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How to register a business in the UK

How to register your company header image by Christina Morillo

Registering your business is the first step in turning your new venture into a reality. It means you can start marketing yourself as a business and presenting yourself to clients as a legitimate person or organisation to trade with.

But before you complete any official paperwork or online application, there is a big decision to be made: what type of business are you going to register as?

There are many company formation types as well as several different ways to register your business name. The right structure for you will depend on how you want to run your business and where you want to take it in the future.

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In this post, we’ll explore each company formation option – sole trader, limited company and business partnerships – look at the pros and cons of each and show you how to register your business in the structure that’s right for you.

Let’s get into it.

Table of contents

  1. Registering as a sole trader
  2. Registering a limited company
  3. Registering a business partnership
  4. Wrapping up

Registering as a sole trader

What is a sole trader?

Setting up as a sole trader is the simplest way to register your business. The registration process is straightforward and start-up costs are low. Once registered, paperwork and accounting are uncomplicated as there are no other stakeholders to consider. And, you get to be in charge of your own fortunes.

Registering as a sole trader is also the most common way to start a business in the UK. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, 59% of the UK private sector is made up of sole proprietorships. These operate in industries as wide-ranging as marketing, construction, hair and beauty, real-estate, ecommerce, retail, hospitality, photography and the wedding industry.

Quick Tip: Becoming an entrepreneur is an incredibly exciting endeavour. If you’re ready to get started, the best jump-off point is to identify the problem that you want to solve for your future customers. To learn more about how to choose the right business idea and ultimately launch a successful business, read our free guide on how to start a business in the UK.

The pros and cons of registering as a sole trader

Pros

  • You’re in control: As a sole trader, you’re the boss. There are no stakeholders or directors to answer to and how the company moves forward is completely down to you. You make the decisions and you implement them in the way you feel is best.
  • Low running costs: The cost of setting up as a sole trader is low and only a small amount of capital is needed to get up and running (e.g. money for goods, a website and marketing). Sole traders also tend to operate alone or with only a few employees, which keeps the wage bill low and maximises profit.
  • Business privacy: Unlike limited companies which are required to make personal and business information public, sole traders get to keep details private so that accounts don’t come under public scrutiny.
  • Simple set-up process: When compared to the requirements, red tape and paperwork involved in setting up a limited company or limited liability partnership, getting started as a sole trader is a breeze. The only legal requirement for getting started as a sole trader is registering for Self Assessment. You can register for Self Assessment with HMRC on the GOV.UK website or by completing an SA1 form.   
  • It’s easier to change your mind: Becoming a sole trader lets you dip your toe into the world of self-employment without much risk. If it doesn’t work out as a sole trader, you can easily move back into employment by informing HMRC that you’re no longer trading. With a limited company or limited liability partnership, dissolving is a lengthy, more formal process that involves informing bankers, insurers and advisers, as well as dealing with assets and payments to creditors.

Cons

  • You’re liable for your business: Sole traders are not seen as a separate entity by law and have unlimited liability as a result. This means that you and your personal assets are liable for business debts.
  • Finance may be harder to come by: Where limited companies can borrow based on the creditworthiness of the company, sole traders need to make personal guarantees when borrowing. Therefore, you’ll need to maintain a positive credit rating. This can make securing funds more difficult.
  • Decisions are on you: One of the biggest benefits of being a sole trader can also be one of its biggest drawbacks. The success or failure of your business is on you. If you have employees, there’s added pressure as making the correct decisions affects their future as well as yours. This responsibility can bring unwanted stress.

Note: Separating your business and personal accounts makes managing your finances as a sole trader far easier and worry-free. While it’s not required, it’s recommended that once you register your business you set up a separate business current account.

How to register as a sole trader

By registering as a sole trader, you are essentially telling HMRC that you are becoming self-employed. This makes the process relatively straightforward and uncomplicated compared to the other company formation types.

As mentioned above, to set up as a sole trader you need to register for Self Assessment with HMRC and file a tax return every year. Tax returns can be filed by you or your accountant.

Quick Tip: As a small business, tracking and managing business finances for the first time can feel overwhelming. To make it easier for you, we’ve drafted 3 top tips to get started on small business accounting.

You’ll need to register by 5 October in the second tax year after you started trading if you:

  • Earned more than £1000 from self-employment in the previous tax year
  • Want to make voluntary Class 2 National Insurance payments
  • Need proof of self-employment for claiming certain benefits or tax-free childcare

There is no charge for registering.

