Self Employed: How to Register

Self Employed


This post will help you:

  • Understand self-employment from HMRC’s perspective
  • How and what you need to do to set up as a sole trader
  • How to register with HMRC for self-assessment.

Table of Contents

Running a Business

If you have started working for yourself. You are not working in partnership with anyone else and you are not operating as a limited company. You will be classed as a sole trader.

Anyone who operates as a limited company. Even if you are the only person involved in the company. You will not be considered self employed by HMRC. You are considered an owner and possibly an employee of the company. However, owners of a limited company may still have to register for self-assessment.

Partners in a partnership will individually be considered self-employed. However, they will not be sole traders. The partnership they operate will also be registered separately with HMRC.

Setting up as a Sole Trader

Setting up as a sole trader is straight forward. All you will have to do is register for self-assessment (please see the next section).

However, you will have responsibilities as a sole trader, and these are:

  • Keep records of your business sales, expenses, assets, and liabilities
  • Prepare and submit a self-assessment tax return to HMRC every year
  • Pay any income tax and national insurance class 2 and class 4 on profits
  • Possibly register for other taxes like VAT, PAYE, and CIS.

You can trade under your own name, but you may also want to choose a business name. Your business name must not:

  • Include any reference to a corporate entity for example, ‘limited’, ‘Ltd’, ‘limited liability partnership’, ‘LLP’, ‘public limited company’ or ‘PLC’
  • Include any offensive / sensitive words or expressions
  • Suggest any links to local authorities or government
  • Infringe upon any existing trademarks.

Registering for Self-Assessment

There are several ways you can register for self-assessment. If you have ever been registered for self-assessment before you will need your 10-digit unique tax reference (UTR) number. There are serval ways you can find out your UTR if you do not know it.

Your UTR is shown on any tax returns or paperwork you received from HMRC when you were previously registered. You will also be able to find it on your personal tax account if you have one. If you still cannot find your UTR call HMRC to request it.

Register Online

For anyone who has previously been registered for self-assessment please use the following link to re-register with HMRC.

If you have never registered before, please use the following link to register online with HMRC.

Register by Post

To register by post. Download the pdf document below. Complete the form and send it to the address shown at the bottom of page 2. Underneath the heading “What to do next”.

Ask Your Accountant to Register You

Alternatively, you can ask us to register you as self-employed with HMRC.  Our service will help you get registered quickly and easily.  Allowing you to get on with your business.

It is a simple three stage process to get started.

Book A Call with One of Our Team

Click on the book call / video call button below, to book in with one of our team.

Make Your Payment

Once you have completed the registration form you will receive an invoice. Once this invoice is paid, the application will be prepared and submitted. You will receive an email once the application has been submitted.

Receive Self-Assessment Registration Confirmation and UTR number in the Post

Once we have submitted your application. You should receive a letter in the post confirming you have been registered for self-assessment. The letter will also tell you your UTR number. Make sure to keep this safe you may be asked for it in the future.


You should now know if you are considered self employed by HMRC. Your responsibilities as a sole trader.  Most importantly, the numerous ways you can register as self-employed with HMRC.

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