Joe is a sole trader plumber with a few employees. The business only does plumbing work for other businesses.
Joe is a director and 50% shareholder in Joe+Mike Ltd. Mike is the other director and 50% shareholder. Joe+Mike Ltd only does domestic plumbing work. Joe+Mike Ltd has some employees. Mike runs the business with some administrative help from Joe.
Both businesses are VAT registered. They operate from the same business premises. They do not share staff or bank accounts or supplier accounts. They each run their own PAYE with different reference numbres. Though they are both plumbing businesses one only deals with commercial and the other domestic. This has been done for commercial reasons: the sole-trader business was founded by Joe, Mike had been an employee of Joe and wanted to branch out into domestic work and wanted Joe's help to get started and ongoing admin.
Joe claims Employment Allowance against his sole-trader employer NICs. Can Joe+Mike Ltd also claim Employment Allowance? I've read the rules at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/831480/Detailed_technical_guidance_for_employers_and_their_agents.pdf which has loads of examples but none involving both an incorporated and unincorporated business. I've spoken to HMRC Employer's Helpline and they said Joe+Mike Ltd cannot claim Employment Allowance but HMRC can't say why!