How to Register as a Self-Employed CIS Sub Contractor


There is a two step process to Register as a Self-Employed CIS Subcontractor:

  1. Register as Self-Employed
  2. Register with HMRC as a Subcontractor

It is a fairly simple process that you can do yourself online, in most cases.

But you must get yourself registered as soon as possible to avoid payment issues and penalties from HMRC.

How to Register as a Self-Employed CIS Sub Contractor

1. Register as Self-Employed

The simplest way to register as Self-Employed is to visit the HMRC website and register online

The process can take 10 days to complete upon which HMRC will post you a UTR number (Unique Tax Payers Reference).

Keep this safe as you will need this code to file your Self Assessment Tax Return and register as a sub contractor.

Once successfully registered as self employed you will be required to submit a self assessment tax return form by 31 January each year detailing your earnings.

2. Register with HMRC as a Sub Contractor

To register for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) you’ll need your:

You can apply to register with HMRC as a subcontractor by logging into your HMRC online account or by

If you are already registered as self-employed for another reason then you can just register with HMRC as a subcontractor.

Again you’ll need your UTR number to get through the registration process.  If you have lost this then here is how you find a lost UTR number.

CIS Registration Phone Number

You can call the HMRC CIS registration phone line on 0300 200 3210.

Useful Reading – Are You Exempt from CIS?

How Long Does it Take to Register for as a CIS Subcontractor

If you are already registered as self employed then registering as a sub contractor may only take a few days.

If you need to register as self employed then you will need to allow more time – registering as self employed can take up to 10 days and only once this is complete can you start registering as a sub contractor.

What Happens if You Fail to Register as a CIS Subcontractor

There are several consequences if you fail to register for CIS, these could include:

  • Automatic deduction of 30% from your pay;
  • An automatic penalty by HMRC for failing to register as self employed;
  • Further automatic penalties for failing to submit a self assessment tax return form;
  • Penalties and tax estimates made by HMRC that you will need to pay unless you submit a self assessment tax return.

So if you are undertaking construction work, don’t delay and make sure you get yourself registered.

Learn More: How Does the Construction Industry Scheme Work

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