What you’ll need to complete the registration

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Name, address and contact details
  • A name and details for your business (start date of trading, trading activities and business address. If you are working from home, you can use your home address as your business address.)

Choosing a name for your business

You can trade under your own name or choose another name that represents what you do. Your business name does not need to be registered but if you do choose one, you must include it on all official paperwork.

According to HMRC, sole trader business names must not:

  • Include ‘limited’, ‘Ltd’, ‘limited liability partnership’, ‘LLP’, ‘public limited company’ or ‘plc’
  • Be offensive
  • Be the same as an existing trademark—use HMRCs trademark search tool to confirm
  • Include a sensitive word or expression
  • Suggest a connection with government or local authority unless you have permission

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Your responsibilities as a sole trader 

Once you have completed the registration for Self Assessment, you’ll receive a Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number from HMRC (usually around 10 days after registration is completed). This is the only proof you’ll get that you are now self-employed. It’s also notice of your new responsibilities as a sole trader, which are to:

  • Keep records of your business’s sales and expenses
  • Complete a Self Assessment tax return every year
  • Pay income tax on profits
  • Pay Class 2 or Class 4 National Insurance contributions. Class 2 is paid on profits of £6,365 or more a year. Class 4 is paid on profits of £8,632 or more a year.

Note: No matter how capable you are, filing taxes for the first time as a sole proprietor is a comprehensive endeavour. To learn more about which tax types apply to your company as a sole trader and how to pay them, head over to our simple guide to small business tax.

Frequently asked questions

How much can I earn before paying tax?

Currently, sole traders have a personal allowance of £11,850 a year.

If you earn less than that, you won’t need to pay tax. If you earn more than that, but less than £45,000 a year, tax is charged at a rate of 20%. If you earn between £45,001 and £150,000 a year, the tax rate is 40%. Anything over £150,000 is taxed at a rate of 45%.

When do I need to file a tax return?

Tax returns can be completed on paper or online. Paper tax returns must be received by HMRC by 31 October following the end of the tax year. Online tax returns must be received by 31 January following the end of the tax year. The tax year runs from 6 April one year to 5 April the next.

Do I need to pay VAT?

You’ll need to register for VAT if your turnover is over £85,000. You can also register for VAT voluntarily if it suits your business. For example, if you offer a service to other VAT registered businesses and want to claim back the VAT.

How much National Insurance do I pay?

Depending on your profits, you’ll pay either Class 2 or Class 4 National Insurance.

Class 2 is paid on profits of £6,365 or more a year. Class 4 is paid on profits of £8,632 or more a year.

  • The current rate of Class 2 NI is £3 a week.
  • The current rate of Class 4 NI is 9% on profits between £8,632 and £50,000 and 2% on profits over £50,000.

Can I employ people as a sole trader?

Registering as a sole trader doesn’t mean you’re confined to forever working solo. You’re free to employ as many people as you like, but these employees cannot become partners, shareholders or directors. In other words, you remain 100% the owner.

It is certainly possible to be a sole trader and grow your business into one with multiple staff. A great example of this is Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.

After registering as a sole trader in 1982, Mike Ashley’s business grew into an empire of over 100 stores and thousands of staff before he turned it into a limited company in 1999.

Is it easy to turn my sole proprietorship into a limited company?

There are many reasons why you may want to change your registered business structure. As you grow, the act of sharing the liability for your business, having greater borrowing power, a more efficient tax structure and more credibility with clients may fall in line with your needs. We’ll discuss these benefits, as well as any drawbacks, in detail below.

If you do decide to move forward, it’s a relatively easy process to make the change. You’ll need to notify HMRC that your structure has changed, choose a name for your company, set up a business current account and speak with an accountant to discuss your new responsibilities and options.

Registering a limited company

What is a limited company?

A limited company is a type of business where the company has a legal identity of its own, separate from its owners and directors. The company, rather than the company director(s) enters into contracts and acquires debt.

So, unlike sole trading in which you are your business, a limited company is its own instrument with its own assets. Therefore, if you were to run into financial trouble, you wouldn’t have to sell personal assets to pay the debt.

This legal separation means that any money earned by the company belongs to the company.

For example, let’s say you set up your own marketing business and registered it as a limited company called Marvellous Marketing Ltd. In this company, you are the sole director and shareholder.

