Do I need to register a company?

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Just a quick question: I know that you’re supposed to register a company to do business, and I get why. But do you have to register a company at all? Can you not just “do business”? I only ask because I’m still playing around with this new idea I’ve got part-time. I’m not ready to quit my day job yet, and registering a company feels like a very resolute step towards making this side project I’ve got full time. What are my options?

Answers

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You do not need to register a company to start a part-time or full-time business - you also have the option of registering as a sole trader. You do this online through HMRC by registering for Self-Assessment (self-employment) and providing a few details about yourself and your new business.

All you would need to do after than is start trading, send a Self-Assessment tax return every year and pay any Income Tax and National Insurance owed from self-employment. You can be self-employed and employed at the same time, so don’t worry about that.

If you would prefer to set up a company and create a more impressive professional image for your new business, you can do this even if you only plan to run it as a side project alongside your full-time job. It doesn’t make a difference how many hours you work through your company - it’s entirely up to you.

To register a company, you have to send an online application to Companies House. You can do this through a company formation agent. The application only takes a few minutes to complete, and it should be approved within a few hours.

a year ago
 

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