Sole Traders


A sole trader is a type of business which is owned and run by one individual. Unlike a limited company structure, there is no legal distinction between the owner and his or her business. This means that there is no limit to the liability of the owner to any business debts.


A sole trader may do business under his or her own name, or may operate under a trading name. This can allow the owner to operate a separate bank account for the business operations.


The main advantage of the sole trader structure is that it is easy and quick to set up, and in the first few years of a business or with small operations it can offer more flexibility than a limited company structure.


However as a business grows so do the risks resulting from the unlimited liability, and some sole traders may benefit from incorporating as a limited company at this point. Sole traders are required to prepare annual accounts for their business activities, and to file self assessment tax returns with HMRC.


New sole trader operations should also register their existence with HMRC within 3 months of commencing trade. J F Balshaw & Co can assist with all of these aspects.


We know from experience that self -employed people are often nervous about dealing with HMRC, and that contacting the relevant department can be complicated, expensive (due to premium rate phone numbers) and time-consuming.


We can act as your agents and deal with HMRC on a daily basis, taking advantage of the dedicated agents phone lines which give us direct and immediate access to HMRC advisors, allowing you to spend most of your time doing what you do best.


We can also provide you with some simple guidelines that will help you keep track of your income and expenditure and simplify your paperwork.