Self-employment

Self-employment can be a straightforward way to start up in business. Read practical information about self-employment status, taxes and tax planning.

Self-employment - overview

Being self-employed as a sole trader can be a straightforward way to be in business - but you need to comply with your tax obligations. Our guide.

Man in white shirt using a laptop to do a business tax plan
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Business tax planning

Effective tax planning is essential if you are to minimise your tax bills. Simple tax planning can significantly reduce your tax liabilities.

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Employment status

Many businesses start out as part-time jobs or hobbies that develop into a business. It's possible to be employed and self-employed simultaneously.

A couple plan their tax affairs with a financial adviser
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Personal tax planning and income tax

Tax planning can make a significant difference to the tax you pay. You should take advantage of any opportunities to minimise your tax bill.

Using a calculator - Tax and National Insurance
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Tax and National Insurance

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

A self employed woman sorts through her expenses and receipts
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Record keeping for sole traders

Keeping records of your expenses and receipts might be daunting if you're newly self employed. This guide talks you through the expenses you can claim and the records you must keep for HMRC.

Woman sat on a sofa holding a mug while claiming self-employed home expenses
FAQs

Claiming home expenses FAQs

A series of frequently asked questions on what expenses you can claim when self-employed and working from home, including 'allowable expenses'.

A female business owner looking over her business expenses
Tool

Using simplified expenses

Tool to help self-employed businesses use fixed rates (‘Simplified Expenses’) to calculate how much to claim with mixed business and private use.

Tax saving on a calculator - What are the best ways to save tax?
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What are the best ways to save tax?

Effective tax planning is the best way to reduce tax liabilities. That means planning in advance from business start up through to eventual exit.

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Expenses for hairdressers and barbers

What expenses can hairdressers and barbers claim for? Here's a summary of allowable expenses that they might claim on their self-assessment tax return.

Man in a suit and glasses sat down with tax bills and a laptop at the desk
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Five ways to keep your tax bills low

Frustrated that a big slice of your profits goes to the taxman? Ben Dyer explains how to (legally and ethically) minimise how much tax you pay.

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Register as a sole trader

Sole traders must register with HM Revenue and Customs when they start trading. Use this Tool to register your new business with HMRC.

A man pops his head up below the work taxes on a blackboard
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Q&A: Tax for the self-employed

When you become self-employed you become responsible for your own tax and NI. You'll need to know what and how much tax to pay and when.