Self Employed - Sole Trader or Limited Company? | SkinViva Training

‘Self Employed’ – Sole Trader or Limited Company?

self employed aestheticsWorking for yourself can be an exciting and daunting prospect in equal measure!

The aesthetics industry offers medical professionals a wealth of opportunity for developing their own career in a specialism that allows them to earn a private income in a growth market.

SkinViva Training Academy have helped many people to take the first step by providing foundation training in Botox and dermal fillers, which includes a real taste of aesthetics practice too by treating live models in a safe and supervised environment.

Through our training courses, many delegates have been inspired and reassured to set up their own businesses.

If you’re considering going ‘self-employed’, there are a few things to consider in relation to the details and obligations of running a business by yourself and for yourself – the joys of being self-employed!

Firstly, you need to think about whether you are best operating as a sole trader or whether you’d be better setting up as a limited company. There are pros and cons to both, so it depends what suits your own circumstances and plans for the future:

  • Self-employed as a sole trader e.g. carrying out BOTOX/fillers from a rented room, your own home or client’s homes. This is probably the easiest way to start out and test the water
  • Your own limited company, where you are technically an ’employee’ of  your own company (you’ll also most likely be a director or the General Manager of this company). With this option you are likely to pay less personal tax and then take additional money out of the business as dividends.  But it is important to fully understand how this works and the overall implications & legalities of setting up a company in this way.

Take legal and financial advice before you commit to either option and remember, whatever you chose, you will need to either submit company accounts and financial records, or you will have to submit company financial details as part of a personal tax return.  So being organised and tracking what you are doing carefully, is vital.

Here’s a quick summary that you might find helpful. Do check the latest information and get professional advice if you need to. It can feel expensive hiring an accountant, but it may save you money in the long run to get the right advice.

Sole Trader Limited Company
Your status You are the business and the owner The business is a separate legal entity. You are a shareholder and company director
Employment status You are classed as self-employed You are classed as an employee of your own company
Tax You will need to pay Income Tax and National Insurance on the taxable profits of your business (or your share thereof) The company pays corporation tax on its taxable profits.

The company will pay income tax and national insurance for its employees.

You will also be required to pay income tax on dividends (usually a lower rate than higher income tax)

Insolvency You are personally liable for the debts of the business and may go bankrupt Your liability is limited to the amount unpaid on your shares unless you have made a personal guarantee
Accounts There is no requirement to prepare full accounts. However, you will probably need some form of accounts for your personal tax return You must prepare and submit annual accounts for Corporation Tax
Legal disputes You can be personally liable for any legal issues. You should ensure that you have suitable insurance The company would be liable in case of any legal issues. You ensure that the company has suitable insurance

Whichever you choose, ensure you advise HMRC and then follow the necessary regulations and requirements. This applies even if it’s not full time and also applies if you’re working alongside your NHS commitments.

What else?

Here are a few more things to think about:

  • Ensure you have adequate and appropriate insurance from day 1
  • If you are carrying out BOTOX injections, you’ll need to work with a prescriber or have prescribing rights yourself
  • Think about where you’ll get your supplies. Choose a reputable pharmacy
  • Get separate bank account even if you opt for self-employed, it’s much easier to keep on top of the figures
  • Contactless payment is widely expected now. There are a number of different systems available, so look at which option is best for you
  • Think about your admin – how are you going to manage patient records? Take note of sales? Issue receipts? Track expenses?

For great advice from people who’ve been there, go to SkinViva Training Academy’s Facebook delegate network. It’s a highly valuable store of advice and knowledge. You can browse through thousands of previous questions and answers or post your own query for advice from other practitioners.

FREE Online Business Seminars

Coming Soon

SkinViva Training Academy will shortly be running FREE online business seminars with Stuart Rose, who led Merz Pharma for 13 years before setting up his own company, MiViVa. MiViVa is a specialised consulting service targeted at the private aesthetics sector which offers trusted and expert business advice for aesthetics practitioners and businesses.

With over 35 years of experience in domestic and international pharmaceuticals, Stuart Rose has worked for some of the world’s largest, (and smallest), businesses in sales, marketing and commercial leadership roles. His experience has given him insights into the things that leaders of businesses, (of any size), need to get right to create longevity and success.

How to register

Our first 2 business seminars will be held in February and March. Please complete an enquiry form on this website to register your interest.

    Subscribe to our mailing listPlease read our Privacy Policy and Fair Processing Policy for more information on emails and subscriptions

    SkinViva Training Academy, Manchester

    SkinViva Training Academy offers a comprehensive range of professional training courses for cosmetic and medical skin treatments. Their courses in cosmetic treatments directed at suitably qualified medical professionals* who wish to learn and build on their skills in delivering these procedures (*subject to meeting SkinViva Training Academy’s entry criteria).

    The SkinViva Training Academy team upholds high standards of clinical training providing a combination of fully-supervised practical experience together with essential theory.

    For further information, to discuss which course is right for you, to enquire about availability or to book a training course, please call 0161 850 2491, or email

    What others say about this post? (2 Comments)

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *