Nicola Sturgeon has set up a company to handle the income from her outside earnings after signing a lucrative deal for her memoirs. 

The former First Minister registered “Nicola Sturgeon Limited” at Companies House last week using a small accountancy firm in Fife. 

The nature of the business is given as “artistic creation”. 

According to the official filing, the firm is a “private company limited by shares”, with Ms Sturgeon named as the sole director, sole shareholder and the only “person with significant control”.

Her occupation is given as “politician”.

Last month it emerged Ms Sturgeon was writing her political memoirs for a reported advance of at least £150,000.

Publisher Pan MacMillan said it would be a “deeply personal and revealing” book from “one of the most significant political leaders of our time”. 

Ms Sturgeon said at the time: “I have loved my life in politics, but ever since I was a child I have harboured an ambition to write. 

“I will talk about what I am proud of and be frank about my regrets."

Limited companies pay corporation tax on their profits of 25%, and profits can be extracted as dividends, which are not subject to National Insurance.

As an MSP on a basic £67,662 salary, Ms Sturgeon currently pays income tax at 42% on her salary above £43,663.

If she earned more than £125,140 from being an MSP and outside earnings, she would pay a marginal top rate of 47%.

However any benefits derived from using a company may be offset by operating costs.

The accountants used by Ms Sturgeon are also used by former SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

A spokesperson for Ms Sturgeon said: “Now that Nicola has signed a book deal and is putting pen to paper to provide a real understanding of her life over the last few decades, this is an appropriate administrative step.”

The Glasgow Southside MSP has also previously talked about writing fiction.

Ms Sturgeon’s time as SNP leader remains under police investigation as part of a long-running probe into the party’s finances.

Ms Sturgeon, her husband former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell and former treasurer Colin Beattie were all arrested and released without charge between April and June.

The Herald:

Officers are investigating if £660,000 raised by the SNP specifically to fight a second referendum was spent on other things.

The SNP’s newly published accounts for 2022 showed an £800,000 deficit and liabilities exceeding assets by £220,000, suggesting the money is no longer available.

Ms Sturgeon, 53, has been an MSP since 1999 and was deputy First Minister from 2007 until 2014, before taking the helm after the No result that year. 

She announced her resignation in mid February and formally demitted office in March.

Last week she made her first speech at Holyrood since leaving Bute House, calling for less polarised political debate.

Ms Sturgeon’s predecessor Alex Salmond also set up his own company in 2015. 

The Chronicles of Deer Ltd is still used to handle the proceeds from “book publishing” and “television programming and broadcasting activities”.

Mr Salmond wrote a referendum diary, the Dream Shall Never Die, after leaving office and in 2017 started a weekly chat show on a Kremlin-funded TV channel.

Disgraced former Finance Secretary Derek Mackay also set up a one-man consultancy, Lochan Associates, two years after quitting after pestering a schoolboy with sleazy texts.

Liberal Democrat MSP Willie Rennie said:  “Nicola Sturgeon represents one of the most deprived areas in Glasgow, so I hope this company doesn't distract her from serving constituents in need.

“I am sure that many journalists and politicians will be waiting with bated breath for her to spill the beans on her time in power and her relationship with her predecessor.  

“Let’s just hope that she handles this artistic company with a good bit more dignity than Alex Salmond, who set up a similar company amid a late-career crisis, to process the money from his job as a chat show host on Kremlin-funded TV.”