Registering as Self-Employed: Everything you need to know…

Registering as Self-Employed: Everything you need to know…

So you’ve decided to be self-employed and work for yourself?

Maybe you’re starting your own business or finally turned that hobby from a side hustle to a full-time job. Or you’ve decided to take your talented design skills and go freelance. Whatever it may be, now is the right time to think about registering as self-employed with HMRC.

Below is a brief overview of what a UTR is, why you require one if you’re self-employed, how to get a UTR number and if you are working in the Construction Sector what you need to do to register under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) and apply for your tax reduction.

How & when you should register with HMRC

You must complete a self-employed declaration form if your businesses turnover is more than £1,000 annually. To do this visit and make sure it’s before the 5th October in your business’s second tax year. Failure to do this can result in HMRC penalising you.

What happens next?

Once registered online, HMRC will create your account. You’ll then receive a letter with your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number within 10 working days.

What is a UTR & why do I need one?

HMRC issues you with a UTR number when you register for a self-assessment tax return as it’s one of the most efficient ways to identify you as a taxpayer. The number is 10-digits and it is unique to every UK taxpayer. Whether the taxpayer is to register for self-employment or is an individual or part of a partnership or company, a UTR number is needed to file a self-assessment tax return online or via the post.

The most important reason why you need a UTR number is for completing self-assessment tax returns – but there are other reasons too.

UTR numbers are necessary for CIS (construction industry scheme) tax refund registration. Without a valid UTR number, your self-assessment tax return won’t be submitted correctly and this can result in a potential fine.

Where can I find my UTR number?

You will be able to find your UTR number on any correspondence from HMRC or when you log in to your Government Gateway online.

What information do I need to register for a UTR number?

There are certain pieces of information you must know to register for a UTR number including:

  • Basic information such as your name, date of birth and address
  • Your national insurance number
  • A contact telephone number and email address
  • The date you started self-employment
  • Your business type

Registering under the CIS scheme?

Once you receive your UTR number, all payments will be taxed at 30%. If you’re in the Construction industry you should contact HMRC on the CIS helpline as this often results in subsequent payments being taxed at 20%. The best contact number for this is 0300 200 3210.


If you would like any more information, please get in touch.