Should i set up a company?

Yes yes law q 101 but I don't want shitty law answers I want real person answers!

Doing some consultancy work. Is it worth the faff? Actually I probably can't set the company up in time but hypothetically should I have done? 

Rare what ebitda said and in addition, depends what you are consulting on.  If tax, limit the fucking exposure to the max. also are u even allowed to consult (assuming "law"ish stuff) in sweatieland without mahoosive insurance?

You can buy an off the shelf company with a private bank account and all the docs needed in minutes for sod all.  

Clergies Lingerie Deliveries and Modelling ltd is available, FYI.

It's not actual tax advice or anything I think I'm likely to be sued for. So I would be more in it for the tax saving.

Why not just act as a sole trader? Probably less hassle and you’re not going to need to be VAT registered so *shrug*

I am thinking probably sole trader tbh but I reckon I could save a couple of thousand in tax if I made an effort to crunch the numbers

bank account , again can be opened in minutes once company is incorporated.

Well, and I don’t mean to sound rude here, but if anyone knows if it’s worthwhile, maybe you as a fecking experienced tax lawyer might be in the best decision to make that call!

Well I can do the tax obv I'm just not plugged into the practicalities

Setting up a company and getting a cheque book and online banking from a private bank will take minutes.  Probably £150 a year or something for doing your minimum accounts from whichever off the shelf company you use.  What other practicalities do you need?

Reporting obligations sort of thing

No idea how to do that haven't done it in over a decade

You can get a bank account for the company from the bank you use for your own current account easily enough but there is no way on this earth you are going to buy a company off the shelf with its own working bank account. 

I did think that sounded odd!

Chz buzz. Are the admin faffs with companies House ok? And can you hide your home address online these days??

Just presume only obligations would be change of service address, change of director etc, and annual simple accounts.  Can’t think of anything else unless you’re providing actual legal advice in which case you need to consult your local juridiction professional reporting authority.  And Insurance ofc.

I will now spend my train journey wondering about good company names

Awesome Consultancy Ltd

My counter of beans does all that for me so my directors service address and the registered office address are all at the accountant's offices.

Buzz - the off the shelf company providers will set up an account for you at a private bank as part of the bundle.  I did this just like well just a couple of years ago for that blonde teacher chick I was seeing when she randomly moved in with me to start contracting in london.

I feared an accountant might come into it. My income won't really justify bells and whistles I don't think. Hm.

Mine's pretty cheap, about £350 a year for quarterly VAT, annual accounts, corp tax, payroll etc.  

You could always compromise and join up with an umbrella company... cheaper but you don’t get to choose the name etc because you’re effectively making yourself their employee.

Tec, the verification IDs and docs need to be done in Branch in person nowadays, and have been for a while unless you want to deposit your money with the Bank of moomba jumba a non FCA regulated entity

So they prepare and forward the application to the Bank, and then all the verifications have to be done in person in branch like I said......... If you open a business account with your personal current account provider it will be far quicker and easier as Buzz said.

Lol, depends who you bank with.  I wouldn’t try to rapid open an hsbc business account, nor coutts, nor UBS.

Like i said, you don't get a company with a working bank account off the shelf.

Can I just use one of my spare current accounts in the meantime?

Ok you have to walk in and show your passport.  Big whoop.

You'd probably want to prepare a declaration of trust I suppose.  And you almost certianly breach your current account Ts&Cs. 

Yeah but it's not like they'd find out

Ach better not

Seriously, I bank with HSBC and to set up a business account with them for a company wholly owned by me took not much time and not much effort.

Well it’s not like you are regulated by any organisation which runs your career for any trivial act of financial dishonesty or anything is it....

Tec, did you not say you were an M&A Lawyer at a huge law firm previously? They may also want to see Share certificate, cerificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles , and such like...

Clergs the bigger issue is to make sure you are not in breach of your fiducuary duties towards your employer if you have a side gig. You may require their consent...

They are fine with it (I've done similar for years but this is an upgrade cashwise)

Stop fishing about my career your stalkery little eel.

All that stuff is generated automatically and sent to both the new company director and the bank.  

Look, I had a girlfriend who was living in a different city and for reasons known only to herself decided to pretty much just move in with me when I came back to London.  She left a stable job and decided to contract for a while and figure out what she wanted to do with her life (have babies with me).

So I sorted it all out for her meaning within the last few years I have had practical experience of actually doing this.  No need to pick holes, I did it relatively recently.  

Well this got weird quickly... 


Clerg - sole trader status is way less hassle unless you plan to build up capital in the co it's not worth it for any tax savings these days. 


Yeah sorry for getting weird I was just trying to explain to someone that I’ve done one of these things.

And yes I suggested that earlier but our tax princess thinks she has something up her sleeve to make thousands more savings....

