I am currently living in Portugal and goin to move to the UK (Scotland) tomorrow. My boyfriend found a job there, so his company will be taking care of most of the needed paperwork, but I will have to work as a freelancer.

In order to set up as a sole trader it seems that I have to follow the instructions I found here https://www.gov.uk/set-up-sole-trader, but I find myself with some doubts. A lot of the information I find online is for people outside the EU and need Visas.

I will need a national insurance number right? Where should I go to request one as a new UK resident?

It seems that when applying for a Biometric Residence Permit, a national insurance number would be assigned to me, but as a EU citizen can I apply for a Biometric Residence Permit?

If I cannot obtain a Biometric Residence Permit, what type of UK identification can I get?

  • 1
    You can get your accountancy firm to do most of leg work, that's what I did. And you can TRY for a temporary NIN...
    – Gayot Fow
    Feb 14, 2017 at 2:21

1 Answer 1


Nobody cares where you currently live - the question is what your nationality is. Are you a UK citizen, or a EU citizen?

To get the NI number, assuming you are a EU citizen: Call the numbers given at https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number . You don't have and you don't need a "Biometric Residence Permit" if you have a EU passport. You have to be in the UK to apply, but you will get a number without any problems.

You might consider starting a Limited Liability Company which has some tax advantages compared to being a sole trader, especially if you make more than about £40,000 a year. Check that out at http://companieshouse.gov.uk .

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.