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Investing in shares through a limited company

Investing in shares through a limited company

Investing in shares through a limited company is a great way to benefit from the potential of the stock market while minimizing the risk to personal finances. This form of investment offers a number of tax advantages over holding shares as an individual. Limited company shareholders generally enjoy more favourable capital gains tax rates, and can often offset losses against their personal income. Additionally, dividends paid to limited company shareholders are usually taxed at lower rates than those received by individuals.

While investing in shares may seem intimidating at first, it can be a strategic way to use your business capital and broaden your investment portfolio.

Read on to uncover more advantages of investing in shares through a limited company, as well as some of the steps involved in making your very first investment!

What does investing in shares mean?

Investing in shares means owning a company’s stock. When you own shares of a particular company, you become part owner and are entitled to receive dividends when the company earns profits. Investing in shares also carries risks, such as market fluctuations and potential losses, so it is important to do your research and understand the risks before investing.

Why invest in shares through your company?

Investing in shares through a limited company offers tax efficiency and access to funds. With a limited company, you are able to take advantage of various tax reliefs which may help to reduce your overall taxes paid on the investment income earned. You also have the flexibility to draw down funds from the business should you wish or need to, which can be beneficial if you require cash for a deposit on a house or other personal investments.

Not only is it easier to manage investments through a limited company than with an individual portfolio, but the corporate body can make decisions on behalf of shareholders—eliminating any need for consensus and enabling more effective decision making. This makes investing in shares via a limited company best suited for larger and far more intricate portfolios.

How to buy shares in the UK?

How to make investments through your limited company

In the UK, individuals and companies can purchase shares through a stockbroker or an online platform. Before investing, you should research the company you are investing in, understand the risks involved, and ensure that your finances are secure. You should also assess whether you should use a stockbroker or an online platform, as the fees and services available can vary between providers. Additionally, you should consult with a financial advisor or accountant for tailored advice on the best investment strategy for you.

When buying shares through a limited company

  1. The first thing that you’ll want to do (especially if you don’t have a broad knowledge surrounding investing) is to do some research on the type of investment that you’re interested in making. Ensure that you are aware of all of the opportunities that you have available to you. When investing in shares, you should always invest in companies that you see true potential and growth in and have proved that they are a reputable company through having a clean track record.
  2. Speak to a financial advisor to help you narrow down your options and provide you with sound professional advice. They will also ascertain whether you have the necessary funds to make your desired investment.
  3. Decide if you will make this investment through your limited company or set up an entirely new account and loan the account the funds needed for the investment from your company.
  4. Present your investment proposal in full detail to your business partners and shareholders should you have any, as they will need to be a part of the approval process.
  5. Prepare administrative executives and accountants for the excess admin that will be involved in the investment so that they understand exactly what will be required from their end when keeping track of your investment.
  6. Choose a trustworthy investment platform and get investing!
  7. If you happen to get really busy when it comes to buying and trading shares, you may want to hire someone who takes care of this aspect of your business and makes smart financial moves on your behalf. It’s advisable to always get them to run final decisions past you.

 

Advantages of investing in shares through a limited company

Some of the advantages to investing through a limited company include:

Encourage other companies to invest in your business

By investing in the shares of other companies, business owners may encourage these companies to invest in their business in turn, or at least put a bit of a spotlight on their business which is important in succeeding in the world of business.

Dividends pay out

When it comes to shares, you typically make a profit if the shares rise in value and make a loss if the shares decrease in value. However, there is also usually the option to get paid out in dividends. These dividends can be taken out as an income, or they can be reinvested.

Buy and sell shares to generate a profit

Shares can make effective short term investments as well as long term investments, it all depends on the company that you choose to invest in. Trading shares gives you the opportunity to buy and sell shares and turn over a profit.

A simple form of investing

Shares are also a relatively easy and simple form of investing, with many easy-to-use platforms, which make them ideal for first-time investors.

Protection

When you register as a limited company with the HMRC, you can open up a business account, which gives you access to limited liability insurance. This insurance ensures that your personal assets and business assets remain separate and that your personal assets are protected should your business go into debt. This is the major difference between a limited company and a sole trader, as when you are a sole trader, your business and personal assets are combined.

This limited liability insurance acts as a great form of protection when you are investing in shares, as even if you make a loss, your personal assets will not be at risk.

Reputation

By investing in shares through your limited company, you open your business to a wide network of other investors and shareholders who may want to buy shares in your business. On top of this, by making wise investment choices, you add credibility to your business’s reputation, which will, in turn, bring you more popularity and sales.

