Sole trader online accounting software

Embrace Sole Trading with all of the support you need

With software heavily promoted as a must-have, Crunch goes one step further with the power of software and service.

Crunch’s effective software package includes being able to talk to an expert client manager and a Chartered Certified accountant.

You can count on Crunch to make you productive and profitable.

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Gerry W

"Five-star service. Been with Crunch for years and the software is intuitive but for any worries, their team is on hand and always very helpful."

Kev M

"I can assure you that Crunch is professional in its attitude to business but also cares about and supports its clients in any way they can... They definitely went the extra mile for me."

Nick B

"Without sounding cheesy, Crunch have been invaluable to me during my seven year tenure as a sole director/employee of my ltd Co."

What is a Sole Trader?

Being a Sole Trader is the perfect starting point in setting up a business. It is simply the term to describe the running a business as a single operator or with a team, but without any legal framework around the business.

Ease of set up

There is a simplistic three-step process to start out as a Sole Trader in the UK.

  • Let HMRC know that you are self-employed
  • Register for Self Assessment as a Sole Trader
  • Pick a business name

Then you are effectively free to start trading immediately, and there is no need to register with Companies House.

Less administration

As a Sole Trader you have to keep accurate records of sales and expenses. Operating in this manner is simple because you are only submitting a Self Assessment (and maybe a VAT return).

Fewer costs

You do not need to employ the services of a solicitor nor company formation agent. If you choose to use an accountant, their costs can also be cheaper as there are far fewer statutory filings and reporting deadlines.

You also will not have to pay a registration fee to Companies House.

More privacy

You are protected by HMRC’s taxpayer confidentiality rules as a Sole Trader. With your details kept private, your rivals will have less information about you that makes it more difficult for them to size you up and compete.

Complete control

Arguably the greatest advantage of being a Sole Trader is the freedom to captain your own ship. There are no shareholders to consult, and the only opinions you need to listen to are yours and perhaps your accountants if you have one. Being a Sole Trader means that all post-tax profits are yours to do with as you please.

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Need more advice?

Why not speak to one of our experts? Crunch's specialists will happily guide you through the pros and cons of setting up as a Sole Trader.

Why Software and Service really works?

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Crunch undertake the (boring) paperwork

You will need to register with HMRC as a Sole Trader whether it is a side hustle you infrequently enjoy, or something more formal.

View Sole Trader plans and pricing

Crunch are with you every step of the way

We were the first to innovate the Software and Service model, a revelation in the world of accounting, which includes absolutely everything you need in one place.

We built Crunch Free to help professionals grow their business, without the high costs of accounting software and accountancy fees.

Crunch's Software and Service model delivers features and functions to allow you to take maximum control of your business finances.

Sole Trader Plans and pricing

"Hi there I have a question about my bank reconciliation this month."A chat response from a crunch accountant
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What if I receive a letter from HMRC?

We all dread a brown envelope landing on the doormat. Worse still it might even include the dreaded word of ‘penalty’. You can count on Crunch to try to resolve matters, just get in touch..

Talk to an expert


Crunch's Client Managers can guide you through our easy-to-use software so feel free to book an appointment. Alternatively refer to our Help Centre and/or training videos.

Talk to an expert

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Ensure you are as tax-efficient as possible

While running a business as a Sole Trader is straightforward, it may not be your most tax-efficient structure. Crunch offers advice on how to set up and run a Limited Company.

Crunch will ensure you can claim every viable business expense to offset the tax you pay. Your Crunch accounting costs can be offset against tax.

At £30,000 profit and above, it is almost certainly more tax efficient to start your own Limited Company. Ask for a free Tax Computation from your expert advisor.

If you have already chosen the Sole Trader product, do check with your Client Manager when will be the right time to upgrade to the Limited Company product so you can save on tax.

Read: What expenses I can claim as a Sole Trader?

Built-in VAT

If your Sole Trader business is flying and your turnover is around £80,000, then Crunch will check if you want to upgrade to a Limited Company.

If you continue as a Sole Trader, Crunch will register you for VAT. Then the whole VAT system will automatically come to life in your Crunch account.

VAT is automatically added to sales invoices. You will be able to claim VAT on many business expenses.

Crunch’s VAT Checker ensures that there are no mistakes and if there are queries these are passed to our accountancy team to investigate.

Read: What expenses can I claim as a Sole Trader (inc. VAT)?

