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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

Can Non-UK resident register as sole trader?

mja1906
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:36 am

Can Non-UK resident register as sole trader?

Postby mja1906 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:43 am

Hi, I am a British citizen but have lived abroad for 6+years. I have not declared myself as non-resident yet, but will do soon. I want to start an E-commerce business online and register with hmrc as a sole trader - will they let me do this as a non-resident? I have read conflicting opinions of this online. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

RMC
Posts: 432
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:35 pm

Re: Can Non-UK resident register as sole trader?

Postby RMC » Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:59 pm

You should register your business with the authorities of the country where you live.
Depending on the type of e-supplies you intend to make, if in the EU you may have to register for VAT in other countries, too.
Best to consult a local accountant.

mja1906
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:36 am

Re: Can Non-UK resident register as sole trader?

Postby mja1906 » Thu Nov 27, 2014 8:49 am

Thank you. But I live in Thailand, my e-commerce business will buy and sells products within UK only. The Thai authorities won't be interested in what I'm doing, so its the UK part I want to find out about.

LozaACCS
Posts: 1504
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:55 pm

Re: Can Non-UK resident register as sole trader?

Postby LozaACCS » Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:42 am

It appears that you are neither non resident nor temporarily non resident for IT purposes, although you should check your position within the Statutory Residence Test.
Assuming you are NR then you can register for self assessment, I am not sure whether you could register for self employment, the question I think is why would you want to and do you have to.
The basic position is that you are liable to UK IT on income arising within the UK, this leads onto whether you are conducting a trade in the UK, if so you would need to register or appoint an agent.
The basic position with an E business is
1 Do the profits derive from the UK
This will generally be the case only if you have a branch or agency in the UK
2 Where the contract is formed, this is generally where acceptance of the contractual terms are communicated, exactly where this happens can be complex.
I would suggest that you should first fully establish where your business is based for UK tax purposes,if this is not the UK I would advise you not to register in the UK since your income would not be taxable in the UK

mja1906
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:36 am

Re: Can Non-UK resident register as sole trader?

Postby mja1906 » Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:24 pm

I am buying goods from companies based in the UK and selling them in the UK (all done online). So yes, all profits are arising from the UK
And so I'm pretty sure it would be a UK based business

As I own property and receive rental income, and have been abroad for the most part of recent years, and looks now as though this will continue to be the case, I assume I have to declare myself as non-resident. I am already on self-assessment online, but wish to register as self-employed/ sole-trader

RMC
Posts: 432
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:35 pm

Re: Can Non-UK resident register as sole trader?

Postby RMC » Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:28 pm

You should continue filing a non-resident tax returns in respect of your property income.
Regarding the e-commerce, if you exceed the registration threshold you should register for VAT :
https://www.gov.uk/vat-what-to-do-if-yo ... -in-the-uk
Non-residents are liable to tax in the UK only if they trade through a branch or agency in the UK. You might wish to tell HMRC of your trading activities in the 'white space' of your tax returns.

RMC
Posts: 432
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:35 pm

Re: Can Non-UK resident register as sole trader?

Postby RMC » Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:00 pm

You can check your residence status at:
www.hmrc.gov.uk/international/residence.htm

sonic9002
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:13 pm

Re: Can Non-UK resident register as sole trader?

Postby sonic9002 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:29 pm

Hi - as a UK non-resident based in the Middle East, I want to set up an online accessory business. I want to sell in UK as this is the main market I would like to target but I also will sell globally online. A few questions:
1. Can I set up as a sole trader in the UK and still sell globally online?
2. Would it be more tax efficient to set up as a Limited liability company (my only income is from property in the UK)?
3. Do I need to take anything into consideration with regards to global sales / exporting of my products outside of the UK?
Thanks!


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