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self employed vs limited company

Self Employed Vs. Limited Company

For most start-ups, the decision to start a business is exciting, but knowing where to begin cannot be easy.


You will choose between the self-employment route or incorporating it as a limited company.


If you choose between self-employed vs. limited company, you should know the exact meaning and what your responsibilities will be.


Here’s what you need to know about self-employed vs. limited companies and their differences


A person who chooses to work for themselves rather than an employer is called self-employed.


The perks that of being self-employed is that you can set your schedule and choose the type of work you desire.


Most of all, they find it challenging to understand what it means as self-employed.


It’s not just a job that you can walk into and do. It’s a lifestyle choice and one that requires a lot of thought and preparation.




A self-employed person will have their accounts, but they can’t take on staff so that they won’t have any social security obligations.


Also, they are the only one person who owns the company. They have complete freedom to make decisions about their business, but they also bear the responsibility for any financial issues that may arise. 

Limited company

A limited company is a particular type of business that you can set up yourself. It has the same legal powers as a natural person but restrictions on its operations and liabilities.


It is a legal entity differentiating from its members and owners.


In that way, it is like a partnership. Also, the owners of a limited company are not responsible for the company’s debts, as they are in the case of the sole proprietorship.


Limited companies can establish within one country or across many countries.  


To form a limited company, select a unique name and confirm its availability.


Then, appoint a registered agent and file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Consider drafting an Operating Agreement to outline ownership and operating procedures.




Obtain any required permits and licenses and secure an EIN from the IRS. Ensure you meet ongoing obligations, such as submitting annual reports and settling tax payments.


Lastly, a business bank account should be opened to separate personal and business finances.


The costs of opening a limited company vary but generally include state filing fees ($50-$300), registered agent services ($50-$300 annually), legal fees, permits, licenses, and state annual fees.


While obtaining an EIN is free, other expenses like setting up a business bank account and operational costs should be considered.


A limited company is a legal entity different from its owners’ legal identity and directors.


Limited companies are in charge of directors and shareholders, who make all the significant decisions for the company.


This means that a shareholder must appoint directors to ensure no conflict of interest in decision-making authority between shareholders and other parties involved in the business. 


Self-employed vs. limited company—is that a limited company is a legal entity, whereas self-employed people are not.


The significance of being a limited company or self-employed is that you can have your own business and achieve your goals and be your boss.  

The pros and cons of self-employed

Self-employed people are more flexible than being part of a larger organization. For example, it’s easier for freelancers to work remotely where they feel most productive.


Meanwhile, being self-employed takes care of everything. You cannot assign specific tasks and obligations to other workers or contractors.


If you get sick or need to vacation, you won’t be paid for your days off. In addition, your job offers no benefits.


Formation and registration costs also differ between self-employed businesses and limited companies.


Self-employed businesses incur moderate costs for registering a DBA name and obtaining permits.


Limited companies have higher initial expenses due to filing fees for Articles of Organization or Incorporation, often ranging from $50 to several hundred dollars.


Professional services may add to these costs, along with ongoing registration fees. 


It’s important to remember that self-employment doesn’t mean freedom from job responsibilities; it just implies responsibility for different tasks.


So even though you might not have someone telling you what to do every day, there’s still plenty of work waiting for you when it comes time to find out what needs doing next. 

The pros and cons of a limited company

Limited companies also provide more excellent asset protection than self-employment.


They also have more flexibility in paying their employees and offer more protection for the owner’s assets than self-employment.


Limited companies can choose employee benefits such as health insurance or pensions.


Consequently, a limited company requires more paperwork than a sole trader or partnership, so you must spend time on your accounts and payroll.


And if you don’t do it properly, it could lead to charges. Also, you will face higher expenses in setting up and must pay corporate taxes on your profits.


Additionally, suppose you borrow money to launch your business.


Take note, it will take longer to turn a profit than a sole proprietorship because you must pay corporation tax on profits from day one.


However, claiming tax relief on mortgage interest payments may cause some difficulties.

Things to think about when choosing self-employed 

When you’re self-employed, you’re running your own business and taking on many of the responsibilities of an employer.


You must carefully consider how much time you can devote to your new business. Since starting a business requires time and effort, being self-employed is not the best option if you want to earn directly.


Self-employment is tailor-made for some workers and a disaster waiting to happen for others.


Becoming self-employed might be an excellent opportunity if you are willing to work hard.


Given the high costs of a start-up, failure can be devastating. And suppose you’re going to give up steady paychecks and the benefits of traditional employment, even for an opportunity with promise. 

Limited Company is not a limitation.  

A limited company is not a limitation; it is an opportunity. In addition, someday you can expand your business and boost it to next level.


Furthermore, you can achieve anything with your business through advanced technology available in the market.


Moreover, you can go as far as you desire and pursue whatever goal you wish. A limited company comes with limitations—but those are guidelines for running your business and protecting yourself from legal risks.


It does not mean to hold you back or prevent you from pursuing your dreams. Limited companies are great for small businesses because they run your business as you see fit while offering legal protection. 

Is it possible to convert a self-employed business into a limited company?

Yes, you can convert a self-employed business into a limited company, commonly known as incorporation or forming a limited company.


Begin by choosing a suitable business structure and registering the new entity by filing necessary paperwork with the state.


Transfer assets, contracts, and agreements to the new company, and consider tax implications with the help of a tax advisor.


Inform stakeholders, update branding materials, and comply with legal requirements. Open new financial accounts and review existing contracts. Seek professional assistance as needed for a smooth transition.


In today’s economy, it’s not always easy to decide whether you should be self-employed vs. limited company.


If you want to keep all your earnings but want protection, then a limited company is best for you. A limited company is great because they provide protection from personal liability.


Thus, it pay taxes at a lower rate than if you were self-employed. But even so, if you want to control your finances and tax situation, then being self-employed is a better option. 

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