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How to get a UTR Number if Self Employed

utr number

If you want to receive a UTR (Unique Tax Payer) reference number you may need to register as self employed with HMRC. Once you have registered as self employed a UTR number should be sent within a few weeks. In this article we outline the procedures to register as self employed:

How to Register There are three ways in which you can register as self employed:

  1. Online - This is the quickest and easiest way to register. It allows both sole traders (a business owned and operated by one person) and partners from a partnership to apply with HMRC as self employed.
  2. By Phone -  You can also register by telephone as self employed in order to recieve your UTR number. You can call anytime between 8am and 8pm on the newly self employed helpline. Their number is: 0845 915 4515. Remember to have all the documents below to hand.
  3. By Post – If you do not want to apply online or by phone you can complete CWF1 ‘ Becoming self-employed and being registered for National Insurance contributions and/or tax’. You can then send this form to your local tax office.

Information You will need to Register as Self Employed and To get your UTR Number If you are registering to become self employed by phone or online, you should have all the following information to hand to avoid your registration timing out:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • National Insurance number
  • Your date of birth
  • A contact telephone number
  • A contact email address
  • The date your started as self-employment
  • The type/nature of your business
  • Your business address
  • Your business telephone number
  • UTR number if you were previously being Self Assessed
  • The business’s UTR if you are joining an existing partnership
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79 Responses to “How to get a UTR Number if Self Employed”

  1. jamie lister says:

    self employed sub contracting electrician

    1. UTR number if you were previously being Self Assessed?
    2.The business’s UTR if you are joining an existing partnership?

    • admin says:

      jamie lister: Hi Jamie. If you are self employed you should register with your local tax office. You can also apply for a UTR number with your local tax office. Let us know if you have any other questions.

      • sharpy says:

        I registered for a utr number last wednesday, and I need a utr number before I can be paid, any ideas how long this will take too come through?

        • Anonymous says:

          2months but u can still get paid u just get taxed in a higher bracket

          • Anonymous says:

            Hi I sent my utr from off in November and I still haven’t got my utr number what shall I do ?

          • Anonymous says:

            You are muddling up CIS number and UTR number. They are different. No CIS number and you could be taxed at 40% until it comes through. No UTR and you cant file returns online

            An Accountant

  2. Ed Walker says:

    How to get a UTR Number when self employed? I have been self employed now for over a week and I need a UTR Number.

    • admin says:

      Ed Walker: If you are were previously on PAYE and now want to become self employed, you can apply to your local tax office to get a UTR number.

    • Celestine says:

      how should i go about it if i want register under a company and also work as self employed.

    • flamur barjami says:

      how to get a utr number when self employed ?i have been self employed for a week and need utr number

  3. Paul Wilkinson says:

    I registered as a sole trader on the Inland Revenue website over 3 weeks ago but haven’t yet got a UTR number. How am I meant to do my online tax returns? who can I call?

    • admin says:

      Paul Wilkinson: You can call your local tax office if you would like an update on your UTR number, their phone number can be found on the HMRC website. A Unique Taxpayer Reference number can take upto 6 weeks to be sent.

      • paul says:

        hi, i am register as a self employed person,i have all the documents that i need including yellow card. my brother whants to register as a self employed but they said he needs a ni number first,he has been rejected once for ni number as he didnt “provide ” enough evindece that he needs one. he is looking for work as a self employed but cannot prove that is looking for work.. can he apply as a familly memeber of mine (having all the documents) for all the documents he needs i.e. NI number and UTR??

      • Anonymous says:

        I am trying to get one too but cannot find the number to telephone the local tax office.

  4. Adam Back says:

    How do I register for a UTR Number?

    • admin says:

      Adam Back: You should have a tax office in your local city or town. You can either go to tax office or give them a call and they will be able to mark you as self employed and register you for a Unique taxpayer reference number.

  5. Nikola Stoyanov says:

    I have refusal for National Insurance number. I work like self employe at this moment. How to i get a UTR Number in this case?

