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Sole trader

Sole Trader / Self Employed

If you need to keep your records up to date, make sure you invoice on time and know what bills you need to pay first, our Sole Trader (bronze) package is for you.  We'll set up an online accountancy package for you, and help you to set up invoicing straight out of the box.  We'll use Quickbooks Online - the UK's most popular cloud accounting package - and some of the best apps on the market to speed up expense recording and late payments chasing.  We'll  make sure your bank and records agree, and manage your VAT calculations and returns. 

And because your record keeping will be solid, we'll make sure your Self Assessment is on time and accurate, and you have the information you need to run your business, 24/7.  It's our leading package for sole traders, and it's built around you. 

Have a look at our sole trader package here »

Setting up as a sole trader can be the easiest, and most cost-effective route for starting up a new business.

The advantages are clear; it's easy, and you don't have to go through the time and cost of setting up a limited company.  If you have more complex tax affairs you're probably used to submitting a Self Assessment tax return form anyway; if not, you'll just have the one tax return to complete.  And of course, you get to keep the profit you make...

As a small business specialist we're used to helping sole traders get started, and keeping the records you'll need for tax and other purposes.  And as your business grows, we can help you convert to a limited company if you need to.

Here's some of the aspects of setting up and operating as a sole trader we can help with;

Declaring your status

Once you begin trading, the first thing you'll need to do is register as self-employed with HMRC. If you fail to do so within the first three months you'll be fined.

Keeping good records and accounts

Because you're self-employed, you''ll have to complete a yearly self-assessment tax return. To help you do this you'll need to keep a careful record of all your invoices and receipts. It's also a good idea to set up a business bank account in order to keep all your incoming and outgoings separate from your personal account. 

We can make this as painless as possible and, using the latest online technology, we'll make sure you have all the information you need to run the business as well.  What's in the bank?  What's due to come in and go out in the next few days or weeks?  How's the underlying business performing?  Our online reports will give you access to all this and more, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, wherever you are.  You'll be able to send out invoices electronically from your smartphone or computer, and take a photo on your smartphone to send an expense bill or receipt to your accounts.  It really is as simple as that.

Bear in mind that the amount of tax you'll pay will depend on the amount you earn, from your business and other sources. National Insurance contributions are at a fixed rate under class two and four.

Contractual obligations

You'll need to lay down what the terms and conditions are between you and your suppliers – in relation to price and time scale, and any obligations to your clients.  We can help you make sure every invoice you send contains your terms and conditions, so there's no doubt in your customers' mind what you're expecting.

And as you grow....

A sole trader is a business owned by one person, where they and the business are legally the same entity.  Apart from being the simplest way of setting up and testing your market, another big benefit is getting to keep all your profits after tax.

But the risks can be high, as you are personally responsible for any liabilities incurred by the business.  As you grow, you may not want to accept those liabilities. 

We can help you to convert to a Limited Company, registered with Companies House.  As you grow your business, this is an option we'd recommend you consider.  When the time is right, we can register a Limited Company for you with Companies House and HMRC, and we'll prepare and submit annual report and accounts plus annual returns when needed.  We'll also calculate out the corporation tax owed, and submit this to HMRC. 

As your business grows, you'll want to employ people. We operate a highly cost-effective payroll servie and can add this to your bronze package as needed.