How to Register as an Employer with HMRC

Written by Administrator
08 Mar 2024

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If you got here by typing in how to register as an employer with HMRC you're in the right place but first, if you’re following this series of articles, welcome back, if you are new to these articles, welcome and we hope you find them helpful.  If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear them as we’re always looking to improve and provide helpful information.

Today, we’re going to look at how to register as an employer, or how to register for PAYE, (they're one and the same thing), when to register and how you do this, please check out the video below.  Any comments on the video would be appreciated.

Registering For Paye 1

Work Out If You're an Employer

While it might seem obvious, the first thing to do is work out if you are an employer.  This might seem an obvious point, but it’s important to only register if you are an employer as there are a number of tasks you will be required to do as an employer, you don’t need to do if you if you don’t employ anyone.

Are you an employer?

To work out if you are an employer, look down the below list and decide if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are a director of a limited company and paying a salary to yourself.
  • You have an employee.  Someone who works for you is likely to be an employee if most of the following apply:
    • they’re required to work regularly unless they’re on leave, for example they’re on holiday or on sick leave or on maternity leave
    • they’re required to do a minimum number of hours and expect to be paid for time worked
    • a manager or supervisor is responsible for their workload, saying when a piece of work should be finished and how it should be done
    • they cannot send someone else to do their work
    • they get paid holiday
    • they’re entitled to contractual or Statutory Sick Pay and to maternity pay or to paternity pay
    • they can join the business’s pension scheme
    • the business’s disciplinary and grievance procedures apply to them
    • they work at the business’s premises or at an address specified by the business
    • their contract sets out redundancy procedures
    • the business provides the materials, tools and equipment for their work
    • they only work for the business or if they do have another job, it’s completely different from their work for the business
    • their contract, statement of terms and conditions or offer letter (which can be described as an ‘employment contract’) uses terms like ‘employer’ and ‘employee’
    • you pay £123.00 or more each week to your employee
    • you are providing additional benefits to employees such as a company car or expenses
    • you are an employer in the construction industry and make payments to subcontractors.
  • They receive benefits or expenses and are receiving pension.

Does most of the list apply to you? 

If you can say yes to most of the points above, it's likely you're an employer, if you are still not sure, we can help.  Call us on 0345 564 5774 or send us an email to alternatively, call HMRC on 0300 200 3200 or you can use HMRC Chat Online, Employers enquiries: chat – Ask HMRC – GOV.UK (  It’s always best to check if you’re unsure.

! If you pay less than £123.00 per week, there is no need to register as an employer, but you do need to keep payroll records.

Self-employed and Sole Traders

It’s important to touch briefly on self-employment.

If you are self-employed or a sole trader paying only yourself and you don't employ another person (see if you have an employee above), then you can continue paying yourself without being classified or needing to register as an employer.

When to Register with HMRC

Ideally, you’ll register up to 28 days prior to making your first wage or salary payment.  If you register sooner, you’ll need to file what is known as a nil return.  Basically, a nil return tells HMRC there are no employees.  If you don’t file a nil return, you may get a penalty for late filing, so put the date in your diary for about 3 to 4 weeks before you intend to pay your employee.

What Information Do You Need To Register?

To register for PAYE, you’ll need to have all the following business details at hand to kick start the whole registration process. These include:

  • Your business name and trading name and company number if you are a limited company
  • Your registered business address
  • All contact details for the business or person who will become the employer such as telephone number and email address
  • Details of at least one of your company directors, to include their National Insurance Number, home address and telephone number
  • The nature of your business activities if you are a business
  • Your start date as an employer and anticipated first salary or wages pay date
  • How many employees you intend to start off with

If you forget and have already paid your employee, don’t worry, you can register upto 28 days after you’ve paid your employee without a fine or penalty.  If you register after this, you may get a fine or penalty.

How to Register as an Employer with HMRC

So, you've kept reading and want to see how to actually register. The below video will guide you through the registration process. 

We are using a fictitious company called ABC Ltd.  The fictitious owner is Fred Smith and the company address is completely made up.  The company employs 1 person who doesn't have an occupational pension and the company doesn't have any subcontractors.

While we’re pretty good at processing clients’ payrolls, we’re just learning video editing, so please bear with us, the video’s will get better over time, we promise, but if you do have any suggestions, please let us know.

The website to register with HMRC as an employer can be found at Register as an employer - GOV.UK (

If you have any questions, or need any help registering as an employer, please call us on 0345 564 5774 or use the contact us form and we’ll get back to you.

Employer Registration Checklist

Are you an employer?  If you’re not sure, have a look at the list above.

Do you have all the information you need to register to hand?  This includes:

  • Your business name and trading name and company number if you are a limited company
  • Your registered business address
  • All contact details such as telephone number and email address
  • Details of at least one of your company directors, to include their National Insurance Number, home address and telephone number.
  • The nature of your business activities
  • Your business start date and anticipated first pay date
  • How many employees you intend to start off with

Do you have the website address to register online?  If not, here it is again, Register as an employer - GOV.UK (

Are you registering no more than 28 days before your first pay date? 

In case you missed the last article, “An Introduction to Payroll and PAYE for New Employers, here is the link,

Don’t forget, for help with this and anything payroll related, get in touch and we’ll be pleased to help.

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