You usually pay 2 types of National Insurance if you’re self-employed:

  • Class 2 if your profits are £5,965 or more a year
  • Class 4 if your profits are £8,060 or more a year

You work out your profits by deducting your expenses from your self-employed income.

How much you pay

Class Rate for tax year 2015 to 2016
Class 2 £2.80 a week
Class 4 9% on profits between £8,060 and £42,385
2% on profits over £42,385

How to pay

Most people pay Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance through Self Assessment.

You must tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when you become self-employed as a sole trader or partnership.

Special rules for specific jobs

Some self-employed people don’t pay National Insurance through Self Assessment, but may want to pay voluntary contributions. These are:

  • examiners, moderators, invigilators and people who set exam questions
  • people who run businesses involving land or property
  • ministers of religion who don’t receive a salary or stipend
  • people who make investments for themselves or others - but not as a business and without getting a fee or commission