Director’s Loan Account | What is it and how to maintain it?

  • November 26, 2023
  • January 8, 2024
  • Shaz Nawaz
  • 12 min read

As the director of a company, you can borrow money from one. It is an excellent way to access funds. When it comes to taking out a loan from a company, you should know the rules governing it. There are a lot of complexities that can come your way. However, you can navigate them if you understand how a director’s loan works and its tax implications. This guide will answer all your questions, including: what is director’s loan account?

First, let’s discuss the definition of a director’s loan. Then, we can move on to maintaining a director’s loan account properly.

What is a Director’s Loan?

When a financial transaction that is not a dividend, salary, or expense repayment takes place between a company and its director, it is called a director’s loan. Specific tax legislation governs these loans in the UK. Furthermore, they require record-keeping. When a director borrows money from the company or they lend funds to the company, it is a director’s loan.

What is a Director’s Loan

Types of Director’s Loans

Following are the two kinds of director’s loans available:

When Director Owes Money to the Company

In this type of loan, the director borrows money from their company. Then, they must return the loan within a specific period. Otherwise, there are tax implications.

When Director Lends Money to the Company

In this scenario, the director is the one lending money to the company. Thus, they can withdraw it any time they want to. There are no Corporation Tax implications in this case.

What is Director’s Loan Account (DLA)?

A financial record that keeps track of transactions between the directors and their company is called a director’s loan account. It includes all the money that you borrow or lend. Since it represents all the data of the flow of funds between the two parties, it is like a ledger.

Suppose you, the director, take money from your company for personal reasons. Then, it is recorded as a withdrawal or debit in the DLA. When you lend money to the company, then it is recorded as a loan or credit in the DLA.

Through the director’s loan account, you can maintain a valid record of your financial transactions. Therefore, this can provide accountability and transparency within the company. The company can keep track of any amount due to you or by you. This includes any interest charges that apply to the loan.

For both tax and legal purposes, this account is essential. It can assist in evaluating your financial position within the company. Furthermore, it can assess any benefits or tax liabilities that come with the loan transactions. To meet regulatory and legal criteria, it is necessary to have an accurate recording of transactions and proper documentation.

What Purpose Does a Director’s Loan Account Serve?

As a director, you can use your loan account for various purposes, such as the following:

To Enable Personal Cash Flow

Through a director’s loan account, you can withdraw funds from the company. You can use these to cover your personal investments, expenses, or any other financial obligations.

To Inject Funds into the Company

You can also provide funds or capital to the company. By lending money, you can support certain projects. So, what is director’s loan account?

For Tax Planning

If you use your DLA account strategically, then you can manage corporate and personal tax liabilities.

By comprehending the motivations behind the use of director’s loan accounts, directors and companies can make informed financial decisions that align with their objectives.

Advantages of a Director’s Loan Account

Following are the benefits of having a DLA:

Access to Funds

One of the benefits of maintaining a DLA is that they offer flexibility. You can access funds as per your needs. Therefore, they are a source of liquidity for both business and personal matters.

Effective Cash Management

By using a DLA, you can separate business finances from personal finances in an effective manner. It is a simplified way for financial tracking and reporting.

Opportunity to Charge Interest

If you lend money to the company, you can charge interest on the loan. You can enhance your overall financial returns by earning interest.

Tax Benefits

Depending on your situation, you can gain tax benefits by using a DLA. For example, you can optimise corporate tax strategies or manage personal tax liabilities. Thus, what is director’s loan account?

More Accountability and Clarity

Through a director’s loan account, you can guarantee clear documentation of transactions. This promotes accountability and clarity within the company.

What is an Overdrawn Directors’ Loan Account?

Simply put, when you take a loan from a company and do not repay it, you have an overdrawn director’s loan account.

Any money you take from the company is subject to scrutiny because a limited company is a separate legal entity. A DLA keeps a record of the transactions that take place between you and the company. Following are the possible outcomes of the transactions:

  • The DLA will not have any balance if you do not take any money from the company. This excludes salary and dividends.
  • Account will show credit and the company will owe you money if you give personal funds to it. For example, fund for purchasing equipment or assets.
  • If you take a loan from the company, then you need to repay it and your account will show debit.

Even if your director’s loan is in debt, it is not an issue. You can repay the balance within nine months of the end of the accounting period. However, it is an issue after those nine months of the company’s year-end. The situation worsens if the business goes into loss or faces insolvency. This will create an overdrawn director’s loan account. Therefore, what is director’s loan account?

There are serious tax implications of not paying your director’s loan. In case you have an overdrawn DLA in an insolvent company, then you face severe personal liability issues.

Disclosing Your Overdrawn Director’s Loan Account

It is obligatory to show on your company tax return the amount you owe in case of an overdrawn DLA. If there is any amount that was not repaid nine months after the accounting period ended, the company owes corporation tax on it. As part of a corporation tax compliance check, HMRC can interrogate you any time about the existence of a DLA. Therefore, it is necessary that you include all entries correctly and timely.

What are the Tax Implications of an Overdrawn DLA in the UK?

You owe money to the company in case you have an overdrawn director’s loan account. In this scenario, you must repay the loan within nine months of the end of the accounting period. If you do not make the repayment, then you face a penalty. You incur corporation tax which is 32.5% of the loan.  

