Set up and register as self-employed

Checklist: setting up as self-employed

To set yourself up as self-employed there are several things you must do. Make sure that you:

  • register straight away for Self Assessment with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) so they can set up your tax and National Insurance records
  • obtain any permits and planning permission that you may need from your local authority
  • contact your local authority to find out whether you need to pay business rates
  • contact HMRC to register for VAT if you expect to have turnover of more than £73,000 a year
  • register with HMRC for PAYE (Pay As You Earn) if you employ staff
  • register with HMRC if you are a contractor or subcontractor in the construction industry
  • set up a financial record-keeping system
  • put your name on all your business stationery, including letters, invoices, receipts and cheques

It's worth remembering, though, that this is just a start. As you continue in business, you may well have other legal and tax issues to bear in mind. Use our interactive tool to find out the records you must keep as a business.

For more information on National Insurance contributions, use our interactive tool to identify the National Insurance contributions you must pay.

The Citizens Advice Bureau provides additional information on a wide range of self-employment topics and gives a list of other organisations to contact for specialist advice. Find sources of advice on self-employment issues on the Advice Guide website.

Subjects covered in this guide

HM Revenue & Customs


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