Sole traders must register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and follow certain rules on running and naming their business.
If you’re a sole trader, you run your own business as an individual and are self-employed. Check what counts as self-employed if you’re not sure about your status.
You’ll need to:
- keep records of your business’s sales and expenses
- send a Self Assessment tax return every year
- pay Income Tax on your profits and Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance - use HMRC’s calculator to help you budget for this
You must register for VAT if your turnover is over £83,000. You can register voluntarily if it suits your business, for example if you sell to other VAT-registered businesses and want to reclaim the VAT.
Working in construction industry
Register with HMRC for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) if you’re working in the construction industry as a sub-contractor or contractor.
Naming your business
You can use your own name or trade under a business name - read the rules for naming your business.
Help and support
You can sign up for business support emails from HMRC to help you if you’re working for yourself.