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Costs of going from sole trader to Ltd

I'm thinking of going Ltd in the next few years, not to save tax or anything, but just to 'officialize' (probably not a word) my business in my mind and also in others thoughts. I will hopefully be trying to get a few more commercial contracts also, and I think that being Ltd is seen as more trustworthy by other companies etc.

At the moment I am still running my business as a part time thing, because I have to look after the kids before and after school, as my missus works full time in a school. This means that I am not made of money, and do my own accounting etc. I realise that getting an accountant to deal with the transition would be sensible as it means transferring all the assets of the business that I now own into the company, payroll for me as director and a few other things I probably don't know about.

Now, being from Yorkshire, I'm a tight wad, so I am wondering if anyone can give me an insight into how much I should expect to pay and accountant to take care of this? I will be contacting some soon, but I just want to be armed with an idea of the costs involved.

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  • A good accountant will make their cost something you don't feel. I'm just going ltd this month. Accountant will charge 1200 including as many meetings as you want. He charges 350 for a tax return. He pointed out that I had been loosing three grand a year by not having a good accountant previously....so let's see if he puts my money where his mouth is. All the best. Simon
    • Thanks Simon, what do you get for your £1200? Is it just you, are do you employ people?

      Anyone else?

      • Hi Graham, I think a very similar package to Graham below...have had good local recommendations for the accountant and seems very clued up and willing to do all he can. I have a colleague full time but through CIS so he is self employed also my wife is going to be on the payroll now. I'd like to drop out of being vat registered by next year ;). From west London to now based in east Kent,
        • meant Scott s comment below'
  • PRO

    Maybe get yourself a good accountant first and then let them advise you as to wether or not you'll be better off as a Ltd company? There are still plenty of commercial opportunities available as a sole trader.


  • PRO

    £1200 a year over in North Lincolnshire Graham.

    For that I get as much advice as I need, payroll for 2 of us, tax returns, director SA return, book keeping,  and some help tax planning - wages v dividends etc. 

    I need to supply invoices or excel export of invoice data, payments, bank statements, purchase invoices etc on a monthly basis.

    Used to do it all myself, except the Corp Tax return, and going to an accountant seemed like wasted money - now I've offloaded it all, no accounts to sort out, was a big weight off my shoulders. 

    • PRO
      It’s liberating, isn’t it ?

      Two big steps for me many years ago was doing that and learning to delegate and not micro manage.

      Enables you to focus on business ....
      • PRO

        Very much so Gary.

        I found it fairly easy early on to do the accounts, especially with cloud accounting link ups with scheduling etc. Once I got busy there was a period of trying to do everything, accounts, planning, wages, van sorting out, oh and working too. 

        It became too much and in a similar way to some of the guys on the forum, I started to burn out. That was the time to let go.

      • PRO

        Learning how to delegate is going to be my big focus for 2018. Scary but exciting! 

  • Hi you can set up the company yourself if you look on line total average cost around £100 plus vat that’s the easy bit relatively speaking
    But after that get yourself a good accountant particularly one that has good HMRC ecsperience average cost around £120 per month plus any software requirements
    But generally it’s the best thing to do makes the image much more professional particularly if you want those commercial contracts
    I say go for it and good luck
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