Construction Industry Scheme: businesses based outside UK

What you need to do if you’re a contractor or subcontractor based outside the UK and do work covered by Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) covers construction work done in the UK and applies whether you’re based in the UK or abroad. There are different registration processes for sole traders, partnerships and companies.

How to register

Sole traders and partnerships

For sole traders and partnerships you’ll need to follow the same CIS rules as UK-based contractors and subcontractors.

Business that are limited companies

For businesses that are limited companies you must register before you start work by contacting HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) non-resident specialist CIS team. The registration process may take up to 6 weeks.

To register you’ll need:

  • to complete the form CIS305 (subcontractor application form) if you’re a subcontractor
  • copy of accounts (subcontractor gross application only)
  • original tax clearance certificate from the tax authorities of the company’s home country
  • a completed form 64-8 if you have an agent working for you

Send all the information to:

CIS Registrations, Charities Savings and International 1
HM Revenue and Customs

Telephone: 03000 516644

Outside UK: + 44 3000 516644

Trade in dealing or developing UK land

If your business is dealing or developing land in the UK, the profits are taxed in the UK. You’ll need to tell HMRC and register to pay tax as a company or an individual.


To register for Corporation Tax you must write to HMRC and provide:

  • the address of your company’s registered office
  • the date your annual accounts are made up to
  • the date that you started a business of dealing in or developing UK land (your company’s first accounting period will start from this date)
  • your company’s country of tax residence
  • your country of incorporation and date of incorporation

Send all the information to:

Corporation Tax Services
HM Revenue and Customs
United Kingdom

You don’t need to register with Companies House to register for Corporation Tax.

Individuals, sole traders and partnerships

You’ll need to register for Self Assessment if you’re not a company and you’re dealing or developing land in the UK.

Corporation Tax enquiries

You can contact HMRC for help with general Corporation Tax enquiries by phone, fax or post.

Double taxation agreements

This is when income gets taxed in 2 countries - the one where your business is resident and the one where you earn the income. It’s an agreement between 2 countries to reduce the amount of tax that’s actually paid.

The aim is to make sure you only pay the same, or close to the same, amount of tax as you would have paid if you’d earned the income at home.

You might be able to claim back some of the CIS deductions that contractors have made from your payments if you’re a non-resident subcontractor and your country has a double taxation agreement with the UK.

You won’t be exempt from UK tax if there’s no double taxation agreement, but CIS deductions contractors make from your payments count towards your tax bill.

Your tax bill for the year will be reduced by HMRC by the amount that’s already been paid in deductions.

Find out what countries have Double Taxation Treaties with the UK.

Published 21 November 2014
Last updated 7 December 2017 + show all updates
  1. Section added to clarify that overseas businesses and individuals dealing or developing UK land involving CIS activities, need to register for Corporation Tax or Income Tax, even if not based in the UK.
  2. Details about CIS registrations has been updated.
  3. The Charities, Savings and International address has been updated.
  4. First published.