1. Overview

If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a sole trader - even if you haven’t yet told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

You must register and follow the rules for self-employed tax and National Insurance.

Check what counts as self-employed if you’re not sure about your status.

Other ways to work for yourself

There are other business structures apart from being a sole trader.

You can:

If you set up a limited company, you’re not classed as self-employed but as both an owner and employee of your company. You’ll follow different rules on tax and National Insurance.

Planning and funding

Read more if you want advice on starting up in business and funding your idea.