self employment help !

Hello everyone,

I work as an employee (PAYE), but I'm looking into starting a part time business outside. I've been buying in bulk and selling various bits and pieces on ebay for about 2 years now and would really like to make it legit and proper.

I want to start a fresh, but as a proper sole trader, so
If I wanted to go self employed would I just tell the HMRC that I am just about to start trading ?? And then start keeping records from that date ?

Any help would be most grateful


  • Raging Pineapples
    Raging Pineapples Registered Posts: 110 ? ? ?
    Well here's one piece of advice learned from experience: Make sure you tell 'em within 3 months of your first invoice, or you'll get pwned by the Self Employment Office's bill-gun. They aim, they fire, and >BOOM< you got a £100 bill :( Sucks I know, thankfully my earnings were so small they waved it when they saw me cry.

    But yeah, google for 'self employment start-up' or something and you'll get a befuddling mass of information. But really and truly, registering up as self employed is the easy bit, you literally just phone 0845 915 4515.

    This article...

    ... sounds fairly comprehensive. You pick a name for yourself and voila!

    Regarding ebay, I'd be careful about selling outside of the UK, at least until one of the more experienced MAATs has advised you on the tax implications for EU sales. I researched it and found another multitude of articles which discuss the issue in length without giving an answer, but the volume of ebay powersellers who only sell within the UK suggests there may be an issue there.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Another issue is class 2 NI charges. For 2009/10, the NIC Office will helpfully assume you're gonna make a fortune and start billing you at £2.40 per week. Somehow they time the bills to always fall when you have cash flow problems, so do budget for that. However, if you reasonably expect your income (from self employment alone) for this tax year to fall below the £5,075 small earnings threshold, you can apply for a certificate of small earnings exemption.

    You will pay class 4 NIs on any earnings above this threshold.

    This will hold the scary bill-gun off for a year, but I think you have to reassess and re-exempt annually.

    Useful links:
    RATES OF NATIONAL INSURANCE (see class 2 details, as these relate to Self Employment)

    CLASS 2 FAQs

    SOME TIPS FROM ACCA (straightforward, but might help)
  • steveJ
    steveJ Registered Posts: 694
    Cheers mate that was really helpful.

    So if I don't claim for any invoices I've already received and then just start a fresh, that should be alright ??
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