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This section of the site provides guidance and checklists to assist in forming a new company together with the incorporation of an existing business.

This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to where to start with Incorporation.

At a glance

Incorporation is the process of forming a new company.

A new business may commence trading via a new company, alternatively, an existing business may choose to become a company.

For new businesses, see How to start a Business.

This section is for existing businesses thinking about incorporation.

Planning points/pitfalls of Incorporation

See Incorporating an existing business

What's new?

Our guides

Sole trader v. limited company: tax differences & savings (2021/22)
Although tax may not be the primary driver to incorporation, this guide outlines the advantages and disadvantages and summarises the areas where tax savings may be possible.

Incorporating an existing business
This practical tax guide takes you through the whole process and includes worked examples to illustrate the Capital Gains Tax reliefs that are available to reduce or defer tax payable when a business is sold or transferred to a company.

Incorporation checklist
This is a step-by-step guide through the process of incorporation of an existing business.

Sale of occupational income; anti-avoidance
An Income Tax charge may arise where certain sources of income are disposed of from capital. These are subject to certain exemptions.

Goodwill & incorporation: Tax issues
HMRC may challenge goodwill where it is overvalued. 

Goodwill: Valuation
Methods vary considerably from business to business.

Goodwill: Trade-related properties
The valuation will affect stamp duty land tax as well as capital gains.

Cessation followed by incorporation
The tax treatment of the business and its assets on cessation will depend on what is going to be incorporated into the new company and the various forms of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) relief claimed.

An index to Capital Gains Tax reliefs 
Confused by the different CGT reliefs? Here is a summary that outlines each of the key reliefs.

Registering for VAT
When do I need to register for VAT? When do I need to start charging VAT? What penalties might HMRC issue for late notification?

Transfer of a Going Concern (TOGC)
No VAT is charged on the transfer of a going concern (TOGC) for VAT purposes by a VAT registered seller provided that the buyer is VAT registered or becomes VAT registered as a result of the sale.