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Setting up a limited company as a Locum Doctor or GP is likely a daunting prospect as you’ll require some in-depth understanding of business law and financial management.

Good practice management will increase the ability of your business to survive over the long term. This starts with good financial planning, which can be made easier by running your business through a limited company.

Company structure

It will certainly be important to consider the legal structure of your company in order to be as tax efficient as possible. You could choose to run your practice as a sole trader, limited liability partnership (LLP) or as a limited company. It would be advisable to speak to a specialist medical accountant that can effectively understand your needs and offer the most appropriate accountancy services and advice about your future company’s structure.

Acting as a sole trader would mean earning money directly and paying the appropriate amount of taxes on your earnings. This may be less efficient than running your practice through a separate business structure depending on your circumstances. The added benefit of operating through a separate business structure can also help limit your personal liability against legal issues affecting the business, as a limited partnership or business acts as a separate legal entity.

An LLP would require at least two partners to set it up, whereas a limited company can be set up with just one individual. A limited company may also provide you with more flexibility in terms of your finances and this can make it easier for any succession planning you may be interested in for the future of your business. It is best to discuss this with an accountant to determine the most effective structure for you to work under. If you decide that a limited company is for you, then there are some steps you’ll need to take in order to register the company with Companies House.

Setting up a limited company

Choosing a company name

Once you’ve decided a limited company is for you, then you will need to register your new legal entity. Firstly, you need to choose a name for your business. This tends to be a short name that you can create that has to adhere to some basic regulations, which can be identified on the Companies House website or read our contractor guide. Your company name will then automatically end with either Limited or LTD. You can look for current company names to check the availability of your created company name here.

Incorporating your limited company

This process can be carried out online on the Companies House website; however, due to the complexity of share structures, VAT, corporation tax and PAYE registration, it is highly advisable to seek advice from a specialist accountant. This is something we can help you with to ensure your company and its structure are correct from the get go, reducing the risk of any problems in the future.

Accounting

After your company is incorporated, you will be given a registration number. This will allow you to set up a business bank account, which you are legally required to do to cater for business income and expenses. You will also want to ensure you have payment methods and accounting software sorted to help you keep track of your finances. A good accountant can suggest suitable accounting software based on your needs and using an accountant to prepare your accounts will likely save you a lot of time and expense.

At Gorilla Accounting, we provide an all-inclusive service for a single monthly fee that can save you valuable time that can be spent on your business. You can see our package here or you can contact us for more information by calling 0330 024 0406.

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