Gavin Black

Gavin is an experienced auditor with strong technical skills. He also brings significant commercial experience, having worked with a wide range of international and UK groups and owner managed businesses.

Gavin spent over ten years working in Edinburgh, where he trained and qualified. Gavin’s specialisms include manufacturing and distribution, infrastructure, professional practices, retail businesses and student associations.

Originally from Forfar, Gavin is a graduate of Dundee University.

David Taylor

David heads our Healthcare Sector Group advising dentists, care homes, vets, pharmacists and chiropodists.

He has a wide and varied range of experience providing general audit and accountancy services to a spectrum of businesses from sole traders to large group companies. His expertise also spans professional practices such as solicitors and FCA regulated businesses.

David is part of our successful charity team dealing with a wide range of charities including local authority charitable trusts and student associations and he is key member of our grants team, providing audits and accountants report for grants claims such European and Scottish Government grants.

Steven Smillie

Steven trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Henderson Loggie and currently manages external audit and advisory services to clients in the not for profit sector as well as commercial companies, primarily in the technology sector.

As a key member of the pensions audit team, Steven has a thorough understanding of the Pensions SORP and provides pension schemes throughout Scotland with financial statements and statutory audits.

Steven is a member of the firm’s Charity Sector Group and as a trustee treasurer of a local charity, in a personal capacity, is able to bring a client perspective to his work with charities.

Blair Davidson

Blair trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with MHA Henderson Loggie and currently specialises in providing external audit services to a wide range of medium and large commercial clients across a variety of sectors including motor retail, manufacturing & engineering, healthcare, construction and transport.

Having spent time on secondment with a number of MHA Henderson Loggie’s clients in both the private and public sectors, Blair has practical experience of the commercial environment in which our clients operate.

In addition to his role in audit, he manages a range of accounting and management accounts assignments and is head of the firm’s Property & Construction sector group.

Avril Craig

Avril Craig is manager of the Payroll Department in Dundee, covering payroll and automatic enrolment processes for our payroll bureau clients, and payroll support for clients who handle their own payroll. She oversees the timely delivery of weekly, fortnightly and monthly payroll and automatic enrolment pension processing, RTI submissions and net salary payments for a large variety of clients ranging from two employees to several hundred.

Having spent the vast majority of her career working in accountancy practice, she has specialised in payroll for the last twelve years, and in more recent times, automatic enrolment pensions.

Avril has experience in a large variety of industries and particular enjoys supporting employers in complying with the requirements of HMRC and The Pension Regulator.

Keri Ritchie

Keri did her training with MHA Henderson Loggie and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2012.  For a while she was a member of the management team in both the audit and accounting departments and since October 2017 she has managed the accounting and business solutions department.  Keri provides accounting, independent examination and company secretarial services to clients including sole traders, partnerships, companies and charities across a wide range of sectors.

Keri oversees the provision of various accounting services to our clients including the preparation of statutory accounts, preparation of management accounts, VAT returns, bookkeeping, budgeting, forecasting and payroll.  She also acts as treasurer for a couple of our charity clients. 

Keri is a certified Xero user and also has experience with Sage.

Ashleigh Thomas

Ashleigh joined Henderson Loggie in 2007 and trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2010.  After a short time away gaining experience in business support and accounting she returned in 2016 and now manages the accounting and business solutions department providing accounting and independent examination services to clients including sole traders, partnerships, companies and charities across various sectors.

Ashleigh oversees the provision of various accounting services to our clients including the preparation of statutory accounts, preparation and review of management accounts, VAT returns, bookkeeping, budgeting, forecasting and payroll.  She is also responsible for overseeing various company secretarial responsibilities.

Ashleigh is a certified Xero user and also has experience with other accounting packages including Sage, KashFlow, FreeAgent and Quickbooks.

Ashleigh is a key member of the firm’s Agriculture & Rural and Games & Digital Sector Teams. Ashleigh enjoys working across a diverse range of sectors and her clients value the cross sector experience she brings.