Suppose the amount is more than £10,000 and the loan is free of interest. Then HMRC will consider the money you took from the company as income. This also applies if the loan is charged at less than commercial rates. Also, national insurance and income tax implications will come into existence for you and the company. Then, what is director’s loan account?

Also, HMRC will charge interest on the loan. They will keep doing so until the director’s loan account or corporation tax levied on the loan.

What is a Close Company in the UK and Who are the Shareholders

Is It Possible to Write-Off an Overdrawn DLA?

It is important to note that there are circumstances where a reduction in an overdrawn DLA is possible for valid reasons. Let’s elaborate on this with an example.

Suppose your business requires mileage to accomplish tasks. Then you decide to pay for the mileage from your personal funds.

Another possible scenario is that you buy assets for the company.

There are specific scenarios where you can write off your overdrawn director’s loan account completely. If your company is a close company, then you can write off your director’s loan. A close company has less than five shareholders. To write off the director’s loan, you must also act as a shareholder. In this case, the director’s loan becomes a distribution of profits.

In case you are not a shareholder, then the outstanding amount is subject to as employment income. You must include it in your own tax return under the ‘additional information’ section. If you are a higher rate taxpayer, then you may owe a substantial amount. Moreover, you must pay National Insurance contributions.

Nevertheless, that is not the end. When a company goes through liquidation, it is the responsibility of the liquidator to raise funds to repay the creditors partly or fully. They must take every possible route to do so. In this scenario, the liquidator can pursue you, even if you write off your previous debt.

Pitfalls and Challenges that You Should Avoid

Following are some of the most common difficulties that you should avoid when maintaining a DLA:

Overdrawn Director’s Loan Account

When managing a director’s loan account, the most common challenge you will face is the risk of it being overdrawn. If you end up withdrawing more funds from the company than you contributed, then you will have an overdrawn account. There are severe implications in this scenario for both you and the company. The following are the consequences you will face:

Illegal Dividend

In case you do not repay the overdrawn amount within a certain period, then it is an illegal dividend. As a result, you can face financial penalties, legal issues, and possible disqualification. Hence, what is director’s loan account?

Tax on Director’s Loan

You will end up facing tax liabilities in the case of an overdrawn DLA. The amount that you overdraw is subject to income tax and National Insurance contributions, as it is a taxable benefit.

Strain on Company Funds

The financial position of the company can end up strained because of an overdrawn DLA. This means that it cannot invest in growth opportunities or even meet its obligations. Furthermore, it will get difficult to secure financing from lenders.

You must scrutinise the balance of the DLA, create clear repayment plans, and provide proper documentation to avoid overdrawing. Then, what is director’s loan account?

Non-Compliance with Tax and Legal Requirements

A major pitfall that you must avoid while managing a DLA, is failing to comply with legal and tax requirements. You will face the following consequences in case of non-compliance:

Negative Effect on Reputation

When you fail to meet the legal obligations, it causes damage to the reputation of the company. It can wear down stakeholder trust. As a result, it affects business relationships and opportunities in the future.

Imposition of Penalties

Companies House or HMRC are regulatory authorities that can impose financial penalties if you fail to comply with legal and tax requirements.

Legal Consequences

If you seriously breach your legal requirements, it can result in legal actions. For example, lawsuits, winding-up petitions against the company, or director disqualification.

You must keep accurate records, timely submit the necessary filings, and remain up to date on laws to ensure compliance. When necessary, you should get expert advice. So, what is director’s loan account?

Mismanagement and Absence of Clarity

In case of lack of transparency and mismanagement, there are potentially various issues that can arise. They include the following:

Unreasonable Interest Charges

Charging a reasonable rate of interest on the director’s loan is crucial. In case you do not do so, there is a possibility of tax implications for both you and the company. It can even lead to questioning of the loan’s authenticity.

Inadequate Documentation

Disputes and difficulties during regulatory inspections can occur from improper documentation and record-keeping. It is important that you keep detailed and correct records of all transactions relating to the loan and any correspondence.

Ineffective Communication

Misunderstandings and delays in loan repayments can arise from ineffective communication between you and the finance department. It can even lead to rejection of necessary consents for loan transactions.

Shortage of Approval Processes

Opportunities for fraud or misuse can develop from a lack of property approval processes for loan transactions. It can also undermine accountability. Therefore, it is necessary to implement approval mechanisms and strong internal controls.

If you want to mitigate all these challenges, then you must communicate effectively, create clear policies, and ensure transparency. Moreover, you should adhere to accurate management practices. It is crucial to conduct regular audits and reviews to reduce the risk of any mismanagement. Your goal is to maintain a director’s loan account that is both compliant and transparent.


To conclude, a director’s loan account is beneficial in many ways. It is important to note that maintaining a DLA requires accuracy and transparency. As the director, you should know how to manage a loan account properly. Otherwise, you can end up with an overdrawn DLA. There are plenty of consequences to an overdrawn account, including penalties and legal actions. Remember to reach out for professional advice when you need it.

To conclude, as an Airbnb host, you may need to report your income. It is all dependent upon your circumstances and the amount of income you earn per year. If it crosses the specific threshold, then you must report it and pay tax. There is no need to stress, as you can reduce your tax liability with various methods. Furthermore, there are plenty of advantages to running an Airbnb business in the UK. It is ideal to reach out for expert advice before deciding to go down this road.

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