When your client pays their invoice, this money belongs to the company. Marvellous Marketing Ltd can then pay you a salary as the director or, if you have enough profits, dividends as a shareholder. Marvellous Marketing Ltd can also pay you back for any business costs you’ve paid for personally, such as travel and hotel costs for client meetings, for example.

In essence, you are authorising payments from your company to yourself, adding an extra step between receiving money to your business and transferring it to your personal account for salary earnings.

Apart from those costs, any other money taken from the Marvellous Marketing Ltd bank account may be subject to extra tax.

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The pros and cons of registering as a limited company

Pros

  • Separate identity: Registering your business as a limited company gives you limited liability protection, which means personal assets can’t be seized to pay debts unless you’ve given a personal guarantee to a creditor. It also means that the company can survive beyond the ownership of the original directors or shareholders, allowing it to be transferred or sold without disruption to clients or employees.
  • Legal ownership of your business name: A company name has to be unique. No two companies in the UK can have the same name or names that are very similar, and no other business can register the name you’ve chosen. As a sole trader, unless you’ve registered your company name, you won’t be afforded this same level of protection.
  • Greater options for investment: As a company, it’s possible to raise capital by selling shares in your business to new investors, and there is no limit on the number of shareholders you can have. This can give you access to funds to grow your business that sole traders can never have.
  • Greater trust and credibility: Registering as a company gives your business professional status and paints a picture of credibility that can be attractive to clients. What’s more, some clients – large corporations and companies in the financial sector in particular – prefer to work with limited companies. Due to the level of risk in the contracts that they award, the fact that limited companies are subject to more rigorous reporting and monitoring in their business means that some clients will only work with other incorporated businesses.
  • Tax efficiency: As a limited company, you’ll pay 19% corporation tax, as opposed to the 20-45% tax paid on profits as a sole trader. You’ll also have more flexibility in how you can manage finances for tax purposes.

  1. Rather than withdrawing all of your profits and paying more personal tax on top of Corporation tax each year, you can leave surplus income in the company for running costs. This will allow you to pay less tax while having money available when the business needs capital.
  2. The withdrawal of profits can be deferred to a later tax year. This strategy can work well if taking out all profits would mean paying a higher rate of income or dividend tax.

  • The potential for more take-home pay: As a company, you’re able to pay yourself in a combination of salary and dividends. If your salary is below the lower profits limit, your income tax will be lower and Class 4 National Insurance can be avoided. If the dividends that make up the rest of your income are paid from post-corporation tax profits, you won’t have to pay personal tax on the first £2,000 in a single tax year. If they’re above that, the dividend tax to be paid is still likely to be lower than income tax rates.

Cons

  • More paperwork: Where sole traders are only required to complete an annual Self-Assessment tax return, limited companies must file their accounts, an annual return and a corporation tax return. On top of that, as the director, you’ll also need to complete a personal tax return. If you’re not using an accountant, the time it takes to prepare and file paperwork can be a drain on your business.
  • Tax and accounting can be more complicated: Limited companies must file accounts with Companies House within nine months of the company’s year-end. These accounts include some or all of:

  • Profit and loss
    • Director and auditor reports
    • Balance sheets
    • Notes to the account giving further details on profits, cash flow, sales, assets and liabilities.

Filing these accounts may (if you’re using an accountant) mean paying admin costs and accounting fees.

  • Less privacy: When you register as a limited company your company accounts and confirmation statement are made public. Your office address will also be in the public domain. However, it is possible to use your accountant’s office or a token address if you work from home. With Tide, you benefit from numerous membership perks, including a 30% discount off of your purchase for a virtual office address that you can use for your limited company to maintain privacy.
  • Restrictions on moving money: As we mentioned earlier, all the money in a limited company belongs to the company, which means you must adhere to strict practices regarding payments to yourself and other members of staff. Money can only be withdrawn as a director’s salary, expenses and benefits, dividends or a director’s loan and all withdrawals must be recorded and accounted for.

Note: Managing your finances as a limited company is far more complex than as a sole trader. It’s important to understand the methods of accounting, the three main financial statements and how accounting software works. Even if you become an expert, it may be useful to hire an accountant or bookkeeper to guide you through complex topics and help you with filing taxes. Learn about all of your options in our complete guide to accounting for startups.

How to register a business as a limited company

To register your business as a limited company, you need to set up with Companies House. This can be done online on the GOV.UK website or via post by completing an INO1 form.

Registration can also be carried out through an agent such as your accountant or with a third-party software platform. You can find a list of software that has been authorised by Companies House here.  

