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  • FIRST POST
    Little Missy
    Multiple Limited Companies or multiple businesses under 1 Limited Company???
    • #1
    • 28th Jan 14, 2:22 PM
    Multiple Limited Companies or multiple businesses under 1 Limited Company??? 28th Jan 14 at 2:22 PM
    Hi all,

    I recently set up a business (Ltd. Co.) and I now want to set up another business, but I don't know if I would be best merging it with the existing Ltd. Co. or setting up a new one? If I did have the two businesses as part of the one Ltd. Co., I would have to change the name, as the existing Ltd. Co. name does not fit with the services provided by the new business.

    I also plan to set up one or two other businesses in the not too distant future, so it would be handy to know in advance for these too.

    Accountant's bill does not need to be considered, as I will do the accounts myself, but things I am considering are banking costs of multiple Ltd. Co., corporation tax if all businesses under one Ltd. Co, etc. I presume there isn't a way of having a single bank account for multiple Ltd. Co.???

    Any helpful comments and opinions will be very much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • Kernel Sanders
    • By Kernel Sanders 28th Jan 14, 4:15 PM
    • 3,124 Posts
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    Kernel Sanders
    • #2
    • 28th Jan 14, 4:15 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Jan 14, 4:15 PM
    Carphone Warehouse didn't change their name.
    #JeSuisCharlie
    • InsideInsurance
    • By InsideInsurance 28th Jan 14, 4:34 PM
    • 22,222 Posts
    • 11,386 Thanks
    InsideInsurance
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 14, 4:34 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 14, 4:34 PM
    You cant have them sharing a bank account as they are legally separate legal entities if they are separate unrelated limited companies.

    There are many reasons why you want things separately or joined and to be honest is more complex than you can really cover on a public forum as it will also depend on your projections and long term plans

    Your accountant should give you advice, most will give you a free 30 minute meeting if you dont currently have one
    • Kernel Sanders
    • By Kernel Sanders 28th Jan 14, 5:23 PM
    • 3,124 Posts
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    Kernel Sanders
    • #4
    • 28th Jan 14, 5:23 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Jan 14, 5:23 PM
    Your accountant should give you advice, most will give you a free 30 minute meeting if you dont currently have one
    Originally posted by InsideInsurance
    I thought it was just solicitors who did that.
    OP a limited company can use a different trading name for each arm of its business. Suggest you go and get a book out of the library as an accountant wouldn't be happy at having to explain such basic stuff in a free consultation .
    #JeSuisCharlie
    • classy69
    • By classy69 28th Jan 14, 5:24 PM
    • 71 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    classy69
    • #5
    • 28th Jan 14, 5:24 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Jan 14, 5:24 PM
    I would set up separate Limited Companies, firstly for the bank account reason stated above, and also you can do some fancy things to minimise your corporation tax liabilities (inter company recharges, group loss relief claims etc)
  • Little Missy
    • #6
    • 28th Jan 14, 5:33 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Jan 14, 5:33 PM
    I thought it was just solicitors who did that.
    OP a limited company can use a different trading name for each arm of its business. Suggest you go and get a book out of the library as an accountant wouldn't be happy at having to explain such basic stuff in a free consultation .
    Originally posted by Kernel Sanders
    Yes, Kernel Sanders, I am aware that a ltd co can run various businesses under the heading t/a. I am simply attempting to gain any useful comments / opinions to assist me in making a decision as to which route to take at present (i.e. a single ltd co or multiple ltd co).
  • Little Missy
    • #7
    • 28th Jan 14, 5:36 PM
    • #7
    • 28th Jan 14, 5:36 PM
    Thanks for the helpful info InsideInsurance and classy69
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 28th Jan 14, 7:58 PM
    • 37,735 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #8
    • 28th Jan 14, 7:58 PM
    • #8
    • 28th Jan 14, 7:58 PM
    I posted on your other thread, which I've now locked, about the situation where I think HMRC might make a link between two ostensibly unrelated companies.

    I'm slightly alarmed by you saying that you don't have an accountant, and if you are planning to run multiple companies I'd suggest that you'd save money by using one. In a 30 minute meeting you shouldn't expect to have all your questions answered definitively, or to be able to rely on the advice given (ie sue the pants off if it turns out to be wrong), BUT you should be able to get a feel for what charges would be, and what areas the accountant would expect to be able to save you money on. If 'doing the accounts' = 'keeping the books' then you're missing out on a shedload of technical knowledge and advice on saving tax, as well as reminders on deadlines etc.

