This is a step-by-step guide on how to register as self-employed, including all the forms, documents and contacts you’ll need for your self-employed registration: -
Wondering when to register as self-employed?
- According to HMRC, you should register at the earliest opportunity. However, there is a deadline. You are legally obliged to register your business’ second trading year by the 5th October. Note - You should think carefully about leaving the registration late, because if anything goes wrong and you’re unable to register by the deadline, you could find yourself with a large tax bill - it’s a 5 minute process, and we know that because we’ve timed it.
- Anyone who becomes self-employed must register for income tax and national insurance contributions with HM Revenue &Customs. It is important that you inform HMRC as soon as you start working.
● This can be done either online, by phone or by post or online - it’s easiest to register online.
● Register by Phone - Phoning HMRC’s Newly Self-Employed Helpline on 0300200 3504
● Register by Post - By completing form CWF1
You’ll need to register for self-assessment by the 5th October in your business’ second tax year, so a maximum of 18 months after you started trading, should you have started on 6 April (the beginning of the tax year). As an example, if you started trading on 1 January 2017, the latest date you could register as self-employed would be 5 October 2018. Remember, if you don’t do any of the above, you could get fined.
Steps on how to register as self-employed:
- Create a ‘Government Gateway’ account.
You’ll need to supply your full name and email address and create a password. You’ll then be sent a user ID to the email address you provided, from which you can continue with the next steps. You can create the account online here.
- Log in to your Government Gateway account and select ‘Add a tax’.
Using your user ID and password, you can now log in to your Government Gateway account (here) and register self-employed for self-assessment tax. You’ll see an option to add a tax to your account.
- Select ‘Self Assessment’ for the type of tax you want to add.
When presented with the question ‘’what type of tax do you want to add? Choose the option for Self-Assessment (for self-employed, partnerships and trusts) If you require, you can add other taxes later. You’ll then need to select the ‘self-assessment’ category from the options; ‘individual or sole trader, partnership or trust’. We’re looking at the most common method for registering as self employed – registering as an ‘individual or sole trader’.
- Enter the date you started trading.
For tax purposes, you’ll be asked when you started working for yourself – i.e., when you started receiving income.
- Submit basic details about you as an individual for HMRC.
You’ll need to have your national insurance number and confirm a few other details, including personal information, home address, contact details and the name of the person or company you’re working for (in this case it’s your own name or the name of the business). If you don’t have a National Insurance number, you need to get a National Insurance number to register for self-employment; you can apply for one by contacting the Job-centre plus application line on 0345 600 0643.
- Submit basic details about the type of self-employed work you do.
Define the nature of the business to ensure you will be taxed appropriately for the income you receive from being self-employed. This only needs to be a basic summary; you can use the profile overview you are using for your Worksity account.
The example given by HMRC in answer to ‘’what sort of self-employed work do you do?’’ are things like plumber, investment business, retail, etc.
- Review and submit your request to register as self-employed.
You will then get a letter with a 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and be enrolled for online self-assessment service. You can then use this UTR to add other taxes.
Registering self-employed is reasonably light on paperwork and doesn’t require paying a registration fee(unlike registering a limited company), but it’s easy to overlook, so it’s worth registering as soon as you can. Once you’ve registered self employed you can add other taxes that you might need, such as VAT (you reach the VAT taxable turnover when you’re earning above £85,000.00 per year).
Although the steps are quite straightforward, it may still be worth speaking to an accountant to help you get started with taxation.