How to Register as a Sole Trader in the UK

Do you want to get self-employed in the UK in minimum possible time? Starting your own business is a great way to get started. There’re various small business ideas for the UK whereby, as a sole trader you can do best.  as it is simple, easy to setup and above all has a big potential for growth in multiple directions.  

As a sole trader in the UK, only you own the business and its complete operations and so so you are responsible for all the concerns. You may hire people as freelancers or employ them on a monthly salary, depending on the nature of business.

This article will discuss the details associated with registering a business as a sole trader in the UK.

Step1- Get Your National Insurance Number:

Before applying for National Insurance Number, make sure you have the right to work or study in the UK (In case if you are an expat). Once you are sure, you need to call Jobcentre Plus to apply for a National Insurance number, they may ask you to go to an interview to confirm your identity.

Jobcentre Plus application line for National Insurance Number is 0845 600 0643 and you can call them Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Step 2- Name Your Business:

After applying for your National Insurance Number, you can get the business naming process in the meantime. You may use your own name or trade under a business name, but be sure that your business name does not violate the rules for sole trader business. For example:

  • You cannot use the terms ‘Limited,’ ‘Ltd’, ‘public limited company,’ ‘plc,’ ‘limited liability partnership,’ ‘LLP’ or their Welsh equivalents.
  • Use of sensitive words or expressions is prohibited unless you have permission.
  • A name that suggests a connection with government or local authorities is not allowed
  • A name that is too similar to a registered trademark or an existing business in the same area or sector is not allowed.
  • A name that shows some offensive nature cannot be used.

Use this link to search and avoid already registered name:

Related Readings: 


Step 3- Register for Self Assessment with HMRC:

This is the most important step in order to start your business operation legally. Even if you have already started the operations, make sure to register for self-assessment as soon as possible. To apply for registration online, follow this link (

By registering for self-assessment, you are responsible for:

  • Your business debts
  • Bills for anything you buy for your business, like stock or equipment
  • Keeping records of your business’ sales and expenses
  • Sending a Self Assessment tax return every year
  • Paying Income Tax on the profits your business makes and National Insurance

Register your sole trader business anywhere in the UK to start your operations legally now. It’s easy, simple and the best thing is that 100% profit is with you after paying the tax. And yes, do check some more small business ideas that you might be interested in.