1. Overview

You must choose a business structure when you start a business.

The structure you choose will define your legal responsibilities, like:

  • the paperwork you must fill in to get started
  • the taxes you’ll have to manage and pay
  • how you can personally take the profit your business makes
  • your personal responsibilities if your business makes a loss

Types of business

Most businesses in the UK are:

If you’re setting up a small organisation like a sports club or a voluntary group and don’t plan to make a profit, you can form an ‘unincorporated association’.

There are other legal structures which are specific to businesses that help people or communities eg ‘social enterprises’.

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