There are several ways that you can structure your business in the UK , Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited Company, LLP and PLC. If you want to know about overseas structures you can contact us.It is possible to have companies structured in both the UK and overseas and we would be happy to discuss your requirements. We can also advise on Guarantee Company (non Profit) and Limited Partnership
Requiring minimal set up and administration, operating as a sole trader is common for new businesses. Registration at Companies House is not required although the business owner should notify HMRC.
This type of business is not deemed to be a legal entity in its own right, consequently the owner of the business has unlimited liability to all debts and legal actions.
Whilst sole traders benefit from fewer regulations and reduced filing requirements, the personal risk associated with this type of business may act as an incentive to register as a limited company.
A private limited company is a legal entity in its own right and is separate from those who own it in the eyes of the law. This is a major benefit to operating as a limited company as the liability of the shareholders is limited to their investment and any unpaid shares they own. The personal assets of a shareholder would not be exposed if a limited company is dissolved.
Due to the limited liability, potential tax advantages and simplicity of operating as a limited company this is one of the most popular business structures in the UK. Once the company is incorporated, information regarding the filing history and current appointments is made public available on the Companies House register. This affords limited companies with a level of transparency which is regarded as a significant advantage when doing business.
In parallel to its private counterpart, PLCs exist as legal entities in their own right.
Furthermore the liability of the members is limited to their investment and the value of their shares.
In contrast to a private limited company, the shares of a PLC can be traded in the public market and this is often used to raise finance.
The operating costs of running a PLC are considerably higher than private companies and this structure is generally suited to larger enterprises.
A minimum of £50,000 worth of shares must be issued before a company can be registered as a PLC.
It is also a legal requirement for at least two directors to be appointed.
Operated in a similar way to a traditional partnership, an LLP is also afforded the benefit of limited liability.
The objectives of an LLP are generally profit driven and this structure is favoured in professions such as law and accountancy.
A minimum of two partners must be appointed as the ‘designated’ members and it is these partners who are responsible for the day to day running of an LLP.
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