What is a UTR?

MoneyUTR stands for Unique Tax Reference. It is a 10 digit number that is issued by the HMRC and is used to identify you for all your tax matters. You receive your UTR when you register with HMRC if you have become self-employed or have started a limited company.

How do I apply for a UTR?

When you decide you want to work for yourself either as a sole trader or a Director of a limited company, one of the first things you need to do is inform HMRC. The information below will give you details on how to notify HMRC depending on your particular situation.

What happens when I apply for my UTR?

If this is your first time for registering for your UTR, you will be enrolled automatically onto HMRC’s online service at the same time if you do it online.  Once you have registered with HMRC, you will receive two letters – one with your UTR number and then shortly afterward another letter with your activation code. These letters should arrive within ten working days of registration.

You will need your activation code for the first time you log in to activate your online account.  It is advisable to register as soon as possible or by the 5th October of the business 2nd tax year.  More information on this can be found by following this link: https://www.gov.uk/log-in-file-self-assessment-tax-return/register-if-youre-self-employed.

UTR for a Self Employed person

If you plan to become self-employed as a sole trader or plan to do some freelance work, follow this link to register online with HMRC for your self-employment and national insurance.


You will need the following details to register with HMRC:

  • Your name and home address
  • Your national insurance number
  • Your contact phone and email address
  • Your business name and address
  • Details of your business
  • The day you started your business

UTR for a Limited Company

If you plan to start a limited company, you will need to register with Companies House and HMRC. This can be done online using the following link.  This link will take you to the Companies House website where you can register the company for £12.

If you follow the steps, it will then bring you to the HMRC website to register for corporation tax. This is when you will receive your company’s UTR. It is also known as your company’s corporation tax reference.


Please contact Southside Accountants Wimbledon for your tax and accountancy needs.

Written by Nisha Patel – Chartered Certified Accountant and a Tax Expert.

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