Offices to Let Suffolk – A Rough Guide to Choosing the Structure of Your Company

Before choosing offices to let in Suffolk, if you are launching a new company one of the things you will have to decide on is the structure of your organisation. There are several forms a business can take and these include, among others, sole trader, business partnership, limited company and a limited liability partnership. Here’s our simple guide to the meaning of the above terms and the pros and cons of each.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for offices to let in Suffolk, The Gattinetts, on the Suffolk/Essex border, has a wide range of offices that are ideal for start-ups or long-established companies. Set in attractive surroundings, The Gattinetts is easy to get to, offers flexible rental agreements, and brings all the benefits of working from a friendly, office-based community. In addition to workplaces, The Gattinetts also has on-site storage facilities and workshops, and if you are organising an important meeting, it offers low-cost conference room hire at extremely competitive rates.

What is a Sole Trader?
As a general rule, sole traders are ideal for ‘one man’ organisations, usually trades people such as painters and decorators, handymen, carpenters, French polishers, electricians and plumbers, although it can work equally well for a computer maintenance company, a website designer, graphic designer, proof-reader and a freelance writer. A sole trader is controlled and owned by one person and it means your organisation doesn’t follow a complicated legal structure.

With the exception of filing your tax and VAT returns, as a sole trader, you don’t have to report to anyone else. You set your own hours, and, as you work alone, you get to keep the profits you make.

There are a few disadvantages to this, however, and the main ones are that if you are solely responsible for the company, you are also responsible for its debts. And, as you are not part of a larger organisation, your contacts are limited to the ones you make yourself. Also, if you don’t have any other employees that you are responsible for, you unlikely to land the bigger contracts. In this respect, promoting your company and networking is even more important to get your name known.

One main thing of note is that if you are a sole trader, it is important to take out public liability insurance to cover yourself in case of any injuries or any damage to property during the course of your work.

What is a Partnership?

Just as the name implies, a partnership is a business that is run by one or more partners. It’s very much on the line of a sole trader, except in this case the partners are jointly liable for any debts.

Unlike running an organisation yourself, you and your partner have to agree on various facets of the organisation and this can cause frictions at times. So, the only way to get round this is to set out a partnership agreement at the start. The agreement looks at all sorts of things such as roles, salaries, dividends, company loans, borrowing, hours of work, holidays and time off, as well as detailing the investment each partner has put into the business. It is important to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s  on a partnership agreement, so get in touch with a lawyer who is experienced in this field and can draw up a watertight agreement before you look for suitable office premises to let in Suffolk.

There are all sorts of benefits from partnerships, however, and the main one is that you are not working alone and you and your partner (or partners) will bring different skills to the company.

What is a Limited Company?

A large percentage of office-based organisations are run as a limited company or limited liability partnership, which is a good structure to have if you are thinking of expanding your business and taking on more employees.

If you are setting up a limited company, you must register your business with Companies House and, unlike with sole traders and partnerships, it is a legal requirement to file yearly financial statements (in addition to your tax returns), so it is important to get a reliable accountant.

Limited companies go hand in hand with red tape and your national insurance contributions will tend to be higher. Your financial statements are also a matter of public record, so anyone can see them.
There are benefits for setting up as a limited company, such as the fact that you are better placed to raise capital for your business, and eventually, if you choose to, you can also sell off parts, or all, of your organisation.

What is a Limited Liability Partnership?

As with a limited company (see above), if you are setting up a limited liability partnership it is a legal requirement to register your organisation with Companies House and to file yearly accounts.

Another thing to consider, which saves any difficulties later on, is to draw up legal agreements for all partners to sign (see above). Limited liability partnerships are usually the structure of choice for groups of professionals (for example accountants, solicitors or architects) who want to set up business together but retain an equal share in the business (as opposed to just being an employee) as well as having the protection of not being personally liable for debts incurred by the business.

However your business is set up, it is possible to change the structure once you get up and running; however, it is always better to get it right at the start, to prevent any complications later on.

Click on the link below to find out more about offices to let in Suffolk at The Gattinetts.