Sole Proprietorships | Internal Revenue Service
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It's quite often the first stage in the journey away from being an employee. Here you really are your own boss. However, with that comes danger. You're totally liable for any debts that you incur, because the business is, quite simply, you. But for the genuine one-man or woman band, it's a good way to operate, and certainly a good way to dip your toe into the world of being your own boss.
Key points to remember about sole traders: You own the business, the business is you. You're liable for any debts incurred.
Your sole trader status may be questioned by the Inland Revenue if you only have one customer, especially if they used to be your employer. You're personally responsible for keeping your financial records in order and filling in a tax assessment.
- Oath Terms of Service
- Sole Proprietorships
- Ultimate Guide to Registering as a Sole Trader
Also, you'll have to pay income tax on your profits as well. This isn't a suitable way to trade if you want to hire employees or your business grows so big that there's a long way to fall if things go wrong. Remember, you're totally liable for everything to do with the business.
Ultimate Guide to Registering as a Sole Trader | ordendelsantosepulcro.info
The partners are still liable for all debts, and are treated in the same way as sole traders for tax purposes. Key points to remember about partnerships: Like being a sole trader you, and your partners, are responsible for the liabilities debts of the business. A partnership is NOT an 'incorporated' company in that there's no distinction legally between the partners and their company.
If you go down the road of a partnership you MUST get advice from a solicitor about how the assets are to be split, who's put in what, and what happens if a partner wishes to bow out. A sole trader registrations is the easiest and simplest way to tell the government about your new business activity.
If you are starting a small business on your own, or just testing the waters on a new idea, then a sole trader registration is a low cost way to do things. Personal liability for debts. As a sole trader you are registering yourself as a self-employed individual. Therefore you, as an individual, are personally responsible for anything your new business does. This is one of the big downsides of registering as a sole trader.
With a limited company it is the company that takes on contracts and loans. If the contract or loan goes bad the company is responsible and not the individual company directors. So that means that as a limited company director your home, your car and the rest of your personal finances are protected from damage. As a sole trader you do not have this.
If your sole trader business gets into trouble financially there is no distinction between the business money and your personal money so it will be you as an individual that has to clear the debts. For many sole traders this is not a massive issue. If you are running a consultancy, or a small craft or catering business you are unlikely to be taking big financial risks. In these circumstances there is more risk of financial problems and it can make more sense to go limited.
Sole trader names When you register as a sole trader you will be asked what name you intend to use. This does not mean that you are registering or protecting that name. HMRC want to know what you will be calling your business so they can track it and make sure you are paying enough tax.
They keep this information private. There is no public list of sole trader business names and HMRC will not tell you if you are using the same name as someone else.
So as a sole trader your business name is not checked, registered or protected in any way. If you use a name for your business which someone else is already using you can get yourself sued and can be forced to change the name.
If someone else uses your sole trader name then you will have to take them to court and try to prove that you should have the right to that name.
This can be expensive and is not always easy. Two sole trader businesses can use the same name as long as neither of them objects.
There are certain names that get used over and over again for florists, fish and chip shops and other small businesses. Remember limited companies CANNOT have a name that is the same as another limited company so each company here varies the name slightly. And here are some Codfather businesses on Google Maps: There are even more listed on Google search that do not a maps listing.
If two florists share a name and one is in Newcastle and the other is in Portsmouth it may never cause them a problem.
What is a sole-trader????
While traditionally having two business that are a long way apart would mean there was not problem with them sharing a name the internet has changed things. Most businesses these days will have a website and will want to show up at the top of Google when someone types their name in. Having multiple businesses with the same name can make this harder and can more easily lead to confusion. So, if your business is going to have any kind of online presence it is better to go for a unique name.
What does sole proprietorship mean?
You can have the brand name in big letters at the top of your website or sales brochures as long as the full name, including your name, appears at the bottom. Checking sole trader business names Before you spend time and money on branding your business you need to make sure the name is OK to use.
There are three main checks that you can do: Company name search — you can use the company name search tool on our website to see if there is already a limited company registered which is using exactly the same name you wanted to use. If there is already an existing limited company using the name then they are likely to have a much stronger case than you in any future name disputes.
So you may want to opt for a different name. You can now also do a search on the Companies House website which will show you all limited companies with names that contain a particular word.
This will help you to find companies that have a name which is similar to yours but not exactly the same. A few simple Google searches for the name you want to use should show you other businesses with the same name. If your business name is descriptive EG Speedy Plumber use quote marks around your name in Google search which tells Google you want to see results that match your search words in order. Trade mark search — a trade mark is the strongest form of protection you can get for a business name or brand name in the UK.
You can do a search on the IPO website to see if anyone has registered a trademark with your chosen name. Trade marks fall into 45 different classes with each class relating to a different industry. If someone has a trademark in class 8 but your business falls into class 32 then you would not have a conflict.
So while you will probably want to be aware of all trade marks that use a similar name as your own it is the ones that are in the same industry that you really need to be concerned about. By registering a dormant company your chosen business name will get listed with Companies House.
Once it is listed with Companies House no-one else can register a limited company with the same name or one that is very similar.
Sole traders should also be checking the Companies House register when picking a name for their business so anyone who is doing the correct checks will see your company name and think twice. If you were ever to get into a dispute about the name having registered the company and being able to show the registration date and paperwork can be very helpful.
So, while a dormant company registration is not fool proof protection for your business name it is a solid step to take.
When you register a dormant company to protect the name you cannot trade through it. If you start to do that then you will technically be trading through the company and you will be expected to do all of the tax and paperwork for a limited company. How do you register a dormant company? You register a dormant company in the same way as setting up a standard limited company.
This means picking a name, and appointing directors and appointing shareholders. At this point you will have a live company, not a dormant one.
So there are three steps you should take: