How to register as self-employed

Are you going self-employed for the first time? Are you thinking about starting your own business? Have you thought about when to register as self-employed with HMRC? Unless you’re setting up a limited company, it is vital that…

5 Minute Read

Last Updated: 23rd November 2022

Are you going self-employed for the first time? Are you thinking about starting your own business? Have you thought about when to register as self-employed with HMRC?

Unless you’re setting up a limited company, it is vital that you fill out a self-employed registration form from the moment you actively seek work. If you do not register at this point, HMRC can penalise you up to £100.

When do I need to register as self-employed?

  • As mentioned above, it’s important to fill out a self-employed declaration form from the moment you actively seek work for the business. Whether you receive payment for business the day after, or 5 years from that point, does not matter. You must register the moment you start looking for business.
  • If you fail to register within 3 months of the end of your first month in business, HMRC will fine you up to £100.

How to become self-employed

Registering as ‘self-employed’ has never been easier. It can be done:

Yes, it’s easy to register as ‘self-employed’, but what does it mean to be self-employed?

Responsibilities of being self-employed

Being self-employed brings with it some responsibilities. You must:

Self Assessment

So, if you’re a self-employed taxpayer, it’s vital that you take control of your taxes and file your tax return each year. You can choose to file your self-assessment on paper or online. The deadline for filing by paper is 31st October, whereas the deadline for online submission is 31st January. For more information on how to avoid deadlines and penalties.

Filing your self-assessment online is by far the easiest option, and we at GoSimpleTax can provide you with a stress-free alternative to HMRC’s online service.

By simply adding your income and expense details to our intelligent software, GoSimpleTax does the rest for you. Being self-employed is a job in itself, so let us take care of your self-assessment for you.

Take the hassle-free route and stop worrying about how to sort this out; GoSimpleTax.

Access GoSimpleTax and discover a new free way of filing your return (HMRC approved), know what expenses will help you lower your tax bill and keep all your records online, safe & sound. Ready to file with one click! Free means free. No hidden costs.

Trusted by over 15,000 subscribers

You don't need to be an expert to complete your self assessment tax return.

Start your free trial

Blog content is for information purposes and over time may become outdated, although we do strive to keep it current. It's written to help you understand your Tax's and is not to be relied upon as professional accounting, tax and legal advice due to differences in everyone's circumstances. For additional help please contact our support team or HMRC.


Start your Self Assessment tax return today for free.

Sign up Now

20 common tax and accounting terms that sole traders should understand

06 Jun 2023

Although you’ll no doubt have an expert knowledge of your trade or profession, your understanding of tax and accounting could be fairly limited. That’s…

Seasonal business owners: 21 things you need to know about sole trader tax

05 Jun 2023

Some business ideas just aren’t viable throughout the year, because the weather at certain months seriously weakens demand or kills it altogether. However, running…

How much tax does a landlord need to pay? 10 key questions answered…

18 May 2023

The UK has more than 2.7m unincorporated landlords and each year they report to HMRC rental property income worth some £41bn. Unincorporated landlords are…

How GoSimpleTax Works


Simply register for free with your full name and email address.

Select Your Income

Select the income you receive and follow the hints and tips for potential tax savings.

Validate Your Information

Validate your personal information and submit directly to HMRC to get confirmation in just seconds.


Work Anywhere, With Any Device

Gone are the days of fretting over a calculator surrounded by scraps of paper at the eleventh hour.

GoSimpleTax’s tax return software uses the information you upload in real time to calculate your income and expenditure, working out the tax you owe and sending you helpful notifications when there’s the possibility of a mistake.

Start your free trial

"The software is intuitive and proved very easy to navigate. I found the whole process refreshingly simple. I saved a lot of money too!"

Steve J.

Ordained Presbyter

"Easy to use and value for money. Everything you need to do your tax."

Gordon J.

Self Employed

"It fills in all the forms and sends them to the Inland Revenue. Not expensive either. Takes the stress out of doing your tax return online."

Ross G.

Team Rector

Start your free trial