Home Rules Business Tax CIS Subcontractor › How to Register
Register as Subcontractor for CIS

A guide explaining how to register for CIS as a subcontractor with information on registering as a sole trader. CIS subcontractors can also register as another type of business or when based abroad.

Subcontractors can choose not to have deductions made from their pay at the higher deduction rate. But, they should still register with HMRC.

CIS Registration should take place when you (or your company) are going to start work in the construction industry.

To register for the CIS scheme as a subcontractor, you will need:

  • Your legal business name (or trading name if different)
  • Your NINO (or apply for National Insurance number)
  • Your VAT registration number (if registered for VAT)
  • The unique taxpayer reference number (UTR) for your business

Note: Subcontractors who are also contractors must register for CIS as both types. Check what you must do as a Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) contractor.

Registering for CIS as a Sole Trader

As a sole trader with a unique taxpayer reference number (UTR), you will be able to register for CIS online. Log in using your Government Gateway ID. You can also apply for gross payment status online at the same time.

You can still register for CIS as a subcontractor even if you do not have a UTR. You would need to register for and file your Self Assessment tax return as a new business. Select the option for ‘working as a subcontractor’ when it prompts you.

Note: You can also contact the CIS helpline to get help with a subcontractor registration. Use the ‘Construction Industry Scheme: General enquiries phone number‘.

Register as a different Business Structure

You can register your company as another type of business by filling in the online form as per limited companies. Business partnerships should use a different online form to register your partnership as a subcontractor.

HM Revenue and Customs would register a partnership ‘separately’ to a sole trader registration. Thus, you would need to provide them with the UTR for the partnership and its trading name.

If You are Based Outside United Kingdom

Subcontractors based outside the UK, who carry out building and construction work in the United Kingdom, must still register for CIS. Read further guidance on the Construction Industry Scheme for businesses based outside of the United Kingdom.

Where to Get Help and Support

You can choose to sign up for webinars and emails or you can watch online videos presented by HM Revenue and Customs on the CIS scheme. Access the online guide for help on paying tax and record keeping. You can also call to get help registering for CIS from their helpline.

Construction Industry Scheme Helpline
Telephone: 0300 200 3210
Textphone: 0300 200 3219
Outside UK: +44 161 930 8706
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 8am to 4pm


CIS Subcontractor Obligations | A section explaining key regulations CIS subcontractors must follow.

Getting Paid | Key rules for subcontractors to follow to ensure they get paid correctly by a contractor.

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