Is It Better To Be Selfemployed Or Have A Limited Company As An Influencer

  • Written By : Kasra Dash
  • Time : 16 minutes

Are you an influencer wondering whether to be self-employed or set up a limited company? This article will break down the key differences between the two options, covering legal structure, taxation, liability, and flexibility. We will explore the benefits of self-employment, such as more control over work and tax deductions, as well as the advantages of having a limited company, like limited liability and tax savings. Learn how to decide which option is best for you by seeking professional advice, evaluating your situation, and considering the pros and cons.

What Is Self-Employment?

Self-employment refers to working for oneself rather than an employer, where individuals manage their businesses, record income, and handle tax obligations independently.

One of the significant benefits of self-employment is the freedom it offers in terms of flexibility and decision-making. It allows individuals to pursue their passions and set their schedules. Being self-employed also comes with financial responsibilities, including managing personal tax obligations to entities like HMRC.

Self-employed individuals need to keep detailed records of income and expenses, as they are responsible for filing tax returns and paying taxes on their earnings. Understanding tax implications and seeking professional advice can help navigate the complex world of self-employment and ensure compliance with tax regulations.

What Is a Limited Company?

A limited company is a distinct legal entity separate from its owners, offering limited liability protection and specific tax obligations such as Corporation Tax, regulated by Companies House.

One key aspect of a limited company is that its owners are not personally liable for the company’s debts beyond their investments in the company. This limited liability protection shields personal assets from business risks, a crucial benefit for many entrepreneurs and shareholders.

In terms of tax implications, Corporation Tax is the primary tax obligation for limited companies, levied on their profits. This tax is separate from personal income tax and must be filed annually with HM Revenue and Customs.

To establish a limited company, registration with Companies House is mandatory, involving completion of legal documents including Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association. These documents define the company’s structure, operations, and governance.

What Are the Differences Between Self-Employment and a Limited Company?

The difference between self-employment and a limited company lies in legal structure, tax considerations, financial risks, and treatment of benefits in kind.

In terms of self-employment, individuals typically work for themselves, managing all aspects of their business, from operations to finances. On the other hand, a limited company is a distinct legal entity from its owners, providing limited liability protection.

Tax considerations for self-employed individuals involve paying income tax and National Insurance contributions on their profits, while limited companies are subject to corporation tax, potentially leading to different tax efficiencies.

Regarding financial risks, self-employed individuals bear personal liability for any debts or legal claims against their business. Conversely, owners of a limited company have limited liability, protecting their personal assets.

In terms of benefits in kind, self-employed individuals do not receive traditional employee benefits, such as pensions or health insurance provided by an employer. On the other hand, owners of a limited company can structure their remuneration packages to include benefits in kind, offering various perks to themselves and their employees.

Legal Structure

The legal structure differentiates self-employment from a limited company, with self-employed individuals operating as sole traders and limited companies functioning as distinct legal entities.

Self-employment, commonly chosen for its simplicity, involves individuals trading in their own name or under a business name without the need for a separate legal entity.

On the other hand, limited companies are considered separate from their owners, providing protection for personal assets.

The regulatory frameworks governing each business type are significantly different, with self-employed individuals facing fewer compliance requirements compared to limited companies, which are subject to more stringent reporting and governance obligations under company law.

Through these legal distinctions, self-employment and limited companies have varying implications on taxation, liability, and overall business operations.


Taxation diverges for self-employed individuals and limited companies, involving personal tax obligations for the former and Corporation Tax for the latter.

Self-employed individuals are responsible for reporting their income and expenses on an annual Self Assessment tax return. They pay Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions based on their profits.

In contrast, limited companies pay Corporation Tax on their profits, which is a separate entity from personal tax obligations. Limited companies have the advantage of potential tax efficiencies through tax planning and allowances that may not be available to self-employed individuals.


The distinction in liability between self-employment and limited companies is crucial, with self-employed individuals having unlimited personal liability compared to limited liability protection offered by companies.

