Tax tips for a small business

Every business owner has a different level of understanding to the legal and tax side of business. Due to this Ruth wanted to give you some short, punchy and useful points of information. If you are new to this part of running a business, help is here!

Sole Trader Snapshot

Being a sole trader has benefits such as less start up paper work and less formalities. This status means that you are running your business as an individual and therefore are accountable for all legal elements. A sole trader is self-employed and keeps all profits from the business once all taxes owing have been paid. A sole trader is personally accountable for debt and legal aspect as they have no protection unlike the owner of a Limited Company. A sole trader is not required to produce accounts or have a separate business bank account but is required to complete annual Self Assessments for HMRC.

As a Sole Trader you will pay income tax on all earned income over your personal allowance.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Snapshot

LLP's are partnerships (corporate bodies) where the partners have limited liabilities and are common in the accountancy and legal worlds. This status means that one partner may not be liable for the actions, advice or misconduct of another partner. It is normal to have a governing partner who has full liability for the partnership. LLP's are really for bigger corporate organisations and not really applicable for small businesses.

LLP's do not pay any Corporation Tax, Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax but each individual is taxed on their share of the profits. An LLP is required to file annual stator accounts.

Limited Company (LTD) Snapshot

A Limited Company is the commonly used route that newly formed business take. An Ltd company is a privately owned entity which is made up a single or number of shareholders. The positive to owning a limited company is the liability of the company remains with the company and not the individual unlike the Sole Trader.

Ltd companies are required to pay Corporation Tax on all profits that it makes, the normal rate being 20%.

A key aspect to being an Ltd company is that you can only take money on profits the business makes unlike the Sole Trader. Each year each shareholder can tax a tax free amount and then pay a lower amount of tax on a set threshold.

Ltd Companies are required to file annual accounts with Companies House.

VAT Snapshot

Value Added Tax is added to most things we buy, as a business you can claim VAT back on items you have paid minus what you have earned. The current rate of VAT that can be charged if applicable on your services is 20%. All companies who are turning over £79,000 must be VAT registered, fill in a VAT return and pay any monies owed on a quarterly basis.

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