There’s plenty of information on Gov.uk to help you choose a legal structure.
You can also find out more from YouTube videos, e-learning and webinars here.
You can register to get business help and support emails from HMRC here.
Some key points to know:
• If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a self-employed sole trader. You run your own business as an individual. You can keep all your business profits after you’ve paid tax on them. But you’re personally responsible for any losses your business makes.
• You may decide to set up a partnership with one or more people. In this case each partner is self-employed but when you set up a business partnership you need to:
• choose a name
• choose a ‘nominated partner’
• register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
The ‘nominated partner’ is responsible for managing the partnership’s tax returns and keeping business records.
• Both self-employed sole traders and partners can employ others to help them in their business.
• You may choose to set up a limited company to run your business. Limited liability is where a person's financial liability is limited to a fixed sum, most commonly the value of a person's investment in a company or partnership.
• Any profit it makes is owned by the company, after it pays Corporation Tax. The company can then share its profits. If you choose to set up a limited company, it’s very likely you’ll be a director of the company and, as such, will be treated as an employee of the company.
• If you do set up a limited company and become a director, you can find out what your responsibilities are when running a limited company using this link.
• You can hire other people to manage some of these responsibilities, for example keeping company records or filing accounts, day-to-day (eg an accountant) but you’re still legally responsible for your company’s records, accounts and performance.
• There are schemes available to help small and medium companies raise money:
• If you’re a small, early stage company looking to raise equity finance there’s the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) SEED Enterprise investment scheme
• Smaller, higher-risk trading companies wanting to raise finance may benefit from the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Enterprise investment scheme
This offers a range of tax reliefs to investors who purchase new shares in the companies.