Are you looking to start your own plumbing business, or expand your already existing plumbing business? If so, you should place great importance upon the business structure that you choose. Choosing a business structure is a difficult task for any business owner, as the decision you make will often be integral in either the success or failure of your business. Consequently, many business owners worry when making this decision, and are never entirely sure whether or not they have made the correct decision. In gaining a thorough understanding of each business structure available to your business, you can be confident that the business structure you ultimately decide upon is the right choice for you.

Should I choose a sole trader business structure?

One business structure available to your plumbing business is that of a sole trader. Traditionally, this structure has been the go-to option for most plumbing businesses. This is because a sole trader business structure is centered on you, the business owner. In setting up a sole trader business, the owner takes full responsibility for the business and its liabilities. As a result, you have complete control over how your business operates. However, this also includes personal liability for any debts incurred by your plumbing business. You will also have immediate personal access to all profits made by the business, which is unique to the business structure of a sole trader.

One of the primary benefits of operating as a sole trader is that it is very cheap to create. If you trade under your name, it is virtually free. Otherwise, you can simply create a name for your business, which you can register as a business name. Compared to other business structures available to you, this is astronomically cheap, quick and easy. Another benefit of choosing sole trader as the structure for your plumbing business is that the existence of the business depends entirely on you. You have total control of the business at all times, and you can stop doing business at any time you wish. It gives you with complete freedom to run your business how you choose to.

On the other side of the coin, operating as a sole trader also means that every financial decision you make in running the business will have consequences in your life outside of business. For some business owners, this is too much of a burden, as risking your house on the outcome of a business deal is unacceptable. For others, this is not a problem, and fiscal responsibility in both your personal and business life are similar anyhow. Given the financial liability associated with a sole trader business structure, it is much harder to be aggressive when dealing with competition or expanding your business. Since the risk is greater than with other structures, such as a company, operating as a sole trader mightn’t be the best option for your business. For a list of other business structures available to your plumbing business, please click here.

Do I need legal advice when choosing a business structure?

The short answer is no; you do not. However, this does not mean that it is advisable. Without putting some thought into the most appropriate structure for your circumstances and projected business growth plans, it can be difficult to fully understand all of the legal consequences of your decision. In the case of a company business structure, you will be required to conform to a vast array of statutory requirements and regulations about how to run your business. If, as a director of a company, you fail to act in a certain way, you could end up in gaol for a lengthy period. If you do not fully understand what is legally required of you, then this is just not a risk that you should take.

Conclusion

If you are looking to start your own plumbing business or expand your already existing plumbing business, you should place great importance on which business structure you choose. Whether you are an established business or looking to establish yourself in the industry, choosing a business structure can be a daunting task. Therefore, it is important you have a thorough understanding of all the different options available to you. One example is that of a sole trader business structure. However, you could just as easily choose a company or franchise structure for your business. The decision you make will depend on your unique situation, and will hopefully be assisted by the advice of a legal professional. If you have any further questions relating to which business structure is best for your business, please call LegalVision for a fixed-fee quote.

Adi Snir

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