I am currently registered as a sole trader and would really appreciate some advice on registering and changing to a Limited Company.
I have a few quick questions that would be great to get some clarification on.
If I register the Limited Company on say 1st June 2016, can I do the accounts from 6th April 2016 so for 16/17 financial year or can I only start keeping the books from the date the company is formed?
The reason I ask is because I thought I could close off the 15/16 year as a sole trader then just do 16/17 as a limited company to make the book keeping easier.
With a limited company I know you can keep your own books but is it a requirement to have a qualified accountant sign off your accounts at year end?
Is it best to register the limited company through a website or just do do it directly through companies house?
Would you recommend buying an address say in London for the Registered Office if you prefer to keep your own address private? I know a few registration companies offer this service at around £50 per year.
If you won’t be issuing shares is it best to just keep the share structure as simple as possible with say just 1 share?
The limited company has it’s own accounting year, completely distinct to the tax year (5th April to 6th April). If you form a company on the 1st of June, it’s first accounting year will run from 1st June 2016 to 1st of June 2017, there will also be a small period from 1st June 2017 to 30th June 2017, these two sets of accounts are usually filed together within 9 months of 30th June 2017.
A good thing to remember here is the limited company is a separate legal entity to you as the owner, it’s important not to mix the financial activity. If you are transitioning from a sole trader to a limited company you still need to prepare your self assessment for all business activity conducted under your own name. Once the limited company is setup it will needs it’s own bank account and all it’s activity should be accounted for under a completely separate QF account.
It isn’t a requirement, but I would certainly say it’s worth the relatively small costs in order to ensure the accounts are prepared correctly. An accountant can also spot ways for you to reduce your own tax liability so it can pay for itself.
We have a sister company that specialise in Company Formation, you can register a Limited company here for £11.95, this includes the statutory fee, telephone support and free assistance with setting up a company bank account (Barclays, Lloyds or RBS).
If you’re concerned about having your residential address appear on the public record then this is definitely a good idea. In general if you have business premises this is not usually a problem, but otherwise it can be a good option.
Absolutely, if you intend to be the sole owner, just issue a single £1 share. Keep it simple, if you go crazy and issue one million shares at £1, that becomes your liability to the company, so not a good idea.
I registered the Limited Company and it was incorporated today, 2nd June 2016.
When you say there will also be a small period for the month of June in 2017 why exactly is this?
I understand, I have just created a new QuickFile account, can I now just start logging all business activity from this date onwards under the Limited company and stop logging as a sole trader (once sole trader accounts are complete up to 1st June 2016)?
Can I not just use the same business bank account but only include bank activity from this date onwards?
I am also slightly confused as what should be added as starting capital etc when changing from a sole trader.
Would it be possible to transfer over the Suppliers / Customers information from the old account?
Do you offer this service through the QuickFile dashboard?
Because the first accounting period is greater than 1 year. E.g. 2nd June 2016 to 30th June 2017, so it’s split into two. Limited company year-ends default to the last day of the month the company was incorporated. This only applies to the first year of trading.
Usually only if the activity is conducted through accounts in the name of the Limited Company. So the next step would be to open a business bank account for the new company.
No you shouldn’t mix activity of the Limited company in with an account in your name as a sole trader. It will create an accounting headache later.
This would be the nominal value of the shares, you’d journal this into your Limited company accounts. There’s a post somewhere on here that covers that. Will have a look shortly.
If you notify us of the old and new account numbers we can do this for you.
Yes, this option is available from the QF dashboard. If you save you’re new company number on QuickFile we’ll also send you an email reminder when your first set of accounts are due.
The old quickfile account number is 6131443214 and the new account number is 6131478426, if you could transfer across suppliers, clients and any other information that would be great.
I spoke to an accountant recently who said that when I finish trading as a sole trader I should close off the financial year as a sole trader with closing stock figures. Then put this as a loan from myself to the new limited company as opening stock.
Is this the correct way to do it when accounting for the stock I already have in the new Limited company?
I’m not an accountant, so it’s always worth checking with yours on the correct way to log this (I’m sure they know much more than me when it comes to this! ;))
Like you have a Proprietors Drawings Account for a Sole Trader, you have a Directors Loan Account (DLA) for a limited company. If you are loaning money to the limited company, you would just have a money in transaction in your bank account tagged as a transfer from the DLA.
I’m not 100% sure on the recording of stock as it’s a transfer from the sole trader business to the limited company, so I’d rather not give you incorrect advice. However, if your accountant can tell you what needs to be done, I’d be more than happy to show you how to achieve it in QuickFile.