Quick Tip: Fast and easy – Register your business with Tide! We are a Companies House approved formation agent which means that you can conveniently register a limited company, open a business current account and get your certificate of incorporation, all in one go, for free, in a matter of hours. If you’re ready to save time and money and enjoy all of your business account needs in one app, register your company with Tide today. 🎉

Cost of registering a company

The cost of registering your company and how long the process takes depends on the method of registration.

  • Registering yourself online costs £12 and set up takes around 24 hours
  • Registering yourself by post costs £40 and set up takes 8-10 days
  • If you need to register on the same day, you must complete registration by 3pm and pay a fee of £100
  • Prices for third-party agents and software vary depending on the provider
  • Registering your business with Tide is completely free as we pay the £12 set up fee for you

What you’ll need to complete the registration

To set up as a limited company with Companies House, you’ll need:

  • A company name and address (with Tide you can get a 30% discount on a virtual business address as part of our perks program)
  • At least one director (including their name, address and date of birth)
  • A least one shareholder (the shareholder and director can be the same person)
  • A company memorandum and articles of association (documents that spell out how your company will run, signed by all directors, shareholders and the company secretary if you have one. A company secretary is not a legal requirement, but they can be used to take on a director’s responsibilities such as reporting changes to Companies House and HMRC, registering for VAT and corporation tax, monitoring finances and preparing reports. It should be noted, though, that even with a secretary, directors are legally responsible for the company.)
  • A statement of capital and initial shareholdings. This is a snapshot of your company’s share capital at a certain date. It needs to show the total number of shares in your company, the aggregate nominal value of the company’s shares (this can be calculated by multiplying the number of shares by the nominal value of each share), the total amount unpaid on the company’s shares and details on each class or share including name, attached rights, total number and aggregate nominal value of shares in a class. 
  • A statement of compliance or guarantee (if you’re registering a non-profit company). The statement of compliance is not a written statement, rather a collection of authorisation signatures from each of your company subscribers. Each shareholder (or guarantor for companies limited by guarantee) must enter their signature. 

Choosing a name for your company

Your company name must end in ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ or the Welsh equivalents ‘Cyfyngedig’ or ‘Cyf’ if your company is registered in Wales.

It needs to be original too. If your name is the same or too similar to another name, you may have to change it.

To use GOV.UK’s examples:

  • ‘Hands UK Ltd’ and ‘Hand’s Ltd’ are the same as ‘Hands Ltd’.
  • ‘Easy Electrics For You Ltd’ is too similar to ‘EZ Electrix 4U Ltd’

Companies House also states that names cannot contain any sensitive words or expressions, cannot be offensive, and cannot suggest a connection to government or a local authority without permission.

Something to keep in mind is that you don’t have to trade under your company name. You can choose one name as your registered name and another to trade under. For example, Asda Stores Ltd trades in the UK as Asda.

As with a sole trading business name, a trade name cannot:

  • Include ‘limited’, ‘Ltd’, ‘limited liability partnership, ‘LLP’, ‘public limited company’ or ‘plc’
  • Contain a ‘sensitive’ word or expression unless you get permission

Once you’ve chosen a business name and completed the application, make sure to check all details carefully before submitting it. Any information that needs to be changed at a later date may incur a charge.

Frequently asked questions

Who can register a limited company?

A limited company can be formed by one or more people by signing their name on a memorandum of association. This is their agreement to form the company. A ‘person’ includes individuals and companies.

How many types of limited companies are there?

There are several different kinds of limited companies that can be set up in the UK. These include:

  • Private limited company – limited by shares (Ltd.): This the most popular kind of limited company. With this kind of company, the public isn’t able to buy shares in the business and shareholders are only responsible for their percentage of investment. So if a shareholder invests 40% of the cost of the business, they are responsible for 40% of the company.
  • Private limited company – limited by guarantee (LBG): A company limited by guarantee does not have any shareholders. Instead, it is owned by guarantors who pay a set amount towards company debts. The most common examples of limited by guarantee companies are non-profits such as workers co-operatives, membership organisations and sports clubs whose owners want to benefit from limited financial liability.
  • Public limited company (PLC): This is similar to a private limited company, except that shares are offered to members of the public. Taking a company public requires at least two directors and shareholders, a company secretary and a minimum of £50,000 of issued share capital.
  • Private unlimited company: This kind of company formation is rarely used. With a private unlimited company, all shareholders are responsible for business liabilities and are required to share the debt. Companies do not need to submit annual returns or financial statements in the way that other companies do, which allows them to remain private.

