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This page is all about how you register as self-employed for income tax và National Insurance contributions (NIC) purposes.

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Why vị I need khổng lồ register as self-employed?

If you have decided khổng lồ work for yourself by becoming self-employed, firstly you need lớn make sure that you are actually going to be self-employed for tax and National Insurance contributions (NIC) purposes & that you are not in fact an employee instead. Have a look at our Employed, self-employed, both or neither page khổng lồ help you work it out. It is possible khổng lồ have two jobs where you are employed in one và self-employed in another.

No tax or NIC is normally deducted from self-employed income (also known as your trading income) so you are responsible for making the necessary payments khổng lồ HMRC. The exceptions are subcontractors in the construction industry who often have tax deducted from payments made to them under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) rules, và examination markers who usually have tax deducted at the basic rate but not NIC. We cover these exceptions in our self-employment tax guide và we also cover the CIS including how to lớn register for CIS on our page: What is the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)? If CIS applies lớn you, then you must still register as self-employed for tax và NIC purposes và then also register separately as a subcontractor for CIS.

⚠️ If you are self-employed, by law you are usually required to lớn register with HMRC so they can issue you with a notice to complete a Self Assessment tax return và send you tax statements when required. The one exception lớn this is if you have only a small amount of self-employment income, qualify for full relief of the trading allowance and choose khổng lồ use it, then you may not need khổng lồ register your self-employment with HMRC.

You might also need khổng lồ consider whether you will need to register for VAT (Value Added Tax). See our VAT page for more information.

I am self-employed. How and when vị I register?

You can register in several ways:

The registration process covers both tax and National Insurance contributions (NIC).

You can register with HMRC as soon as you have started trading if you wish. However, if you then bởi vì not earn as much as you expect và your gross trading income for the first tax year is less than the trading allowance, you will still need to tệp tin a return for that year unless HMRC agree to lớn withdraw the requirement. You should make sure you register by 5 October following the end of the tax year in which you started self-employment at the latest, otherwise penalties may apply.

⚠️ vị trí cao nhất tip: When completing online forms on GOV.UK, such as size CWF1, there is often no facility lớn save the khung when you have only partially completed it. This means that you need to make sure you have all the information you require available when you start completing the form. We would also recommend that you print a copy of the form.


Novak started trading on 1 January 2022. He expects khổng lồ have income of £12,000 in the period khổng lồ 5 April 2022 & so will not be entitled to lớn full relief using the trading allowance. The latest date that he should notify HMRC that he has started trading is 5 October 2022.

It may be the case that you are starting self-employment in two unconnected trades (sometimes called multiple trades), for example, you decide to start your own business as a hairdresser but you also begin lớn make & sell greetings cards. In these circumstances, you only need khổng lồ register your self-employment once with HMRC and on your Self Assessment tax return you provide details of your two separate businesses (hairdressing and selling greeting cards). We cover multiple trades on our page How bởi I work out my taxable profits?.

I am already registered for Self Assessment and starting self-employment. What bởi I do?

It may be the case that you are already registered for Self Assessment and are completing tax returns but not because you are self-employed (for example, you may receive rental property income).

If HMRC haven’t issued you with a notice to file a tax return for the year you started and you become self-employed you still need to lớn let HMRC know this by 5 October deadline (see the section above). As you will have a unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) already, you need lớn enter these details in the section of the form CWF1 which asks:

Have you previously registered for Self Assessment?

Tick ‘Yes’ và then you will need lớn enter your UTR (the 10-digit number HMRC use on your Self Assessment tax return & correspondence). Complete the rest of the size with details about your business such as type of work & when you started trading.

You can also complete this version of form CWF1 and print it off và send it to HMRC.

What happens if I vì not register or register late?

If you vị not register by the relevant date (5 October following the kết thúc of the tax year you started self-employment) you may have to pay a penalty. See our penalties page for more information. You may also have to pay interest & penalties on any tax paid late.

However, if you miss the 5 October deadline but still manage to register as self-employed, file an online tax return by the following 31 January và pay any tax owed by the same date, you should not be at risk of being charged any penalties.

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So, in the example above, if Novak did not notify HMRC about his new self-employment until November 2022, as long as he completed và submitted a 2021/22 tax return online & paid the tax due by 31 January 2023 he should not be charged any penalties for the late notification of his self-employment.

I do not know my National Insurance number. How bởi I register?

You need to lớn find out your National Insurance number (NINO) first. You can find your NINO on payslips, benefit letters, or most other correspondence from HMRC. If you still cannot find it then see our section What vị I do if I lose or fnhatroso.comet my National Insurance number?.

What happens after I register?

If you have not completed a Self Assessment tax return before then after you have registered with HMRC you will receive your unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number. The UTR is a ten digit number which you will need when completing your tax return và whenever you liên hệ HMRC.

Each year, shortly after 5 April, you will be notified by HMRC that you need lớn complete a tax return.


Megan started her new business in July 2022 (this is in the 2022/23 tax year which runs from 6 April 2022 to the 5 April 2023). She notified HMRC that she was newly self-employed in August 2022. At the end of the 2022/23 tax year, (so after 5 April 2023) Megan will receive a notice to tệp tin a Self Assessment tax return for the 2022/23 tax year from HMRC.

You will either be sent a notice khổng lồ complete a tax return in the post or, if you have signed up for electronic communications via your Personal Tax Account, you will receive a message in this account. If you are registered for HMRC’s online services (for example if you registered online), you may find that the Self Assessment liên kết will redirect you to lớn your Personal tax account which will have been automatically created for you, as the Personal Tax account is HMRC’s preferred method for submitting online tax returns.

What happens if I stop trading?

You should inform HMRC that you have stopped trading as soon as possible. This is so that HMRC’s records are updated khổng lồ show that you are neither no longer liable for Class 2 National Insurance contributions nor will be treated as making Class 2 contributions. You can do this through GOV.UK. You will also need to notify HMRC you have stopped trading on your tax return for that year.

We cover what to do when your business ceases to lớn trade in our section ‘Stopping your business’ in our guide to self-employment. The section covers notifying HMRC and completing, possibly, your last Self Assessment tax return as well as what to vì if you are registered for PAYE (Pay As You Earn) and/or VAT.

What should I vày if I registered as self-employed but did not actually start my business?

It is possible to lớn have registered for self-employment with HMRC but then due khổng lồ a change of circumstances (perhaps an offer of employment), you decide not to lớn work for yourself và never actually start trading. If this happens then you must tương tác HMRC as soon as possible & let them know you have never traded so that HMRC can de-register your self-employment. You should ask for written confirmation from HMRC that you are no longer required lớn complete and file a Self Assessment tax return (unless you need to bởi so for another reason unconnected with being self-employed).

⚠️ If you vày not vày this then HMRC will expect you to tệp tin a Self Assessment tax return và if this is not done HMRC will issue late filing penalties even if there is no tax due.

Where can I find out more information?

Our guide khổng lồ self-employment is intended khổng lồ supplement the material in this section. It explains the less common tax rules và contains more detailed information including a case study showing how to lớn prepare accounts và what to lớn include on your 2021/22 tax return. We wrote this guide to help advisers (non-tax) who advise low-income self-employed individuals và also for self-employed people who want more detailed information in one accessible place.

You can find more information on starting up a business on GOV.UK.

HMRC also have e-learning packages available online & run regular webinars which you can join lớn help you to lớn get started when self-employed.

If you need further help from HMRC on registering for tax you can contact the self-employed helpline.