7. Change your business structure

What you need to do depends on the type of business, if you’re VAT-registered and if you employ people.

Set up the new structure

Follow the normal steps to setting up as a:

Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

If you’re VAT-registered, you must tell HMRC within 30 days of the change or else you’ll face a penalty.

You will need to either:

  • cancel your VAT registration and re-register
  • transfer your existing VAT registration

You can do this online or send a form to HMRC by post. The address is on the form.

If you employ people, you’ll also need to talk to HMRC about the change.

Sell your business

If you’re a self-employed sole trader, in a partnership or own a limited company, there are certain rules you must follow when you sell your business.

Close an existing structure

If you want to close down your existing business structure, follow the usual steps.

To no longer be a sole trader

You’ll need to:

To close a business partnership

You’ll need to make sure your nominated partner fills in a tax return when the partnership ends.

If the business partnership will continue without you as a partner, you must still complete a Self Assessment tax return as usual. You’ll then start to submit tax returns the next year for your new business structure.

To close a limited company

You’ll either need to close your limited company or make it dormant.

Changing to a public limited company or an unlimited company

The guidance has information on changing a limited company to a public limited or unlimited company.