How to register as self-employed

Registering as self-employed is very straightforward, and it covers both the income tax and the National Insurance contributions (NIC).

If this is your first time

  1. Create a Government Gateway account.
  2. You'll receive a user ID at the email address you used above.
  3. Log back in to the Government Gateway and "add a tax". Select "Self Assessment" for the question “What type of tax do you want to add?”.
  4. Select "Sole Trader" from the options: individual, sole trader, partnership, or trust.
  5. Enter the date you started your self-employment.
  6. Submit more details, including National Insurance Number (here's how to get one).
  7. Submit basic details about the kind of self-employed work you do: “security guard”, “Uber driver”, “freelance designer”, etc.
  8. Review and click "submit". You’ll then be enrolled for the Self Assessment online service.
  9. You'll receive a letter with your 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) by post.
  10. You'll also receive another letter within 10 working days (21 days if you’re abroad) with an activation code. You’ll need this letter to activate your UTR.

If you’ve sent a return before

The process is quite similar, however instead you will have to use the CWF1 form. If you’ve signed up for the HMRC online service before, you will just use the same account.

You’ll also need to find your 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) from when you registered for Self Assessment previously.

If you work in the construction industry

HMRC treats subcontractors working in construction (builders, painters, carpenters, etc.) differently from most self-employed. Register with HMRC for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) if you’re working in the construction industry as a subcontractor.

After you’ve registered as self-employed

  • Save your invoices and receipts - you'll need them if HMRC comes knocking.
  • File your Self Assessment tax return by January 31st every year.
  • Make payments to HMRC twice a year: on January 31st and July 31st.
  • Pay Class 2 (and maybe Class 4) National Insurance Contributions (NICs).
  • Register for VAT if you're making £85,000 (the threshold for the 2018-19 tax year) from self-employment.

For more details, check out our list of frequently asked questions and answers for self-employed registering for Self Assessment.

Need help with your tax return?

Get your self assessment prepared for you online by certified accountants for £99

Online self assessment preparation assisted by professional accountants

How TaxScouts works

Simple online tax assessment

1. Simple online tax assessment

Our online tax-bot will go over your tax situation and will make sure you won’t overpay your taxes.

Chat to human advisors

2. Chat to human advisors

You can talk to one of our tax assistants at any time during the process when you have any questions.

We’ll sort your documents online

3. We’ll sort your documents online

We’ll tell you exactly what documents you need and sort them for you online. You just upload them or snap a picture with your phone.

Everything gets prepared for you

4. Everything gets prepared for you

Your certified accountant will go over your details & prepare your tax return for you to review. It will be filed on your behalf once you approve it.

"Thank you"
Thank you very much TaxScouts for making my life easier and not emptying my pocket!
"Brilliant service"
Surprised by how easy the process was. Additionally it's saved me money, so all round a win.
Jo B
"Very fast"
Very fast and gave good advice I will be using every year
Wayne L

Who our service is for

First time tax filers

We have a simple online service that guides you through the entire process. Regardless of your reasons for doing your tax return we'll help you get it done right.

Construction workers

We'll prepare your self assessment and help to maximise your CIS tax refund. We have the lowest fees in the industry and you don't have to pay up front if you're eligible for a refund.

People living overseas

Our service allows people living abroad to prepare their income tax return online. We are able to process all returns regardless of your current country of residence.

Company directors

UK company directors are required to file their self assessment annually. TaxScouts handles this through a simple online process.


Long Lets, Airbnb, Capital Gains. TaxScouts will sort out your self assessment and take away the worry of tracking all the recent tax changes.


TaxScouts ensures the self employed don't overpay on their taxes. We'll help you benefit from all the tax breaks and deductions that can be applied to your return.

And for everyone else who needs to do their self assessment

At TaxScouts we appreciate that tax returns are highly individual. Before you get assigned an accountant we make sure to understand your circumstances and help you build your optimal tax profile.

Let's start by creating your account
Let's get your taxes done

What will happen next

  • We'll guide you through a few questions about your income and suggest related tax deductions
  • Then we'll tell you what documents are needed
  • Finally certified accountant will prepare and file the tax return with HMRC for you
You are using an outdated web browser – TaxScouts works best with modern browsers. Please upgrade here.