Registration Requirement for a Sole Trader

Checklist: setting up as self-employed

To legally set yourself up as a self-employed sole trader make sure that you:

·          register as self-employed with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

·          obtain any permits and planning permission that you may need from your local authority

·          contact your local authority to find out whether you need to pay business rates

·          contact HMRC to register for VAT if you expect to have turnover of more than £67,000 a year

·          set up a financial record-keeping system

·          put your name on all your business stationery, including letters, invoices, receipts and cheques

Registration Process: as sole trader

To register, you need to fill out and complete Form CWF1 from the HMRC site (PDF format).

·          If you start working for yourself, you must register with the Inland Revenue as self-employed, even if you already send in a tax return.

·          If you’re not sure whether you need to register as self-employed, read the leaflet entitled: IR56 - employed or self-employed (PDF Format).


Find sources of advice on self-employment issues at the Advice Guide website -

Helpful Link:

HM Revenue & Customs - Opens in a new window

Registration Requirement for A Limited Company

Checklist: setting up and registering a limited company (private or public)

Besides registering your business as a company, to properly put it legally make sure that you:

·          Display your company's name clearly on the outside of all its offices or other places of business.

·          Display your company's name clearly on all its business stationery, including letters, invoices, receipts and cheques.

·          Show your company's place of registration, registered number and registered office address on all its business letters order forms, emails and faxes.

·          If you have a company website, show the company's name, registered office and geographic addresses, registered company number, VAT number and the place of registration. It must also include an email address.

·          If any company directors' names are included in letters you must include the names of all the directors.

·          Send all the necessary registration documents and forms to the Registrar of Companies, completed and signed.

·          Check you have received confirmation - certificate of incorporation - from the Registrar of Companies that your application for limited company status has been successful.

·          Contact HM Revenue & Customs.

Document Requirements for Registration

  1. Memorandum of Association, gives details of the company's name, location and what it will do
  2. Articles of Association, describing how the company will be run, the rights of the shareholders and the powers of the company's directors
  3. form 10 (Statement of the First Directors, Secretary and Registered Office) giving details of the company's registered office and the names and addresses of its directors and company secretary. To download the form, please follow the link: Form 10
  4. form 12 (Declaration of Compliance with the Requirements of the Companies Act), stating that the company meets all the legal requirements of incorporation To download the form, please follow the link: Form 12

Where to register your company and get help

Companies House handles and gives you advice on the basics of the registration process. You can handle the registration process yourself, but it is a good idea to seek professional advice such as a company formation agent, solicitor or accountant.

How much will registration cost?


·          Companies House charges a standard registration fee of £20.

·          It also offers a premium same-day registration service for a fee of £50.

·          Memorandum and Articles of Association have to be obtained from law stationers or company formation agents and this costs from £20 to £30.


Find out about company incorporation on the Companies House website -

Download the guide on company formation (GBF1) from the Companies House website (PDF) -

Helpful Link :

Companies House -


Documents Required To Open a Bank Account

·          Detailed description of business type - nature of business. 

·          Details of where the finance to start the business has come from

·          A business plan

·          Certificate of Incorporation and Certificate of Good Standing.

·          Drivers License and Passport, with photo also please list address of record. 

·          Utility Bills issued within the last three months with the applicant’s current address. 

·          Business card with name and title of principal signer. 

·          List location of primary trading area. 

The opening of a UK business bank account will require all directors to be present, thus reasonable notice must be given in order for meetings to be arranged. Once the procedure commences at the bank it will only take approximately one hour until completion, your account will then be activated during that same day.

Helpful Link:


business rates

Businesses and other organisations that occupy non-domestic premises pay non-domestic rates, often called business rates. Business premises are given a ratable value. The amount of business rates payable is calculated using the ratable value and the multiplier, which is set by the government. 

Paying the business rate

Receipt of business rate bill from local council :        March or April

The bill shows:

  • how much you have to pay and how the amount was calculated
  • when you need to pay each instalment and how much to pay each time

How to pay :    ten equal monthly installments, can be paid online (if facility is available)

Issues and Concerns

·          If you think that your bill is wrong or that you are entitled to a reduction, contact your local council and explain why. But you should still continue to make payments even if you are disputing how much you should pay. For business rates relief guide, please follow this link: Guide Business Rates Relief

·          If you have cashflow problems and are unable to pay, contact your local council immediately. They may be able to change the amounts and dates of your payments.

