Limited Company Accounting Support & Company Registration

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Limited Company vs Sole Trader

While operating as a sole trader is a simple and cost-efficient way to start a business, there are significant advantages to running your own limited company.

A limited company is a separate legal entity from its owners. As such, you’re protected by limited liability. Should your company go into debt, you’re only legally responsible up to the extent of the nominal value of your shares.

Running a limited company offers a more tax-efficient way to operate. Relative to sole traders, you’re able to pay a lower rate of income tax and NICs, as well as claim a wider range of allowable business expenses.

Being registered as a limited company also lends credibility to your company. This could lead to increased business opportunities, particularly for contractors, as it isn’t uncommon for established organisations to specify that they’ll only work with freelancers operating through their own limited company.

You’ll also benefit from easier access to funding. As a separate legal entity, your company presents a lower risk to lenders—which increases your chances of obtaining external financing at a lower interest rate, compared to sole traders. Additionally, you have the option of raising funds through selling shares.

What is a Limited Company?

What is a Limited Company?

Limited companies provide numerous benefits, from tax savings to limiting your liability.

But the first step is to understand what a limited company is exactly, and whether setting up such a company can help you achieve your goals. This article will clearly explain the pro's and con's so you can make an educated decision.

In a nutshell, a limited company is a private company that's a separate legal entity from its owner(s). For freelancers and contractors, a limited company is one of the three main business structures that you may use to run your business (the others being sole trader and umbrella companies).

In this article, we walk you through:

  • What a "separate legal entity" means
  • The different types of Limited Companies
  • The pros and cons of setting up a Limited Company
  • How to start a Limited Company
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Deciding between Sole Trader vs Limited Company vs Umbrella

Deciding between Sole Trader vs Limited Company vs Umbrella

If you're planning to start out on your own, one of the most important decisions you'll need to make is figuring out how you should structure your business.

As a freelancer, contractor or small business owner, there are three main types of legal structures you should consider:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Limited company
  • Working through an umbrella company

It's a decision that requires careful consideration, and it's important that you seek advice from qualified professionals when you weigh out the pros and cons of each business structure. To begin with, you need to have a good grasp of the basics - and here's where our guide comes into the picture.

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What do I need to do as a Company Director?

What do I need to do as a Company Director?

Your responsibilities as a limited company director include:

  • Your company must be registered at Companies House
  • Your company's annual accounts must be filed at Companies House
  • A Confirmation Statement must be submitted annually. This can be done online or via post. This is a filing requirement introduced in 2016 to replace the Annual Return (Form AR01).
  • Submit an annual Corporation Tax to HMRC. Any outstanding tax must be paid within nine months and one day of your company's year-end accounting.
  • Register for Self Assessment with HMRC, and submit your personal tax return each year.
  • If you have employees and are running the company payroll, you need to report your employees' payments and deductions to HMRC on or before your employees' payday. You need to pay what you owe to HMRC each month.
  • If your VAT taxable turnover exceeds the VAT threshold, you'll need to register for VAT and complete your VAT returns online at the end of every financial quarter.
  • Maintain proper company records
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How do I find my company number?

How do I find my company number?

A company number (also known as a company registration number) is an eight-digit number that is assigned by Companies House to a company upon incorporation.

You can locate the number on your certificate of incorporation. The first digit of the company number is usually a zero, and is omitted in most instances. As such, your certificate of incorporation will show a seven-digit company number.

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What are my Limited Company Directors Responsibilities?

What are my Limited Company Directors Responsibilities?

As the director of a limited company, your responsibilities include:

  • Your company must be registered at Companies House
  • Your company's annual accounts must be filed at Companies House
  • A Confirmation Statement must be submitted annually. This can be done online or via post. This is a filing requirement introduced in 2016 to replace the Annual Return (Form AR01).
  • Submit an annual Corporation Tax to HMRC. Any outstanding tax must be paid within nine months and one day of your company's year-end accounting.
  • Register for Self Assessment with HMRC, and submit your personal tax return each year.
  • If you have employees and are running the company payroll, you need to report your employees' payments and deductions to HMRC on or before your employees' payday. You need to pay what you owe to HMRC each month.
  • If your VAT taxable turnover exceeds the VAT threshold, you'll need to register for VAT and complete your VAT returns online at the end of every financial quarter.
  • Maintain proper company records.
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How to Register a Limited Company

Before you begin your registration process to set up a limited company, there are a few things you need to consider.

