7. Register for Corporation Tax

You need to register your business for Corporation Tax within 3 months of starting to do business. You may get a penalty if you don’t.

You need:

  • the Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) HMRC sent to your company’s registered address after you registered with Companies House - call the helpline if you didn’t get a UTR after registering your company
  • specific information about your company

Any business activity counts as starting to do business, eg buying, selling, employing someone, advertising or renting a property. HMRC has detailed guidance on what counts as active for Corporation Tax.

When you register for Corporation Tax you’ll automatically get an online account (also known as a Government Gateway account) if you don’t have one already. You’ll use this to report how much tax you owe through your Company Tax Return.

Information you need

You must tell HMRC:

  • the date you started to do business (this will be the start date of your company’s first accounting period)
  • your company name and registered number
  • the main address you do business from
  • what kind of business you do
  • the date you’ll make your annual accounts up to
  • the name and home address of the company directors

HMRC will use this information to work out when your company must pay Corporation Tax.

If you’ve taken over a business

You must also tell HMRC the name and address of the:

  • company you took over
  • person you bought the company from

If your business is part of a group

You must also tell HMRC the name of your business’ parent company and the address of its registered office.