How to Register as Self-Employed in the UK: A Complete Guide

Transitioning into self-employment can mark significant changes, not only in the way you work but in the way you manage your taxes. This article will help you navigate through this topic and ensure you know what it means to be self-employed in the UK from a tax perspective.

Arjun Kumar
Arjun Kumar
Aug 23, 2023

How to Register as Self-Employed in the UK: A Complete Guide

So you’ve recently started a side hustle or a new business and the prospect of taxes is looming over you. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Whether you’re registering as a personal trainer, consultant, freelancer, or artist, this article has you covered. We'll discuss what it means to be self-employed and walk you through the process of registering when starting a new venture, ensuring you're on the right track from the get-go.

Understanding Self Employment

Before we dive into the process of registering for self-employment, we must understand what it means to be self-employed and the responsibilities that come with such activities.

As a general rule, if you’re providing products or services in exchange for money and you are not employed by someone else to do so, you are likely self-employed. As a self-employed individual, you're responsible for managing your own taxes, monitoring your income and expenditures, and ensuring compliance with relevant legal obligations.

To better understand, when you need to register as self-employed, check out this article.

Registering as Self-Employed

Once you have determined that you fall under the self-employment category, the next step is to clarify whether or not you earn over £1000 within the tax year (April 6th - April 5th). If you do not earn over £1000, you don’t need to worry about registering as self-employed for now, but ensure that you keep track of this figure.

If you do pass this threshold, you’ll need to register for self-employment with HMRC. This can sound daunting to some, but don’t worry we’ve configured a quick step-by-step guide on how to do this below.

Step 1 - Visit the HMRC ‘Register for Self Assessment’ page.

Step 2 - Select ‘Register through your business tax account’ or follow this link.

Step 3 - Sign in with your Government Gateway account, you may need to create one if you don’t have one already.

Step 4 - Follow the questions and register your sole trader business.

Step 5 - HMRC will then send you a letter containing a UTR, this is your Unique Taxpayer reference, basically a tax ID.

Once you’ve registered, HMRC will expect and remind you to file a personal tax return. This is how taxes are collected for the self-employed in the UK.

Also read: Claiming for Travel Expenses When You're Self Employed

Key Takeaways

Embarking on a new business venture can be both an exciting and thrilling journey but it is essential that you proactively manage your taxes in the initial phases to establish sturdy foundations for future growth. Remember, if you are earning over £1000 within the tax year, it is essential that you register as self-employed with HMRC in order to file a personal tax return. If you need assistance completing your personal self-assessment and tax return, visit our website today and learn how we can help you do so with ease.

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