Should I set up my business as a Sole Trader or a Limited Company? (Pros & Cons)



Are you thinking about starting your business but are unsure about whether to set up as a Sole Trader or a Limited Company?

In this short video Debbie Gallacher, Accounts Manager here at Henderson Loggie, shares with you some of the advantages and disadvantages of both of these options.

Covered in this video:

✅ Sole Trader Advantages & Disadvantages
✅ Limited Company Advantages & Disadvantages

If you have any queries, or you are unsure what to do, please feel free to contact Debbie directly by email at debbie.gallacher@hlca.co.uk


I often meet with startup businesses who are really excited about their new venture and one question I often get asked is, “Should I set my business up as a sole trader or a limited company?” I’m not going to go through all the pros and cons and I’m not here to say which is the best option as this will depend upon your personal circumstances and how you want to run your business.

Sole Trader Advantages & Disadvantages

One of the advantages of being a sole trader is the fact that it’s easy to set up and there’s little administration. You will need to maintain your accounting records for your income and your business expenditure and any profits will be chargeable to tax under the personal tax regime. Another advantage of being a sole trader is the fact that your trading results will remain private for the year. However, a disadvantage of being a sole trader is the fact that if your business gets into debt, you will be personally liable for these debts.

Limited Company Advantages & Disadvantages

A limited company is a separate legal entity in its own right and your liability will be restricted to the amount you invest in the company’s share capital. However, there’s a lot more administration with running a limited company. Every year you will need to submit to Companies House statutory accounts in a confirmation statement. You will also need to prepare and submit to HRMC the company’s corporation tax return. It is worth noting though if you’re a small company you will only need to submit to Companies House the balance sheet and related notes. You don’t need to submit the profit and loss account which shows the trading for the year.

Any questions about setting up as a Sole Trader or a Limited Company?

So I’ve gone over a couple of the options of being a sole trader and a limited company. The option that’s best for you will depend on your personal circumstances. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via the form below.

The information in this video is of a general nature and seeks to highlight some of the issues which could be affecting you and/or your business, including changes to financial regulation and legislation. Viewers should not rely on this information without seeking professional advice on its application in their circumstances.

Sole trader versus limited company: the pros and cons for your small business

When you start out in your own business, it’s common to be a one-person operation. You’re in charge of your accounts, your marketing and everything that relates to the service you’re providing. You’re the one answering the phone, replying to all the emails and even making the cups of tea.

So, does that mean that going into business is the same as being a sole trader?

Well, no, not necessarily. It’s also possible to start a new business venture by setting up as a limited company.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what it means to be a sole trader or a limited company. And we’ll show you some of the positives and negatives of each approach so that you can make the best decision for you.

We’re not here to say that one approach is better than another. We know that what’s right for some isn’t right for others. It all comes down to your circumstances and how you want to run your business.

If you need help understanding the options, get in touch to catch up over a cup of coffee with us. That way, we can cut through the theory and answer the questions that are relevant to your situation.

Let’s start by looking at the terms ‘sole trader’ and ‘limited company’ so that we’re clear about what we mean.


What does ‘sole trader’ mean?

A sole trader is someone who is formally recognised by HMRC as being in business for themselves.

It’s common for such people to refer to themselves as self-employed or as freelancers, but the official term is ‘sole trader’.

When you register with HMRC as a sole trader, you must agree to keep appropriate financial records and pay all taxes due. This means tracking eligible expenses, issuing invoices for all work done and submitting self-assessment returns that confirm your taxable income.

Unlike being a traditional employee of another organisation, where tax is usually deducted at source through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme, sole traders use self-assessment to calculate their tax burden and pay this to HMRC twice a year.

In addition to these tax payments, sole traders usually need to pay Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance Contributions (NICs). The amounts are calculated automatically when you submit your self-assessment form online. You can find out more about this on the government’s Self-employed National Insurance rates page.


What does ‘limited company’ mean?

A limited company has its own legal identity and is structured as a business that has shareholders and directors.

A limited company can be run by just one person, but the setup is more involved than being a sole trader.