You need to choose the type of limited company you need (public limited company or private limited company), choose a company name and decide on how you’re going to set up your company. For the latter, you have the option of registering with Companies House or using a third-party service, like an accountant or company formation agent.

Once you’ve gotten these sorted out, you’ll be ready to begin the company formation process.

This involves completing documents like the Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association, Form 10 and Form 12, after which your application will be processed. Companies House will typically provide an update in the next working day, and mail out a hard copy of your articles of incorporation.

Now that you’ve registered your company, there are a few additional items to cross off your checklist.

You need to open a business bank account, ensure that you’ve received your company UTR number and complete your VAT registration (or if you were VAT-registered as a sole trader, you need to notify HMRC of your transition to a limited company structure).

You’ll also need to set up your payroll, update your company details on your website and business documents (such as your order forms and business letters), and get your accounts sorted out.

Registering a Limited Company Guide

Registering a Limited Company Guide

  • What is a Limited Company
  • 10 step process for setting up a Limited Company
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How to set up a Limited Company

How to set up a Limited Company

When you set up a limited company, you'll enjoy many advantages you don't get as a sole trader. Not only is it a tax-efficient way to run your business, it's also a great way to limit your personal liability and increase your credibility with customers. Additionally, it could open new avenues of work that wouldn't be open to you if you were operating as a sole trader, especially some contractor roles.

One of the disadvantages of running a limited company is that it involves a lot of paperwork, but with the help of this guide, we'll clear away the jargon and tell you exactly what you need.

If you're unsure about whether a limited company is right for you, check out our handy article comparing the differences between Limited companies and Sole Traders to see which business entity is right for you.

If you've got more important things to do than dealing with extra admin, you can always take advantage of one of our accountancy packages and we'll do all the forms and applications for you.

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What type of business structure is best for you?

What type of business structure is best for you?

If you're looking to the future with the hopes of beginning a journey running your own startup, chances are you're feeling some mixture of excitement, trepidation, and uncertainty when it comes to the finer details of your plan.

Starting your own business is an immensely fulfilling process and an excellent means to flex your creative muscles, but there's a lot of humdrum of business behind the process of turning a vision into a dream.

One of the most important (and one of the earliest) decisions in this process will centre around your business's formation. You'll have to select which type of business structure best suits your goals for the future.

While the choice may sound easy, you'll be well-served by giving the decision ample consideration. The business structure you select will have measurable implications on the way you make money and do business. It'll impact:

  • How much tax you pay
  • Your degree of personal liability should the business fail
  • How much administrative work is involved in the business (both before it comes to fruition and over the course of its life)
  • Your ability to finance and fund your efforts

If you make the wrong selection when it comes time to choose a business structure, you could be faced with a myriad of complications in the future.

Paying professionals for guidance and advice once things go wrong is costly and, for many, an embarrassing affair-performing research well in advance will ensure you're making the best choice for your company and that you can avoid losing out on money or pride later on.

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3 Ways to Register Your Company for Free

3 Ways to Register Your Company for Free

Registering a company is a one off cost of £12 and done through Companies House. However, there are a few different ways that you can get this fee waved with other business services that you need.

We'll walk you through how to register your company for free and the perks that you'll get with each.

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Advantages of a limited company

Advantages of a limited company

What are the advantages of a private limited company?

In the UK, the majority of self-employed people operate as sole traders. While there are many advantages to being a sole trader, you could take home more money and give your business a professional edge by setting up as a limited company.

In this article, we'll look at the advantages of operating as a private limited company to see how it could benefit you. If you're interested in seeing whether a limited company could be a good option for your business, check out our Business Structure guide. If you're already operating as a sole trader, making the jump to a limited company is more straight forward than you think.

Advantage 1 ‚- You pay less tax and National Insurance Contributions

Who can turn their nose up at the prospect of increased take-home pay? Well, that's the principle benefit of setting up a limited company and one of the main factors that drive people to switch from a sole trader.

As a director of a limited company, the way you pay tax is different from how you pay as a sole trader. As a sole trader, you'll pay 20% or more on everything you earn over the tax threshold. As a limited company, you typically pay yourself a small salary so you incur as little personal tax as possible. The majority of your income will come in the form of dividends that are taxed at a much smaller rate, meaning you're able to maximise your take-home pay.

