Register for Corporation Tax

After you’ve registered your company with Companies House, you’ll need to register it for Corporation Tax.

Most companies can register online for Corporation Tax and PAYE as an employer at the same time as registering with Companies House.

You’ll need to register for Corporation Tax within 3 months of starting to do business. This includes buying, selling, advertising, renting a property and employing someone. You can check if you’re unsure what counts as starting to do business.

You may get a penalty if you register late.

How to register

You’ll need your company’s 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).

This is posted to your company address by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within 14 days of the company being registered with Companies House (incorporated).

Request your company’s UTR online if you did not get one after registering your company.

Register for Corporation Tax online.

You’ll need your company’s Government Gateway user ID and password to log in. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you log in.

Information you’ll need

When registering, you’ll need to tell HMRC:

  • your company’s registration number
  • the date you started to do business (your company’s first accounting period will start from this date)
  • the date your annual accounts are made up to

What happens next

HMRC will tell you the deadline for paying Corporation Tax.

You’ll need to file a Company Tax Return, even if you make a loss or have no Corporation Tax to pay.

Finding your UTR in future

Your 10-digit UTR will be on all letters from HMRC and within online services. You need it:

  • if you contact HMRC about Corporation Tax
  • to send your Company Tax Return using commercial software
  1. Step 1 Check if setting up a limited company is right for you

    1. Check what a private limited company is

    How you set up your business depends on what sort of work you do. It can also affect the way you pay tax and get funding.

    Check if you should set up as one of the following instead:

    1. Get help deciding how to set up your business
  2. Step 2 Choose a name

  3. Step 3 Choose directors and a company secretary

    You must appoint a director but you do not have to appoint a company secretary.

    1. Find out what directors are responsible for
    2. Check who can be a director or company secretary
  4. Step 4 Decide who the shareholders are

    You need at least one shareholder, who can be a director.

    1. Check how to issue shares
    2. Find out how dividends from shares are taxed
  5. and Identify people with significant control (PSC) over your company

    For example, anyone with voting rights or more than 25% of the shares.

    1. Find out what counts as a PSC
  6. Step 5 Prepare documents agreeing how to run your company

    You need to prepare a 'memorandum of association' and 'articles of association'.

    1. Find out how to create a memorandum and articles of association
  7. Step 6 Check what records you'll need to keep

  8. Step 7 Register your company

    1. Register your company with Companies House

    You'll need to register an official address and choose a SIC code - this identifies what your company does.

    1. Check the rules for company addresses
    2. Check what your SIC code is

    Most people can register for Corporation Tax at the same time as registering with Companies House.

    If you cannot, register separately with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after you’ve registered your company with Companies House.

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