Starting up a SAAS business


New Member
I am a software developer working full time and have an idea for a SaaS venture and have some simple questions about setting up a business around that.
Some general information:
I plan to keep my job and work on the business in the evenings and weekends.
My plan is to initially 'get my foot in the door' of a business to provide my product to and work from there. I will charge €2.5k for my product for 1 year service.
There will be a small outlay, probably in the region of €1500 - €2000 to cover domains, hosting, software etc. I will provide this capital, possibly in the form of a loan to the company (If that's how it goes).
I will have no or few creditors (maybe hosting, billed monthly would be considered a creditor? Amount would be < €50 pm anyway)

My questions are more or less based around which way will end with most money in my pocket. I'm not afraid of some manual form filling and labour once I get a small shove in the right direction, and also would love to gain the experience in setting up a company, even if it involves a bit of extra work (and even if it fails)

1.<This may be a stupid question> If I was to set up a limited company, where does the 12.5% corporation tax rate come into this? Is this a simple tax on the income for the business? So if my business earns 10k in the first year, is this straight away down €1250 in income to the company?
2. As I understand if I set up as a sole trader, it is less expensive and less effort, but I am also considering if it would be more reputable to have a proper company. I would accept a higher cost (time and effort) of setting up a company if this perceived reputation increase applies in the real world. Is this the case?
3. I understand with a company there has to be more than one director and also one secretary. Can I be the only one claiming a salary, or is there a requirement that the other person(s) have a salary also?
4. If I allow myself a salary say of 50k, but the company earns nothing for some months (so no money there to pay me) - is this money owed to me?
5. Do I need to set myself up as a sole trader / company? Can I just declare extra income to revenue and let that be it?
6. I've seen people say something like "That's just setting up a business, nothing to do with being a sole trader or company" - What does it mean to set up a business in this context?
7. Do I have to register for VAT? I don't think I would qualify as an 'Accountable person'. Is this optional? What are the benefits of registering for VAT? Should I quote prices as + VAT if I am registered?
8. I have already bought some items to be used in the business (domains, laptop etc), would these qualify for pre-trading expenditure, even if they were bought on my own debit card?

Thanks for any guidance on this.
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