    • admin says:

      Nikola Stoyanov: Do you know why you were refused a National Insurance number? You need a national insurance number to work in the UK and normally anyone that is eligible to work is given a NI number.

  6. lee griifths says:

    i have registered as self employed about a month ago. and still havent recived a utr number.
    how long does this normally take?

  7. Nikola Stoyanov says:

    Because the evidence i proved and/or the circumstance of my application have not provided them with sufficient reason to accept my need for a NI number.

  8. Dave says:

    I contacted you in july to tell you iam now self employed, i didnt recieve my UTR number so i contacted you again in September, I have still havent recieved a Utr number and need it for my tax credits.Please can you tell me how or who i speak to to get this number.
    Thank You

  9. devinder singh kailay says:


  10. A says:

    Hi, now I am employed, but from next weak am going to work as self-employed. Company for which I am going to work, asks me UTR number. I know what I have to register as self employed, but how about UTR number? Do I already have it? I am employed for 9 month. Thank you

  11. Danak says:

    I summer 2009 i work as self employed person for 2 weeks. In few weeks i left the UK and i unregistered. I registered via phone as i instantly needed UTR number. I unregistered also by phone. I never heard from HMRC since then till approx 5 days ago asking me to sort out my TAX matter till 31th of January 2011. In order to do that i think first of all i have to fill in registration form but i worry that by doing so i will be automatically registered as self employed person anew, what i am not. I live outside of UK since 2009. What am i suppose to do?

  12. JD says:

    i have registered as self employed about a month ago exactly 14/12/2010.I called tax office they told I should wait to 15/01/2011 and still havent recived a utr number.

  13. Maro says:

    Hi there

    I try to register as a self employed in the UK. But one problem – i try start trade only online (ebay) and live outside UK (EU) I have UK bank account, Ni number etc…but where or which adress should be provide if i not live in the UK?

  14. bogdan says:

    Hi, i’m from Romania and it happened to me the same thing like miss Nikola Stoyanov….they said i did not give the enough information about my need for NI…as far as i know Romanians are going trough hard times in England to get some documents to work in this time….so my question is…if i came in England and i want to stay, live, work and pay taxes here why they don’t help us?? I’m here from may 2010 that is about 8 months and i did not work one day because i don’t have NI and UTR and yellow card.
    if i want to apply for NI i need yellow card
    if i want to apply for UTR i need NI
    and if i want to apply for yellow card i need NI
    so now tell me how can i get one of these???

    • admin says:

      bogdan: Can you ask them what further information they require?

    • catalin says:

      si eu sunt din romania si am avut aceiasi problema . eu am apelat la o avacata care mia facut documentele necesare . acuma am yelow card-ul dupa 7 luni de zile si zilele astea trebuie sa ma duc la interviu la NIN si apoi la UTR .. toata porcedura poate dura pana la 1 an dak nu este refuzat la interviu de la NIN. bft

    • Anonymous says:

      you are aloud to work in the uk anywere
      during the first 3 month you must get nin and register to the hmrc
      you start work for somebody and take an invoice and cec with you to nin,proof of adress,a reference from a company and job done
      first you need nin

  15. Saulius says:

    hi, could i get my new UTR number whit my self-emloyed registration form, or should i ask it separetly? Could i aplly for UTR number if I still waiting for my NIN? Could I use my temporary NIN while I get my real one? Thanks for your time.

    • admin says:

      Saulius: You can register with your local tax office to apply as self employed. They should also issue you with a UTR number.

      • Hayley Cobbett says:

        I registered for my self employment card. but dint no you have to wait upto 6 weeks. cant i get a temporary one in the mean time???

  16. simon foster says:

    hi there is there any way of seeing if a number has been created yet, tried the phone numbers but know ones very helpful, or is it a case of waiting for the letter if so how long averagely does it take to come.


    • admin says:

      simon foster: It can take up to 4 weeks to receive your UTR number. I would try calling your local tax office where you registered, they would be able to see chase it up.

