one else is going to take it and form a company using a name which is similar – which is really useful if you’d like to grow and become recognised as a brand.

 

Become more tax efficient

The difficult thing about being a sole trader is that you face being taxed on your profits. However, this is only once you earn more than £11,000 a year. After you reach this point you might find yourself paying up to 45% of your overall income if you earn over £150,000. If you change to a limited company setup, however, there are a lot more benefits to be had in terms of paying less in personal taxation. As a limited company, you will be liable to pay corporation tax for any profits that you make. This is currently set at 19% and will decrease to 18% by 2020. Additionally, you can pay yourself separately in dividends, an option you cannot take as a sole trader, allowing you to keep more of your earnings. Learn more about limited company tax in this simple guide.

 

Limit your liability  

Another very important benefit to note is that you will no longer be personally liable for debts that your company might incur. This means you won’t find yourself out of pocket if things go wrong, giving you that extra layer of protection. Remember, the success of your business is not always totally dependant on your efforts. This kind of insulation is not something a sole trader gets to benefit from. This means it is worth bearing in mind when deciding how you want to structure your business operations.

 

Boost your professional status and attract new clients

Generally speaking, having “Ltd” on the end of your company name looks a lot more professional to customers. It shows potential clients that you take yourself and what you do seriously. Being able to call yourself a private limited company gives off a sense of prestige. In every part of your business, it’s important to convey a sense of a sense of confidence in yourself. That, in turn, will make customers confident in you.

 

Take your business to the next level

When you change from sole trader to limited company, the opportunities for growth start to truly emerge. You’ll have a protected business name, added professionalism and more cash for you to keep. This means a limited company structure is undoubtedly going to give you and your business the necessary tools to thrive.

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Upgrade for support and peace of mind

Get up and running with everything you need to start and run your business. Subscribe and let us take care of your on-going filing requirements.

Starter

£29.99

+VAT

PER YEAR

RRP £220, SAVE 86%

Limited company

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TFC hub access

Business phone number

Business bank account

Tax and accounting

Digital docs

Confirmation statement

Dissolution Service

Company Filling Edits

Dormant Returns

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A recuring yearly payment that includes access all the services contained in the Pro bundle. Payment will automtically be taken on the day of initial purchase every year.

Limited Company documents

Certificate of Incorporation:

The certificate provides confirmation that your company has been incorporated under the Companies Act 2006.

Memorandum and Articles of Association:

The Memorandum of Association is a written legal agreement signed by all initial shareholders of a company, agreeing to form the company. Articles of Association are the written rules which define how the company will be run. These rules are agreed on and signed by the company director, shareholders and secretary.

Share certificates:

If a company is limited by shares, a Shareholder Certificate is sent out at the time of incorporation or just after incorporation. The certificate includes information such as the company’s registered address, plus the names and addresses of the shareholders.

Company must haves

Business Bank Account:

It’s a legal requirement to have a business bank account as a limited company. We’ve handpicked a range of different types of business bank accounts to suit all types of business. You can even get £50 cashback when you open a Barclays business bank account!

Bookkeeping software:

Bookkeeping software is essential for a new limited company as it's a legal requirement to keep financial records of the company. It can also save you a lot of time and money, even if you’re not ready to trade yet!

Business phone number:

Every business needs a new phone number and bOnline is here to make it clear and simple. You’ll get a new phone number with unlimited calls free for 90-days and only £9 per month, thereafter, so you can keep your business and personal numbers separate.

Hub business manager:

You can manage your business from your Hub business manager. Access invoices, company details and any additional services you might need, including bank accounts, insurance, websites and much more!

Lifetime customer support:

When you form your limited company with us, you'll get lifetime support from your very own TFC Support Agent, who will be on hand to help and support your limited company.

First board meeting minutes:

Even if you’re both a shareholder and director of your company, you’ll still need to hold an initial board meeting. It’s a legal requirement that if requested, you can provide the first board meeting minutes, as it is proof that a company director was formally appointed. At The Formations Company, we’ll provide you with a template to easily fill out your minutes.

Company must haves

Business Bank Account:

It’s a legal requirement to have a business bank account as a limited company. We’ve handpicked a range of different types of business bank accounts to suit all types of business. You can even get £50 cashback when you open a Barclays business bank account!

Bookkeeping software:

Bookkeeping software is essential for a new limited company as it's a legal requirement to keep financial records of the company. It can also save you a lot of time and money, even if you’re not ready to trade yet!

Business phone number:

Every business needs a new phone number and bOnline is here to make it clear and simple. You’ll get a new phone number with unlimited calls free for 90-days and only £9 per month, thereafter, so you can keep your business and personal numbers separate.

Hub business manager:

You can manage your business from your Hub business manager. Access invoices, company details and any additional services you might need, including bank accounts, insurance, websites and much more!

Lifetime customer support:

When you form your limited company with us, you'll get lifetime support from your very own TFC Support Agent, who will be on hand to help and support your limited company.

Registered agent

Included with this bundle

A 3 in 1 service that protects your privacy, all other directors privacy and includes our mail forwarding service.

Registered office address:

On the public register, use our address as the business’s registered office address

Service address:

On the public register, use our address as all the directors service address

Mail forwarding:

Quick and efficient mail forwarding and junk mail filtering. No additional handling or postage fees.