One of the key differences in liability between self-employment and limited companies is the financial risk involved. When you are self-employed, you are personally responsible for all debts and obligations of the business, putting your personal assets at stake. On the other hand, limited companies offer a level of legal protection where your liability is generally restricted to the amount you have invested in the company.

When a self-employed individual faces legal action or financial difficulties, their personal assets such as savings, house, or car could be at risk to settle any debts. In contrast, limited companies have a separate legal entity, which means that the company’s finances are distinct from the personal finances of the owners or shareholders.


Flexibility varies between self-employment and limited companies, with self-employed individuals enjoying more autonomy in decision-making and tax efficiency compared to the structured environment of limited companies.

Self-employment offers a great deal of operational flexibility, allowing individuals to set their own schedules, choose their clients, and determine the nature of their work. This freedom enables them to respond swiftly to market changes, adapt their services or products based on customer feedback, and make instant decisions without lengthy approval processes.

Additionally, tax efficiency is a significant advantage of self-employment, as it provides various deductions that can reduce the taxable income, ultimately leading to reduced tax liabilities. On the other hand, limited companies offer a more organised structure with clear responsibilities and roles, which can be beneficial for those seeking a more stable work environment and long-term planning.

What Are the Benefits of Being Self-Employed?

Being self-employed offers several advantages, including control over work, higher earning potential, tax deductions, and improved work-life balance.

Self-employed individuals can take advantage of various tax deductions, such as business expenses, home office costs, and health insurance premiums, which can significantly reduce taxable income.

Managing expenses efficiently is crucial for self-employed individuals to maximise profits and minimise taxes. By properly tracking expenses, entrepreneurs can gain insights into their business finances and make informed decisions to optimise their operations.

More Control Over Work

Self-employment grants individuals more control over their work schedules, projects, and financial outcomes, enabling autonomy and decision-making authority.

When individuals are in control of their own business ventures, they have the freedom to set their work hours according to their preferences. This flexibility can be immensely valuable for balancing personal and professional responsibilities. Additionally, financial outcomes are directly linked to the efforts put into the business, offering the potential for higher earnings compared to traditional employment.

The autonomy that comes with being self-employed extends to project management as well. Entrepreneurs can choose the projects they want to work on, set their own goals, and decide how to allocate resources effectively.

Higher Earning Potential

Self-employment presents a higher earning potential compared to traditional employment, allowing for tax relief benefits and personal protection against financial risks.

One of the key advantages of self-employment is the increased flexibility it offers in controlling how much you earn. As a self-employed individual, your income potential is not limited by a fixed salary but instead depends on your drive, skills, and the success of your business ventures. This autonomy allows you to take advantage of various tax relief opportunities, such as deductions for business expenses, which can significantly reduce your taxable income.

Being self-employed gives you the opportunity to prioritize personal protection against financial risks. By managing your finances wisely and setting up emergency funds or insurance policies, you can safeguard your income and assets against unforeseen events. This proactive approach to risk mitigation is crucial for long-term financial stability and security.

Tax Deductions

Self-employed individuals benefit from tax deductions by offsetting business expenses against recorded income, enhancing tax efficiency and reducing taxable profits.

Self-employed individuals can deduct a wide range of expenses, such as office supplies, travel costs, and healthcare premiums, as long as they are considered ordinary and necessary for their business operations. By keeping detailed records of these expenses, entrepreneurs can accurately track their tax-deductible items, thereby maximising their tax savings.

In terms of income reporting, self-employed individuals must maintain accurate records of all earnings and expenses throughout the year. Using accounting software or hiring a professional accountant can ensure that income is properly recorded and expenses are categorised correctly.

To optimise tax efficiency, self-employed individuals can explore strategies like contributing to pension accounts or setting up a solo 401(k) to reduce taxable income. By taking advantage of tax-advantaged retirement plans, entrepreneurs can save for the future while also lowering their current tax liability.

Work-Life Balance

Self-employment offers the potential for improved work-life balance, allowing individuals to prioritise personal well-being while managing financial responsibilities and tax obligations.

Being self-employed provides the flexibility to set your own work hours, reducing stress levels and enhancing overall well-being. This autonomy can lead to increased job satisfaction and a more harmonious personal life. In terms of finances, self-employment can bring greater control over income streams and expenses, potentially leading to better financial stability.

