How can I legally take money out of a limited company?

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In the complex realm of business, navigating the legal landscape of limited companies can seem daunting, particularly when it comes to the intricate details of withdrawing funds. A limited company is a distinct legal entity separate from its directors and shareholders, and it is bound by specific legal constraints and procedures. Given this context, understanding how to legally extract money from a limited company becomes pivotal for business owners. This this article answers the question of how to take money out of a limited company

At this juncture, let’s introduce Company Doctor, your ally in unravelling the complexities of business finance. We are a team of tax experts and insolvency practitioners specializing in assisting directors managing struggling limited companies. Based in Leeds, our service footprint extends nationwide, ensuring limited liability and offering assistance with creditor voluntary liquidations and efficient fund extraction. Company Doctor aims to be your trusted partner, prioritizing your company’s financial health through our expertise and procedure.

To learn more about how we can help, visit our website here Company Doctor.

The journey of extracting funds from your business legally and efficiently is often paved with questions and uncertainties. This article aims to demystify the process, offer clarity on the responsibilities and obligations involved, and explore various methods for legally extracting profits. For more personalised assistance, do remember that our friendly team at Company Doctor is just a call away at 0800 169 1536. Let’s embark on this enlightening journey together.

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Various Methods and Strategies for Legally Extracting Profits

As a business owner, you have various strategies to legally extract profits from your business. One popular strategy is through a pension contribution. Unlike salary and dividends, contributions made by your company into a pension are not subject to Income Tax or National Insurance contributions, hence can be a highly tax-efficient method of extracting money. This also has the added benefit of aiding in your retirement planning. However, these contributions need to be wholly and exclusively for the purpose of business to be an allowable deduction against Corporation Tax. Any contributions should be carefully considered and properly documented.

Alternatively, you can pay yourself a salary, which should be just enough to utilise your personal allowance, and keep you within the basic rate band for Income Tax. This method will also incur a National Insurance liability for both the individual and the company, but these costs are generally lower than the potential tax charges on dividends over the basic rate.

Whichever method you choose, it is crucial to keep accurate records of all transactions between your personal bank account and the company’s account, especially when you’re dealing with Director’s Loans. These transactions should also be correctly reported on your Self Assessment tax return at the end of the tax year to avoid any penalties from HMRC.

Please note that while this advice is meant to be helpful, everyone’s circumstances are different and you should seek professional advice tailored to your situation.

Running a limited company involves careful planning and adherence to the strict rules regarding financial management. The process of legally taking money out of your limited company isn’t as straightforward as one might hope. There are rules, regulations and tax implications that all directors must be aware of.


One of the most straightforward ways for directors to take money out of their limited company is by paying themselves a salary. Salaries are classed as a business expense, meaning that they reduce the company’s profit and, therefore, the corporation tax the company has to pay. However, it’s important to note that salaries are subject to income tax and national insurance contributions (both employees’ and employers’ NI) through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. This requires a payroll set up, and regular filings must be submitted to HMRC.


Dividends are another popular method of extracting money from a limited company, often due to their favourable tax treatment compared to salaries. Dividends are essentially a share of the profits after corporation tax has been deducted. To pay a dividend, the company must have enough retained profit in its account.

Remember that you need to hold a board meeting to declare dividends, even if you’re the sole director, and you must keep minutes of the meeting as a record. Moreover, for each dividend payment, you must issue a dividend voucher showing the date, the company name, the names of the shareholders being paid and the amount of the dividend.

Dividends are not subject to national insurance but are subject to dividend tax. The rate of dividend tax you pay is dependent on which income tax band you fall into.

Director’s Loan Account

A director’s loan account can be another way of taking money out of a limited company. This happens when you take more money out of the company than you’ve put in, and these amounts aren’t classed as salary, dividends, or expenses repayment. It’s important to remember that there are tax implications if the loan is not paid back within nine months and one day of the company’s year-end.

While these are common methods, it’s crucial to remember that tax implications can be complex. Therefore, we recommend seeking professional advice from experts like us at Company Doctor, where we can help guide you through the process. In our next section, we’ll look at the responsibilities and obligations when withdrawing funds from a limited company.

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Responsibilities and Obligations of a Limited Company Director

Being a director of a limited company comes with a range of responsibilities and obligations, especially when it comes to managing and withdrawing funds. Here, we’ll explore some of the key obligations you should be aware of.

Self-Assessment Tax Returns

All company directors are required to complete a self-assessment tax return each year. This process involves declaring your income, including any dividends or salary taken from the company. It’s essential to keep accurate records of all your income and expenses to make this process as smooth as possible. Your self-assessment will also determine how much income tax and national insurance you owe.

Corporation Tax and Company Tax Return

As a company director, you are also responsible for ensuring that your limited company pays any corporation tax that it owes. Your company pays corporation tax on its profits, and this is calculated and reported via the company tax return. If you have withdrawn profits in the form of dividends, you must ensure that corporation tax has been accounted for on those profits.