Can anyone be a company director?

No. Anyone who is under the age of 16, has been disqualified from acting as a company director, or is an undischarged bankrupt cannot be appointed as a director. These, however, are the only restrictions.

Do I have to have ‘limited’ in my company name?

Limited or Ltd must be added to the end of your company name unless you have registered as a private company limited by guarantee.

Do I need to register for VAT?

If your turnover reaches £85,000 or you expect sales to be greater than that total in a year, you’ll need to register for VAT with HMRC.

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Registering a business partnership

What are business partnerships?

A business partnership is two or more people working together. But how your business operates depends on which of the three kinds of partnership structures you choose:

  • ‘Ordinary’ partnership: Similar to a sole trader set-up and a flexible way for two people to run a business together. The partnership must be registered for Self-Assessment with HMRC but must dissolve if one partner leaves.  
  • Limited partnership: A combination of ordinary and limited partners (i.e a sole trader and limited company). Limited partnerships must register with Companies House but usually aren’t required to make an annual return or file accounts as a partnership. Limited partners are only liable for the money they’ve personally invested and the guarantees they’ve given to raise capital for the partnership.
  • Limited liability partnership (LLP): Similar to a limited company, where members have limited liability. LLPs are taxed as a partnership but must follow the same processes as limited companies including registering with Companies House, sending an annual return and filing accounts. 

Each option is different in terms of registering and running the business but they do share some commonalities, including:

  • Each partner shares the responsibilities, cost and risk of running a business
  • Partners can be ‘sleeping’ partners who provide investment but don’t get involved with the day-to-day running of the business
  • Profits and gains are shared between partners
  • Each partner must register for Self-Assessment and complete a tax return
  • Partners are responsible for paying their own tax and National Insurance on their share of profits and gains
  • One partner must complete a partnership return
  • Partners must keep income and expense records
  • Partners must use their own assets to raise capital for the business

The pros and cons of registering as a business partnership

Pros

  • Shared responsibility: Everything in a partnership is shared, which means the workload is reduced and tasks can be assigned based on the strengths of each partner. You also get access to skills and knowledge you may not personally have.
  • Flexibility: Partnerships give you the versatility to change legal rights, responsibilities and shared profit ratios as you like.
  • No corporation tax: If you’re setting up as an LLP, you won’t be taxed as a corporation and therefore won’t be subject to corporation tax. Instead, each partner is taxed through self-assessment.
  • Limited liability: For LLPs, the partnership is a separate legal entity to the members, meaning partners’ personal assets are protected from the liabilities of the business.
  • Your (LLP) business name is protected: If you register as an LLP with Companies House, no other business will be able to register the same name or a similar name. You won’t, however, be afforded this same protection when setting up as an ordinary partnership. If you’re coming together as two sole traders you might want to consider registering your business name.

Cons

  • Tax can be costly: Partners are taxed on their share of the income from a partnership at a rate of 20-45%. This method of paying tax isn’t as efficient as the way tax can be paid as a limited company and might impact your take-home pay.
  • Less privacy for LLPs: Like limited companies, LLPs must submit accounts and details on partners to Companies House, which puts them on public record. If you’d rather keep this information private, an ordinary partnership may be a better option.
  • Minimum membership: Partnerships must have a minimum of two members at all times. If one member leaves, the partnership will face dissolution.
  • No retaining of profits: Unlike limited companies, partnerships can’t retain or defer profits for the following year. Therefore, all post-tax profits have to be distributed, which means investing personal finances back into the business for growth and running costs is a requirement.

How to register an ‘ordinary’ business partnership

To set-up as a basic partnership, a nominated partner needs to register for Self Assessment by 5 October in your business’s second tax year.

You can register for free via the GOV.UK website or by completing an SA400 form.

What you’ll need to complete the registration

  • A name and address for your partnership (when choosing a name, follow the rules for sole trading business names)
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Name, address and contact details of the nominated partner

Only the nominated partner needs to register the partnership for Self Assessment. Other partners need to register for Self Assessment separately. This can be done on the GOV.UK website

How to register a limited partnership

To set-up a limited partnership, you need to register with Companies House. This can be done by completing an LP5 form.

Cost of registering a limited partnership

The standard fee for registering a limited partnership is £20. This can be paid by cheque or postal order and included with the LP5 form.