Understanding tax obligations and leveraging deductions available to self-employed individuals can make a significant difference in maintaining financial health. This awareness helps in making informed decisions to optimise tax efficiency and increase savings for the future.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Limited Company?

Operating as a limited company offers advantages such as limited liability protection, tax savings, a professional image, and access to funding opportunities.

Establishing a limited company can provide essential legal protections by separating personal assets from business liabilities. In the case of financial risk, this separation shields personal finances from being used to settle business debts, safeguarding the owner’s personal wealth.

The tax advantages of a limited company structure can result in considerable savings through lower corporate tax rates and more efficient tax planning strategies. Being a registered company enhances your business’s credibility and professionalism, instilling trust in clients, partners, and potential investors, thereby improving branding and market positioning.

Limited Liability

Limited companies provide limited liability protection to shareholders, safeguarding personal assets against business debts and financial risks.

This legal protection ensures that shareholders’ personal assets are not at risk in case the business encounters financial trouble or legal issues. In essence, limited liability means that shareholders stand to lose only the amount they have invested in the company’s shares, and their personal assets remain shielded from creditors. This feature is highly advantageous for individuals looking to invest in companies while minimising their financial exposure. By creating a distinct legal entity, limited companies allow for separation between the business’s finances and the shareholders’ personal finances, offering a clear distinction that helps in protecting both parties.

Tax Savings

Limited companies can achieve tax savings through efficient tax planning strategies, including Corporation Tax benefits and opportunities for tax efficiency.

One key advantage of Corporation Tax for limited companies is the ability to deduct allowable business expenses before calculating taxable profits. This deduction helps in reducing the overall tax liability. Companies can also benefit from tax-related reliefs and incentives designed to encourage investments, research and development, and job creation.

Implementing effective tax planning strategies ensures that companies optimise their financial position by legally minimising tax obligations while maximising profits. By carefully structuring transactions and utilising available tax reliefs, businesses can enhance their cash flow and overall bottom line, resulting in improved operational efficiency and long-term sustainability.

Professional Image

Operating as a limited company enhances the professional image of businesses, instilling credibility and trust among brand partners and stakeholders, with registration requirements overseen by Companies House.

Having a professional image is crucial in the business world, as it helps in establishing a strong reputation and garnering trust from potential clients and collaborators. When a company operates as a limited entity, it signals a commitment to transparency and compliance with regulatory standards, which can further boost its credibility. By adhering to the guidelines set by Companies House, businesses can ensure that they are meeting all the necessary legal requirements, which not only protects the interests of the company but also builds confidence among investors and partners.

Access to Funding

Limited companies have enhanced access to funding sources due to their structured financial reporting, transparent operations, and perceived financial stability, facilitating growth and investment opportunities.

Through detailed financial statements and regular reporting practices, these companies can showcase their financial health and value to potential investors and lenders. This transparency builds trust and credibility, making it easier for them to secure funding for various business needs, such as expansion, research and development, or new projects.

Being a limited company offers the advantage of limited liability, which protects the personal assets of shareholders. This legal structure not only attracts more investors but also provides a solid foundation for sustainable growth and long-term success.

Which Option is Better for an Influencer?

Determining the optimal business structure for influencers depends on factors such as financial value, tax efficiency, and the nature of influencer marketing relationships.

When influencers consider their business structure, they must weigh the financial implications of each option carefully. Self-employment offers simplicity but may result in higher taxes, as income is subject to both income tax and self-employment tax. On the other hand, forming a limited company can provide potential tax efficiencies through careful planning and structuring. The choice between self-employment and a limited company can impact influencer marketing partnerships, as brand partners may have preferences or requirements regarding the business structure of their collaborators.

Factors to Consider

Influencers should consider various factors, including tax implications, financial risks, and potential tax savings when deciding between self-employment and establishing a limited company.

One crucial aspect for influencers to assess is the impact of taxation on their income. Those contemplating self-employment must navigate the complexities of self-employment taxes, while forming a limited company can offer strategies for tax optimisation and savings.

