WHAT IS A SOLE TRADER?
A sole trader (often referred to as self-employment) is a simple business structure for small businesses. The person running the business owns the assets and earns the profit; they are personally responsible for any liabilities of the business including the consequences of unexpected events and downturns in the business. They must maintain financial records for the business and pay tax on the profit.
Subcontractors in the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) also count as sole traders. They too must submit tax returns. Aside from avoiding HMRC’s penalty charges, if your earnings before CIS deductions are lower than £25,000, you will likely be due tax rebates.
THE ADVANTAGES OF BEING A SOLE TRADER
Be your own boss
- As a sole trader, you have a lot more freedom over your approach to the business and the direction you wanted it to take than as an employee
- You would not have to deal with the frustrations of conventional employment anymore
Keep all the profits
- After tax, the profits made by your business are yours. You do not need to share the profits with the business or its shareholders, as you would as an employee.
Easy to start
- To register as a sole trader all you need to do is inform HMRC and register as self-employed if you have earned more than £1000 from 6th April to 5th April of the following year.
Easy to end
- If you decide to stop operating as a sole trader, there is no requirement to formally close down the business apart from informing HMRC.
Low start-up costs
- It is free to register with HMRC. If you were to set up a limited company, you would have to pay Companies House.
- Setting up as a sole trader is free.
- Limited companies have to share details of the business and its accounts with Companies House. Companies House make these details available to public scrutiny; your competitors can see how your business is performing.
- There is no such requirement for sole traders.
- This means you may keep your business more private.
Easy to upgrade the structure
- If your sole trader business is very successful and needs to expand, it is easy to change the structure to a partnership or limited company.
- As profits increase, there comes a point where a limited company is more tax-efficient
- It is harder to change a limited company into a sole trader, meaning that starting as a sole trader is a good place to begin.
HOW CAN ASTON BLACK HELP?
- Prepare annual (or more frequent) accounts.
- Help you minimise your tax bill. We will make sure you are claiming all legitimate expenses and allowances.
- Calculate tax correctly. Since HMRC can impose penalties for incorrect returns, we will make sure you are avoiding mistakes.
- Remind you when your returns are due.
- Act as a liaison between you and HMRC to ensure you are being treated fairly.
- Ensure you are complying with the ever-changing requirements imposed by HMRC.
- Create business plans to help you grow.
Help you gain mortgages and loans through providing the evidence you need.
Get in touch for a free consultation on how we can support your business.