VAT return example table
Making tax digital.


What is MTD?
This is HMRC’s initiative called Making Tax Digital.

MTD has been brought in to move businesses away from spreadsheets and get them filing digital returns with HMRC.

We are compliant for MTD VAT and we are preparing for MTD ITSA, which will change how Self Assessments are filed in the future.

Sole Trader Plans and pricing

Helping hand (should it ever be required)

Crunch covers you should you be working are flat out. We have professional accountants available to go through your bookkeeping.

Our specialist accountants can be there, ready to dive into your bookkeeping, with little notice for just £29.50 per hour.

Sole Trader Plans and pricing

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Choose a currency; British pound, US dollar, Swiss franc, canadian dollar,  Japanese yen, Euro

Foreign Currencies

You can always leave it to our professional bookkeepers for any foreign currency dealings. Crunch's team of experts will quickly have your foreign billings and expenses in an orderly fashion.

View Plans and pricing

View Plans & pricing

Why business owners count on Crunch

Milind Barve

January 24, 2022

One of the best online accountants. I ran two Limited Companies with Crunch. An amazing experience, I would definitely recommend.


Annie Munday

January 24, 2022

Crunch are fantastic. Always there to support you, which is especially useful when you are a new business owner. Super fast and reliable service.



January 21, 2022

Crunch has always provided me with a great service. I have repeatedly recommended them to my friends.


Affordable pay-monthly plans

We believe everything should be easy, so we've built the most intuitive accounting software ever, with real experts at the touch of a button. All in one place.

To see for yourself, book a call with one of our amazingly friendly advisors today!

Free forever

Crunch Free

Perfect starter accountancy & tax software for a Sole Trader or Limited Company.
Forever free and upgradable.

From £0.00

Free forever
Get started
Free accounting software

Keep track of all your invoices, payments, and expenses using our free online bookkeeping software. Easily upgrade for expert support whenever you need it.

Create and issue invoices

Send professional invoices to your clients on-the-go, personalise invoices with your company logo, record and track your income, and set up recurring invoices and late payment reminders.

Record & track expenses

Easily keep track of all your business expenses, set up recurring expenses and even use our free app (‘Snap’) to take a photo of your receipts and have them automatically uploaded to your Crunch software.

Connect your bank account

Link your business bank account to your Crunch software to quickly import bank statements and make reconciling your accounts quicker. Our software integrates with most major banks.

Bank reconciliation

Import all your transactions from your bank account and match them against expenses and invoices, our software makes suggestions for matching transactions to make your bookkeeping easy. Once your account is up to date and reconciled, our software will make publishing your accounts and filing your statutory returns easy.

Real time tax dashboard

Get a complete overview of what tax you owe with our real-time dashboard, giving you a clear and instant picture of your business finances.

Unlimited accountancy support

Upgrade to pro to get unlimited accounting support and advice tailored to your business from our expert team.

Dedicated client management

Your own team of Crunch client managers will be on hand for day-to-day contact. They’ll guide you through your online accounting software, make sure you stay on top of deadlines, and help you with support and advice on dealing with HMRC. We’re online, so you’ll always be able to get hold of us; no appointments, no fuss.

Annual accountancy healthcheck

Get expert advice on improving your company’s growth and tax-efficiency. Our Accountancy Healthcheck is designed to provide guidance on helping improve your limited company's financial performance, assist with any changes in regulations and the impact on your business, and help you to understand the changing needs of your business.

In-app chat

Instant chat with your client managers for effortless questions.

HMRC Registration

We’ll take care of getting you registered with HMRC, as well as for any personal or business taxes, so you’ll be up and running in no time.

Year end accounts

For Limited companies, we will ensure your annual accounts are prepared and filed correctly. All you need to do is ensure your accounts are up to date and our expert accountants will prepare perfectly and file directly with HMRC and Companies House.

Director payroll

Our simple Real Time Information (RTI) compliant payroll software makes it easy to set up a monthly, recurring salary. All your HMRC filing and payslips are done for you, our software connects to HMRC, so any PAYE-related returns can be submitted directly to ensure you’re compliant.

Tax-efficient dividends

Crunch software for Limited Companies is the most advanced in the market with the ability to pay yourself as a Director in the most efficient way possible. The software calculates everything, produces a Dividend Certificate, along with a tax efficient Director's payroll and even produces Board Meeting minutes approving the dividend release.