If you need to get your partnership registered quickly, you can use the same day service by including a cheque or postal order for £100 with the LP5 form. You’ll need to make sure your application arrives before 3pm, Monday to Friday and write ‘same-day registration’ on the envelope for it to go through the next working day.

What you’ll need to complete the registration

  • A name and registered address for your business (when choosing a name, follow the rules for naming a limited company)
  • Full names of each appointed general and limited partners. These can be any individual or legal body, but one person cannot be both a general and limited partner at the same time. General partners are liable for all debts and obligations of the partnership, whereas limited partners are only liable for the debts or obligations they put into the business. Limited partners are protected from additional debts but cannot manage or control the business, take out their contribution to the partnership while it exists or make any binding decisions.
  • The nature of the business
  • A statement that the partnership is limited and a description of each limited partner
  • Details on the amount that each limited partner is contributing and the form that contribution will take

Once you’ve registered with Companies House, HMRC will set up the right tax record for the partnership. Each partner will then need to register individually for Self Assessment.

How to register a limited liability partnership (LLP)

Registering as a limited liability partnership has a different set of rules and requirements than other types of partnerships.

A minimum of two people is needed to form an LLP, with two members classed as ‘designated members’.

Designated members are responsible for:

  • Registering the LLP
  • Finding and appointing an auditor
  • Preparing, signing and delivering accounts to Companies House on behalf of members
  • Preparing, signing and delivering the annual return to Companies House
  • Notifying Companies House of changes to registered or alternative addresses, member details or registered name
  • Acting on behalf of the LLP if it is wound up or dissolved

You should also put an LLP agreement in place that sets out:

  • How profits are shared among partners
  • Who needs to agree on decisions
  • The responsibilities of partners
  • How partners can leave or join the LLP

While you can write your own agreement, the importance of the document means it’s worth getting help from a solicitor.

Designated members can register an LLP by completing an LL IN01 form. Alternatively, registration can be completed using third-party software or an agent.

The cost of registering an LLP

The cost of incorporating an LLP depends on the method you use:

  • Registering via the LL N01 form costs £40, payable by cheque or postal order
  • Registering using software costs £10
  • Same day incorporation costs£30 using the softwareor£100 via the LL N01 form, payable by cheque or postal order

Companies House also charges fees for any changes to your LLP. A full list of these fees is available on the GOV.UK website.

What the designated member will need to complete the registration

  • A name for the partnership
  • A registered address
  • Details of members (name, address, date of birth, information on control)

Once Companies House has processed the application, all partners will need to register for Self-Assessment individually.

Frequently asked questions

Will we need to register for VAT?

If your turnover reaches £85,000 or you expect sales to be greater than that in a year, you’ll need to register for VAT with HMRC. In an LLP, this is the responsibility of a designated member.

Can a partnership be more than two people?

Yes. There is no upper limit on how many members a partnership can have. However, it should always have a minimum of two people.

Who can be a partner?

Partnerships can be formed by both individuals and companies. In this sense, a company counts as a ‘legal person’ but liability will lie with the company and not any person within the company.

How does a partnership differ from a joint venture?

A joint venture is usually limited in scope or time. For example, two people might work together on a project and share the costs involved in the project. But at the end of the project, they will part ways, taking the product or service to sell in their respective marketplaces and keeping profits for themselves.

A partnership is a long-term set-up, where partners share both the costs and the profits.

If your plan is to work with another business on a short-term project, forming a partnership probably isn’t the way to go.

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Wrapping up

When registering a business, you need to go with the structure that best meets your tax, financial, administrative and professional needs.

If you’re providing services such as consultancy or mobile hairdressing, for example, where paperwork is minimal and managing finances is straightforward, setting up as a limited company might be unnecessary. On the other hand, if you want to grow your business and need capital and additional skills and resources to do it, registering as a sole trader won’t give you the same potential that a limited company or partnership does.

Use this guide to weigh up the pros and cons of each structure and decide which is the right fit for you. Then, follow the steps to get registered and make your business a reality.

Registering your business with Tide is incredibly fast, easy and free. You not only get to officially start your company, but you get a free business current account at the same time, which is the best way to ensure you’re keeping your finances in order from day one. Be your own boss and register your company with Tide today! 🎉

Photo by Christina Morillo, published on Pexels

Kerstin Reichert

SEO Manager and small business marketing expert

Tide Team

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