UK : Self-employed or Limited Company ?
Thread poster: Lucie Brione

Lucie Brione  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:53
English to French
+ ...
Feb 1, 2004

Hi all,

I am thinking of switching careers from IT to translating. I am not yet ready to set myself up (need some qualification first !), but I was wondering if many of you were set up through a limited company, rather than as self-employed ? If so, what advantages did you find in doing that ?

Thanks in advance.


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Miller
Local time: 16:53
German to English
Getting started Feb 2, 2004

Not need to set up a limited company. As far as qualifications are concerned it's specicialised experience and language skills which count. Try working for, or better still in an agency for a while to get some experience of translation tools etc.

Andy


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Wenke Geddert  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:53
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Forming a business Feb 2, 2004

Should you wish to set up business in the UK, the following link might help. Although the info is from North Yorkshire Business Link, your local branch should be able to assist with further details.
http://www.here4business.co.uk/blyny/newbusiness/forming.asp
HTH


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Giuliana Criscuolo-Bruce
Local time: 15:53
English to Italian
+ ...
Agree with Miller Feb 2, 2004

I couldn't agree more with Miller... in a nutshell all you need to know.
... And also, do not bother with VAT registration. It is not compulsory under a certain turnover, and starting out, you are likely to be well under the treshold. It is costly and bothersome to administer.
Best of luck!


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:53
Member
German to English
+ ...
I'm a limited company! Feb 2, 2004

And I'm also VAT registered! (which, btw, takes very little administration and means you can claim VAT back on all expenses )

Being a limited company is more administration work - there are more forms to fill in and more returns to complete. But it does have advantages in terms of tax - realistically, the best person to tell you about these is an accountant.

As it's name suggests, a limited company also has limited liability. This means that, in the event of a claim being made against you, your liability is limited to the assets of the company, whereas if you are just a sole trader, your personal assets could also be at risk.

As I say, the best bet is to consult an accountant or financial advisor. But it's not a decision you need to make before starting out - you can always start out as a sole trader and then incorporate as a limited company later on.

HTH
Mary


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Pat Jenner
Local time: 15:53
German to English
+ ...
in defence of limited companies Feb 2, 2004

I also operate in this way and have never found it particularly complicated. You do need a good (tax-deductible) accountant, unless of course you have the time and inclination to do the work yourself. One advantage is that it allows you to even out the peaks and troughs in income: you pay yourself a regular salary, which also means that you settle your tax bill as you go rather than facing a large demand twice a year.

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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:53
English to French
+ ...
I was a Limited company ! Feb 2, 2004

Hi,
When I lived in London back in 1998 - 2000 as an IT consultant I worked through my own Limited company. I paid an accountant to do the paper work related to taxes, VAT and salary forms (the "pay scheme" ) and it was easy. A lot of IT consultants work this way. Beside you can claim VAT back on all your expenses (computer, stationery, phone etc...)
Before I left I was even thinking of doing the paperwork myself, when you get used to it it's not that difficult and you can save this too !
There are plenty of books and website to help, too, like the Inland Revenue website (for taxes). Have a look on website dedicated to IT consultants too, a lot of them operate through Ltd companies and they give lot of advice.


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 09:53
German to English
One-person limited company? Feb 3, 2004

Hiya - I have 2 questions for the Ltds among us

1. Can you do form a Ltd with just one person, or do you officially have to have a secretary as well as the director? And if you name someone as your secretary, I suppose you have to actually pay them too?

2. Do you have professional liability insurance (E&O), and if so, could you recommend a good policy?

Thanks for any advice!


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:53
English to French
+ ...
1 director (me) + 1 secretary (good friend) Feb 3, 2004

Hi,

In 2000 it was mandatory to have 1 director + 1 secretary. I asked a good friend of mine. I didn't pay him since he had nothing to do, just sign some papers when I registered at the House of Companies and opened a bank account. I took care of all the paperwork myself - no big deal really. It is a mere formality. Of course you have to trust them (and vice-versa). Of course I was the sole owner of the shares (2£ !!) so I did not have to pay him any dividend either.
The secretary does not have to live in UK or be British. They can be your sister / brother etc... They will never have to apply "in person" in UK as far as they signs the forms . If you don't know of anybody just ask your accountant (but then you will have to pay some fees for the job) .

As for your second question I had a liability insurance - about 300£ a year as an IT consultant - I found the company on the Internet. Of course you can claim this as a deductible business expense.


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Lucie Brione  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:53
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
IT contracting Feb 6, 2004

nordiste wrote:

Hi,
When I lived in London back in 1998 - 2000 as an IT consultant I worked through my own Limited company. I paid an accountant to do the paper work related to taxes, VAT and salary forms (the "pay scheme" ) and it was easy. A lot of IT consultants work this way. Beside you can claim VAT back on all your expenses (computer, stationery, phone etc...)
Before I left I was even thinking of doing the paperwork myself, when you get used to it it's not that difficult and you can save this too !
There are plenty of books and website to help, too, like the Inland Revenue website (for taxes). Have a look on website dedicated to IT consultants too, a lot of them operate through Ltd companies and they give lot of advice.


These days, it is not possible to be an IT contractor and be self employed. You have to either be working under an umbrella company, or be set up as a Ltd Company. It is something to do with liability.

This is why I was asking the question in the first place.I am not currently a contractor, just a full-time employee, and was considering my options.

It looks like some of you are set up as Ltd company, which answers the question I had of whether it was possible to do it that way.

Thanks to all.


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Anon
Local time: 15:53
English to Chinese
+ ...
Limited Companies Feb 10, 2004

Hilary Davies wrote:

Hiya - I have 2 questions for the Ltds among us

1. Can you do form a Ltd with just one person, or do you officially have to have a secretary as well as the director? And if you name someone as your secretary, I suppose you have to actually pay them too?

2. Do you have professional liability insurance (E&O), and if so, could you recommend a good policy?

Thanks for any advice!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Anon
Local time: 15:53
English to Chinese
+ ...
Limited Companies Feb 10, 2004

Hilary Davies wrote:

Hiya - I have 2 questions for the Ltds among us

1. Can you do form a Ltd with just one person, or do you officially have to have a secretary as well as the director? And if you name someone as your secretary, I suppose you have to actually pay them too?

2. Do you have professional liability insurance (E&O), and if so, could you recommend a good policy?

Thanks for any advice!


If you have a wife/husband, it is quite legal to have them as the company secretary, and you don't have to pay a penny!!


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