Department for Work and Pensions

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Self employed in the UK

Coming from a non-EEA country (other than Canada)

If you are self-employed in the UK, and not employed or self-employed in the non-EEA country, you will have to pay UK contributions, unless you have been told you do not have to because you do not earn enough.Form CF10 Self employed people with small earnings will tell you more about this. You will find this on the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk or you can get a copy from your Jobcentre Plus/social security office. If you are over pension age (currently 65 years for a man, 60 years for a woman born on or before 5 April 1950), you will not have to pay either (see State Pension for information on State Pension age).

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Coming from Canada

If you work as a self-employed person in the UK but remain ordinarily resident in Canada, you will be liable for contributions to the Canada Pension Plan. You will not have to pay UK contributions. To make sure that you are not asked to pay, apply to the Canadian authorities for a certificate showing that you must pay contributions to the Canada Pension Plan. You can use this certificate if you ever need to show that you are not liable to pay UK contributions.

If you are self-employed and ordinarily resident in the UK, you will have to pay UK Class 2 contributions and, if appropriate, Class 4 contributions. However, you will not have to pay UK Class 2 contributions if you do not earn enough. Form CF10 Self employed people with small earnings will tell you more about this. You will find this on the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk or you can get a copy from your Jobcentre Plus/social security office. If you are over pension age (currently 65 years for a man, 60 for a woman born on or before 5 April 1950), you will not have to pay either (see State Pension for information on State Pension age).

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Coming from another EEA country

If you are normally self-employed in another EEA country and you come to do self-employed work in the UK, as long as you do not expect to be working in the UK for more than 12 months, you will stay insured with the other EEA country. You will not have to pay UK contributions.

You must have form E101, to tell us that you are still insured under the other EEA country's scheme. You must apply for and obtain form E101 from the insurance authorities of the country you usually work in. If you do not have form E101, you will be asked to pay UK NI contributions.

It may happen that your work lasts longer than 12 months, although you did not expect it to. You can carry on being insured under the other EEA country's scheme for not more than another 12 months. But HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must agree to this extra time. Before the end of the first 12 months you should ask for form E102. You can get it from the insurance authorities of the country where your contributions are being paid.

Use form E102 to ask if you can carry on being insured in the other EEA country. Send the form to the HMRC Residency.

Your work may still not be finished when the second 12 months are over. Or you may not be allowed to stay insured under the scheme of the other EEA country after the end of the first 12 months. If so, you must start paying contributions to the UK scheme.

If you are not included in the rules in this section and you work in the UK, you will usually have to pay UK contributions as soon as you start work. To do so, you must have a UK NI number.

If you do not have a UK NI number, you must apply for one in person as soon as possible at a Jobcentre Plus office. You can obtain the address of your nearest office from the telephone directory. They can tell you more about paying contributions in the UK.