sole trader or company?

soletrader versus company graphic of a cup of coffee on a wooden table from above


A sole trader is a trade that is owned and controlled by one person. This is very attractive for those who wish to retain ownership of the business. A "sole trader" is described as a person trading under his / her own name, or a registered business name. Many sole traders decide to operate under their own name and do so without any problem. However, if you use a name other than your surname, you must register the name in accordance with the Registration of Business Names Act of 1963 for a small registration fee.

Advantages of being a Sole Trader

The sole trader is not required to file accounts which would be available for inspection by the public in the Companies Registration Office..

Fewer legal formalities compared to other structures.

The income from the business is personal income and expenses which are incurred "wholly and exclusively" in the course of the trade are generally allowable deductions.

Closure of the business requires less formality.

Disadvantages of being a Sole Trader

The owner is personally liable for all debts of the business.

Raising capital can be more difficult.

The life of the business depends entirely on the owner.


A limited company is a separate legal entity. The owners are shareholders and its directors make decisions on behalf of the company. As a separate entity it has sole responsibility for its debts. Its liabilities are limited to the paid-up share capital, therefore the company is said to have "limited liability". There are a number of exceptions to this, where company debts become personal debts.

Advantages of a Limited Company

Limited liability - in general, shareholders are only liable to lose the share capital they subscribe.

Corporation Tax rate is typically 12.5%

Pension contributions can be made at the Company's expense.

Raising finance can be less difficult.

There can be many owners of the business.

Civil services mileage & subsistence rates can be used by the owners of the business rather then keeping these receipts.

Disadvantages of a Limited Company

Limited liability may be neutralised as lenders, in practice may seek personal guarantees.

Legislative requirements may be costly and time consuming.

The requirement to prepare and file financial statements with the Companies Registration Office.

There are surcharges on certain types of undistributed income.


Why choose us?

We are Dublin Cloud Accountants and love technology. We provide great service, expertise and value through technology. Your business results are accurate, expertly prepared and available to you wherever you are. Edward F. Molloy & Co. are based in Terenure, a short distance from Dublin city centre. We are Statutory Auditors & Accountants. We have a wide range of clients, including regulated entities, manufacturers, retailers and professional service providers. We prepare financial statements for small sole traders and audit larger corporate entities and limited by guarantee companies with the same attention to detail and high level of service. Reach out and tell us about your business today.

Our Objective

Our objective is to provide our clients with a bespoke exceptionally high-quality and consistent service, delivering value and expertise through technology and experienced team members.
We serve our clients by obtaining an in depth understanding of their business, target outcomes and delivering valuable insights to aid them reach these goals. We pride ourselves on working in partnership with our clients and enjoy very strong professional relationships with them. Many of our clients have been with us for more than 50 years, where businesses have gone through intergenerational transfers or sales.

First Consultation FREE

We will explain the services we provide in detail and find the best package of services to suit you.

Video Meetings

Save time in traffic and arrange a video call at a time convenient to you.

Claim Audit Exemption

We can explain how to claim audit exemption and prepare and file non-audited financial statements at competitive rates.

Company Voluntary Strike-off

We can undertake this process, including financial statements preparation, the placement of required newspaper advertisement and tax deregistration.

Audit Services

If you do not qualify for audit exemption for any reason, as Registered Auditors, we can audit your financial statements.

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