VAT filing

If you’re VAT registered, your software will automatically calculate your VAT transactions and prepare your returns for filing with HMRC every quarter when due.

Once you’ve approved it, you can submit your VAT return to HMRC with our online accounting software quickly and efficiently. 

We’ll always remind you of upcoming deadlines so you’ll always be aware of your responsibilities. Your software is HMRC compatible and meets the Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements. VAT filing can be added quickly to make Crunch Free even more powerful.

Self Assessment filing

Get expert help to prepare your Self Assessment and submit it to HMRC using our innovative online accounting software. We’ll make sure you’re paying the correct amount of personal tax and claiming all the allowances you’re entitled to. We provide a comprehensive review of your Self Assessment, as well as help with more complex returns, such as advising you on multiple sources of income. You can easily get this brilliant service as a separate ADD-ON for Crunch Free users.

TwinTrack - ultimate IR35 solution

Our switchable IR35 service means you can seamlessly move between limited company working or Umbrella payroll if your assignment is inside IR35. Our Crunch software can make any deductions you need for employment taxes, or handle any client payments you receive that have already had employment taxes deducted.

You’ll get online IR35 assessments to check the status of your assignments. You’ll also get one, free detailed review of the IR35 status of an assignment contract with a report showing your areas of risk, and recommendations to help evidence your contract is outside IR35. A Crunch expert will review your company's contract with your end client and the actual working practices in place to help you understand your employment status (one detailed review and report per year).

Since IR35 doesn’t apply to sole traders, our IR35 support is not applicable to those on our Sole Trader Pro package.

Company formation

Sole traders don't need to form a Limited Company however if you want to switch it's super easy and the Crunch team will form one for you.

Service address & mail forwarding

Sole traders do not require this service.

Registered office service

If you are a Sole trader, a sole trader doesn’t need a Registered Office. For a Limited company this service can be purchased as an add-on.

Professional references

Whether you need a lettings, mortgage, financial, or non-financial reference, we can help.

Snap app

Record expenses instantly on your mobile with our app (‘Snap’). Simply take a picture of your receipt and Snap will capture all the important data (including date, price, and VAT), then automatically record it as an expense in your Crunch account. Available for Android and iPhone.


Easily keep track of business mileage on the go with 'TripCatcher'. Just enter the miles you’ve travelled after each business journey using the free TripCatcher app or website. Your mileage claim will be calculated and recorded as an expense automatically in your Crunch account. It’ll even take care of any tricky VAT calculations needed if you’re VAT registered.

Not sure what's right for your business?

Compare all featuresGet help from an advisor

Crunch Add-ons

Our Crunch accountancy packages can be as unique as your business

Crunch is designed to be easy-to-use and flexible. We offer a range of services that you can add to your Crunch account whenever your business requires them.


Crunch provides regular bookkeeping support as well as a rapid one-off service to bring your accounts up-to-date.

Starting from £40+VAT


Crunch offers a Real-Time Information (RTI) compliant payroll service, supported by our Chartered Certified accountants.

Starting from £16.50+VAT


Our Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) service streamlines the process for contractors and subcontractors to ensure the correct tax and National Insurance payments are made.

Starting from £21.50+VAT

Pension Auto Enrolment

Crunch offers a pension auto-enrolment scheme for your employees, with our expert accountants dealing with the deductions from payslips.

Initial set-up fee £300+VAT


Easily connect your Crunch account to a range of helpful business-boosting tools from our trusted collaborators.

Brixx logo

Financial forecasting, reporting for cash flow, business planning and budgeting for your business. Get the free plan with all Crunch subscriptions.

Shopify logo

Create your own online store for your business with Shopify. Available for all Crunch Limited Company, Sole Trader and Free clients

Coming soon -
Stripe logo

Accept payments, send payouts, and manage your business online. Free for all Crunch paid subscription users.

Coming soon -

Frequently asked questions about Crunch's Sole Trade accounting

What is Sole Trader accounting?


If you run your own business as a sole trader, you’ll need to prepare accounts each year to show your income and expenses. This will enable you to calculate your annual profit and the amount of drawings you can take from your business. You will also be able to calculate the tax you owe to HMRC.

What is a Sole Trader?


If you’re self-employed and running your own business as an individual, then you should be registered with HMRC as a sole trader. Being a sole trader means there’s no legal distinction between the individual and the business they own.