As well as the tax benefits, paying the majority of your income through dividends means that you're able to pay less National Insurance Contributions (NICs) as these do not apply to dividend payments.

Example - Here's a quick comparison of the difference in take-home pay for a sole trader and a limited company.

  1. Sole Trader

    Revenue: £40,000

    Expenses: £1000

    Tax at 20%: £5,300

    Class 2 NIC: £158.60

    Class 4 NIC: £2,655

    **Take-home pay: £30,886.40

    **

  2. **Limited Company

    **Revenue: £40,000

    Expenses: £1000

    Corporation tax: £5741.04

    Dividend tax at 7.5%: 1,406.92

    Take-home pay: £ 31,852.04

As you can see, you save £965.64 as a limited company. What's not to like?

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Limited Company Filing Deadlines

Being a limited company director comes with several legal responsibilities. In addition to your statutory duties, you’re also responsible for meeting your filing deadlines.

These include:

  • File your Self Assessment by 31st January following the end of the relevant tax year.
  • If you’re VAT-registered, you need to file your VAT returns 1 month and 7 days after your VAT quarter end date.
  • File your company accounts 9 months after your company year-end. If you’re in your first trading year, your first annual accounts are due 21 months after your date of incorporation
  • File your Confirmation Statement up to 14 days after the due date. The due date is 12 months after the date your company was incorporated, or 12 months after the date you filed your previous Confirmation Statement. 
  • File your company tax return 12 months after the end of the relevant tax year.
  • If you’ve just begun employing staff or using subcontractors for construction work, you need to register as an employer before an employee’s first payday. 
  • If you already have employees, there are a number of deadlines you need to meet for your payroll year end
  • Submit your final payroll report for the year before your employee’s final payday for the tax year ending 5th April. 
  • Provide your employees with the P60 by 31st May (following the end of the relevant tax year). 
  • File employee benefits and expenses using your payroll software, and submit your P11D and P11d(b) forms by 6th July.
  • In addition to the payroll year-end deadlines, you’re also required to:

Send the FPS on or before your employees’ payday. The FPS must be submitted each time you pay your employee. This means that if your employee is paid weekly, you’ll need to make 52 submissions across the year.

Tax return and payment deadlines you need to know

Tax return and payment deadlines you need to know

Tax season can be stressful for small business owners.

You don't have the convenience of having an employer filing for you. While there are all kinds of tips and strategies for managing your taxes, the first order of business is to get key deadlines noted on your schedule, and determine how and when to make your payment.

Here's what you need to know:

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What deadlines do I need to know as a contractor?

What deadlines do I need to know as a contractor?

As a contractor running your own limited company, you need to be aware of the following deadlines:

  • File end of year accounts to Companies House: 9 months after your company year ends. If it is your first year, the due date will be 21 months from the date your company was incorporated.
  • File your confirmation statement: This is due on the anniversary of incorporation each year
  • File your corporation tax return: This is due 12 months from your company year end.
  • Pay your corporation tax bill: Payment is due 9 months and 1 day after the end of the company year
  • PAYE RTI (Real Time Information) Returns: A submission of your company payroll has to be submitted in real time each month to HMRC. This is due on or before the intended salary payment. Any tax due from this can be payable on a quarterly or monthly basis as follows:
  • the 22nd of the next tax month if you pay monthly
  • the 22nd after the end of the quarter if you pay quarterly
  • VAT returns: Usually submitted on a quarterly basis, the company VAT is due to be filed and paid within 1 month and 7 days from the quarter end.
  • Self Assessment tax returns: Your Self Assessment Tax Return is always due to be filed by the following 31st January after the end of the tax year. This date is also the same deadline for payment of any tax due but you may also have a payment on account due by 31st July after this.
  • P11D: The submission of the company P11D will need to made by 6th July with any payment of National Insurance arising due by 19th July (22nd if paid electronically)
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Can I change my company's accounting date / year end date?

Can I change my company's accounting date / year end date?

You can change your company's year-end-otherwise known as the accounting reference date (ARD). Changes can be made to your current financial year or the year before.

