The way in which you register your business and the filing requirements you must meet will depend on the type of business structure that you have adopted.
- If you are a sole trader with no employees, you just need to register for National Insurance contributions and self-assessment with HMRC and file an annual self-assessment tax return.
- If you are in a partnership with no employees, all the partners should ideally sign a legally binding document known as a deed of partnership that sets out how the partnership will be run. Each partner will need to register with HMRC to pay National Insurance contributions and tax on their share of the partnership profits. A nominated partner must also register the partnership for business taxes with HMRC.
- A limited company must be registered (incorporated) at Companies House [Go to Registering a company].
Companies House will then tell HMRC that the company has been formed and registered. The company will need to file its annual accounts with Companies House, as well as an annual return that contains important information about the company such as its principal business activities and the names of its directors.
It will also have to file returns for corporation tax, VAT (if applicable), PAYE (if it is an employer) and the Construction Industry Scheme (if applicable). If the company employs staff, it will also need to pay employer Class 1 National Insurance contributions. There may be other returns dependant on activity.
It is not just your business that you will need to register. You should also register any patents, licences and intellectual property that belong to it with the Intellectual Property Office.