The Essential Checklist for Registering a Business and Meeting HMRC Requirements

Are you ready to turn your brilliant business idea into a reality? Congratulations! But before you dive headfirst into the thrilling world of entrepreneurship, it’s crucial to understand that there are certain administrative hoops to jump through. Yes, we’re talking about registering your business and meeting HMRC requirements – two essential steps that will set you up for success. Don’t fret, though; we’ve got your back! In this blog post, we’ll provide you with an ultimate checklist packed with must-do tasks and expert advice that will streamline the process and ensure smooth sailing from day one. So grab a pen, take notes, and get ready to embark on this exciting entrepreneurial journey armed with all the knowledge needed to conquer those bureaucratic hurdles like a boss!


When you start a business in the United Kingdom, there are certain registration and compliance requirements that must be met with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This essential checklist will ensure that you have all of your bases covered when it comes to registering your business and meeting HMRC requirements.

1. Register as self-employed with HMRC. You can do this online, by phone, or through the post.

2. Once you have registered as self-employed, you will need to file a Self Assessment tax return each year.

3. If you plan on employing staff, you will need to register as an employer with HMRC.

4. When registering as an employer, you will also need to set up a PAYE scheme for paying your employees’ taxes and National Insurance contributions.

5. If your business is VAT-registered, you will need to file periodic VAT returns with HMRC.

Registering Your Business With Companies House

First things first, you’ll need to register a business with Companies House. This is a key part of setting up a new company. The process is relatively simple, but there are a few key things to keep in mind.

First, you’ll need to choose a company name and register it with Companies House. You can do this online or by post. Once your company name is registered, you’ll need to provide some additional information about your company, including its registered address, directors, and shareholders.

Once you have all of this information ready, you can complete the registration process online or by post. After your company is registered, you’ll need to notify HMRC so that they can set up your corporation tax account.

Registration with Companies House is just one part of setting up a new business. Be sure to check out our other blog posts for more information on meeting HMRC requirements and getting your business off to a great start!

Registering for Tax at HMRC

If you’re starting a business in the UK, you’ll need to register for Self Assessment and Corporation Tax with HMRC. This can be done online, by post, or over the phone.

To register for Self Assessment, you’ll need your National Insurance number and some personal details. To register for Corporation Tax, you’ll need your company’s Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).

Once you’re registered, HMRC will send you a tax return form to fill in and return every year. This will detail how much tax you owe for the previous financial year.

Completing the Self Assessment Tax Return

Assuming you’re already registered with HMRC and have your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), you will need to:

-Download and fill in a Self Assessment tax return form

-Include details of your business income and any other taxable income you received during the tax year

-Calculate how much tax you owe using the tax rates that apply to your income

-Pay any tax you owe by the deadline (31st January)

-If you’re self-employed, you will also need to pay Class 2 and 4 National Insurance contributions

Payroll and Making Employer Contributions

If you’re setting up a business, you’ll need to think about payroll and how to make employer contributions. Here’s a checklist of what you need to do:

1. Register with HMRC as an employer. You can do this online at

2. Set up a payroll system. This will involve choosing software or using an accountant to run your payroll for you.

3. Work out how much you need to pay your employees and when you need to make the payments. This will include working out any deductions such as income tax and National Insurance.

4. Make sure you have enough money in your bank account to make the payments on time. You may need to set up a separate bank account for your payroll if you don’t already have one.

5. Pay your employees on time! This is important for keeping them happy and motivated, as well as avoiding any penalties from HMRC for late payments.

VAT registration and Returns

As soon as you know your business will be making taxable supplies, you need to register for VAT with HMRC. This can be done online, and you will need your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) to hand. You will also need to decide which VAT scheme to register for. The most common is the Standard Scheme, but there are other schemes available for businesses with special circumstances, such as the Flat Rate Scheme or the Cash Accounting Scheme.

Once you are registered for VAT, you will need to file a VAT Return every quarter, detailing how much VAT your business has charged and how much it has paid to HMRC. These Returns can be filed online, and HMRC will usually give you 10 days’ grace after the deadline to file them. However, if you think you might struggle to meet this deadline, you can apply for an extension from HMRC.

If your business is based in the UK but sells goods or services to customers in other EU countries (known as ‘distance selling’), you may need to register for VAT in those countries too. This is known as ‘VAT MOSS’ registration, and again can be done online through HMRC’s website. For more information on this, please see our dedicated blog post on the subject.

Keeping Records of your Finances

One of the most important aspects of running a business is keeping accurate records of your finances. This will not only help you to keep track of your spending and income, but will also be essential if you need to apply for any financial assistance from the government or banks.

There are a number of different ways to keep records of your finances, but the most important thing is to find a system that works for you and that you can stick to. Some businesses prefer to use paper-based systems, while others use software programs or online accounting tools. Whichever system you choose, make sure that you update it regularly and keep it organised so that you can easily find the information you need when you need it.

Some of the Financial Records That You Should Keep Include:

– receipts and invoices for all income and expenditure

– bank statements

– VAT returns

– payroll records

– annual accounts


Starting a business can be a daunting task, but with the right research and preparation it can be less stressful. The essential checklist for registering a business and meeting HMRC requirements provided in this article is designed to help you navigate through the process of setting up your business quickly and efficiently. With the right information at hand, you’ll have everything you need to register a company legally and meet all legal obligations so that it can start trading on its own terms as soon as possible.