Your company's financial year can be shortened as many times as you want, with the minimum duration you can shorten it by being one day. You can lengthen your company's financial year by up to 18 months once every five years. If [other conditions apply](https://www.gov.uk/change-your-companys-year-end#:~:text=You can change your company's,the one immediately before it.), such as if your company is in administration, you'll be able to lengthen your financial year more often.

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What are the deadlines for payment of PAYE taxes?

What are the deadlines for payment of PAYE taxes?

If you're paying salaries to employees or directors, you need to register for PAYE and pay your PAYE bill to HMRC.

  • Monthly payments: Your PAYE bill is due on the 22nd of the next tax month.
  • Quarterly payments: Your PAYE bill is due on the 22nd after the end of the quarter.

There are various ways to make your payment.

  • Same or next day payments: online or telephone banking, CHAPS
  • Payments processed in 3 working days: card payments (online), Bacs, cash or cheque payments at your bank or building society, Direct Debit, by cheque through the post
  • Payments processed in 5 working days: Direct Debit (if it's the first time you're setting up a Direct Debit payment)

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What are Company Deadlines?

What are Company Deadlines?

As a limited company director, there are several important deadlines you need to be aware of. These are:

  • File your Self Assessment tax return: 31st January 2022 for the 2020/2021 tax year
  • Pay you Self Assessment tax: 31st January
  • Registering for VAT: Register for VAT within 30 days of meeting the conditions for [compulsory registration](https://www.gov.uk/vat-registration/when-to-register#:~:text=Compulsory registration,over the last 12 months)
  • Filing and paying VAT returns: 1 month and 7 days after your VAT quarter end date
  • Company accounts: First year accounts are due 21 months after incorporation. Subsequent accounts are due 9 months after the year end
  • Corporation tax registration: You need to register within 3 months of trading commencing.
  • File your corporation tax return: 12 months following the end of your accounting period
  • Corporation tax payment: 9 months and 1 day following the end of your accounting period
  • File your Confirmation Statement: You need to file a confirmation statement every 12 months, within 14 days after your confirmation date.
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Key Things You Need When Starting a Limited Company

“What do I need to do after setting up a limited company?” is a question we’re often asked by users who’ve registered for our limited company accounting packages.

Here’s a brief overview of what you need to do:

  • Fulfill your responsibilities as a limited company director
  • Open a business bank account
  • Keep your stakeholders updated: If you’re transitioning from being a sole trader to a limited company structure, you’ll need to notify stakeholders—like your banks, debtors, landlords and insurers—of the change. With stakeholders like your suppliers and customers, you may need to review your contract, and transfer it to your new company. 
  • Get your VAT sorted out: You may need to register for VAT. And if you’re already VAT-registered, you may request for a transfer to be made to your new company, or cancel your VAT and complete a re-registration. 
  • Set up your payroll
  • Ensure that your company details are up-to-date: As a limited company, you need to meet specific requirements when it comes to displaying your company information. Your company name must be included on all company documents, letters and communication materials. In addition, your websites, business letters and order forms must show your company’s registered number, registered office address, where your company is incorporated and indicate that your company is a private limited company.  
  • Obtain business insurance: If you’re an employer, you’re legally required to obtain employer's liability insurance. Other types of business insurance you should consider getting include public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance and business contents insurance. 
  • Get your books sorted: If you were already using an accounting package as a sole trader, you’ll need to create a new account and start anew. And even if you were managing your own accounts before, do note that the requirements of limited company accounting can be complicated—so you’ll benefit from using accounting  software, or from the expertise and advice of a specialist accountant.

How much should accounting cost?

How much should accounting cost?

As a new business owner, you'll often find yourself juggling numerous roles and tasks-from growing your business, to managing your operations, financesand taxes.

In addition, you're now required to meet your legal obligations as a limited company director-such as filing the necessary paperwork and accounts on time-or you'll risk being penalised.

Staying on top of all of these tasks can feel overwhelming, and here's where a limited company accountant comes into the picture.

Below, we'll look into:

  • What you can expect to pay for limited accounting packages
  • Services that are included in the cost
  • FAQs relating to choosing a limited company accounting provider
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How to find an accountant

How to find an accountant

If you have a company, or are starting one, then you will need an accountant.

Though you could do all your accounts yourself, in practice few business owners have the time.