  17. Zeta says:


    how can I apply for UTR online? my English it’s not so good..
    thank you

  18. Natalija says:

    Hi, i registred self-emloyed 5-6 weeks ago, but still has not yet received my UTR. And, as now I have to pay tax?

    • admin says:

      Natalija: I would contact the local tax office that you applied at, they might be able to tell you if there is backlog with your UTR number application.

  19. darren says:

    hi, i applied to become self employed filled the form in correctly online, i was wondering how long until i get my utr number as i am keen to get stuck in at work but cant due to employers need utr number, could i get this any quicker?

  20. lt says:

    hello.what is the difference between UTR and CIS?

  21. dan says:

    Hello. I have a question about this UTR number. I’m on a vocational training course right now. They told me that i can work 40 hours but on the yellow card it says only 20 hours. So employers take in consideration only what it says on the yellow card. Now my question is : can i still aplly for UTR nr so that i can try work as selfemployed? I allready have NIN but no work yet :) tnx

  22. D. Stefanova says:

    Could you provide a link for online application form for UTR? Many thanx!

  23. claire says:

    I’m new to self employment (registered online last week), and still have alot to learn.
    Once you have registered, will the tax office contact you to acknowledge your registration? or will the just send out the UTR number?

  24. Marius_EMI says:

    I want to ask if is possible to obtain the UTR Number, if i have not the number insurance ? if you answer is “yes”, how could i get it ? Thank you!

  25. Eva says:


    I´ve been self-employed for nearly 2 years, but i´ve lost my UTR number. I´m stalling out UK during the all month, to do some business in Spain and visiting some relatives.

    Can the tax office send me the UTR number to an overseas address? as I need to have the number this month.

    Please, advise.



  26. mike says:

    hello pls can you tell me how the utr work. am i going to be paying as self employ every month or the company take the utr strat from wages.

  27. mike says:

    how does it work (UTR)

  28. Phil says:

    hi, i have applied for self employment 6 weeks ago and still not had my UTR number, wheni chased it they told me it was being processed, my question is, can i pay my NI contributions while i wait for the number to come through? and can you pay in different ways?

  29. Moazzam says:

    Hi,i am international student and allowed 20 hours per week as per uk law, i would like to become a self-employer,Can i apply for utr number,while i have NIN number.?

  30. lily says:

    how can i get a temporary utr number without a nino?

  31. Roger says:

    Hi I need to apply for a utr number, I am 61, I was unemployed for one year prior to that I was off sick after a stroke, I have the chance to apply for a NVQ training cadidates in floorlaying, I now receieve pension credits, if I apply for the utr, but not carry out any work will I lose my benefits?

  32. brad says:

    I applied for a utr number 7 weeks ago now! I still haven’t got it! I’m paying 30 % tax every time I get paid which I could rely do without! Iv tried phoning and to be honest they are no help ! But they would be quick enough sending me stuff if I owed them money!

  33. Anonymous says:

    its been 4 weeks i have apply utr but still i didnt get it and gaian i apply by online and it been 10 days n i didnt get it and i tryed to call but no response what is problem ?? m having problem to get without utr number. i need it within this week so ho do i get it..

  34. costa says:

    hello there is any way to find my UTR online ?

  35. Steve says:

    Seems like this UTR system is a complete mess… as usual.

  36. Please help me with my husband's UTR says:

    My husband has aplied for self-empoyed 2 weeks ago and although we know that takes longer to get it,I want to ask you if could help me ask it faster,because,those who want to hire me asked to prove that my husband has UTR number.We are from Romania,and if the husband is self-employed,than the wife has the right to work,but I need the husband’s UTR.
    Please,could you help me?They said that it expects the number by Friday.
    Thank you very much!

  37. bobby says:

    Ok, so i am in a tricky thing here ! I am currently working as self-employed and i need to register as self-employed. But to do that, i need NIN , the thing is they don’t want to give me a NIN without a UTR , and i can get UTR only if i have NIN / registered self-employed. How does it even work? , because it sounds really silly.
    PS: my nationality is ROMANIAN.