Investment transactions can easily be tracked through your business account. Therefore, this is a great way to create a sense of reliability when dealing with hedge fund managers and the likes.

Having access to funds

Many business owners prefer to keep their business’s capital and funds within the business as it is easier and cheaper to access them. If you need finance along the way for your investments, it will be far easier to gain this through a business entity rather than through a personal capacity.

Risks and limitations of investing in shares through a limited company

Any type of investing comes with certain risks and limitations, and as a business owner, you should be aware of the following:

Investments are not seen as trading expenses

In the world of business (and tax), investments are not seen as trading expenses, which means that they are actually seen as an asset. As a result, you won’t benefit from corporation tax relief for your investment assets.

Taxed when you sell

If and when you happen to sell your investments, you will be taxed according to corporation tax gains rates.

Investment should not be your main trade

Be careful of opening up a limited company simply to trade and invest through. Your limited company should be a company in and of itself, and investing should just be a side stream of income. If investing becomes your main point of profit, it may affect your accounting and taxes.

When you make a loss

When you make a loss, it should be noted that it cannot be set against your eCommerce revenue. The only place that it can be set against is gains from your other investment activity, and this can cause some issues when it comes to accounting.

Extra admin

Keep in mind that when you start investing through your limited company, you’ll be met with a lot of extra admin that you’ll need to keep on track with. Ensure that your accountant understands how to log investments and how to keep track of investment profits and losses etc., as you will need to keep precise and up to date records.

Tax considerations when investing through a limited company

One of the things that you need to take into account when it comes to investing through your limited company is taxation. All investment income will be taxed at a rate of 25%, but this rate will increase to 40% if this investment profit stays in your business account for more than 18 months. You have the option to withdraw your investment profits into your personal bank account, but the tax amount will go from 25% to 52%, causing you to lose a large chunk of your investment profits.

It should also be noted that when and if you sell your investment, the profit of this sale will be subject to Capital Gains Tax, which affects many different areas of limited companies.

What if I have shareholders in my company?

If your limited company has shareholders, they will need to approve the shares that you are investing in. Experienced shareholders may be able to offer valuable advice when it comes to investing, so it is definitely worth listening to what they have to say.

Remember that investing should not be taken lightly. While there are incredible benefits to be had, there are also risks involved, and there may be other people’s money at stake. So, if you feel unsure or uncertain about making your first investment through your limited company, take some more time to research things and employ the help of a financial advisor if need be.

Alternative investment options for limited company owners

Alternative investment options for limited company owners 

If the stock market isn’t your thing, you have plenty of other investment opportunities available to you as the owner of a limited company including:

Invest through a separate company

A popular option for many business owners is to set up a separate limited company and make investments through strategic, intercompany loans. This helps minimise your trading costs and provides you with more investment opportunities. However, this can be a risky move in some instances, and it’s advisable to speak to a financial professional about this decision.

Invest in your pension

As a business owner, investing in your pension is always an advisable decision. You’ll receive corporation tax relief on this investment, and you’ll start building towards an amount that you can live off when you decide to retire. There aren’t any risks involved in this investment, and it is something that all business owners should definitely consider.

Re-invest in your company

If you find that your business has disposable cash and is turning over profits, you may want to consider reinvesting into your company. This could mean purchasing new equipment, upgrading your premises or upskilling your staff.

Property

Property is always considered a financially sound investment so long as you make a wise choice, of course. For example, buying your business property can save you when it comes to renting. Even buying an external property in which you plan to rent out or resell can be a wise investment and can indeed be purchased through your limited company.

FAQs

Am I legally able to invest in shares through my limited company?

Yes, you are legally allowed to invest in shares through your limited company, provided that the investments comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, you should check your company’s Articles of Association to ensure that any investment decisions must be approved by the board of directors and that there are no restrictions on investing in shares.

Why do business owners invest in shares through their limited companies?

Business owners invest in shares through their limited companies as a way to diversify their portfolios and potentially generate additional income. They can enjoy higher returns and less tax implications, and some are simply exploring an interest in the stock market and use their company as a way to do this with less risk to personal finances.

Summary

Investing in shares through a limited company can be an attractive and potentially lucrative way to diversify your portfolio. Unlike other forms of investment, limited company shares offer a degree of protection from market fluctuations and provide the opportunity to benefit from business growth without taking on too much risk.

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