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How to Register with HMRC

It is very important that you register with HMRC as soon as possible when you become Self Employed.

HMRC are actually quite flexible with this, and the period of which you need to give notice can sometimes be over a year. However, it is recommended to register as soon as you can to ensure you receive all of your paperwork together. During peak times, HMRC can become very busy.

The latest that you can register for Self Employment is by 5 October in your business’s second year.


  • Claire begins her Self Employment with Slimming World on 2 September 2022.
  • 2 September 2022 is in the April 2022 – March 2023 tax year.
  • Claire should register before 5 October 2023.

If you register late, you usually won’t get a penalty, as long as you send your Self Assessment tax return for the year, and pay your bill on time.

How to register for Self Employment with HMRC

You can register with HMRC online using the link below.

Important: It can take approximately 10 working days to complete the registration process, as HMRC will post an activation code to you. You will need to do this in advance of completing any tax return.

Once registered, you’ll receive an annual notification from HMRC when you need to complete a online Self Assessment tax return. Calendar in around 2-3 hours for your first return, to ensure you collate all of the information and then input details into HMRC’s system. Future tax returns will be a lot shorter if you have all of your records ready and up to date!

Penalties for late registration or late submission

HMRC can charge penalties such as £100 for late submission (and then £10 for each day late) or can take percentages of your business’s income. In short, avoid these at all costs!

Updated on February 17, 2023
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