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What Happens When I Owe Money to My Own Company?

Owing money to your own company may sound like an unusual situation, but it’s more common than you might think.

As the director of a company, you may find yourself in a position where you need to navigate the complexities of a Director’s Loan Account (DLA) while ensuring you act responsibly and in the best interest of your business.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of DLAs, their tax implications, and the rules and regulations surrounding them, helping you to make informed decisions and answer the question, “what happens when I owe money to my own company or a little money to my own company?”

Short Summary

  • Understanding and managing Director’s Loan Accounts (DLAs) is essential to ensure compliance with applicable regulations.
  • Repayment strategies, accurate record-keeping, and professional advice are key for successfully managing an overdrawn DLA.
  • Rules should be observed when borrowing from a company in order to avoid personal tax implications or disqualification in the event of insolvency.

Understanding Director’s Loan Accounts (DLAs)

A Director’s Loan Account (DLA) is essentially a loan provided by a company to its director. These loans can offer numerous benefits, such as interest-free borrowing and potential tax savings.

However, it’s crucial to understand that DLAs come with certain regulations and reporting requirements.

DLAs can be advantageous, but they need to be managed correctly. Proper documentation and record-keeping are essential for both the company and the director to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations governing DLAs.

Interest-free loan benefits

Interest-free loans are financial products that lend money but do not pay or accrue any interest fees. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals or businesses that require borrowing funds without incurring any interest charges, helping them avoid getting into a debt cycle.

In addition to the obvious benefit of not having to pay interest, interest-free loans come with tax advantages as well. Interest-free loans are not subject to income tax or National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

However, if the loan is not repaid within nine months of the end of the tax year, it will then be a taxable income subject to income tax and NICs pay income tax too.

This reinforces the importance of responsibly managing your DLA and adhering to repayment deadlines.

Company tax return and DLAs

Tax implications are a crucial aspect to consider when dealing with DLAs. If the Director’s Loan Account is in credit, no tax is due on the balance.

However, if the account is overdrawn at the end of the the company director’s financial year, the company director may be liable to pay tax.

It’s important to remember that the interest paid or received on the loan will be subject to income tax at the savings rates. If you pay the director charges interest on the loan, the company must deduct the basic rate of income tax (20%) from the interest amount paid before paying it to pay the director.

On the other hand, the company can reclaim the Corporation Tax it pays on a director’s interest free loan, that has been repaid, written off, or released.

The Rules and Regulations of Borrowing from Your Company

The rules and regulations concerning borrowing from your own company are dependent on several factors, such as the amount borrowed and the applicable interest rate.

It’s important to note that repayment must be made within nine months and one day of the conclusion of the company’s corporation tax accounting period to avoid personal tax.

Understanding and adhering to these rules and regulations are crucial for both the company and the director. It ensures that the loan is documented and managed correctly, while minimising the potential tax implications for both parties.

Personal tax liabilities

When borrowing from your own company, it’s essential to be aware of the personal tax implications involved. Interestingly, no personal tax liabilities arise from borrowing from your own company, as long as the loan is repaid within the specified time frame.

However, if the loan remains overdrawn for more than nine months, the company may incur tax consequences.

There is some good news for individuals who borrow money to purchase ordinary shares in a close company in which they own at least 5%. They may be eligible for tax relief, which can significantly reduce the burden of personal tax liabilities.

Corporation tax implications

While there are no personal tax liabilities to consider when borrowing from your own company, there may be tax implications for the company itself.

The company is obligated to deduct Class 1 National Insurance on the loan, and the outstanding amount of the loan must be included in the balance sheet of company’s tax return.

Upon repayment of the loan to the company, the Corporation Tax can be recouped. This highlights the importance of timely and accurate repayment, as well as proper documentation and record-keeping to ensure that the loan is managed efficiently and in compliance with tax regulations.

Managing an Overdrawn Director’s Loan Account

If you find yourself with an overdrawn Director’s Loan Account, it’s essential to take proactive steps to manage it effectively.

This includes implementing repayment strategies, maintaining accurate record-keeping, and seeking professional advice on financial problems.

Addressing an overdrawn DLA in a timely manner is crucial for minimising potential tax penalties and ensuring the financial health of both the director and the company.

By following best practices and addressing any issues as they arise, you can successfully navigate the complexities of managing an overdrawn DLA.

Repayment strategies

Various repayment strategies can be employed to manage an overdrawn Director’s Loan Account. These include making regular payments until the loan is fully repaid and negotiating a repayment plan with the company.

Regular payments can be made via cash, cheque, or bank transfer, while negotiating a repayment plan involves discussing the terms of the loan and the repayment schedule.

It’s important to remember that the loan must be repaid within nine months of the end of the accounting period to avoid tax penalties.

By employing these repayment strategies, you can effectively manage your overdrawn DLA and maintain the financial health of both yourself and your company.

