Tax Glossary

Company Director

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Last updated on:
March 17, 2024

Being a company director carries significant legal responsibilities, regardless of the size of the business. Whether you're the sole figure in a one-person limited company or overseeing a larger enterprise, the role demands adherence to a set of statutory duties and obligations outlined in the Companies Act 2006.

Key Responsibilities of a Company Director

  • Strategic Leadership: Directors are tasked with making key strategic and operational decisions, shaping the direction and success of the company.
  • Participation in Board Meetings: Regular attendance and contribution to board meetings are essential to discuss and decide on company matters.
  • Day-to-Day Management: Overseeing the daily operations and ensuring the company's affairs are managed efficiently.
  • Conflict of Interest Avoidance: Directors must steer clear of situations where their personal interests could conflict with those of the company. This includes dual roles that might compromise their decision-making.
  • Policy Implementation: Setting and enforcing company policies to guide the organization's practices and culture.

Director and Shareholder Dual Roles

It's not uncommon for directors to also be shareholders and employees of the company. This multi-faceted role can provide a more comprehensive influence over the company's direction, though it also necessitates a careful balance to avoid conflicts of interest.

Important Considerations for Company Directors

  • Self-Assessment Requirements: Directors need to file a Self Assessment tax return if they receive dividends exceeding the £2,000 allowance or have other specific tax situations, such as directorships in foreign companies. HMRC may require foreign companies with UK-based directors to engage with the PAYE system.
  • Sole Trader vs. Limited Company: Directors might reassess their business structure in light of the IR35 regulations, which, as of April 2021, affect the classification and taxation of contractors working through limited companies.
  • Entrepreneurs' Relief Eligibility: Upon closing a company, directors might qualify for Entrepreneurs' Relief, potentially offering a reduced tax rate on certain types of business disposals.

The IR35 Regulations and CEST tool

The introduction of IR35 regulations aims to prevent tax avoidance by ensuring that contractors working similarly to employees are taxed accordingly. Directors contemplating or currently engaging contractors should utilize HMRC's CEST tool to determine employment status under these rules, ensuring compliance and proper tax treatment.


Being a company director is a position of authority that comes with an array of legal responsibilities and duties. From strategic decision-making to compliance with tax regulations, directors must navigate their roles with diligence and integrity. Adapting to changing laws, like the IR35, and making informed decisions about the company's structure are integral to maintaining a compliant and successful operation.

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