Register for Corporation Tax

Most companies register for Corporation Tax and PAYE as an employer at the same time as registering with Companies House.

You’ll need to register for Corporation Tax using this service if you registered your company:

If you’ve already registered for Corporation Tax, sign in to HMRC online services to file your company tax return or make a payment. If you do not have an online services account, you can create one when you sign in.

Register within 3 months of starting to do business. This includes buying, selling, advertising, renting a property and employing someone. You can check if you’re unsure what counts as starting to do business.

You may get a penalty if you register late.

How to register

Sign in to your business tax account to register for Corporation Tax. Follow the guidance in your account to register.

You’ll need your company’s Government Gateway user ID and password to sign in. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you sign in.

You’ll also need your company’s 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). This is posted to your company address by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within 14 days of the company being registered with Companies House (incorporated).

Request your company’s UTR online if you did not get one after registering your company.

What you need to tell HMRC

When registering, you’ll need to tell HMRC:

  • your company’s registration number
  • the date you started to do business (your company’s first accounting period will start from this date)
  • the date your annual accounts are made up to

Check your registered office address is correct before registering for Corporation Tax. This is where all letters are sent. If this address needs to be updated, you must tell Companies House.

What happens next

HMRC will send you:

  • your Corporation Tax activation code
  • instructions on how to set up on HMRC’s online Corporation Tax services

HMRC will also send you the deadline for paying Corporation Tax.

These will be sent by post to your registered office address.

You’ll need to file a Company Tax Return, even if you make a loss or have no Corporation Tax to pay.

Finding your UTR after you’ve registered

If you enrolled for the Corporation Tax online service you can find your 10-digit UTR in HMRC online services. You can also find it on all letters from HMRC.

You need your UTR:

  • if you contact HMRC about Corporation Tax
  • to send your Company Tax Return using commercial software
  1. Step 1 Check if setting up a limited company is right for you

    1. Check what a private limited company is

    How you set up your business depends on what sort of work you do. It can also affect the way you pay tax and get funding.

    Check if you should set up as one of the following instead:

    1. Get help deciding how to set up your business
  2. Step 2 Choose a name

  3. Step 3 Choose directors and a company secretary

    You must appoint a director but you do not have to appoint a company secretary.

    1. Find out what directors are responsible for
    2. Check who can be a director or company secretary
  4. Step 4 Decide who the shareholders or guarantors are

  5. and Identify people with significant control (PSC) over your company

    For example, anyone with voting rights or more than 25% of the shares.

    1. Find out what counts as a PSC
  6. Step 5 Prepare documents agreeing how to run your company

    You need to prepare a 'memorandum of association' and 'articles of association'.

    1. Find out how to create a memorandum and articles of association
  7. Step 6 Check what records you'll need to keep

  8. Step 7 Register your company

    You'll need to register an official address and choose a SIC code - this identifies what your company does.

    1. Check the rules for company addresses
    2. Check what your SIC code is
    3. Register your company with Companies House

    Most people can register for Corporation Tax at the same time as registering with Companies House.

    If you cannot, register separately with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after you’ve registered your company with Companies House.

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