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How to Register as an Employer and Tips on Payroll

Registering as an employer

If you are yet to create a HMRC account, you can do this online – you can then complete the registration to become an employer online. You will need to do this if you’re planning to employ staff or if you are using subcontractors for construction work.

Please note that registration must be completed before the first payday and can take up to six weeks to be processed. You cannot register more than two months before you start paying people.


HMRC provide a free tool to perform payroll tasks called Basic PAYE Tools which you can download.

There are others out there too, which you may want to research.

As cloud accountants, we prefer the online bookkeeping services, as many of them have their own payroll function included, such as Xero.

After setting up your chosen system with the relevant details of your employees, the payroll systems will deduct any tax and National Insurance (and other deductions such as student loan repayments) and will tell you how much you need to pay your employees and HMRC.

Click here to see HMRC’s employer starter checklist to find out about the details you will need to provide about your employees.

Once this is all set up, you will then need to provide paper/ electronic payslips and pay your employees on the chosen payday.

You will have to pay HMRC every month, to find out more click here.


You will be providing real time information to HMRC as an employer – this RTI return contains the payroll details for each payroll period, showing the amount paid, who has been paid and any deductions.

This submission can be directly sent to HMRC from your payroll system using your accounts office reference and your PAYE reference, which is provided when you register for PAYE.

Late RTI filings can result in late filing penalty fees.

Disclaimer – this information is correct at the time of publication and is provided as general information not to be relied upon without a discussion with a suitably qualified professional

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