Quality First Construction Services Directory

Moore Green

t: 01787 880066
f: 01787 881489
e: mail@mooregreen.co.uk
w: www.mooregreen.co.uk
a: 22 Friars Street, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2AA


Established in 2001, Moore Green is an independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisors. We offer a comprehensive range of accountancy and business advisory services to private individuals and businesses in many sectors.

Based in the historic market town of Sudbury, Suffolk, Moore Green was formed following the merger of two long established accountancy practices in the town, Andrew Moore & Co and Norman Green & Co.

Moore Green

 

 

Incorporation

May 2012

The issue of whether to run your business as a company or a sole trade or partnership is an important decision. In this factsheet, we summarise the relevant tax changes and show the potential tax savings  currently available from operating as a company.

Tax savings

The examples below give an indication of the 2011/12 tax savings that may be achievable for husband and wife who are currently in partnership.

Profits:

£30,000

£50,000

£100,000

Tax and NI payable:

£

£

£

As partners

4,670

10,470

26,926

As company

3,171

7,171

18,411

Potential saving

1,499

3,299

8,515

The extent of the savings is dependent on the precise circumstances of the couple’s tax position and may be more or less than the above figures. The examples are computed on the basis that the couple:

  • share profits equally
  • have no other sources of income
  • both partners take a salary of £7,072 from the company with the balance (after corporation tax) paid out as a dividend.

When might a company be considered?

A company can be used as a vehicle for:

  • a profitable trade
  • buy-to-let properties.

Other tax issues

It is all too easy to focus exclusively on the potential annual tax savings available by operating as a company. However, other tax issues can be equally, and in some cases more significant and should not be underestimated.

Capital gains

Incorporating your existing business will involve transferring at least some of your assets (most significantly goodwill) from your sole trade or partnership into your new company. This can create significant capital gains although there are mechanisms for deferring these gains until any later sale of the company. We will need to discuss in detail with you the most appropriate mechanism for your business. Any gains which are chargeable may qualify for Entrepreneurs’ relief, which means that gains currently up to £10 million are charged at 10% rather than 18 % or 28% depending on your income tax position for the year of disposal. An outline of this relief is included in the factsheet, Capital Gains Tax. However its availability will depend on various factors and will require detailed discussion.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

There may be SDLT charges to consider when assets are transferred to a company. Goodwill and debtors do not give rise to a charge, but land and buildings may do so.

Income tax

The precise effects of ceasing business in an unincorporated form, including ‘overlap relief’ need to be considered.

Capital allowances

Once again the position needs to be carefully considered.

Other advantages

There may be other non-tax advantages of incorporation and these are summarised below.

Limited liability

A company normally provides limited liability. If a shareholder’s shares are fully paid he cannot normally be required to invest any more in the company. However, banks often require personal guarantees from the directors for borrowings. The advantage of limited liability will generally apply in respect of liabilities to other creditors.

Legal continuity

A company will enjoy legal continuity as it is a legal entity in its own right, separate from its owners (the shareholders). It can own property, sue and be sued.

Transfer of ownership

Effective ownership of the business may be more readily transferred, in comparison to a business which is not trading as a limited company.

Borrowing

Normally a bank is able to take extra security by means of a ‘floating charge’ over the assets of the company and this will increase the extent to which monies may be borrowed against the assets of the business.

Credibility

The existence of corporate status is sometimes deemed to add to the credibility or commercial respectability of the business.

Disadvantages

No analysis of the position would be complete without highlighting potential disadvantages.

Administration

The annual compliance requirements for a company in terms of administration and accounting tend to result in costs being higher for a company than for a sole trader or partnership. Annual accounts need to be prepared in a format dictated by the Companies Act and, in certain circumstances, the accounts need to be audited by a registered auditor.

Details of the directors and shareholders are filed on the public register held by the Registrar of Companies.

Privacy

The annual accounts have to be made available on public record - although these can be modified to minimise the information disclosed.

PAYE/Benefits

If you do not have any employees at present, you do not have to be concerned with PAYE and returns of benefits forms (P11Ds). As a company, you will need to complete PAYE records for salary payments and keep records of expenses reimbursed to you by the company. Forms P11D may have to be completed.

Dividends

If you will require regular payments from your company, we will need to set up a system for you to correctly pay dividends.

Transactions with the business owner

A business owner may introduce funds to and withdraw funds from an unincorporated business without tax implications. When a company is involved there may be tax implications on these transactions.

Director’s responsibilities

A company director may be at risk of criminal or civil penalty proceedings eg for late filing of accounts or for breaking the insolvency rules.

How we can help

There may be a number of good reasons currently for considering use of a company as part of a tax planning strategy. However as you can see from this factsheet, there are many factors to consider and whilst every effort is made to ensure the details above are accurate proper advice tailored to your own personal circumstances should be sought before taking any significant action. We would welcome the opportunity to talk to you about your own specific circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us at Moore Green on 01787 880066.