Turning your hobby into a business – First up Registering with HMRC

So you have taken the decision that you would like to turn your hobby into a business!


Let the hard work commence!

Registering with HMRC

First job to do is to register with HMRC – this is compulsory, weather you are selling an item once in a blue moon or selling at craft faryes or online. If you are making any money from your craft you need to register.


How to Register

To sign up you can follow this link and follow the questionnaire

Alternatively call them on this number 0300 200 3504 – Have a pen and paper on you.

Things to know about your business for registering

Type of business – in the UK there are 3 main types – sole trader (what most craft businesses are!), limited companies and business partnerships (read this for more information about the different types of business )

Most craft Businesses will be registered as a Sole Trader – this means you  will need to complete a self assessment tax return every year, pay income tax on profits and pay national insurance

:) Don’t Panic – It sounds more complicated than it is! :)

Name your business –

A name for your business is important as it begins your branding, and is one of the first things your customer may see and can make a big impression – you need to think about your target customers and clients – if you want high end customers and want to sell high price items your name needs to speak of this – an easy answer is to use your own name – I use Melissa Choroszewska Ceramics, my name (Now I am married I still use this name as people have begun to recognise it – though no one can say or pronounce it! lol)

Your business name will often be your website domain name andso it is worth checking if your domain is available.

A great site to use is 123reg – this site will tell you whether your name is available and how much it will cost you – if you are in the UK you will want a co.uk . There is a new .uk domain name which maybe worth getting. The button below will take you to the 123reg site.

domain names

There are some names that you can not have as a sole trader, these include using the terms limited, ltd, public limited company, PLC, limited liability partnership or LLP. There are also certain words and terms that can not be used with out permission- see this page for info, and you can not choose a name which is to similar to a registered trademark – for example a few years ago the term Shabby Chic was trademarked – people had to change there business names, items were removed from etsy and ebay and allsorts. So beware the terms you use!

Well I think that has covered quite enough for today – there is lots more to do such as book keeping, insurance, national insurance and more which will be covered in more sessions to come! :)
Remember you can sign up for email updates on this blog by adding your email address to the bar on the right at the top of the screen – you can also like my page on facebook 


I make porcelain home decor, accessories, jewellery and buttons in Gunnislake, Cornwall. My work is inspired by the countryside surrounding my home in the Southwest.

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Posted in Business Start UP, general business advice

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