Business Structure

There are lots of things to think about when starting your own business – from evaluating your business idea and choosing a company name through to designing your business cards, developing a website and, finally, getting ready to launch.  However, as part of that process choosing the proper business structure often doesn't get as much thought.  Many start-ups choose to become sole traders or partnerships simply because they are are concerned about additional paperwork.  However, Limited companies offer many distinct and money-saving advantages over other types of entities.

It is important to consider all business structures before making a final decision on what works best for you; it depends on your type of business, where you work and whether you employ staff.

Sole traders

It’s simpler to set up as a sole trader, but you’re personally responsible for your business’s debts. You also have some accounting responsibilities.

Limited companies

If you form a limited company, its finances are separate from your personal finances, but there are more reporting and management responsibilities. Some people get help from a professional, for example an accountant, but you can set up a company yourself.


A partnership is the simplest way for 2 or more people to run a business together. You share responsibility for your business’s debts. You also have accounting responsibilities.

Community Intestest Companies

Community interest companies (CICs) are a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders.

Further business structure information available:

Community Interest Companies

Set up a Charity

Business Structures