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Register as a Sole trader

Register as a Sole Trader in just 5 minutes, and get support, advice and your in-depth guide on how to succeed in your chosen industry.

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  • HMRC Registration for self employment
  • UTR number posted to your address
  • In-depth Industry Insights guide to success in your sector

What is a Sole Trader?

A Sole Trader is someone who is self employed, rather than running their business as the Director of a Limited Company.

Sole Trader businesses are simpler to run and involve less paperwork, but also provide less protection than a Limited Company, because you are personally liable for all your business debts. This also means that you can't hold the company in joint ownership.

As a Sole Trader your business income is taxed as your personal income, so it's often more tax efficient to be a Ltd company, although the benefits are smaller the less you earn. That's one reason lots of businesses start out as a Sole Trader, and then change to a Limited Company when they've become more established.

Key Considerations

  • Privacy

    Sole Traders don't need to keep their details on any public registers

  • Simplicity

    As a Sole Trader there's less paperwork to manage each year

  • Less tax efficient

    The more you earn as a Sole Trader, the less tax efficient you are compared to a Ltd Company

  • Not protected from liability

    Sole Traders are personally liable for their business debts

  • Harder for joint ownership

    Sole Traders aren't suitable for people with business partners

Not sure Sole Trader is right for you?

If you're not sure that the Sole Trader structure is right for you, take our quiz to find your ideal company setup and get your free Industry Insights guide too!

How it works

Setting up as a Sole Trader is fast and simple when you go through Duport, and we'll support you through the whole process - and beyond.

  1. Register in less than 5 minutes

    Our simple registration process is stress free and quick to complete

  2. Get Insights from your start up guide

    Find out what it's really like to do business in your industry with our in-depth guide

  3. Duport complete your registration

    We check over and submit your details to HMRC for a successful registration

  4. Receive your UTR at home

    Your Unique Taxpayer Reference number will be sent to your address in 3-4 weeks

When you start your Sole Trader business with Duport, one step ahead of the competition.

Our detailed guides, phone and email support and expert team are all here to set you up for success right from the start. And we're here with support, services and advice as your business grows and develops too.

Register now

Register and get your FREE industry insights guide

Industry Insights are in-depth guides full of vital details about running a business in your industry, including:

  • How much it costs to start up
  • Average pricing and how much to charge
  • What insurances and accreditations you might need
  • Advice on how to market and promote your business

Each Industry Insights guide is unique to your sector, giving you a clear picture of your market and making sure you start a step ahead of the competition.

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Start your business the right way with Duport

Establishing a business and making it a success needs more than just registration. You need the right information, the right support and the right services at the right time.

As a small company ourselves, Duport understand better than anyone the questions, concerns and worries that come with running your own business. That's why we're here way beyond your initial formation, helping you with advice on everything from tax requirements to taking on your first employees.

When you choose Duport you get:

  • Quick & easy online registration
  • Specialist advice for Sole Traders
  • Support from our friendly team of experts
  • Services to help your business grow

We love to see our customers' businesses boom, and we're here to make that happen for you too.

Get Started

Packages start from £43.99

It's quick and easy to get your Sole Trader up and running with our online registration process. We'll help you through all the steps so that you can get your new business started, and we'll be here to help you as you grow.

Register your new business

Get access to ExclusiveServices

Starting your business is so much more than just registration. With Duport you can also get access to exclusive services and optional extras, from keeping your personal details off the public register, to setting up a business account.

  • Service address

  • Domain services

  • Banking options

  • Registered office

  • Accountancy services

Popular FAQs

Still have questions? Here are the answers to some of the most common questions people ask about Sole Traders

Sole Traders are always self-employed. But not all self-employed people are necessarily Sole Traders, although it is by far the most common company structure for self-employed people.

Being self-employed means that you don’t get paid by PAYE, and actually take your income through self-assessment.

A Sole Trader is the company structure used when you and your business are considered the same entity for legal and financial purposes.

So, technically you can be self-employed and run a Limited Company or a Partnership, but most self employed people are also Sole Traders.

All Sole Traders are self-employed, so it’s absolutely possible to be both at the same time. You can also be in different types of employment or self-employment at once.

So if you are a salaried employee, but also have a sole trader business, you can be both employed and self-employed at the same time - you just need to make sure you’re including it all in your self-assessment!

If you are the only person running your business, you are happy to be personally responsible for your business debts and liability and you don’t want the hassle of extra paperwork and regulations then this could be the best choice for you.

There are no age restrictions for Sole Traders, but if you have previously been declared bankrupt you may need to get permission from the courts to set up your business.

To register your Sole Trader business you will need to provide the following details:

  • Your full name
  • Your current address
  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Your date of birth
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address
  • The date that your self-employment began
  • The type of business you're starting
  • The address of your business
  • The phone number for your business

You will not need to provide any proof of ID.

Sole Traders don’t need to have a separate bank account, as your business earnings are considered your own personal income.

However, things can quickly get complicated if you’re running your personal and business finances from the same account, so we highly recommend setting up a separate account for the business.

If you register with Duport, you can get a free business account as part of the process.

Sole Traders have a lot less paperwork to complete than Limited Companies, but you will need to complete your Self Assessment Tax Return each year.

If you don’t want the hassle of doing your own bookkeeping and accounts, Duport can handle it all for you with our Sole Trader Tax Return service.

When you register as a Sole Trader, you don’t automatically get any protection for their business name.

However, Duport have a Protected Name package for Sole Traders that means your business name is also registered at Companies House, to prevent anyone else trading under it.

Yes, you do not need to be in the UK in order to register as a Sole Trader.

You can cancel your order at any point. Refunds will only be issued if you have not accessed any of your purchased services.

Your right to a refund is waived if:

  • Your registration has been submitted to HMRC
  • OR
  • You have requested or viewed any digital ebooks or reports included in your purchase

Your initial registration is a one-off service. However your package may include services that do need to be renewed annually. These can include:

  • Business name protection
  • Domain & hosting services
  • Accountancy services

Your Unique Taxpayer Reference or UTR is the number that HMRC uses to identify you as a self-employed person. It’s what you will need to use to submit your Self Assessment Tax Return.

  • Anyone who wants to register their sole trader business quickly, without any hassle and receive all our ongoing support and guidance and access to services that support your business.
  • Anyone whose business name is important to them and would like to prevent any other person from registering it.
  • Anyone who would like to register as a Sole Trader for now but intends to grow their business and require a LTD structure in the future.

Our Sole Trader packages aren’t suitable for you if:

  • You have already registered your business at HMRC and do not want to protect your company name.
  • You want to reserve your business name at Companies House but would like your details as the director. In this instance we recommend that you register a Limited Company instead. If you register with Duport we can still complete all your filing for you if you opt to use our filing service for 59.99 per annum.
  • You plan to start trading as a LTD company in the next few months (in which case we recommend registering as a LTD now).
  • You are not worried about someone else trading using your business name and you are happy to register directly with HMRC yourself.
  • You do not require our start up support and do not want to receive your industry guide.
  • You want to reserve your business name but want the company to be registered in Scotland.

Need some help?

If you need a little advice on the best options for you, or have a question that's not in our FAQ, Duport's expert team are here to help. Give us a call during office hours or email us any time and we'll help you out.