    I'd make appointments with 2 or 3 companies: a small, medium and large is sometimes suggested, and see what you think.

    BTW, I'm not and never have been an accountant. I just think they have their uses.
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    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 28th Jan 14, 8:31 PM
    • 13,051 Posts
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    paddyrg
    • #9
    • 28th Jan 14, 8:31 PM
    • #9
    • 28th Jan 14, 8:31 PM
    Bit worried by the 'I'll do all the accounts' bit - by that do you mean you're already completing your ct600 yourself? Didn't you find it pretty confusing? I can't imagine it'll get much simpler if you have several companies, or even a holding company owning several companies. Sounds like an area an expert could be valuable in to me. My mechanic doesn't try to production manage international events and feature films, I don't try to straighten camshafts. There's value in letting people play to strengths.

    Anyway, back to the question, largely comes down to financial ringfencing. Several limited companies, if genuinely operating independently (own bank accounts etc.), would be financially isolated from each other. Three could make a profit and the fourth a loss. Loss can't be offset against profit, but company could be closed without affecting other businesses. Similarly, if one gets sued for millions for accidentally killing people, the other companies are isolated from that lawsuit.
    • zygurat789
    • By zygurat789 29th Jan 14, 9:01 AM
    • 4,236 Posts
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    zygurat789
    If you were capable of doing everything you need to do for an ltd then you wouldn't have to ask the questions your are asking because you would already know the answer.
    First question Why do you want an Ltd ?
    The only thing that is constant is change.
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 29th Jan 14, 1:00 PM
    • 15,122 Posts
    • 21,467 Thanks
    antrobus
    ...I recently set up a business (Ltd. Co.) and I now want to set up another business, but I don't know if I would be best merging it with the existing Ltd. Co. or setting up a new one? If I did have the two businesses as part of the one Ltd. Co., I would have to change the name, as the existing Ltd. Co. name does not fit with the services provided by the new business....
    Originally posted by Little Missy
    You can have as many businesses as you like within any limited company. Each of the different businesses can trade under whatever name they chose so long as you comply with the Business Names Act 1985. A limited company can have as many different bank accounts as it likes.
    • colino
    • By colino 29th Jan 14, 1:45 PM
    • 4,935 Posts
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    colino
    Only really useful to have multiples when, not only do they do discrete things, but in the future can be easily pruned off the group and sold as independents. Very handy too when you have a lead company that can lend funds down to the others and gain the reward from that in returns. Then again, unless you are versed in all of this, you really need a proper commercial accountant and lawyer. Don't pick the local guys just because they advise the local window cleaners and taxi drivers.
    • Annisele
    • By Annisele 29th Jan 14, 10:19 PM
    • 4,285 Posts
    • 4,463 Thanks
    Annisele
    Another vote for "you really should talk to an accountant".

    I'm perfectly happy to do my own personal tax returns, but I'm glad I paid an accountant to deal with my limited company's paperwork. Most years he saved me at least as much as he cost me - I used to work out how much tax I thought the company should pay, and then compared it to his figures. He always explained his figures in a way I understood (I wouldn't have signed the accounts otherwise), but he also used allowances that I didn't know existed.
    • InsideInsurance
    • By InsideInsurance 30th Jan 14, 10:45 AM
    • 22,222 Posts
    • 11,386 Thanks
    InsideInsurance
    I thought it was just solicitors who did that.
    Originally posted by Kernel Sanders
    Did what? Give advice on company structures or gave free introductory meetings?

    For the first, accountants are much more the experts on tax law than solicitors are. Of cause there can be reasons for doing either structure that would come under the specialty of both professions however an accountant is going to be better placed than a solicitor

    If you meant about free meetings, they are predominately sales pitches etc but almost all "professional profession"s offer them.
  • UK007BullDog
    My accountant said something like that is a big NO-NO and will only get the tax man to look really hard at your business and tax affairs (I have 3 businesses, 2 related one completely different). Each has its own limited company, own banking accounts, but only one accountant. :-)
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