Director’s Loan Account

If you’ve taken money from the company through a director’s loan account, it’s your responsibility to ensure this is recorded correctly. If the loan isn’t repaid within the specified timeframe (nine months and one day after the company’s financial year end), the company will have additional tax obligations.

National Insurance Contributions

If you’re taking a salary, it’s also your responsibility to ensure that both employee and employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are paid. The NICs are calculated based on the amount of salary taken, and they’re collected via the PAYE system along with income tax.

Compliance with Companies House and HMRC

As a director, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that all necessary documents and returns are filed with Companies House and HMRC in a timely manner. This includes the annual accounts, confirmation statement (previously annual return), and any other necessary documentation.

It’s clear that being a director involves significant responsibilities, especially when it comes to managing the company’s finances and taking money out of the company. It’s always a good idea to seek professional advice to ensure you’re meeting all of your obligations. Our team at Company Doctor is always on hand to help guide you through the process. We’ll discuss more ways to extract profits from your limited company in the next section.

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Navigating through Liquidation

At times, a company might find itself in a position where liquidation is the best or the only option. This process involves selling off the company’s assets to pay off creditors. There are two main types of liquidation that you, as a company director, should be aware of – Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) and Compulsory Liquidation.

Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL)

A CVL is a voluntary act initiated by the directors when they realise that the company can no longer meet its financial obligations. It’s a responsible step that shows the directors’ intention to avoid incurring additional debts that the company can’t repay. However, the process can be complex and it’s crucial that you seek professional advice.

Compulsory Liquidation

Compulsory liquidation, on the other hand, is enforced by the court, usually following a petition from a creditor. This typically occurs when a company fails to pay a debt exceeding a specified amount and can’t negotiate a satisfactory arrangement with its creditors.

As daunting as these processes may sound, they don’t have to be navigated alone. This is where Company Doctor can help. As insolvency practitioners based in Leeds, we have years of experience providing nationwide support to directors navigating CVL and Compulsory Liquidation. Our team can guide you through each stage of the process, ensuring you fully understand your responsibilities, potential repercussions, and the available options. Give us a call at 0800 169 1536 for a confidential discussion on how we can assist you through these challenging situations.

You can find detailed information on Creditors Voluntary Liquidation and Compulsory Liquidation on our website.

FAQ Section

Can I take money out of my limited company any time I want?

The money in your limited company is not your personal money, so you can’t withdraw it as and when you want. There are specific, legal ways to extract money such as paying yourself a salary, dividends, or through director’s loan accounts.

What are the tax implications of withdrawing money from my limited company?

Depending on the method of withdrawal, there are different tax implications. If taken as a salary, it’s subject to income tax and national insurance. If taken as a dividend, it’s subject to dividend tax rates after corporation tax has been paid. If it’s a director’s loan, there might be tax implications if the loan is not repaid within a specified time.

What is a director’s loan account?

This is an account which keeps track of any money taken out of the company that isn’t a salary, dividend, or a repayment of expenses you’ve paid. It can also include money you’ve lent to the company.

What are the possible consequences if I can’t repay a director’s loan?

If the director’s loan account is overdrawn at the end of the company’s financial year and not repaid within nine months, it can trigger an additional corporation tax charge. Additionally, loans that are written off could be treated as income and be subject to personal tax.

Can I liquidate my company to get money out?

Liquidation is a way to extract money from a company, but it should be considered as a last resort. It involves selling off the company’s assets to pay off creditors, which could result in limited funds being left over for the directors. Furthermore, the process can be complex and is usually irreversible. Consulting professionals like Company Doctor can help you navigate this process if necessary.


Taking money out of a limited company is a process that needs careful planning and understanding. It involves not just a comprehension of the company’s financial state but also a thorough knowledge of the tax implications and legalities involved in the process. As a director, you are responsible for the company’s financial wellbeing and ensuring all actions comply with the law.

Whether it’s through a salary, dividends, or a director’s loan, understanding the specifics of each method can help you decide the most tax-efficient way to extract money. Should the situation lead to considering liquidation, it’s essential to know your options, responsibilities, and the consequences this could have on your business.

At times, these decisions can be complex, and it’s often prudent to seek professional advice. Company Doctor is here to guide you through these processes, offering expert advice and services to navigate difficult business circumstances. If you find yourself uncertain or concerned about your business’s financial health, our team is available nationwide to help. Remember, the sooner you act, the more options you have to rectify the situation. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 169 1536, for a comprehensive understanding of your options.

You don’t have to navigate these challenging times alone – Company Doctor is here to help.


The primary sources for this article are listed below.

Director’s loans: Overview – GOV.UK (

Corporation Tax: Overview – GOV.UK (

Rates and allowances: National Insurance contributions – GOV.UK (

Income Tax: introduction: Overview – GOV.UK (

Details of our standards for producing accurate, unbiased content can be found in our editorial policy here.

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