Site Established:
Year 2000

Start In Business
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 Start-up flow chart: The legal formats for a business.
1.Sole Trader.

Related Pages
Legal formats:
Useful Links:

 In brief:

Setting up:

Just needs to register as self-employed.


If the business fails, then the owner is fully responsible for all the business' debts.


The owner's word is final.


More often than not, owner's personal money.


All profits belong to the owner.

Taxes Etc.:

Self employed status. Even if the owner doesn't draw on his profits they are still taxed. Losses can be offset against tax on other income.


If owner dies or retires, the business may crumble.



Unlike other business formats, sole traders (and partnerships) can start trading straight away, although certain types of businesses may need a licence to trade.
If trading under a name other than that of the owner, one must display the name and the address of the owner at the premises and on the stationery.
Seek advice from professionals such as solicitors or accountants and business support organisations...


England. Business Link (signpost line):
T. (0845) 756 7765
Wales. Business Connect:
T. (0845) 796 97 98
Scotland. Scottish Business Shops:
T. (0800) 78 78 78

Most of this information was sourced from the DTI publications: A Guide to Help for Small Business, (URN 99/1112) & Setting up in Business a guide to regulatory Requirements,
(URN 99/833)

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