Do I need to register with HMRC as a sole trader?


Good afternoon, guys!

I’m planning to get started freelancing, and so I’m told I’ll technically be classed as a sole trader. That’s just fine with me! But I’m wondering: do I need to inform HMRC and officially register? Or is it just implied that I am a sole trader?

Many thanks




Hi Harrison,

Yes, to operate as a sole trader in the UK you must register with HMRC for Self-Assessment. You can do this online before or after setting up your new business, but just make sure you register before 5th October in your second tax year of trading - for example, if you start your new business in the 2015-16 tax year (between 6th April 2015 - 5th April 2016), you must register for Self-Assessment by 5th October 2016.

To register as a sole trader, you will need to:

  • Create a Government Gateway account by providing your name, email address and a password.
  • A user ID will be displayed on the screen. Take a note of this number.
  • Select the taxes you wish to register for - choose ‘Self-Assessment’. You may also need to select VAT and/or PAYE.
  • Provide the following details:
    • Date you started working for yourself
    • National Insurance Number
    • Date of birth
    • Title and full name
    • Home address
    • Your email address and telephone number
    • Trading name of your business - you can just put your own name if you do not have an official business name.
    • Business activities
    • Business contact address
    • Business phone number and email address - can be the same as your personal email address and telephone number

Once you have submitted this information, HMRC will send you a letter with an activation code for logging into your online account and filing Self-Assessment tax returns. You will receive this within approximately 10 working days.

2 years ago

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