Are you already trading or considering starting a business as a sole trader? TaxAssist Accountants can help as we are a 'one-stop-shop' for accountancy services and tax advice for small businesses and self-employed individuals.
The main advantages of setting up as a sole trader are:
- Total control – You have total control over the business. Decisions can be made quickly and easily, from accountancy and financial decisions to general business decisions.
- Easy to change to another trading identity. It is relatively easy to change your trading identity from that of a sole trader to a limited company.
- Keep the profit – As the owner of the business, all the profit belongs to you.
- Business affairs are private – When you run an unincorporated business your accounts are not made available to the public therefore competitors cannot see what you are earning hence they will know less about how your business works and how it succeeds.
The reasons why sole traders are often successful are:
- They can offer a more personal approach – A smaller business can have closer contact with their customers and develop a close rapport in order to give a high level of service and customer care.
- They can be sensitive to the needs of their customers – Being closer to the customer allows you to react more quickly to their needs than a larger business.
- Can cater for the needs of local people – Small local businesses will be closer to the community and can develop good business relationships with their understanding of the area and local knowledge.
The main disadvantages of being a sole trader are:
- You are personally liable and accountable for all your businesses debts – Should your business fail you could end up losing your personal assets such as your home, car, etc.
- Can be difficult to raise finance – When you run a small unincorporated business, banks will not lend you large sums and you may find raising finance for the business is very difficult unless you are prepared to change your ownership status.
- Can be difficult to enjoy economies of scale – Smaller business often find that they cannot buy supplies in bulk and do not enjoy the same discounts as larger businesses.