An accountant also checks that you are doing everything correctly, and is a useful reference for both HMRC and financial institutions should you ever need to apply for a loan.

The trouble is that finding the accountant who is right for you is never easy.

You do not want to pay more than you have to, but are low-cost, self-service, internet-based accountancy packages really the best fit for your business needs?

In this article we shall break down that option and its alternatives for you, as we answer the key questions that are occupying your mind right now:

  • Do I need an accountant?
  • What should I look for in an accountant?
  • How do I find the best accountant for me?

The purpose of this article is to give you the context and background you need to ask the right questions-especially when you may not yet know what those questions are.

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How to make and send an invoice for your clients

How to make and send an invoice for your clients

You've delivered your work, and it's time to receive your payment.

Before that, you'll need to make an invoice. It's an important document: not only does it help you obtain money you're owed, it also serves as evidence of a transaction in the event that you need to seek legal action to handle non-paying clients.

If this is new to you, you might be wondering: How do I create an invoice, and what must I include? Are there best practices or tips I need to know?

We'll answer all of these questions below:

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5 invoice template tools to help you invoice when self employed

5 invoice template tools to help you invoice when self employed

An invoicing problem is a good problem to have.

It means that you have too many clients or too much work to properly charge for it. The good news is that it's an easy problem to fix.

Invoicing is essential for any self-employed person individual. It's how you collect revenue, and, done correctly, it's also how you can avoid tax issues.

I know how important this is because I've been there as a small business owner - and I searched for a long time to solve this problem and make it painless.

Besides hiring a personal assistant or part-time accountant (which is impractical for most smaller-time, one-person-show contractors), there's the option of using invoicing software that makes the process easy.

Below, I break down the difference between five popular invoicing tools to help you get started on making a decision.

Your decision will ultimately depend on what your business really looks like.

These are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Do you only have a handful of regular clients?
  • How do your clients prefer to pay you in a certain way?
  • Are late payments a recurring problem for you?
  • Do you send out invoices, or does somebody else?
  • Do you already have accounting software in place, or are subscribed to an accounting package that includes the use of an accounting software?
  • What other applications and tools do you use for your business?

![zoho invoicing tool](https://global-uploads.webflow.com/5d71eeb2a19ee03e3430f50f/5dd7a384184d911a448c3aa5_zoho invoicing (1).jpg)

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Contractor Accounting Services

Contractor Accounting Services

We pride ourselves on providing an unparalleled level of support that will make you feel valued, eliminate your admin and ensure you're being as tax efficient as possible.

VAT registration & filing

We'll registered your company for VAT, and ensure VAT is always filed well ahead of the deadline. We will ask you to confirm that you're happy for us to automatically file your VAT without having to approve it which will ensure that we can get this filed as soon as possible.

We'll also help you get setup with a Direct Debit for HMRC so that you can make your VATpayments automatically without having to manually do this every quarter. This saves you time and the stress of ensuring you've paid on time, and importantly will make sure you don't have to pay a penalty for a missed deadline.

Annual accounts

We aim to complete your annual accounts well ahead of schedule to ensure you have complete financial records.

Corporation tax

You should never have to guess how much corporation tax is due. We'll make sure you know how much is due and when it's due.

Confirmation statement

We'll make sure to keep your Companies House account up to date and ensure your confirmation statement is filed on time.

Self assessment

We include a Self Assessment with our operate and grow packages and this is also available as an additional £99+VAT one-off charge.

Tax efficiency

From your salary, dividends, pension, investments and company expenses, we'll help you optimise your tax.

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Schedule a free consultation

Speak to one of our accountants on a free 30 minute accounting consultation.

Limited Company Accounting Pricing

Start
£59
+ VAT per month
Free company registration
Payroll for 1 director
Annual Accounts
Tax optimization
Unique partner offers
Enquire
No credit card required
Operate
£89
+ VAT per month
All Start features
VAT registration & fillings
Self Assessment tax return
Registred company address
Confirmation statement
Enquire
No credit card required

See All Features

Package
Start
Operate
Fees - per month excl. VAT
Monthly package fee
£59
£89
Additional self assessments
+£99
+£99
Support
Company Registration
Accounting Services
Personal Tax
Pro-active services
Virtual Office & Business Address
Partner Services

View All Limited Company Guides:

When do I need a Limited Company? guide

Deciding between Sole Trader vs Limited Company vs Umbrella,What is a Limited Company?

