Operating as a sole trader

Becoming a sole trader is often the first step to starting your own business. Ensure that you prepare for going it alone with all the relevant documents.

If you decide to operate as a sole trader, the first things to do include: choosing a business name (or simply trade under your own name); registering for self-assessment (and VAT if your earnings are likely to be substantial) and taking out any relevant business insurance. You should then consider if you're going to need any legal documents to protect your interests or facilitate business deals. If you're primarily providing consultancy services, you might need a consultancy agreement. When trying to save costs in terms of office space, an office sharing agreement can prove valuable. Finally, remember to protect your any commercially sensitive information with a confidentiality agreement.