When you’re self-employed, your situation will typically fall into one of three categories below. This will affect how a lender assesses you. If you’re thinking of changing company type (so for example, you’re a sole trader thinking of becoming a limited company), it’s often worth waiting until after you’ve been accepted for a mortgage to do this, as company changes can have an adverse effect on your application. This will vary depending on your articular circumstances, though, so talk to a mortgage adviser if you’re unsure.
Sole trader If you’re a one-man-band, you (or your accountant) will declare your income using self-assessment and have your tax calculated by HMRC. Once you’ve done this, you can ask for an SA302 form, which outlines your total income and tax paid. Lenders will then base their mortgage calculations on this information.
Partnership If you’re in business with someone else, mortgage lenders will look at your individual share of the profits.
Limited company If you form a limited company, you’ll be keeping your business accounts separate from your personal ones. As a director, you’ll usually pay yourself a salary and dividend payments, both of which lenders will take into account when you apply for a mortgage. If you choose to retain profits in the business rather than drawing them out, this can create difficulties, as some lenders don’t factor retained profits into their calculations.