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How do I transfer/ change a company shareholders? guide

How do I transfer/ change a company shareholders?

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How do I invest in my business? guide

How do I invest in my business?

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How do I register a limited company? guide

How do I register a limited company?

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How do I transfer/ change a registered address? guide

How do I transfer/ change a registered address?

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How do I transfer/ change a company name? guide

How do I transfer/ change a company name?

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How do I file for SEIS investment? guide

How do I file for SEIS investment?

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What are Personal service companies? guide

What are Personal service companies?

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How do I register my business? guide

How do I register my business?

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How do I close my business? guide

How do I close my business?

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How do I file for EIS investment? guide

How do I file for EIS investment?

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What is a Service Address? guide

What is a Service Address?

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How do I file a Members Voluntary Strike Off? guide

How do I file a Members Voluntary Strike Off?

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How do I restart a dormant business? guide

How do I restart a dormant business?

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How do I unlist a from companies house? guide

How do I unlist a from companies house?

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How do I file for informal strike off? guide

How do I file for informal strike off?

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How do I transfer/ change a company directors? guide

How do I transfer/ change a company directors?

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What are Company Deadlines? guide

What are Company Deadlines?

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How do I find my company number? guide

How do I find my company number?

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What are Confirmation Statements? guide

What are Confirmation Statements?

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What do I need to do as a Company Director? guide

What do I need to do as a Company Director?

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What are the disadvantages of a Limited Company? guide

What are the disadvantages of a Limited Company?

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What are the advantages of a Limited Company? guide

What are the advantages of a Limited Company?

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What is a Limited Company? guide

What is a Limited Company?

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What are the differences between Directors, Shareholders & Employees? guide

What are the differences between Directors, Shareholders & Employees?

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What are my Limited Company Directors Responsibilities? guide

What are my Limited Company Directors Responsibilities?

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What is a Companies House confirmation statement? guide

What is a Companies House confirmation statement?

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What is a SIC code? guide

What is a SIC code?

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How many shares should my new Company issue? guide

How many shares should my new Company issue?

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What are trading and registered office addresses? guide

What are trading and registered office addresses?

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Closing a limited company guide

Closing a limited company

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What is a share transfer? guide

What is a share transfer?

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Change of company address & who to inform and how guide

Change of company address & who to inform and how

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What is share allotment? guide

What is share allotment?

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advantages limited company guide

Disadvantages of a limited company

The 4 disadvantages of a private limited company: An up to date guide.

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disadvantages limited company guide

Advantages of a limited company

The 7 advantages of a private limited company: An up to date guide.

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3 ways to register a limited company

3 Ways to Register Your Company for Free

Here's 3 ways to register your business for free.

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subcontracting guide

What is subcontracting?

Thinking about subcontracting, or hiring a subcontractor? We run through important tips and considerations you should keep in mind

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set up a limited company guide

How to set up a Limited Company

Setting up a limited company is one of the best ways to optimize your tax, maximise your take-home pay and give your company that professional edge. In this comprehensive guide, we take you through everything you'll need to get started

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register for limited company guide

Key considerations when you register a Limited Company

Setting up a Limited Company comes with a lot of details. Fortunately, a trusted accountant can help you with the unfamiliar steps

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how to register as self employed guide

How to register self employed with HMRC

A step-by-step guide on registering as self-employed with HMRC

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what is contractor guide

What is a Contractor?

We'll explain what it means to be a contractor, the different types of contractor employment, contractor business structures and factors that identify a contractor.

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what is limited company guide

What is a Limited Company?

Limited Companies provide numerous benefits, from tax savings to limiting your liability. We dive deeper into the advantages and drawbacks.

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what is sole trader guide

What is a sole trader?

In this article, we look at what it means to be a sole trader, the benefits and downsides associated with operating as a sole trader, tax responsibilities and more.

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type of business guide

What type of business structure is best for you?

Guide to the benefits and drawbacks of five common business structures

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sole trader vs limited company guide

Deciding between Sole Trader vs Limited Company vs Umbrella

Read on to find out about different business structures, the pros and cons of each structure and key factors you need to evaluate when choosing a business structure.

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