2. Register your business in the UK

You’ll need to register your business in the UK.

Sole traders

The easiest way to start a business in the UK is to become a ‘sole trader’. This means that only you own the business and you can work alone or employ other people.

You will need to register for ‘self-assessment’ tax, which means you (or your accountant) calculate your own tax.

How to do it

To become a sole trader you must:

Find out how to set up business as a sole trader in the UK.

Limited companies

You can set up a private limited company to run your business in the UK. You must appoint people to run the company (called ‘directors’) and register (or ‘incorporate’) it with Companies House.

As a director of the company, you’re also an employee. This means that personal income and business income are separate when it comes to paying tax.

How to do it

To set up a limited company you need to:

Business partnerships

In a business partnership, you’re running a business as an individual but all the partners share responsibility for the business.

How to do it

With a business partnership you need to:

  • register for self-assessment with HMRC
  • name your business according to certain rules
  • run the business as an individual
  • share profits between partners