I am officially a sole trader! It was quite simple to register with HMRC. Firstly I applied for a government gateway account https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/registration/newbusiness/introduction
The government gateway account consists of a login name and password and allows you to complete tax returns online. I then completed the online form to register as self-employed- the form was very user friendly and easy to navigate. They also sent me a Unique Taxpayer Reference (a 10 digit number) which is needed for paying tax and national insurance online. I wasn’t sure whether to register now as I’m not actually in business yet so called the HMRC helpline (0300 200 3310). They were very helpful and said I could register now as hope to be in business before April 2017, and they will contact me in May 2017 to complete a tax return.
I also opened a business bank account. Lots of people just use their own current account but I thought it would be easier to keep track of money coming in and going out with a separate account. The downside is that there is a cost. I originally thought about opening a separate but when I spoke to my bank they said it breaks the terms and conditions to use a personal account for business, and they could close the account if discovered. I didn’t want to risk that as once I’m up and running it there will (hopefully!) be regular payments in from parents, and will be very inconvenient if they were to suspend the account for any period of time. I had a look at a few different banks and in the end went for Santander business account because they are free for the first year
The account costs £7.50 per month after the first year but at least there is no cost whilst I’m still getting set up.
My DBS still hasn’t arrived it has been several months now and in that time I have received 2 other DBS checks for unrelated volunteer roles! I gave them a call and they said there is currently a big backlog with the metropolitan police that they are working their way through, so will just have to be patient…