I went from sole trader to Pty Ltd. Here are the *real* benefits!
Sole trader verse company structure: It’s official. I am now a Director of my very own company, Stay Tooned Pty Ltd. As a Director there are a raft of perks you can enjoy (and I’m not talking about tax relief). Here are 10 often-forgotten perks.
I’ve been umming and aahing for months about making the move from sole trader, not least because I couldn’t get my head around the whys and the whats.
Yes, my accountant explained them expertly, but when anyone starts talking tax my brain slips into my sock and my gaze starts to wander.
But now that I’ve taken the plunge, I thought I’d share what I see as the *real* benefits of having your own company – ignoring all that financial and legal stuff.
Psst: A company is defined as a separate legal existence, distinct from its owners, managers, operators, etc. It also has its own income tax liability, separate to your personal income tax. To learn more about tax, commercial and legal side of things check out When should you move from sole trader to a company, or this simple overview of business structures.
"No longer do I have to share biscuits with the other office plebs. As a Director I can have my own jewel-encrusted platinum business tin."
Director perk #1: The corner office
Now I’m head of a global corporation I obviously need an office space that befits my station. The much sought-after corner office is finally mine!
So… I shunted my existing desk into the corner of my shed #TOONCAVE which meant I I had to clean under my desk and rearrange the office. An entire day lost! So far my new company status hasn’t been great for productivity.
Director perk #2: The company car
As a Director I need to travel to my high-powered meetings in style. It’s company car time people. However, while debating between a BMW and a Merc I remembered I can’t drive, nor can my husband.
So… I decided to give my old bike a makeover featuring a smart new basket for important documents and a high-powered, extremely corporate bell.
Director perk #3: Director’s car parking space
Of course, now I get my own parking space. (And if any of you park in it I’ll have no qualms about clamping you.)
Again… no car means no space. But I did move my bike to the front of the shed.
Director perk #4: Travel perks
I splashed out on a new Opal card. Booyah!
Director perk #5: The hot personal assistant
As a Director I can’t possibly answer my own phones, make my own coffee or wipe my own bum. I need a PA stat!
After a relentless recruitment campaign, I’ve decided to stick with my current awesome virtual assistant, Leanne. I figure my husband can answer the door whenever a parcel (a.k.a. late night online shopping disaster) needs to be signed for.
Director perk #6: Expense account
I don’t really understand what an expense account is. Isn’t it all just my money? But I approved my own investment in a new KikkiK wall planner and a pack of Blu Tack anyway.
Director perk #7: The golfing days
All good directors play golf and wear those spanky little shoes.
“Sorry, John. Can’t chat Wednesday. I’m playing a round with Clive. We’ll be putting balls in holes and talking BUSINESS.” (That’s what they say, right?)
Sadly, I loathe golf. But I’ve decided to take my small human for a round of mini golf next week. I’ll call him Clive for the day.
Director perk #8: The smart suit
As a Director I must look the part. But given I spend most of my time working in my undies or a muumuu*, this is going to be tough.
So instead I’ve decided to invent a range of Business Muumuus (“BuuBuus”**) that incorporate a shirt and tie element.
This way I can look smart on Skype but still feel the breeze on my corporate knees.
Director perk #9: Corporate biscuit tin
No longer do I have to share biscuits with the other office plebs. As a Director I can have my own jewel-encrusted platinum business tin.
And no dusty shortbread of the worker bees for me. I’ll be savouring the lush Jaffa cake of corporate success.
I’ve made it, people. I’ve really made it.
Director perk #10: Lunch delivery
Do Directors buy their own sandwiches? I think not.When I’m not asking my PA to book a table at Chez Smuggery, I’ll be asking for a focaccia with ducks eyeballs on a bed of couscous with a lemon drizzle.
But my VA is actually in Melbourne, which means that by the time it gets here the bread might be a little dry.
So today I packed a Babybel and some rice crackers into my executive suitcase (Coles bag) and took it with me to the office (my shed).
Of course, along with all the positives there are a few negatives.
Director downside #1: The board meetings
I’ll now have to discuss the trajectory of the company with my board, and to be honest my CFO*** can be a little judgemental. His sullen silence and gruff interjections make our board meetings a little painful, but it’s worth it for his business acumen.
Director downside #2: Shareholders
Now that my profits will be split between my three shareholders (Me, Myself and I), I’ll only be a third as well off as I was before, right? (Maths was never my strong point.)
Executive summary: All in all, I’m delighted to be a Director.
As I etch my name into the glass of my office door with a rusty compass, I breathe a sigh of pride as I feel my superiority complex growing.
Of course, my accountant said there would be tax benefits and the like. But I’m more excited about ordering a thousand business cards with DIRECTOR embossed on them in gold leaf.
I may also grow a moustache.
* A muumuu or muʻumuʻu is a loose dress of Hawaiian origin that hangs from the shoulder.
** Patent pending.
*** Chief Furry Officer