Find out how to check if someone is self-employed, whether there is a register of sole traders and how to be certain a person who claims to be a sole trader is legit.
Friendly Disclaimer: Whilst I am an accountant, I’m not your accountant. The information in this article is legally correct but it is for guidance and information purposes only. Everyone’s situation is different and unique so you’ll need to use your own best judgement when applying the advice that I give to your situation. If you are unsure or have a question be sure to contact a qualified professional because mistakes can result in penalties.
How to Check if Someone Is Self-Employed
Some people call themselves self-employed but do business through a Limited Company rather than as a sole trader. There are a few reasons for this such as tax savings or protecting personal assets. It’s a good idea to check if someone is self-employed or registered as a Limited Company by asking them. How you check they are legit will differ depending on their tax and business status.
How to Check if Someone is a Sole Trader
Unfortunately, if someone says they are registered as self-employed or a sole trader, there is no official way to confirm this is true. There is no register of sole traders at companies house or made publically available by HMRC. Before you engage with a sole trader or pay them any money you could give yourself peach of mind by using a recommended supplier, checking their website or asking to speak with another customer/client.
How to Check a Limited Company
If the sole trader tells you they have a Limited Company you can ask for the full name of the Company and registration number. Failing that it is legally required to be included on their sales invoices. Once you have this information you can look on the Companies House website to find their business and other information like Directors, trading addresses and company accounts.
Once you have this information you can go over to the Companies House website and check their business is registered.