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You need to register your self employment with HMRC in the first instance so they can issue a Unique Tax Reference (UTR).


The invoice should have things like a unique invoice number, your business address, the payee of the invoice, the fee, method of payment, terms and the date. As I have a limited company that is VAT registered, I also include the tax date, VAT and company numbers, VAT analysis and full postal address of the payee.


Your accountant will be able to advise on this.

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There's also an interesting statement in their to do with the 'status' of your business.


If your company is a registered limited company, you must also include:


your company registration number

Sometime on the BR, self-employed people sometimes refer to their 'company' and get ticked off - linking that word to a Limited Company - and if you are not 'Ltd' then you cannot be a company. Nice to see HMRC disagree.


Couple that with the job title 'Director' - and plenty of people have that in their title nowadays - it would therefore be ok to call myself a Company Director - would it? As clearly I have a company (as a sole trader) and I direct everything.


[cats and pigeons exit left]

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...and if you are not 'Ltd' then you cannot be a company. Nice to see HMRC disagree.


They don't really disagree, they don't go into enough detail. The word 'Company' has a strict meaning in Law.


Once registered a company has corporate personality. It is a legal entity (or legal person) with its own legal rights and obligations, separate and distinct from those of its members.


So, a self-employed person is not a company as he is liable for the debts of the business.


The following are the various types of registered company. Apart from these, a business may be set up as a sole trader (self-employed person), as a partnership or as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).


  2. Private companies limited by shares
  3. Public limited companies (PLCs)
  4. Property management companies
  5. Companies Limited by guarantee
  6. Unlimited companies
  7. Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)
  8. Community Interest Companies (CICs)
  9. Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
  10. Right to manage (RTM) companies


Private companies limited by shares


The vast majority of trading companies are private companies limited by shares. There are over two million such companies registered at Companies House. A private company limited by shares must have the word 'Limited' or 'Ltd' at the end of its name.

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Don't disagree, Brian - that's what we've always promoted (and understood to be the facts) - BUT - HMRC would appear to be stating that they accept non-Ltd Company status businesses to be called companies. If - used as the possibility of a negative - would suggest that if somebody is NOT a limited company, then they can still be a company. I'd never heard of No. 5 in Brian's list - but 'unlimited company' sounds interesting? This would appear to be the key one - as in you ARE responsible for the debt - which is what we've always understood to be the case. The fact that this kind of business can be termed a company works, doesn't it? A company - limited by guarantee would then naturally have the opposite - A company with no guarantee? Semantics or facts?
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...but 'unlimited company' sounds interesting?...A company - limited by guarantee...


We need to be careful as the names don't always describe what they are in reality to us lay-folk.


The full definitions can be found here.


IIRC The ABTT is a Company Limited By Guarantee.



And it's worth quoting this bit, in bold, from the link above...


Many people refer to a sole trader's business or a partnership as an unlimited company, but such businesses are not in fact companies.
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