For limited companies run by an individual, the person in question becomes the director of the company as well as its only shareholder. That person then takes their remuneration in the form of either a salary or dividends or a mix of both from the earnings of the business. How to remunerate yourself can be complex, but we can remove the complication.

To set up a limited company, you need to register with Companies House. That means your full name, address and date of birth, well at least month and year will be published for all to see. The same is true for all directors in the UK, even for those who serve as directors in not-for-profit organisations.

When registering as a limited company, you must agree to file an annual confirmation statement and annual company accounts, both these documents are on the public record.


Sole Trader versus Limited Company: What are the differences?

We can understand the differences by looking at some of the positives and negatives associated with being a sole trader versus setting up as a limited company.


Sole Trader

✅ It’s easier to set up as a sole trader

Perhaps that’s why there are approximately twice as many sole traders as there are limited companies in the UK.

There’s less paperwork associated with being a sole trader (though you still have to complete an annual tax return), and you don’t need to register with Companies House.


✅ Sole traders have a greater level of privacy than limited companies

If you set up a limited company, some of your personal details will be published in the records of Companies House.

However, that doesn’t mean that sole traders are anonymous. Remember that you’ll need to put some information out into the public domain if you’re to market your business effectively.


❌ Sole traders have full liability if their business gets into debt

In extreme cases, business debts for sole traders can lead to the loss of personal assets.

It’s possible to protect yourself from such things through the likes of professional indemnity insurance and payment protection insurance, but keep in mind that liability for your sole-trader business ultimately lies with you.


❌ Sole traders may be at a disadvantage when bidding for big contracts

Perceptions matter and your business status can have an influence on whether clients want to hire you.

Even if you’re providing exactly the service a client is looking for, their internal policies may rule you out because you’re a sole trader and they’ve decided to work only with limited companies.

This means that it’s useful to understand who your ideal clients are and what matters to them. If the majority of your prospective clients are likely to do business with you only if you run a limited company, then setting up as a sole trader might not be a wise choice.

But if this consideration isn’t likely to affect your clients’ decisions about working with you, perhaps being a sole trader could give you some advantages over your competitors and therefore make you a more appealing choice for your clients.


❌ Sole Traders may not be eligible to claim tax reliefs

You have to be within the charge to corporation tax to be eligible to claim Research & Development tax reliefs and the creative industries tax reliefs. Therefore in order to claim these reliefs, you have to be a limited company.


Limited Company

✅ Limited companies may feel more trustworthy to some clients

A limited company can give the impression of a greater sense of permanence and financial success, and that can influence clients to favour working with a limited company over a sole trader.


✅ Limited companies have limited liability

Financial liabilities are placed on the company rather than on the individual(s) running the company. Generally. that means your personal assets aren’t at risk if you run a limited company.


✅ Limited companies can be more profitable for some businesses

As your earnings increase, it can be financially advantageous to operate as a limited company rather than as a sole trader.

Limited companies pay corporation tax rather than personal income tax, and you have far more flexibility in terms of how you remunerate yourself, affording you more tax planning opportunities. have the potential to save more than sole traders by taking advantage of a greater range of tax-deductible items.

Those who plan for gradual growth sometimes start a business as a sole trader and then switch to becoming a limited company. We mention this to make clear that your choice isn’t fixed – you can change your mind and business owners often do.


✅ Limited companies have greater protection over their names

Setting up a limited company with Companies House means that your business will be the only one allowed to register and use the name you’ve chosen.

Note that you may still need to apply for a registered trademark if that’s relevant to your business.

Sole traders aren’t offered this sort of naming protection, because you can’t legally prevent someone else with the same name from using that name in their business.


❌ Limited companies mean more paperwork and financial expertise

It takes more effort to set up a limited company, and the ongoing reporting requirements are more onerous. An annual confirmation statement and annual company accounts must be filed for all limited companies.

While a sole trader can often handle their own accounts without external help, it’s often advisable for limited companies to engage an accountant to keep their finances in order.

