Home Rules Business Tax CIS Contractor Obligations › How to Register
HMRC Register as Contractor for CIS

Taking on, and paying, subcontractors means you must register for HMRC CIS scheme. Check where to get help with registering for CIS and information on verifying subcontractors.

How to Register for CIS HMRC (contractor)

Contractors who use subcontractors for construction work need to register as an employer. It is the same process used for employing staff.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will send you a letter when you finish setting up as a new employer. The letter explains how to start working as a Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) contractor.

Note: Businesses based outside UK (doing work covered by Construction Industry Scheme) should follow a different registration process.

Help and Advice on Registering for CIS

HM Revenue and Customs operate a new employer helpline or you can contact the CIS helpline number. In fact, HMRC also produce helpful webinars and videos about CIS (see below).

HMRC Support for New Employers
Telephone: 0300 200 3211
Telephone: 0300 200 3212
Fax: 03000 523 030
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm (Saturday: 8am to 4pm)
Closed Sundays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Note: Get online access to help and support for the Construction Industry Scheme. The guide covers paying tax, record keeping, and claiming business expenses.

Verifying CIS Subcontractor

As a CIS contractor, you would need to ‘verify’ your subcontractors with HM Revenue and Customs before you can pay them. HMRC will then inform you:

  • Whether the subcontractor is already registered for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).
  • The rate of deduction to use or whether you can pay them in full (without making deductions based on their tax status).

Note: You may also need to verify subcontractors that you used on a previous occasion. It would be necessary if you did not include them on a CIS monthly return within the current (or last two) tax years.

How to Verify a CIS Subcontractor

There are several ways to verify subcontractors in the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). You can use (either):

Contractor Information Required:

  • HMRC employer reference
  • Reference number for your HMRC accounts office
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (you can find a lost UTR number)

Subcontractor Information Required:

  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • National Insurance number (for a sole trader)
  • Company name, company UTR, and registration number (for a limited company)
  • Nominated partner details, trading name, and partnership UTR (for a business partnership)

Note: You would not be able to verify a subcontractor’s temporary National Insurance number (e.g. starting with ‘TN’ or 2 digits).


Who is Covered by CIS | Check who CIS covers and what work qualifies as exceptions for contractors.

Deductions and Paying Subcontractors | Explaining payments made from contractors to subcontractors.

Register as a Contractor for the Construction Industry Scheme in United Kingdom