  38. Jay says:

    Is your UTR found anywhere on your self employed class 2 nic payslip?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hello, I am working freelance and I am currently waiting for my UTR number to arrive, hopefully by 14th Dec….. The person I am working for has been paying my invoices so far but has now said she will not pay anymore until I can give her my UTR… I have forwarded her the correspondence from HMRC with reference to its arrival date but she is not paying…… Is this correct procedure?…. I thought the UTR is for my online self assessment purposes. Many thanks

  40. Victoria says:

    Hi, I filled form to register as self employed! I recieved back letter everything about NI how i need to pay NI tax, but didnt recieve my UTR number… do i need to fill some separate form to get it?

  41. Anonymous says:

    Hi I registered as self employed last year but actually never worked as self employed – I informed national insurance contributions and they cancelled everything out as I had been employed and had proof of this and had been paying tax and in through paye.

    I have just received a tax return online reminder saying this needs to be done by 31st January – however I have never worked as self employed! What do I have to do???????

  42. Sorin says:

    good morning.i applyed for utr number 2 months ago and i stiil did not received it but i really need it…what can i do to have it as soon as possible?thank you.

  43. Anonymous 123 says:

    Hi I have been self employed for 6 months and had applied for my UTR number but received nothing. I contacted before 31st jan but still no response. how will this affect my position in the next year, will my earnings from last 6 months be added?

  44. Helen says:

    I need a UTR number to fill a form to be able to claim my commission from several companies. I need it urgently as I have been without pay for 2 months now. How can I hurry the tax office up as I can never get them to answer the phone. Do you think they need to employ more people to help on the phones?????

    Really annoying

  45. elena says:

    Hello.I complete the online form 2 weeks ago and I haven;t received mu utr number.What should I do?I tried to call them but the number is not working

  46. Alex says:


    I am a EU citizen, namely from Romania and I want to begin working in the UK as self-employed. I have never worked in the UK before and I don’t know what are the required steps that need to be followed.

    Could you please give me some information regarding the documents I need and how to obtain them? Particularly, I am interested in knowing how to apply for the UTR, National Insurance Number and CICS.

    Thank you.

  47. Sham says:


    What I would like to know is if I was a company director before and dissolved tht company bout a 1yr ago and then decided to start a new company would i have to get a new UTR number?

  48. Mrs Brown says:

    My husband has been employed with the same employer for over 6 years ago and has just notified him that he has no work for 2 weeks so wont get paid. However my husband has found some work elsewhere for just those 2 weeks and has been asked by this new employer to get a utr number, Does he have to have one, how do we get one and is it worth it for just 2 weeks work?

  49. hi says:

    my name is talvinder singh .i want to know how can i check my utr number

  50. The Admiral says:

    Hello to everyone.
    My wife had been registered as SE by her accountant. The problem is that she didn’t trust her anymore, and she wants to check the truth of registration at HMRC. How she could do that ?

  51. Hannah Ferguson. says:

    I was self-employed in 2010 ( I am an actress) Then I was PAYE for 10 months working in a restaurant. In June 2021 I came to Madrid to shoot a movie. I am still here working for a theatre company. I will come back in June or July. I want to apply for an acting job through ideastap and on the application they are asking me for my UTR number, how can I get it please? Thanks.

  52. joanna says:

    hi, if i have just a nin number and i want to become a self employed where i should apply (which form i should fill and sent to HMRC). please for quick reply

  53. gerorg says:

    hi,,i lost mu utr number how can i get back

  54. Alex says:

    I applyed for UTR 2 weeks ago.I understand that takes up to 6 weeks to get one but now the company that I’m working wants the UTR number on my first invoice !! What shall I do?

  55. Mindagas says:

    Hi…i applyed for utr number….but i got temporary ni number..any idea if they going to accept it.thank you

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