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Sole Trader Guides

When opting for the self-employment route and starting up your own business, the chances are that the tax aspect won’t come naturally. You may be asking yourself some questions: how do I pay my tax without an employer taking it from my wage? Or is there any way I am able to make savings on my tax return?

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The sole trader business structure is the most popular in the UK. In 2017 there were approximately 3.4 million sole traders, accounting for 60% of small businesses. The sole trader structure has been popular due to its many advantages and the ease of setting up. Sole trader business owners are known as self-employed and most freelancers opt for this structure of the business. There are both advantages and disadvantages of the sole trader business structure that need to be taken into account before making any business decisions.

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The time of completing and filing a self-assessment tax return is a dreaded time for the self-employed. However, being prepared and having a good working knowledge of taxes and allowable expenses will surely make the task a little easier. Figuring out which expenses you can claim can be quite difficult when it comes completing the self-assessment tax return.
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If you have started a business or are thinking about starting one, then you will need to decide on a business structure. You can choose to create a limited company, work as a sole trader or a partnership. Each business structure varies, especially when it comes to accounts and the bookkeeping. Sole trader owners are classed as self-employed, therefore they have their own set of tax rules and regulations to adhere to.

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When starting a small business, one of the first things to be decided is the legal structure used for the business. It can either be a sole trader or limited company or a partnership. Setting up as a sole trader is the most popular legal structure in the UK, with approximately 3.4 million sole proprietorships created in 2017. Sole traders accounted for 60% of small businesses in the UK. There were also 1.9 million limited companies, making it the second most popular legal structure.

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If you decide to become self-employed, either on your own (as a sole trader), or with other people (as a partnership), you will be responsible for working out and paying your tax liabilities to HMRC.

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Becoming ‘self-employed’ is the most popular means of starting up a new business. You can become self-employed through becoming a sole trader or forming a partnership.  Sole traders make up over 60% of all UK businesses (3.4 million), and partnerships account for another 7% (414,000). Here we look at the basics of what is a sole trader and things you should consider before taking the leap.
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The alternative to setting up a limited company is to become a sole trader or a member of a partnership, for example, if you decide to trade a sole trader you will essentially be classed as ‘self-employed’. In this guide on how to register as a sole trader, you will be made aware of all the relevant taxes, optional taxes you can register for and how to actuallly set up as a sole trader/ sel-employed.
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If you’re self-employed, you can claim for a wide range of expenses against your tax bill, although you have to be careful to only apportion costs which have been genuinely incurred in the running of your business.
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Choose between forming your own limited company, or becoming self-employed (a sole trader), with the help of our comprehensive comparison table, which describes the advantages and disadvantages of each business structure. Here is the table of Sole Trader Vs Limited Company.
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One of the first things you need to consider before starting up is whether to register as a sole trader (or partnership), or set up a limited company. There are significant differences between the two types of business structure.
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