How to run a Limited Company

How to run a Limited Company

Nov 21, 2021

Workwell News

When you’re managing your own Limited Company, you’ll have various accounting and administrative responsibilities to take care of, including keeping on top of your accounts, managing your VAT and payroll, and submitting your self-assessment tax return.

While some tasks require weekly or monthly upkeep, there are a few key dates that you need to remember to comply with HMRC’s regulations on an annual basis.

The list below is not exhaustive, though it outlines some of the most important dates to mark in your calendar and some general advice to help you manage your company accounts throughout the year.

1. Set-up

Filing Your First Accounts
Once you’ve formed and registered your company with Companies House, you will usually have up to 21 months from the date of registration to file your first accounts with Companies House. You can do this online using your HMRC online account details, your company registration number, and your Companies House online account details.

Your company’s annual accounts (‘statutory accounts’) include various elements, which vary depending on the size of the business:

      • A balance sheet (showing the value of everything the company owns, owes, and is owed on the last day of the financial year).
      • A profit and loss account (showing the company’s sales, running costs, and profit/loss over the financial year).
      • A cash flow statement (showing where cash has come from and where it’s gone during the year).
      • Notes about the accounts and the company.
      • A director’s report.
      • An auditor’s report (depending on the size of your company).


We know some of these documents may seem complicated or unfamiliar but don’t worry, our expert contractor accountants are here to help answer all your queries from set-up through to ongoing trading and expansion.

2. Annual / Year-End Company Accounts

Annual Accounts & Corporation Tax
You will have 9 months from your company’s financial year-end to submit your company’s annual (‘statutory’) accounts to Companies House.

You will also have to pay your corporation tax or tell HMRC that your Limited Company doesn’t owe any within the same period (9 months from your company’s financial year-end).

Company Tax Return
Within 12 months of your financial year-end, you will be required to file your Company Tax Return with HMRC.

If you have a private Limited Company that doesn’t need an auditor, you may be able to file your accounts with Companies House and your Company Tax Return with HMRC together online.

Confirmation Statement
Once a year, you will be required to submit a confirmation statement to Companies House that provides updated information on your company such as the identity of Directors and shareholders, for inclusion on the public register.

3. Annual Personal Accounts

Self-Assessment Tax Return
Before 31st January every year, you will be required to report details of your salary, dividends, and any other income that you have received separately from your Limited Company in a Self-Assessment Tax Return relating to the previous tax year. This will be used by HMRC to determine if you owe (or are owed) any personal tax.

We strongly recommend you don’t wait until the deadline to prepare, as submitting early means you can take the time to file an accurate return and receive the correct reimbursement from HMRC / prepare for payments on account (where appropriate).

4. Regular Trading Responsibilities

When a new tax year begins (6th April annually), you will be required to submit your company’s end-of-year payroll return to HMRC.

You will also be required to submit payroll information to HMRC every time you pay your employees – who may well be just you – to help them keep their records of employee and payment details updated. This is known as RTI (real-time information). Running payroll this way and submitting RTI to HMRC enables you to pay yourself and any other employees compliantly.

You must register your business for VAT with HMRC if its VAT taxable turnover is more than the annual threshold in a rolling 12-month period. This is not a fixed period (like the tax year) but can be any 12-month period (e.g. from the start of July to the end of June). Since your turnover will vary monthly, you should regularly check your rolling turnover to monitor whether you’re approaching the threshold.

You can register voluntarily for VAT if your turnover is less than £85,000. But this will mean you’ll have additional responsibilities as a VAT registered business. In addition, many small businesses use the ‘flat rate VAT’ scheme which can simplify your admin – your personal accountant at Workwell can advise you on the best way to manage your VAT obligations.

Once your company is VAT registered, you will receive a VAT registration certificate confirming your VAT number, your ‘effective date of registration’, and notice of when to submit your first VAT Return and payment. Keep this document safe, as it’s often referred to in the future when you or your accountant are talking to HMRC about your VAT.

Every 3 months from the date given on your registration certificate (a time known as your ‘accounting period’), you must submit a VAT Return to HMRC even if you have no VAT to pay or reclaim within that period.

Your VAT Return should record details from the previous accounting period such as:

  • Your total sales and purchases.
  • The VAT you’ve added to your sales invoices.
  • The VAT you’ve been charged by suppliers.
  • How much VAT you owe.
  • How much VAT you can reclaim.


We always advise submitting these files and tax returns as early as possible to allow you adequate time to prepare and ensure you never miss a deadline.

Help & Support

Getting to grips with the admin and accountancy responsibilities of self-employment can be complicated. Our expert contractor accountants are here to help you monitor your accounts, regularly check in and remind you of the key dates to keep your business compliant with requirements from HMRC and Companies House.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01923 257257.


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