Financial risks play a pivotal role in this decision-making process as well. When opting for self-employment, individuals bear personal liability for debts and financial obligations. On the other hand, setting up a limited company can potentially shield personal assets from business-related risks, offering greater protection.

Personal Preference

Personal preference plays a significant role in the decision-making process for influencers, as individual priorities, goals, and financial values influence the choice between self-employment and a limited company.

When considering their personal preferences, influencers often weigh the flexibility and autonomy of self-employment against the potential tax advantages and liability protection offered by operating as a limited company.

For some, the desire for creative control and independence may tilt the scale towards self-employment, allowing them to execute their vision without external constraints.

Those who prioritize long-term financial stability and growth might opt for a limited company structure, which can provide more opportunities for scalability and investment.

Long-Term Goals

Considering long-term aspirations is crucial for influencers, as aligning business structures with financial objectives, tax efficiency goals, and future growth prospects can shape decisions regarding self-employment or a limited company setup.

When influencers set their sights on sustainable success, they must carefully assess the financial implications of their choices. By focusing on maximising revenue streams and minimising tax liabilities, they can enhance their overall financial value. Implementing tax-efficient strategies can lead to significant savings over time and pave the way for reinvestment in business growth. By strategically planning for long-term goals, influencers can position themselves for not only immediate success but also sustained financial prosperity in the years to come.

How to Decide Between Self-Employment and a Limited Company?

Choosing between self-employment and a limited company requires careful consideration of individual circumstances, accounting advice, and understanding financial reporting obligations.

When deciding between self-employment and setting up a limited company, individuals must weigh the advantages and disadvantages that each structure offers. Financial risk plays a crucial role in this decision-making process, as self-employment may expose one’s personal assets to higher risks compared to the limited liability protection that a company structure can provide.

Seeking guidance from accountancy services is essential to comprehend the tax implications, legal responsibilities, and potential opportunities associated with each option. Assessing the financial aspects, such as cash flow requirements, taxation efficiency, and long-term sustainability, is vital to make an informed choice.

Ensuring compliance with legal obligations for reporting, tax filings, and regulatory requirements is paramount when operating as a self-employed individual or limited company. Professional advice from financial experts and legal consultants can help navigate through these complexities and ensure adherence to all necessary norms.

Seek Professional Advice

Consulting with accountancy professionals and tax advisors is essential for individuals considering self-employment or establishing a limited company, as expert guidance can clarify tax obligations and legal requirements.

These professionals play a crucial role in offering insights into different business structures, helping you understand the implications of operating as a sole trader versus forming a limited company. They can analyse your financial situation, assess the tax advantages and compliance aspects of each option, and provide tailored recommendations based on your specific circumstances.

Tax advisors and accountancy professionals can assist in developing tax-efficient strategies, optimising your earnings, and ensuring that you meet all necessary reporting requirements. By collaborating with these experts, you can make informed decisions that align with your long-term financial goals and minimise tax liabilities.

Evaluate Your Situation

Assessing individual circumstances, financial objectives, and tax efficiency considerations is vital when evaluating the suitability of self-employment versus a limited company structure.

When determining whether to pursue self-employment or establish a limited company, one should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages associated with each option.

  • Financial value plays a significant role in this decision-making process, as self-employment may offer more immediate control over earnings, while a limited company structure can often lead to greater opportunities for tax savings and long-term wealth accumulation.

  • Evaluating tax efficiency needs is crucial, since self-employed individuals may have fewer deductions and tax planning options compared to those operating through a limited company.

Consider the Pros and Cons

Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of self-employment and limited companies is essential for making an informed decision, as understanding the pros and cons can lead to a business structure choice aligned with financial objectives.

Self-employment offers flexibility and autonomy but comes with the sole responsibility of business operations and finances. On the other hand, limited companies provide liability protection and credibility but entail stricter regulations and administrative requirements.

When considering financial implications, self-employment may result in lower taxes initially, yet limited companies may offer tax advantages in the long run. It’s crucial to assess your current financial situation and future goals to determine which structure aligns best with your financial aspirations.

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