How do I register as an employer?

How do I register as an employer?

How do I  register as an employer?

You usually need to register as an employer with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when you start employing staff or using subcontractors for construction work.

If you are a limited company director and employing yourself to be tax-efficient, you must still register as an employer.

If you are a sole trader and have no other people working for you, you don’t need to register as an employer. 

You must register before the first payday. 

It can take up to 5 working days to get your employer's PAYE reference number. You cannot register more than two months before you start paying people.

If it comes to paying an employee and you have not yet received your employer PAYE reference number, you should:

  1. Run payroll.
  2. Store your full payment submission.
  3. Send a late full payment submission to HMRC.

If you’re a limited company with 1 to 9 directors

Most limited companies can register online here 

Employers Liability Insurance

When you employ people, it is a legal requirement also to have employer liability insurance in place.  Your policy must cover you for at least £5 million and come from an authorised insurer.

You may not need EL insurance if you only employ a family member or someone based abroad.

You can be fined £2,500 every day you are not adequately insured.

You can also be fined £1,000 if you do not display your EL certificate or refuse to make it available to inspectors when they ask.

Check to see if your insurer is authorised by looking at the Financial Conduct Authority register or contact the Financial Conduct Authority.


I'm Annette Ferguson

Owner of Annette & Co. - Chartered Accountants & Certified Profit First Professionals. Helping online service-based entrepreneurs find clarity in their numbers, increase wealth and have more money in their pockets.