Corporate and business taxes

Business structure and ownership

If you are starting a new business or going through a period of change due to e.g. growth, expansion, introducing new (or exiting) shareholders, or re-organising the existing ownership structure; we will help you to choose the right business structure for your circumstances.  We will ensure that the business is set up tax efficiently to minimise your current and future tax liabilities.

The main business structuring options available in the UK include:

•          Sole trader

•          Limited company

•          Group of companies

•          Partnership and Limited Liability Partnership

•          Others: Community Interest Company, Co-operatives, Family Investment Company 

We will advise you on the structure that it is best suited to your needs. There are a range of requirements involved depending on the structure you choose.

For instance, a sole trader is a simple structure, but you would be personally liable for any business debts that may arise. Partnerships are similar although you need at least two people to set up a partnership. Partners share the profits and they also share the responsibility for any liabilities.

Whereas a limited company structure separates you from the business and any liabilities it may create. There are more responsibilities on the directors of a limited company in terms of how you must manage the company and report annually to Companies House, HMRC etc, and produce and file statutory accounts >Annual accounts preparation

Companies House provides a detailed overview of the various business structuring options and your responsibilities depending on which structure you choose. We will discuss the various options and the tax impacts on the business and on you, and the other owners/family members, or other directors personally. You can read more here: https://www.gov.uk/browse/business

Does your structure fit with your objectives?

It is worthwhile looking at your business structure from time to time to ensure that the company and the owners / directors personal positions are optimised for tax and the structure is fit for your commercial objectives and requirements.

A few simple changes to the ownership structure – especially those that have evolved over time and have become overly complex – can help to improve profitability.  Also protect the owners future interests, especially those who are considering an exit from the business >Time to make an exit?

Our advisers will aim to optimise the company and owners overall tax position to ensure you are aware of all of the tax reliefs and allowances that are available to the business, and to you personally e.g. Business Assest Disposal Relief (formerly Entrepreneurs relief) for capital gains tax planning purposes, and Business Property Relief for inheritance tax planning >Selling the business

When should you consider your business structure?

You should look at your business structure and the owners/directors personal tax position if you will be undertaking any of the following:

•          Setting up a new business

•          Setting up a new business operation

•          Buying a new business – whole or part

•          Considering retiring or exiting the business and looking to sell

•          Business succession planning – e.g. involving the management team, employees, family members, introducing new directors and/or shareholders

•          Existing shareholders and/or reducing share capital

•          Considering a company buy-back of shares 

•          Reorganising or refinancing  

How can we help?

We will help you to choose the right business structure for your objectives.

As your business grows and evolves your business structure is likely to need to change. We will ensure your business structure is right for you now and for the immediate future. 

If you are undertaking a business transaction like those mentioned above, there will be several taxes to consider, some more complex than others. We’ll ensure that the impacts on the business and you personally are clear and unambiguous, so that you know exactly what your current and potential future liabilities may be.

We will take care of the compliance and formation/HMRC registrations allowing you to remain focused on running and growing the business.

Related Links

Our Corporate and business taxes Expert Wendy McBride

Wendy is a highly experienced tax accountant and an ATT Fellow working with corporate and private clients.

Wendy helps our clients to identify and access all the tax reliefs and allowances they’re entitled to access, as well as helping them to plan ahead to minimise potential future tax liabilities.