Setting up

You can run your business as a private limited company. This means the company:

  • is legally separate from the people who run it
  • has separate finances from your personal ones
  • can keep any profits it makes after paying tax

What you’ll need to do

To set up a private limited company you need to register with Companies House. This is known as ‘incorporation’.

You’ll need:

You’ll also need:

Once you have these details, you can register your company.

  1. Step 1 Check if being self-employed is right for you

  2. Step 2 Choose the name you want to trade under

    1. Check the rules for sole trader business names

    You can register a trade mark if you want to stop people from trading under your business name.

    1. Apply to register a trade mark
  3. Step 3 Check what records you'll need to keep

  4. Step 4 Register for tax

    To pay tax, you'll need to register for Self Assessment.

    1. Apply for a National Insurance number if you do not have one
    2. Register for Self Assessment

    You might need to register in a different way if:

    You may also need to register for VAT.

    1. Check if you need to register for VAT