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self assessment/regestering a business help please

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hi people, need a bit of advice on what to do about a venture im going for,

Iv been a DJ for private functions for a long time usually working for someone else, but now I want to work for myself, I have all my own gear and am established within my local area but id like to take this to the next level.

theres one issue though, I have bipolar effective disorder, and in early stages of treatment, so im in the support group for long term employment & support allowance.

I have gotten permission to work up to 15 hours a week under the permitted work scheme, which is great for me, I only work one night a week as I cant really handle more than that and if im in a low episode I don't really work at all until it passes (usually only lasts a week or so).

But I have to do this as self employed because DWP know im earning something.

so iv asked permission from my local council to run the business from my home, and now I have to go about self assessment and NI contributions.

im confused how to do it because ESA pays my NI so not sure how this all works, any help/advice would be much appreciated.

Im not someone trying to fob the system, im genuinely not well enough to work part time or full time hours as im too unreliable but I still feel I need to do something when I feel I can as it really does help with my self confidence and skills (which im hoping will pay of once im better and can come off ESA)

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you have to register with HMRC as elf-employed and they will ask you a few questions about your current and projected earnings and then send you an envelope containing the TURN (trader unique reference number-basically number for your tax returns) and whatever else they think is necessay. Commonly they will send you stuff that is not relevant like forms for calculating the tax and NI contributions of your employees but you can ignore these. You will get a short form tax return sometime before july for the 2015-16 tax year.

The DWP will want to know about your earnings at some point to make sure you are not going over their thresholds

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Hi Fudgy

I found you post interesting an may be able to offer some relevant advice, based on my recent experience.


I took early retirement a couple of years ago, but still do a bit of paid work (a day here or there) if it interests me, so I have to declare a small amount of 'work income' in my tax returns. I've been doing my Self Assessment on-line for quite a few years and I find it pretty easy, so don't be daunted by the prospect. There's lots of help available; e.g. from Citizens Advice Bureau or the HMRC Self Assessment Helpline.


If it's the first time you've filled in a Self Assessment form then it might be an idea to:-

1. use the paper form they will/should send you, rather than doing it on-line for the first year, as the paper form gives you a physical thing to work with and is more 'user friendly' in terms of being able to flip back and forth between the various pages.


2. get a suitably qualified & experienced helper to guide you through the process, not a 'know-it-all' who only has experience of their own tax return. A helper will be really important in advising you which parts of the forms are not relevant to you and can be ignored. Unfortunately the official written guidance 'How to complete your Self Assessment' assumes a fair knowledge of the tax system and often left me wondering whether or not a particular section was relevant to me; most of them were not


As for National Insurance, I spoke to the tax office and was advised to register myself as self-employed, even though I only do 10 to 20 days paid work a year. The point is that it gets me on their books and makes sure I pay the correct Class 2 National Insurance contributions which, in turn, ensures that I retain my eligibility for a full State Pension (I'm currently below the pension age). And it's not expensive for me. As I have very low income from paid-work, these contributions are very low (just £2.80 per week if your profits are under £5,965 a year). See this web page for info: www gov uk self-employed-national-insurance-rates.


I also found it useful to register with HMRC as a 'Sole Trader' rather than set up a fully blown business, which was just not worth it if only work a few days a year. So my Business name is 'My Name' (Sole Trader) and I use this on any invoices that I send to the people who employ me. See this web page for info: www gov uk set-up-sole-trader

Hope this is useful for you.

Best of Luck


[NB Sorry about the modified web-links. The forum will not allow me to post proper links till I have more than 10 posts. I'm new to this forum, so have only made 2 so far]

Edited by BrassKnocker
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hi Fudgy,


please consider the following if you havent already, my apologies for anything you already have in place but just listing everything you will need to have.


1. Public Liability Insurance

2. performing rights license

3. PAT tested equipment

4. business use vehicle insurance

5. proof of purchase in regards to music, especially laptop DJ's, you cannot simply D/L music and play it and expect it to be covered by the PRS license, only music from say, itunes would be covered. Ripped cd's are fine as long as you own the original disc


this may not be exhaustive but its what i needed when i was a mobile DJ on top of registering with HMRC and NI





I am not legally trained or qualified, any advice i offer is gleaned from experience and general knowledge, if you are still unsure after receiving advice please seek legal advice.




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