Considerations for starting a business in the UK: Business Type

Considerations for starting a business in the UK: Business Type

Starting a business involves making crucial decisions, including choosing the right entity type. This decision impacts your liability, tax obligations, and ability to raise capital. Understanding the different types of business entities and their implications is essential for any entrepreneur. This blog explains what entity type might be best for your business and delves into the common types in the UK.

What do I put for entity type?

When registering your business, you’ll encounter the question of ‘entity type.’ This refers to the legal structure of your business. The choice depends on various factors, including your business size, industry, liability concerns, and taxation. Common types include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. Each has distinct legal and tax implications.

What type of entity is best for my business?

Selecting the best entity type for your business is a decision that should be made after carefully considering your business’s specific needs and goals. For instance, a sole proprietorship might be the simplest if you’re a solo entrepreneur. However, an LLC or corporation could be more appropriate if you’re concerned about personal liability. Consider factors like the level of legal protection you need, tax implications, and the potential for growth and investment.

What are the types of businesses in the UK?

In the UK, there are five main types of business entities:

  1. Sole Trader: This is the simplest form and involves one individual who owns and runs the business. It’s easy to set up and offers complete control, but the individual bears all the liability.
  2. Partnership involves two or more people sharing profits, risks, and costs. Partnerships are relatively easy to form but do involve shared liability.
  3. Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): LLPs involve two or more people (or businesses) sharing profits, risks and costs. This entity type offers limited liability to the partners, meaning personal assets are generally protected from business debts. This entity is complicated to set up and run and typically requires additional documentation to govern how the entity operates, known as a partnership agreement.
  4. Limited Liability Company (LLC): LLCs offer limited liability to their owners, meaning personal assets are generally protected from business debts. This entity is more complex to set up and run.
  5. Public Limited Company (PLC): PLCs can offer shares to the public. They have stringent regulatory requirements but offer the ability to raise capital through share issuance.

What is the legal entity of my business?

Your business’s legal entity is determined by its registration and structure. For example, if you’re a sole trader, your business entity is essentially you as an individual. Your business is a separate legal entity if you’ve formed an LLC. Understanding this distinction is crucial for legal and tax purposes.

Seek professional advice

It is essential to remember that utilising the right entity type for your business can enhance your ability to operate effectively, manage your tax liability, and protect your assets. As your business grows and evolves, revisit this decision to ensure it aligns with your objectives.

Choosing the right business entity type is a decision that can have long-lasting implications for your business. It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each type in the context of your business goals, financial situation, and risk tolerance. Consider consulting our International Services Team if you want tailored advice in making an informed choice.