There is a hidden danger that many people choosing the Sole Trader route to running a business are not aware of.
Yes, operating as a Sole Trader is certainly the simplest way of running a business. There are no annual accounts to send to Companies House and most can run without needing to pay out for an Accountant.
As a Sole Trader you are basically self-employed and although you will still need to pay personal tax on your income (through self assessment), you have no other legal commitments to worry about - Except for losing your house, car and any savings you may have.
A Sole Trader is personally liable for all debts, expenses and activity of the business. Which means that if a customer decides to sue the business for any reason, you personally will have to pay solicitors to fight it and if you lose, pay the full sum awarded. In the worse case it might mean you have to sell your home.
If you had been running your business as a Limited Company, the customer could only sue the company – not you. In this worse case the company may be declared insolvent and have to close.
When you run a business as a Limited Company your personal assets, house and savings are safe. Something to think about when choosing how to run your new business.
See also: Pros & Cons of a Sole Trader or Limited Company
A bit scary, but true.