Sole traders work in many industries and trades, including electricians, plumbers, management consultants, designers, and more. Check out our article on “What is a sole trader?” for more information.

Do Sole Traders need an accountant?


As a sole trader, there’s no law that requires you to have an accountant, but an accountant can help you stay on top of your business finances, manage your legal obligations as a small business owner, and help with your statutory filings and tax returns. 

An accountant is especially helpful where your sole trade business is starting out and needs assistance with areas such as VAT, CIS, and employing others.

What accounts does a Sole Trader need to file?


Tax returns sole traders are required to file include VAT (if your business is VAT registered), and your annual Self Assessment, which covers your personal Income Tax and National Insurance liabilities. You can read more about your tax obligations in our “What is a sole trader?” article.

How do I file taxes as a Sole Trader?


Sole trader taxes need to be filed with HMRC before their relevant due dates. You’ll need to start by registering as a sole trader with HMRC, and registering for tax returns such as Self Assessment. 

As a Crunch client, our team of Chartered Certified accountants can file your tax returns on your behalf. If you don’t have an accountant, though, you’ll need to file your returns yourself.

Who can prepare Sole Trader accounts?


You can prepare your own sole trader accounts if you’d like, but the best strategy is to get an accountant to do it for you. Accountants can make sure your returns are filed accurately and well ahead of a deadline - all you need to do is sign them off! An accountant will also make sure you are claiming the correct business expenses.

When do Sole Trader accounts have to be filed?


Your annual Self Assessment must be filed with HMRC before 31st January each year.

Do I need a business account as a Sole Trader?


As a sole trader, all of your business profit is taxable to you personally, and legally there is no difference between you and your business. But unless you want to pay more tax than necessary, you’ll usually want to claim sole trader business expenses when it comes to submitting your annual Self Assessment tax return. You need to be able to prove your business expenses are allowable. Having your business and personal expenses in the same bank account can cause all sorts of headaches and means getting your accounts ready takes longer than necessary.

With secure Open Banking connections, you can link your business bank account directly to your Crunch account and import all of your transactions in one simple click. From there, reconciling your bank accounts becomes a simple job!

How do I set up a Sole Trader bank account?


Many major banks don’t give you the option to open an account for your small business online, but usually, you’ll be able to start your application on the bank’s website, prior to meeting a representative in person or over the phone.

Some banks will allow you to walk into the branch and make a same-day appointment, but of course, this cannot always be guaranteed.

Crunch is also partnered with a number of trusted banks, including Tide, Metro, Barclays, and Revolut. You can even enjoy special offers and discounts when you open a business account through one of these providers as a Crunch client!

How much is an accountant for a Sole Trader?


At Crunch, our paid accountancy package for sole traders is available for just £24.50+VAT a month! As a Crunch client, you’ll get access to a team of Chartered Certified accountants and expert client managers, available whenever you need them to help your business thrive.

Are Sole Trader accounts viewable through Companies House?


Sole traders don’t need to register with Companies House, so no information about your business will appear in their records or on their website.

Can I claim an accountancy expenses invoice as a Sole Trader?


You can claim expenses for your businesses accountancy fees, providing the accountant's time is being spent working on your sole trader accounts and not on personal items, such as the production of your annual Self Assessment.

Do Sole Trader accounts have to be audited?


It’s unlikely your sole trade business will require an audit unless you begin reporting turnover of millions of pounds. In such cases, you’d need an accountant to guide you through any audit requirements.

How am I taxed on my Sole Trader accounts?


As a sole trader, you pay yourself based on personal drawings from the business, and you pay Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions based on the profits your business makes.

That’s why it’s important to keep a record of any drawings you take from the business to pay yourself. This helps you to keep on top of your accounts and helps when calculating your profits, which you eventually pay tax on. You’ll also need to put some money aside to pay your personal tax bill when you submit your annual Self Assessment.

Running a business can be baffling. Crunch are here to help.

Crunch boasts over a decade of experience by assisting a plethora of businesses with professional advice and guidance from experts.

Our Knowledge articles, jargon-free business guides, tools and calculators as well as tutorial videos can help answer your questions.

Our free self-employed community, Crunch Chorus, boasts over 71,000 members like you.

Crunch are an ACCA-accredited employer

Our Limited Company accountants have a range of qualifications from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Our team follows the bylaws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the ACCA.