Record-keeping best practices

Maintaining accurate records of all transactions related to the Director’s Loan Account is essential for ensuring compliance with rules and regulations.

This includes details repay the loan such as the amount borrowed, the date of the loan, to repay the loan, repayment and capital payment schedule, and any interest payments.

It is recommended that this information be securely stored and updated regularly to guarantee that all transactions are accurately documented and accounted for.

Proper record-keeping not only helps you stay organised, but also ensures that you are prepared in the event of an audit or if the company faces financial difficulties.

Liquidation and Director’s Loans

In the unfortunate event that your company faces liquidation, it’s important to understand how your position as a director with a loan from the company will be affected.

Directors are low in the creditor hierarchy, and they have an obligation to act in the best interest of the others owed money. left company owes all creditors if the company faces liquidation.

Understanding your role and responsibilities in this situation is crucial for navigating the complexities of liquidation, as well as ensuring that you fulfill your obligations to the company and its creditors.

Creditor hierarchy

In the event of a liquidation, the creditor hierarchy determines the order in which creditors are paid from any available company assets.

The director’s position in the hierarchy is low, and they are expected to make expense repayments on the loan and their debt to the company for the benefit of the other creditors too. Legal action can be taken to enforce repayment, which could even result in personal bankruptcy.

Understanding the creditor hierarchy of limited company and your position within it is essential for making informed decisions and fulfilling your obligations as a director during the liquidation process.

Insolvency considerations

If transactions from your Director’s Loan Account are discovered to be inappropriate during insolvency, you may face serious consequences.

A person found guilty of corporate misdeeds may face serious repercussions. These can be severe penalties include being disqualified as a director for a period up to 15 years, financial penalties, and in the worst-case scenario, imprisonment.

It’s important to act responsibly and in the best interest of the company’s situation, and its creditors during insolvency, ensuring that all transactions are appropriate and in compliance with the rules and regulations governing Director’s Loan Accounts.

Tips for Responsible Borrowing from Your Company

Responsible borrowing from a company includes understanding the implications of lending money, balancing personal and company finances, and taking action to avoid further company decline.

By following best practices and being mindful of the potential consequences, you can help ensure the financial health of both yourself and your company.

In this section, we’ll provide some helpful tips for responsible borrowing from your company, keeping in mind the importance of acting in the best interest of all parties involved.

Lending money to your company

When lending money to your company, it’s important to consider factors such as the financial health of the company and the tax and legal implications of the loan.

The loan agreement should include the loan amount, interest rate, repayment schedule, and any other applicable conditions.

Evaluating the financial health of the company is crucial before providing a loan. This evaluation should include reviewing the company’s financial statements, cash flow, and other indicators of financial health, ensuring that you are making an informed decision when lending money to your company.

Balancing personal and company finances

Separating personal and company finances is crucial for ensuring accurate taxation and avoiding potential legal issues. One recommended best practice is to open separate bank accounts for personal and business finances.

This helps maintain accurate records of expenses and taxable income, while ensuring that personal funds and business funds are not being intermingled.

Another important aspect of balancing personal and company finances is organising receipts and closely monitoring all expenses.

By diligently tracking and separating personal and business expenses, you can guarantee that all expenditures are accounted for, and that taxes are paid accurately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I close my limited company if I owe money?

Yes, it is possible to close your limited company if you owe money, however, doing so requires careful consideration of the potential consequences.

It is important to understand that creditors are entitled to reclaim any debts owed to them by the company in full.

Can your own company owe you money?

Yes, your own company can owe you money. You can loan the company owes your business money in the same way it would loan money to suppliers, trade creditors, customers preferential creditors, and HMRC. As a creditor, you are at risk financially if the market takes a downturn or the company starts struggling financially or business loses an important customer/client.

Am I personally liable if my limited company goes bust?

No, as a limited company director, you are not held personally liable only for the debts of your business. In general, your personal assets such as property and savings will remain protected from claims by creditors if the limited company directors themselves is insolvent.

This protection is one of the major benefits of setting up a limited company.

What happens if I close my Ltd company goes bust?

If your Ltd company goes bust, you as the director are typically not liable for any debts, but the assets of the company may be used to pay creditors. Your company starts business will no longer operate, leaving employees without jobs and shareholders without investments.

As such, it is best to take steps to avoid bankruptcy if possible.


Navigating the complexities of owing money to your own company and managing a Director’s Loan Account can be challenging.

However, by understanding the rules and regulations surrounding DLAs, implementing responsible repayment strategies, maintaining accurate record-keeping, and acting in the best interest of the company and its creditors, you can successfully manage your DLA and ensure the financial health of both yourself and your company.

With the knowledge and guidance provided in this blog post, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed decisions when it comes to borrowing from your company’s balance sheet.

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