Registered agent

Free for 3 months with this bundle

A 3 in 1 service that protects your privacy, all other directors privacy and includes our mail forwarding service.

Registered office address:

On the public register, use our address as the business’s registered office address

Service address:

On the public register, use our address as all the directors service address

Mail forwarding:

Quick and efficient mail forwarding and junk mail filtering. No additional handling or postage fees.

Registered agent

Free for 12 months with this bundle

A 3 in 1 service that protects your privacy, all other directors privacy and includes our mail forwarding service.

Registered office address:

On the public register, use our address as the business’s registered office address

Service address:

On the public register, use our address as all the directors service address

Mail forwarding:

Quick and efficient mail forwarding and junk mail filtering. No additional handling or postage fees.

Registered agent

A 3 in 1 service that protects your privacy, all other directors privacy and includes our mail forwarding service.

Registered office address:

On the public register, use our address as the business’s registered office address

Service address:

On the public register, use our address as all the directors service address

Mail forwarding:

Quick and efficient mail forwarding and junk mail filtering. No additional handling or postage fees.

Digital scan and send

We'll digitally scan all your mail, then email you a copy, making sure you get it ASAP.

Company admin

Our experts will take care of all the complicated companies house fillings you might need:

Confirmation Statement:

A confirmation statement is a snapshot of all the information about the company directors to make sure that Companies House's records are up to date. It's a legal requirement for limited companies to file a confirmation statement at least once every 12 months.

Dissolution service:

If you decide to close your limited company, you'll have to let Companies House know. There are several different ways of doing this depending on the circumstances of why you're closing your limited company.

Our experts will take care and take the necessary course of action with Companies House, should you need it.

Dormant returns

If you’re company has no ‘significant’ transactions in the financial year, it’s classed as dormant. In this case, we’ll file a Company Tax Return to show HMRC that your company is dormant so you don’t have to.

Company filling edits

At some point in your business's lifetime you'll need to make changes, be it changing a directors details, removing/adding a shareholder, a change of address or even changing the company name.

Company admin

Our experts will take care of all the complicated companies house fillings you might need:

Confirmation Statement:

A confirmation statement is a snapshot of all the information about the company directors to make sure that Companies House's records are up to date. It's a legal requirement for limited companies to file a confirmation statement at least once every 12 months.

All bundle add-ons

Crunch - Limited Company Pro

Crunch combine market-leading online accounting software with a team of expert accountants and client managers to create the UK’s greatest self-employed accounting solution.

PAYE Registration

Many business owners decide to pay themselves a wage below the tax threshold via PAYE. Make sure you are registered correctly by letting us handle this for you.

VAT, PAYE & MTD Registration

We'll take care of registering your business for VAT, PAYE and MTD. leave the complicated admin work to us and focus on your getting your limited company up and running.

VAT Registration

Crunch combine market-leading online accounting software with a team of expert accountants and client managers to create the UK’s greatest self-employed accounting solution.

Check & Send Service

Before your application is submitted to Companies House, be sure it is 100% complete and correct. One in ten applications are rejected the first time around, resulting in longer wait times.

International ID Check

If your residential address is not in the UK, we will need to run an international ID check to verify your details.

Fraud Protection Service

Protect your company from fraud by preventing changes being submitted via paper forms and secure your account with added notifications if anything changes.

PSC Online Register

By law all UK Ltd companies must have a 'Persons of significant control' register. Our online register is a simple and cost effective way to safeguard you and your business.

PSC Online & Printed Register and Minutes

By law all UK Ltd companies must have a 'Persons of significant control' register. Not only will you get an online register, but you£ll also get a printed version of it and minutes.

All bundle add-ons

Crunch - Limited Company Pro

Crunch combine market-leading online accounting software with a team of expert accountants and client managers to create the UK’s greatest self-employed accounting solution.

Registered Agent Monthly and Yearly

3 in 1 service that protects all directors, shareholders, PSC's and your personal address details. All your mail will be sent our London office address where we will filter out the junk and swiftly forward all important correspondence.

PAYE Registration

Many business owners decide to pay themselves a wage below the tax threshold via PAYE. Make sure you are registered correctly by letting us handle this for you.

VAT, PAYE & MTD Registration

We'll take care of registering your business for VAT, PAYE and MTD. leave the complicated admin work to us and focus on your getting your limited company up and running.

VAT Registration

Crunch combine market-leading online accounting software with a team of expert accountants and client managers to create the UK’s greatest self-employed accounting solution.

Check & Send Service

Before your application is submitted to Companies House, be sure it is 100% complete and correct. One in ten applications are rejected the first time around, resulting in longer wait times.

International ID Check

If your residential address is not in the UK, we will need to run an international ID check to verify your details.

Fraud Protection Service

Protect your company from fraud by preventing changes being submitted via paper forms and secure your account with added notifications if anything changes.

PSC Online Register

By law all UK Ltd companies must have a 'Persons of significant control' register. Our online register is a simple and cost effective way to safeguard you and your business.

PSC Online & Printed Register and Minutes

By law all UK Ltd companies must have a 'Persons of significant control' register. Not only will you get an online register, but you£ll also get a printed version of it and minutes.

Knowledge hub

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The Formations Company and Companies House

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What is a Private Limited Company?

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How long does it take to register a new company?

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When should I change from sole trader to limited company?

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Limited Company Vs Sole Trader: Advantages and Disadvantages

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Setting up a limited company for contracting

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