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You can use many different types of company structures to set up your company. For the majority of land surveying companies in the UK they have set up either a limited company, sole trader or partnership.

The whole point of these is to share or limit the liability of the works done. The sole trader is the highest risk and easiest setup, where you would have to do the business under your own name and the liability is unlimited to you. Whereas a company (if setup correctly) can limit the liability so that your own personal assets are not in danger.

The type of business entity you choose will depend on your business needs and the laws in your country (if talking globally).

There are four main types of business entities:

Public liability Company. This is a corporation, but it’s not publicly traded on the stock market. This type of company is used by larger businesses that want to limit their liability and raise capital via debt or equity financing.

Limited company. This is a corporation that limits its liability for debts, liabilities, and obligations through state law or charter documents.

Sole trader. A sole trader is an individual who does business under his or her own name without incorporating as a separate legal entity (such as a corporation). He/she may hire employees or use a professional corporation such as an accounting firm to provide services for him/herself.

Partnership. A partnership is created when two or more individuals agree to join together to engage in business activities for profit but without incorporating as a separate legal entity (such as a corporation).

Short-term and Long term strategies

Typically when you’re running your land surveying business your need to have an objective to help you set your goals for you as the business owner but also the employees/staff.

The strategies can be just a set of goals that you highlight how you want the business to run. so for example you can have a 5 year plan set out such as:

  • establish the surveying business as a market leader for SMEs who are turning over <$5m/year
  • establish an average of 12% margin every year
  • grow the business turnover to $3m/year by year 5.

Of course, the examples above are just fictional but it gives you an idea of what to think about. You can read more about long term business strategies here and our short-term business strategy here.