Getting started in business? This checklist covers the key steps in getting started for tax. Noting that we have many more guides covering each aspect on this webservice, see the main menu.

Which trading vehicle is going to be most suitable for me?


Tax: which structure is likely to save the most tax?

Basic formalities and legal agreements



Share capital and shareholders

Registration with HM Revenue & Customs

A new business, whether run by an individual, partnership or company, requires a Government Gateway account to register with HMRC.

Under self-assessment you must register if you have taxable income or chargeable capital gains in a tax year for either income tax or corporation tax. Select a suitable accounting basis period when you register.

Separate online notification and registration with HMRC is required if you take on workers and employees or when you are required to register for VAT.

Employers: PAYE & Real Time Information reporting (RTI)

Construction industry Employers: Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) 


You will have to register for VAT if:

If you don't have to register for VAT you can choose to do so if you will be making taxable supplies.

See VAT: Starting in business


Accounting for tax and record keeping: sole traders and partnerships

Since 6 April 2013, under measures which are supposed to simplify accounting for tax, small unincorporated businesses may elect to use cash basis accounting, and/or a new system of fixed rate expenses.

Accounting: companies

 Miscellaneous FAQs

Tax Planning

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