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When should I register as self employed?

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The absolute deadline for registering a new business with HMRC for Self Assessment and National Insurance is 5 October in the business’ second tax year. For example, if a business started 1 July 2016 (in the 2016-17 tax year) it will need to be registered with HMRC by 5 October 2017 (the 2017-18 tax year). However you should ideally register your business  as soon as you can after the business starts.


Missing the 5 October deadline may result in HMRC charging a financial penalty.


If you are currently (or were previously) registered for Self Assessment you will need to give HMRC your 10-digit Unique Tax Reference or UTR when you register.


If you have not previously registered for Self Assessment you will be provided with a UTR when you register. HMRC use the UTR to identify you on their system - you are a number, not a name!


You can register your self employment online at the HMRC website. However we would recommend you use an accountant or tax advisor to prepare the application for you to ensure it is completed correctly.