How do I decide whether to trade as a Sole Trader, Partnership or Company

There are four main types of business entity through which you can conduct your business; Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited Liability Company or a Co-operative.

You need to consider:

  • The kind of business that you are starting;
  • The expectations of those with whom you plan to do business (Some business people prefer to conduct business with limited liability companies and may be wary of other business entities);
  • Your attitude to risk (A limited liability company limits the risk of losing your capital if your business fails);
  • How you wish to organise your tax affairs (Limited liability companies are subject to more favourable tax rates).

In addition to the taxation issues you need to consider that there are various other practical and legal matters which should be taken into account when setting up a company and on which you should seek further advice. For further information on business structures you can visit the Companies Registrations Office (CRO) Website. These issues are also considered as part of our Start Your Own Business Course.