Its a simple hassle vs saving balance


The more money that will go through it the better the saving


If its £5ks worth of work its not likely to outweigh the hassle


if you do £80ks worth of work it will very much be worth the hassle


you can set it up all yourself but if you speak to an umbrella company company theyll walk you through pros and cons. 

Tec you have said hundreds of times here you were an M&A lawyer in big law, only this week you were talking about your time doing take privates 

also the hassle level is low anyway so if you have a high hassle appetite ....

"if you do £80ks worth of work it will very much be worth the hassle"


How do you work that out? 


Have not said anything about m&a on nunurof although I believe I mentioned take privates.  Just stop calling back stuff from the past, it isn’t difficult.  I have asked you nicely before, I do so now again.

  • as a general rule it will be more tax efficient, non? 
  • you can have a virtual office for less than £100
  • accountant will do all your taxes for 3-400 or les
  • VAT is not that complex
  • check out apps like Xero
  • obviously your liability is limited
  • can set up a bank account in minutes with someone like Starling - all links into Xero for easy accounting 
  • as a general rule it will be more tax efficient, non? No not really, unless you want to build up a load of cash in the company and not draw it down. If you want the cash as income there are virtualy no savings these days. 
  • you can have a virtual office for less than £100 - so can a sole trader so no savings there. 
  • accountant will do all your taxes for 3-400 or less - see previous. 
  • VAT is not that complex - see previous 
  • check out apps like Xero - see previous. 
  • obviously your liability is limited. This the one advantage but saves no money unless you fuck up and then you should be insured anyhow. 
  • can set up a bank account in minutes with someone like Starling - all links into Xero for easy accounting  - see previous.


I looked into this a while back and worked out it was not worth the faff. 

Get a decent accountant to make sure you get the right tax deductions.


I thought wibbles first point was the main one now, there’s no tax advantage as such, only a phasing advantage in as much as you (the individual) can “earn” your money at the most advantageous time by leaving it in the company. Maybe there is some fvcking around with directors loans you can do. Then again, you’re the tax lawyer (clergs). 

There are tax savings enough to make it worthwhile if there's decent money coming in. Divi income 7.5/32.5/38.1% lower/higher/upper rates are good enough a saving for me. Works well if it's your only source of income, less well if it isn't and most of your income is PAYE.

ah I stand corrected wibble.


I though there were significant tax benefits, especially around certain numbers, not to mention tax free dividend allowances for directors so in theory if you could put your other half on as a director you can get another £2k out tax free. 


In any case you will get all of this advice for free from an accountant 

Having also looked into this recently, I agree with wibble. On English tax rates there’s not much in it after you pay corp tax and then income tax in dividends vs straight income tax.  Obv do the math as Buzz suggests with the Scottish rates and your estimated income and you’ll see if it’s worthwhile. 

Don't you also have to worry about the corp tax hit as well, though? 

It is definitely worth it for tax (if you are Scottish and value minor watch cash).

I am only interested in the admin hassle factor!

Then use some of said savings and get an accountant to do it all for you. QED. 

Well famously accountants don't actually take the rap if it goes tits up

I will probably stay off grid like the natural person I am

Is your work under this potential ltd guaranteed/in the bag or is this a new venture?


The work is there. I mean not guaranteed like a salaried job, Mr ir35 inspector.

ha, I only asked as if you have money coming in I think you may as well just have a quick chat with an accountant. Tbh you really should get a lot of free advice from anyone half decent. The better they are the less concerned they are about giving away info for free!? 



True I just always feel uncomfortable taking advice for free, it's my lower middle class roots 

Free advice is the way forwards and I think we are going to see masses more free advice everywhere in coming years. In addition you dont have to take it. Just go speak to 5 accountants, youll get a feel for who you trust and hopefully if they all say the same things you will feel reassured. 



if the company pays into your pension it's v much worthwhile.

Havent read all this thread but :

dont bother with companies house unless a) want to sell the co as future exit which is for the fairies mostly or b) want to hire staff ( as opposed to free lancers with invoices).

sole trader way to go.

i got a BoS acct because retail bank with Halifax piece of p1ss, take minutes..

also with a company people can look up your filings, ugh.

if high value/ low volume work then easy peasy bookkeeping invoices and just keep your receipts and invoices for wfh stuff.

also reg with VAT piece of p1ss.


Thanks minkie & escaped. Yeah am a bit reluctant to have to file publicly I feel it could be a bit undermining cos I won't be raking in millions. I have two clients, one middling one very modest. Maybe I can get a third later in the year but would need an employee and ARG no way.

if you need an emoloyee have them wfh independently and pay their invoices DO NOT EMPLOY STAFF not only does that negate reason for having premises, which you dont want,  you also dont want employment law issues.


You do realise that you wouldn't file full accounts at Companies House, only a balance sheet? 

Minkie, you do realise that working from home and being invoiced, doesn't of itself determine employment status?

yeah ofc Buzz but I still wouldnt want any public filings if just me.

i dont think Clergs is talking about full time staff. I just meant, outsource it.