Legal structures: the basics


If you are considering setting up a business, it's worth thinking carefully about which structure best suits the way that you intend to do business, as this will affect:

  • which authorities you have to notify that your business exists
  • the tax and National Insurance that you pay
  • the records and accounts that you have to keep
  • your financial liability if the business runs into trouble
  • the ways your business can raise money
  • the way management decisions are made about the business

There are several structures to choose from, depending on your situation. This guide will help you understand the differences between them.

If you are not sure which legal structure would best suit your business, you can get advice from an accountant or solicitor.

Subjects covered in this guide