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 a self-employed 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

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.

Couple get personal tax planning advice from a financial advisor

Personal tax planning and income tax

If you own a business, have property or have savings, personal tax planning can help you reduce your income tax bill, stamp duty and capital gains tax.

Folder on a desk labelled Entrepreneurs

Self-employed National Insurance

If you are a sole trader or in a partnership, you are liable for profit-related Class 4 National Insurance (NI) contributions.

A person holding a calculator doing tax calculations

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.

HM Revenue & Customs form with pound coins

Who needs a unique tax payer reference (UTR)?

If you don’t have a Unique Tax Payer Reference (UTR), you won’t be able to file your self assessment tax return - which could lead to some heavy fines. Here's how to get your UTR.

Self-employed sole trader managing her expenses and business records

Record keeping for sole traders

Understanding the financial records and receipts that you must keep and the expenses you can claim: a guide for self-employed sole traders.

Man in a suit and glasses sat down with tax bills and a laptop at the desk

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.

Builder registering as a sole trader

Register as a sole trader

Sole traders must register with HMRC when they start trading and set up a personal tax account.

Self-employed man working out his taxes

Q&A: Tax for the self employed

If you're self employed it's up to you to take responsibility for paying income tax and NI. Accountant James McBrearty explains the basics