·          If you miss a payment without agreeing it with the council, they will send you a reminder giving you seven days to pay. If you miss this deadline or another payment, you will have to pay the whole outstanding balance for the year. If you still do not pay, the council may take action in court to recover the debt.

ACTION : Find your local council using our Contacts Directory

Helpful Links :

Valuation Office Agency - Opens in a new window

Communities and Local Government - Opens in a new window

tax & VAT registration

Corporation Tax

Corporation tax is paid by limited companies on their profits. As a private limited company you have to:

  • complete a corporation tax return (form CT600) every year
  • supply a set of accounts with your form CT600

To download form, please follow the link : Form CT600

Corporation tax payment methods

·          Computerized Payment Methods: BACS OR CHAPS Direct Payment Scheme

            To make one of these paymentssee the BACS and CHAPS guidance notes at the HMRC        website - .

·          Pay by sending a cheque in the post: You will need to know the address of your accounts officefind your tax accounts office at the HMRC website -.

·          Pay by cheque or cash via your bank or Post Office

            When to pay corporation tax

Corporation tax is due nine calendar months and one day after the end of a company's accounting period, known as the normal due date. If your accounting period ends on the last day of a month, the normal due date will be the first day of the tenth following month.

For example, an accounting period ending on 31 May 2006 will have a due date of 1 March 2007.


Read a guide to instalment payments on the HMRC website

See the guidance notes on paying by direct electronic transfer from your bank at the HMRC website -

Download an authorisation form to allow your accountant or agent to act on your behalf from the HMRC website (PDF) -

Helpful Link :

HM Revenue & Customs - Opens in a new window

Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT Registration Process

To register for VAT you will need to fill in one or more forms and submit them to HMRC for approval.

Most applications for VAT registration can be completed online. All other necessary VAT registration forms are available to download from the HMRC website.

If you send your registration form by post, send it to:

HM Revenue & Customs
62-70 Tettenhall Road

Register VAT online

To register for VAT, you first need to sign up to VAT Online - the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) online VAT-registration service. You can register for VAT Online on the HMRC website.

To download form, please follow the link: VAT 1 Application for Registration form -

VAT Returns

As a VAT-registered business you have to complete a VAT return form for each tax period, usually every three months. This details how much VAT you:

  • have charged your customers
  • have been charged by your suppliers
  • owe HM Revenue & Customs or are owed by them

You will be sent your VAT return form towards the end of your tax period. You must return the form and payment (if appropriate), normally no later than one month after the end of your tax period.


Find a form on the HMRC website -

Find out about the VAT Online Registration Service and other online services on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website -.


Helpful Link:

HM Revenue & Customs - Opens in a new window


The Data Protection Act 1998 governs the use of personal information by businesses and other organisations. If your business requires that you store people's personal details, such as customer or employee records, then you must comply with the Act.

What are the main requirements?

The Act regulates how personal information is used and requires organisations to comply with eight principles or rules of good information handling. It also requires some organisations to tell the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) what they use personal information for.

The Data Protection Act 1998 governs the use of personal information through the eight data protection principles.  Follow the link to :  Read about the eight data protection principles

Application for Notification

·          On the internet
Complete the notification form online at the ICO website -.

·          Through Telephone

            Call the Information Commissioner's Office Notification Line on Tel 01625 545 740

·          Request for a notification form
Request should be faxed or posted to ICO, marked for the attention of the Notification Department (Notification requests). Alternatively, the information can be emailed to us (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Download advice for small businesses on data compliance from the ICO website (PDF) -

Find out more about data protection at the ICO website

Helpful Link:

Information Commissioner's Office -


How to register a trade mark

·          To register a trade mark in the UK you have to apply to the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) by completing form TM3 online

·          Send it with the appropriate fee and fee sheet to the UK-IPO Trade Marks Registry.

To download form, please follow the link: Download from TM3 from the UK-IPO website (PDF) -


Where to get help

To check that your trade mark meets registration requirements and doesn't conflict with other trade marks you can use the UK-IPO Search and Advisory Service - find out about the trade marks search and advisory service on the UK-IPO website -.

You may also want to take professional advice from a trade mark attorney or a patent attorney.


Read what a trade mark is on the UK-IPO website

Read about trade mark forms and fees on the UK-IPO website

Carry out a search of the trade mark database at the UK-IPO website -

Download a booklet on applying to register a trade mark from the UK-IPO website (PDF)

Helpful Link:

The UK Intellectual Property Office -