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2016/17 Tax rates and allowances for business owners To clarify the various tax rates, thresholds and allowances that self employed workers, business owners and company directors need to be aware of for tax calculations, here is ByteStart’s summary of the main tax rates, tax bands, and tax allowances for the tax year from 6 April 2016 to 5 April 2017.

These are the rates and thresholds that you will need to use for completing self assessment tax returns for 2016/17.

The deadline for filing a paper tax return for the 2016/17 tax year is 30 October 2017. If you are completing your self assessment online, you have until 31 January to submit your return.

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Advanatges of running a business as a sole trader

For those new to the world of business there are many things to consider. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when you’re starting a business is whether to set up as a sole trader (self employed) or limited company.

Both sole traders and limited companies have their distinct advantages and disadvantages (make sure you read our guide on 10 Advantages of running your business as a limited company instead of being self-employed to learn the main benefits of the limited company option).

Whilst the professionalism and protection that comes with running a limited company is appealing to many, becoming self-employed is the more straightforward option, and with it comes a number of other benefits.

So to help you make the right choice when deciding whether you should go self employed or set up a limited company when launching your new business, here are 7 key benefits of working as a sole trader; Continue…

10 advantages of a limited company

Although the sole trader route, which is commonly referred to as being self employed, is the most popular way of running a business in the UK, there are significant advantages of operating as a limited company.

Here, we highlight 10 of the biggest benefits a limited company gives you over working as self-employed;
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Millions of small business owners will see the amount of tax they pay go up following the Spring 2017 Budget.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his Budget speech, plans to increase the taxes paid by the self-employed and limited company directors.

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One of the main benefits of becoming self employed is the ease with which you can start up and run your new business.

You can even become a sole trader (another term for self-employed) whilst working as an employee for someone else, so you can test the water and see if you’re suited to working for yourself.

Here are 5 things you need to do when you decide to go self employed: Continue…

One of the first, and most important decisions you make when you set up a new business is to decide what type of legal structure you should work under.
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The inspiration to start a business can come anywhere at any time: in the pub, in the shower, in the supermarket, walking the dog. How many times has someone you know announced they’ve had a great business idea? And how many of those eureka moments ended up getting no further than a few notes on a napkin?

Why was this? Too much hard work involved? Concerns over starting a business being too risky? Worries about it needing too much commitment?

But those aren’t barriers to every business idea taking off; some ideas do make it from conceptualisation to conclusion. The difference? Dedication and passion. And perhaps necessity. Continue…

In this concise guide, we look at the taxes you will encounter if you start your own business as a sole trader, and other things you should bear in mind before taking the plunge and becoming self employed.
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Becoming a sole trader is the simplest way to get your new business off the ground.

You can start trading immediately, subject to any industry-specific licences or insurances you might be required to have.

As a sole trader, you will have complete control over your business and finances. You can adapt quickly to any changes in your business, without having to concern yourself with a great deal of bureaucracy.
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National Insurance is a deduction from earnings, set up originally to fund various State benefits such as the NHS, the State pension and other welfare-related schemes.

In reality, it is just another tax. In fact, as standard income tax rates have remained constant for many years, NI rates have soared.

In this guide we look at how National Insurance works, and what your National Insurance Contributions (NICs) will be as a small business person. The guide has been updated with the NIC rates for the 2016/17 tax year. Continue…

Before deciding to become self-employed, it’s a good idea to think through the implications of working for yourself…
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The type of structure you use will depend on a number of factors unique to the business you want to start. In this article, we look at the main structures – sole trader, limited company, partnership and LLP and highlight the pros and cons of using each one.
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Starting a new business is an exciting time but getting the administrative side of things set up can be quite a time-consuming process. However, if these initial tasks are completed in a thorough and efficient manner, things are more likely to run smoothly and you can focus on the more exciting aspects of running your own business.

There are a number of different legal matters which need to be addressed before setting up a new business. Seeking good advice to help you through the planning and setup process ensures your business is built on solid foundations andcan provide protection when things do not go to plan.

Being prepared for any legal issues that could occur and having a good understanding of business law is essential when setting up a new company; lacking both could lead to a make or break situation. This guide is here to help you get your business off to a flying start and make sure you are both prepared and protected for what the future holds. Continue…

If two or more people wish to go into business together, and don’t want to set up a limited company, a partnership offers a simple way to get started. It is similar in many ways to going the sole trader route for an individual.
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A dormant company is one that doesn’t trade and has no accounting transactions.

There are two main situations where owning a dormant limited company can be useful for start-ups and small business owners;
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Are you a self-employed individual? Do you have to travel on business, and does that travel ever entail an overnight stay away from your home?

Do you know exactly which of the travel and accommodation expenses you can legitimately claim back? If you get it wrong, you could pay too much tax, or worse still find yourself in trouble with HMRC for paying too little tax!

To help you get it right, here’s an explanation of the rules regarding travel and accommodation expenses for sole traders. It explains what you can, and can’t, include as legitimate costs in your business accounts. Continue…

What is a sole trader?

November 11, 2014

There are around 2.8 million sole traders in the UK. It is the most popular, and simplest, way of starting and running a business.

In this guide, we take a look at what exactly a sole trader is, the key things you need to know about becoming a sole trader, and whether it is the right business structure for you.
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One of the first tasks you will have when starting up your business will be to decide whether to set up a new limited company, or become self-employed. If you choose to go self employed, this could be either as a sole trader, or as a partner in a partnership.

The different business structures each have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s vital you understand what each offers you. Working out which option best suits you, and your new business, can take a little time but it is an important decision, and one that can have major ramifications over the years ahead, so you do want to choose the business structure that best suits your circumstances.

Here we look at some of the differences between working as self employed and setting up a limited company;
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Record number of private businesses in the UK

October 17, 2012

Figures released by the Department of BIS today show that there are now more private sector businesses in the UK than ever before – 4.8 million of them at the start of the year.

Small businesses could save billions by going limited

June 27, 2012

A professional services site says that small businesses could be ‘wasting’ over £4bn each year in unnecessary taxes by setting up as sole traders and partnerships rather than taking the limited company route.

ByteStart’s Start-Up Guide – Part 3 – Which business structure is best for you?

October 11, 2011

Most small businesses set up as either sole traders, or limited companies. In this section of ByteStart’s Start-Up Guide, we look at the most commonly used business structures in the UK.

How many business enterprises are there in the UK?

October 2, 2008

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its latest report on the number of registered businesses in the UK. There was a 3% rise in business enterprise numbers in the year to March 2008.