How To Become Self-Employed in the UK: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to become self employed

The world has changed over the past few decades and now more and more people are choosing to be self-employed. For example, in 2016, there were almost 4 million people working for themselves in the UK alone. The steps in this article will guide you through becoming self-employed.

What is self-employment?

What is self-employment

There are many benefits to being self-employed – you get to be your own boss, set your own hours, and work from home. But what exactly is self-employment?

In the UK, self-employment is defined as working for yourself rather than for an employer. This can include running your own business, being a freelance worker, or working as a contractor.

If you’re thinking of becoming self-employed, there are a few things you need to do first. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to become self-employed in the UK:

1. Choose your business structure

The first step is to decide on the legal structure of  business. This will determine things like how much tax you’ll pay and what responsibilities you have as a business owner. The most common business structures in the UK are sole traders, limited companies, and partnerships.

2. Register with HMRC

Once you’ve decided on your business structure, you need to register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This is so they can give you a Self-Assessment tax return to fill in each year.

How to become self-employed in the UK?

how to become self employed in uk

Starting your own business can be a daunting task, but it is definitely doable with the right planning and execution. This guide will show you how to become self-employed in the UK, step by step.

1. Decide what kind of business you want to start

This is an important first step, as you need to make sure that you have a clear idea of what services or products you will be offering. Do some research on the competition and the potential market for your business.

2. Create a business plan

This blogwill outline your business goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving them easily. Your business plan should also include a financial projection, so that you know how much money you will need to get started and to keep your business running.

3. Register your business

You will need to choose a legal structure for your business and register it with Companies House. This can be done online, and you will need to pay a fee.

4. Get a tax registration number from HMRC

 Once you have registered your company, you will need to get a tax registration number from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). You can do this online or by your mobile.

Is self-employment right for me?

Is self-employment right for me

There are many factors to consider when deciding if self-employment is right for you. Here are a few queries to ask first yourself:

  • Do I have the skills and knowledge to start my own business?
  • Do I have the drive and determination to be successful?
  • Can I handle the financial risk of starting my own business?
  • Am I prepared to work long hours and make sacrifices to make my business successful?

If you can answer yes to these questions, then self-employment may be right for you. However, it’s important to do your research and make sure you are prepared before making the leap into self-employment.

How will I fund my business?

How will I fund my business

There are a few options available to you when it comes to funding your business. You can either go the traditional route and take out a loan from a bank or look into alternative methods such as crowdfunding or bootstrapping.

If you do decide to take out a loan, be sure to shop around and compare interest rates before committing to anything. And remember, always create a realistic budget for your business before beginning any type of financial planning.

Crowdfunding is a great option for those who don’t want to take on the risk of taking out a loan. With crowdfunding, you can raise money from a group of people who invest in your business idea. This method is becoming increasingly popular, so there are plenty of resources available to help you get started.

Bootstrapping is another option, which involves using your own personal savings to fund your business. This is often seen as the riskiest option, as you’re putting your own financial stability on the line. However, it can also be the most rewarding if your business is successful.

What are the benefits of self-employment?

What are the benefits of self-employment

There are many benefits of self-employment, including being your own boss, setting your own hours, and having the potential to earn more money. Additionally, self-employed individuals often have more control over their work-life balance and can take advantage of tax breaks.

Risk of being a freelancer/self-employed person

Risk of being a freelance

There are many risks associated with being a freelancer or self-employed person in the UK. One of the biggest risks is not having a regular income. This can be a problem if you have bills to pay or other financial commitments. Another risk is not having any holiday or sick pay. This means that if you take time off work, you will not be paid for it. This can be a big problem if you get ill or have an accident.


Self-employment can be a great way to take control of your career and your life. If you’re considering becoming self-employed in the UK, this guide will walk you through the process step by step. From registering as self-employed with HMRC to set up a business bank account, we’ll make sure you know exactly what you need to do to get started.