Limited company

Difference Between Self-Employed And Limited Company.

Difference Between Self-Employed And Limited Company

When you start a business, the most important decision has to take by the owner is to select an appropriate legal structure for their business. Generally, there are two main options, self-employment which is also known as a sole trader, and forming a limited company. Each department has its unique feature, legal implications, and financial deliberation. 

The selection of which legal structure is best for a new firm is one of the most important decisions that founders must make when launching a business. Working for oneself and starting a limited company are the two most popular options. Every structure has its characteristics, legal implications, and costs. In this blog, we will examine the differences between self-employment and limited companies to assist businessmen in making informed decisions.

Difference between Self-employed and Limited company.

What is Self-Employed? 

Self-employment, often known as being a sole trader, is a popular legal structure for freelancers and small firms. In this structure, one person is in control of the company as a single unit and is accountable for all of the tasks, liabilities, and earnings of the company.  Let’s check out some main points of self-employment in more detail.     

Business Structure: As a self-employed, the business is not a distinct legal entity. Instead, it serves as an expansion of the owner directly. This indicates that there is no separation in law between the owner and the company.    

Taxation: Self-employed people are required to file an annual self-assessment tax return as well as register with the tax authorities. On the revenue the company generates, they pay income tax as well as National Insurance Contributions. 

Personal Liability: The fact that self-employed people are personally liable for all business debts is a crucial factor to take into account. The founder’s private assets could be at risk in the case of financial problems or legal actions taken against the company. 

Maintaining Financial Records: Self-employed are required to keep thorough records of their earnings, expenditures, and business dealings. To produce tax returns and other regulatory obligations, proper record-keeping is essential. 

Flexibility and Control: Running a company as self-employed allows for maximum flexibility and total control. Many founders starting small companies find that this legal structure is an interesting option because it is very easy to set up and operate.  

What Is a Limited Company?

The limited company is considered a separate legal entity from its founders. Because, the company’s financial situation, assets, and obligations are separate from those of its shareholders personally. 

Legal Entity: A limited company is considered a separate legal entity from its owners. As a result, the company’s finances, assets, and liabilities are distinct from the personal finances of its shareholders.

Limited Liability: Limited liability protection is one of a limited company’s key benefits. In most cases, shareholders are only accountable for the amount they invested in the business. Except for any fraudulent conduct, their funds are shielded from corporate debts and legal claims. 

Taxation: The profits of limited companies are subject to corporate tax. Additionally, dividends that are taxed independently from income tax may be sent to shareholders. The income tax rates that lone proprietors pay can sometimes be more tax efficient than this tax structure. 

Reporting and Compliance: Limited companies are subject to stricter reporting and compliance requirements than Self-employed. Accompany must comply with the Companies Act and other applicable laws, present yearly financial statements, and maintain a current address for its registered office. 

Formality and Complexity: Compared to self-employment, forming and managing a limited company requires more documentation and administrative work. A company’s duties include issuing shares, choosing directors, and convening annual general meetings. 

Difference between Self-employed and Limited company.

Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being a Sole Trader and Limited Company.

Advantages of being a sole trader

Disadvantages of being a sole trader

As a sole trader, you have total authority over all business decisions and processes.    As a sole trader, you are entirely responsible for the liabilities of your company. You may lose your personal assets if the company runs into financial problems.   
You are free to choose your own work schedule, projects, and how rapidly you want to respond to market changes. As a sole trader, you are liable for every part of the company. This might result in workload and potential stress, especially during peak periods. 
You are the sole owner of all revenue earned by your company. You are not required to distribute profits to shareholders or partners.  As a sole trader, you might lack experience in some fields which could lead to some potential challenges. 
As a solo trader, you are the face of the business so you can often build strong personal relationships with your clients.   Being a sole trader can be isolating as you don’t have partners or colleagues to share ideas and challenges with.  
In comparison to other business formats, starting and operating a solo trader is simple and involves few legal and administrative procedures.  Because you are a sole trader, In comparison to well-established businesses with a large team of employees, some clients or investors could view solo traders as less trustworthy.  

Here we listed the advantages and disadvantages of sole trader, now let’s check out the advantages and disadvantages of being a limited company. 

Advantages of being a limited company

Disadvantages of being a limited company

In a limited company, the personal assets of shareholders are protected from business liabilities. In a limited company, if shareholders don’t hold a significant number of shares then they may have a limited amount of control. 
To be an “Ltd” or “Limited” in the company name can improve professional reputation and credibility. The formation of a limited company involves more formal, legal, and administrative processes. 
Limited Company takes longer and more costly legal and administrative processes to set up a limited company.   Being a limited company can result in higher expenses for administration and compliance. 
Limited Companies sometimes benefit from advantageous tax rate deductions, which decrease personal tax liabilities.  In a limited company, the financial statements and certain company information are publicly accessible that reducing privacy. 
In a limited company continues to exist even if shareholders change, the company offers consistency.  Establishing a limited company can lead the higher expenditures for administration and compliance. 

It’s significant to note that the advantages and disadvantages may differ based on the specifics of the limited company and the objectives of its founders.


Solo traders and limited companies, both options have certain benefits and issues for potential company founders. Your long-term goals and the type of business you want to establish eventually define which option is best for you. Whichever option you decide to choose with expert advice and a clear understanding of the establishment will help you to make an informed decision that aligns with your vision of success.