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In recent years, an increasing number of property investors are opting to purchase buy-to-let properties through a limited company structure. This alternative approach offers several business benefits, such as tax advantages, increased financial protection, and enhanced flexibility. In this article, we will explore the advantages that buying to let through a limited company can bring to property investors.
What Is Involved in Buying to Let Through a Limited Company?
Buying to let through a limited company refers to the practice of purchasing investment properties, typically residential properties, using a limited company structure instead of personal ownership. In this approach, the properties are registered under the name of the limited company, and the company becomes the landlord. This strategy offers several benefits, including potential tax advantages, increased asset protection, and expanded financing opportunities. Let’s delve into these benefits in greater detail now!
1. Tax Efficiency
One of the primary incentives for purchasing buy-to-let properties through a limited company is the potential for improved tax efficiency. Unlike individual landlords, limited companies are subject to different tax rules that can be advantageous for property investors.
- Corporation Tax: Limited companies are taxed on their profits at the prevailing corporation tax rate, which is generally lower than the higher income tax rates applicable to individuals. This can lead to substantial tax savings, particularly for higher-rate taxpayers.
- Mortgage Interest Relief: The government has introduced restrictions on the deductibility of mortgage interest for individual landlords, significantly impacting their profitability. However, these restrictions do not apply to limited companies, allowing them to offset their mortgage interest costs in full against their rental income, thereby reducing their tax liability.
- Capital Gains Tax (CGT): By purchasing properties through a limited company, investors can potentially benefit from lower CGT rates applicable to companies compared to the rates imposed on individuals. This can be particularly advantageous when selling properties or transferring them to another entity in the future.
2. Asset Protection
Another compelling advantage of buying to let through a limited company is the enhanced asset protection it provides. Holding properties in a limited company’s name offers a layer of separation between personal and business assets. This separation can help safeguard personal wealth in the event of legal disputes or financial liabilities related to the investment property.
If unforeseen circumstances arise, such as litigation or insolvency, the limited liability status of the company shields personal assets from being used to settle business debts. This protection can provide peace of mind and security to investors, especially those with substantial property portfolios.
3. Increased Financing Opportunities
Purchasing properties through a limited company can expand financing options for property investors. While individual landlords may face stricter lending criteria and limited access to mortgages, limited companies can often enjoy broader access to financing options. Lenders may view limited companies as more stable and reliable borrowers, particularly if the company has a strong financial track record.
Moreover, limited companies have the flexibility to raise capital through various avenues, such as issuing shares or taking on additional investors. This ability to pool resources can empower property investors to acquire larger and more profitable properties that may have been beyond their reach as individual landlords. (Accounts can be complicated, so use the tools available, like Hammock, to make your life easier!)
The Business Benefits of Buying
Choosing to buy to let through a limited company can yield several business benefits for property investors. From tax advantages and asset protection to increased financing opportunities, this approach offers a compelling framework for optimizing profitability and mitigating risks. As always, investors should consult with tax advisors and legal professionals to ensure this strategy aligns with their specific circumstances and objectives.