There’s no way for us to know what’s the right choice for your situation, though we’re happy to talk with you about your questions and concerns so that you can put your mind at ease. Get in touch to book a Discovery Call and we’ll sort out the rest.


A quick note about VAT

Whether you register as a sole trader or a limited company, you also need to consider the separate question of whether to register for VAT.

VAT registration is compulsory if your business’ annual turnover exceeds the VAT threshold. Find out more in our article about VAT.


Next steps

We hope we’ve helped you understand the essence of what it means to be a sole trader or a limited company. But what if you still need some more guidance to help you make the right choice for your business?

That’s where we’re on hand to listen to your questions and give you the answers you need to make an informed decision.

Get in touch, using the form below, to talk about how to make the right move for your business.

What are the Best Xero Add-ons?

Inventory & Point of Sale Management – Vend

It can be a real headache trying to capture what’s coming in and out of your business whilst keeping track of your cash flow. Vend allows you to automate your inventory process – you can capture information from initial customer contact, through to transaction and shipping and integrate this information seamlessly with your retail management and online accounting software.

You can track sales, revenue and profit by product or staff member and you don’t have to wait until the end of the day or week to access these figures. You can log in and retrieve this information in ‘real-time’ so you can make changes and improve your processes quickly and easily. Vend can also be used as a Point of Sale system.


Expenses & Bills – AutoEntry

There is a lot of administration around expenses and bills which can often be quite repetitive and time-consuming. AutoEntry is a great app which automates data entry by accurately capturing, analysing and posting all your bills, receipts, sales invoices and credit notes into your accounting software.

It will even convert data from scanned images of receipts, invoices, bank and credit card statements into a spreadsheet which can be imported directly into your accounting software. All you need to do is set these documents to enter automatically, either by emailing or by uploading them from your phone or desktop. It will then extract the data and post into the correct place within your accounting software. AutoEntry keeps all your expenses and bills in one place, creating a great online document storage place.

Another great feature is that suppliers can email invoices direct to your Auto Entry account. The app will remember what sections should be categorised and will do this automatically.


Budgeting & Reporting – Futrli

We often find that businesses spend a lot of time preparing detailed spreadsheets for budgeting and cash flow forecasting which can involve a lot of data entry, leaving little time for analysis. Futrli, formerly CrunchBoards, syncs with your online accounting package pulling through the requested data, giving you more time for analysis.

You can track your performance by day, week, month or year or you can custom your own period. It also allows you to do scenario planning and has a great business planning function too.


Bank feeds

Bank feeds are a staple part of your online accounting software. We see them as a ‘must-have’ as opposed to a ‘nice to have’. The bank feeds idea came from Xero’s design-led approach – their research found that one of the first tasks that a lot of small businesses do each day, is check to find out what customers have paid, so they created the bank feed to allow for daily reconciliation.

The banking apps are easy to set up and once you have a bank feed set up, you don’t need to import bank statements to get your transactions into your software. Bank feeds are secure and you can apply for a feed from your bank. Most banks now offer bank feeds but you can check with your bank or via Xero.


Debt collection – Satago

Anyone who runs their own business knows how frustrating it can be chasing late payments. Satago is one of our favourite debt collection add-ons as it automates some of the administration around credit control. Satago integrates directly with Xero and automates the process of chasing debtors by setting up pre-set email reminders and payment letters.

You can decide when reminders are issued and who they should be sent to and you can customise email reminders and escalate in tone as invoices become late. Satago lets you keep all your credit control communication in one place, which you can organise by customer. You can then correspond directly through Satago or via your own inbox.


Mileage claims – Tripcatcher

It’s often difficult to know the exact distance you travelled on your business journey. Tripcatcher seamlessly integrates with Xero to help you track your mileage (using Google Maps) and calculate the VAT you can claim on fuel. Tripcatcher also has a GPS tracker, to help you track mileage quickly and accurately.

It’s available for both iOS and Android phones and allows you to track mileage for multiple Tripcatcher accounts, which is important if you have more than one company.


Get in touch

Got a question about Xero add-ons or cloud accounting? Drop us a line!