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Self Employment – Do Self Employed Workers Need to Register?

The reasons to register for self employment are primarily for tax purposes and to avoid penalties in both the United States and in the United Kingdom. There are however some differences between the two procedures as well as the reasoning behind them. What greatly differentiates the way people register as self employed in the two countries is the fact that in the United Kingdom, you are dealing with one level of government. In the United States, the self employed individual has to register with both the federal government and the state government. State level procedures for registering as self employed can vary but tend to be similar across the country.Registering as Self Employed in the U.K.In the United Kingdom, an individual wanting to register as self employed needs to contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) which handles taxation. The HMRC makes it very easy to register with an online registration process at Business Link or by telephone through the Self-Employed Helpline at 0845-915-4515. Some of the information needed to complete registration will include the individual’s National Insurance number, complete contact information and the date that self employment began.


Registering with HMRC is the first step for individuals also known as “sole traders” as well as partnerships. Each partner must register for the Self Assessment taxation to register as self employed. However, if a limited company or other type of corporation is being registered, the first step would be to register with the Companies House which would then issue an introductory package including the registration for HMRC.Registering as Self Employed in the United StatesFirst off, it is not completely necessary to register as self employed in the United States. For many self employed individuals, simply filing the proper tax forms is all they need to do. If someone does wish to register, the procedure usually begins with registering a company with the state in which the individual resides. The company can be a Sole Proprietorship or a Limited Liability Company with one person as the owner. Company registration is usually handled through the office of the Secretary of State. Just about every state has online registration or downloadable forms to be mailed. Be sure to check whether your county or city requires any special licenses as well.


Once the business or company has been registered with the state and local governments, the next step to register as self employed is to obtain an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This process can be completed online at the IRS website, by downloading the form and faxing or mailing it. You can also register by telephone at (800) 829-4933. It is important to complete both steps in order to register as self employed in the United States.