Choosing a structure for your business in Scotland

When you set up a business in Scotland, you’ll need to consider which company structure to use. Find out about options and get advice.


In Scotland, there are several ways you can structure your business depending on how you intend to do business. The most widely used corporate structures are:

  • Sole trader - self-employed people usually operating a small-scale business
  • Partnership - including Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Limited company – either a private limited company (Ltd) or a public/ listed company (PLC)

BusinessGateway provides complete details about each structure to help you understand the differences between each of them.

It’s important you choose the right legal structure for your particular business because it can drastically affect the control you have over your business, how you run it and the requirements you must legally meet. The type of legal structure you choose impacts:

  • Whether you need to register at Companies House
  • Which local government authority you need to notify about your business
  • The tax and National Insurance you pay
  • The records and accounts you must keep
  • Your financial liability if the business has problems
  • The ways your business can raise money
  • The way management decisions are made about the business

Get advice

A solicitor or accountant can provide advice to help you decide which structure is best for your business.