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“What is a sole trader?” is a question that we are often asked. There are three key considerations in deciding whether setting up as a sole trader is right for you:

To set up as a sole trader, you need to notify HMRC that you intend to pay Income Tax and National Insurance through a personal tax return. 

If you are not already submitting a person tax return, you will need to register and then file a tax return every year.

You can trade under your own name or you can choose a trading name for your business. 

You do not need to register your name but there are some rules.  Sole trader names must not:

You must include your name and trading name, if you have one, on official paperwork such as invoices, quotes and letters.

If you do opt for a trading name, it is advisable register your name as a trade mark to prevent anyone else using the same name.

You must register for VAT once your turnover exceeds £85,000 in a twelve-month period.   However, you can register voluntarily if it suits your business.  The consideration is who you sell to and whether they can reclaim the VAT.

If you are intending to work in construction industry as a subcontractor or contractor, you will also need to register with HMRC for the Construction Industry Scheme.

Although you are self-employed, your business can have employees paid under PAYE and can register with HMRC for this as and when needed.

FAQs Planning Start-Ups

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