Self-employed National Insurance

Folder on a desk labelled Entrepreneurs

If you are in business as a sole trader or in a partnership, you are liable for self-employed National Insurance (NI) contributions. The amount and types of NICs that the self employed pay changed in April 2024

Paying self-employed National Insurance contributions

You register to pay self-employed National Insurance contributions (NICs) as part of registering for tax self assessment.

Your NICs are due at the same time as income tax payments and are collected through self assessment - twice a year, by 31 January and 31 July.

You do not have to make NIC payments if you are under 16 or have reached state pension age.

Class 4 NICs

  • Class 4 NICs are based on your level of profits. You must pay Class 4 NI if your profits are above the Lower Profits Limit (LPL) which is £12,570;
  • You pay Class 4 NICs at 6% (previously 9%) on profits from the LPL to the Upper Profits Limit (UPL) which is £50,270;
  • You will pay 2% on profit in excess of the UPL of £50,270.

If you have more than one business, special rules can apply to the calculation of Class 4 NICs in some circumstances - for example, if one of your businesses makes a loss.

Class 2 NICs

Prior to April 2024, the self-employed were also required to pay Class 2 NICs at a flat weekly rate of £3.45 per week on earnings in excess of £6,725. Class 2 NICs were abolished entirely from April 2024.

Class 3 NICs

You may have gaps in your national insurance record if, for example, you did not pay contributions because of small profits.

If you are eligible, you can voluntarily pay Class 3 NICs for the past six years to ensure you receive a State Pension. Check your NI record using your HMRC personal tax account to find out how much you need to pay.

Class 3 does not entirely make up for a Class 2 shortfall for all benefits. Class 3 does not give entitlement to Employment and Support Allowance, Maternity Allowance or Bereavement Support Payment.

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