It’s quite overwhelming when starting a new company; recruitment problems, marketing matters, and administrative tasks are just a number of issues you’ll have to endure. So, don’t be surprised if you find yourself frantically asking, “What is my company UTR number?”

If so, we’re here to help! We’ll define what a company UTR number is, and outline how your company can receive its very own company UTR number.

Defining a Company UTR Number

UTR stands for “Unique Taxpayer Reference”.  A company UTR number comprises 10 digits (e.g. 0123456789) and is issued by HMRCto anyone in the UK who completes a tax self-assessment:

  • Self-employed individual
  • Sole trader
  • Owner of a limited company

Note: If you work in the construction industry you’ll need to apply for a company UTR number as well as your Construction Industry Scheme registration(CIS registration).

Why Is a Company UTR Number Important?

A company UTR number is used to identify companies for all tax-related issues. Remember, you’ll need your company UTR number when it comes to submitting your tax return to HMRC, so it’s worth keeping it in sight during that dreaded returns day!

You will need to provide your company UTR number for the following purposes:

  • Changing your corporation tax accounting period
  • Contacting HMRC for company related issues
  • Filing tax and VAT Returns
  • Informing HMRC about changes to your registered details or company structure
  • Informing HMRC if your business is dormant
  • Paying corporation tax and VAT
  • Paying your employees
  • Registering for corporation tax, VAT, and PAYE

How Do I Receive My Company UTR Number?

As mentioned above, you’ll be issued with a company UTR number (which can also be referred to as a “tax reference number”) during a tax self-assessment registration or when forming a limited company.

However, if you’re yet to receive your company UTR number, you can contact HMRC either online or by phone.

It’s advisable that you apply for your company UTR number by heading over to the HMRC website and completing the relevant application form to submit a tax self-assessment. If you don’t want to do it online, you can complete a hardcopy and post it to HMRC. You’ll then receive your company UTR number along with an activation code. It usually takes approximately 10 days when delivered to UK addresses or 21 days if you’re based abroad.

What Information Does HMRC Require?

You’ll have to register your company as “active” with HMRC for the aforementioned tax legalities within three months of activating any form of business activity or receiving business related income. You’ll need to provide the following information to HMRC:

  • Company name and company registration number (CRN).
  • Trading start date (this will determine the start date of your initial corporation tax accounting period).
  • Main address where your business activities are active (this doesn’t have to be your registered office address).
  • Outline your company’s principal activities (your SIC code will be needed here).
  • The date on which your company accounts will be noted. This is known as the “accounting reference date (ARD)”, and will most likely be on the anniversary of the last day of the month of your business’ formation.
  • Any information of whether you’ve taken over an existing company/or part of a group.
  • Comprehensive details of all company directors (names, addresses, National Insurance number).
  • If applicable, any information regarding the appointment of an agent (accountant/tax advisor) who handles your company’s tax related issues.

How Do I Retrieve My Company UTR Number?

There are a few easy ways to retrieve your company UTR number should it be lost or forgotten.

The majority of HMRC correspondence will display your company UTR number; be sure to refer to any tax returns letters you receive or documents such as a P60 or P45. Your company UTR number may also be printed on your payslip.

If you’re still unable to access previous tax documents (or you simply want to check your company UTR number) you can call the self-assessment helplineor simply visit the HMRC website and follow the relevant links.

What If I’m an Overseas Tax Payer?

If you’re an overseas tax payer, you may be required to make an international payment to HMRC (which may be costly because of high international banking fees). Remember, traditional banks may charge an administration fee to process the international payment, so it’s best to refer to your individual bank policies.


It’s not at all difficult to complete your self-assessment form, and subsequently receive your company UTR number. However, you need to make sure you don’t confuse the different numbers associated with your company:

  • Company Registration Number:issued when registering your company and is ued to identify your company. It usually contains eight digits (e.g. 12345678) or two letters followed by six numbers.
  • VAT number:issued by HMRC for companies registered for Value Added Tax. This number contains nine digits, with the “GB” prefix (e.g. GB123456789)
  • Employer reference number: issued by HMRC when employers register to implement PAYE (Pay As You Earn) for their employees. The first part of the reference consists of three digits, identifying the tax office that deals with the appropriate PAYE. The second part follows a forward slash, and identifies the tax office’s employer reference (e.g. 123/AB456).

When forming a company using the services of a reputable formations company, many of the oft-demanding administrative tasks are completed swiftly. This includes assistance with gaining and retrieving important documents and numbers, including your company UTR number.

Are you a business owner who is looking to retrieve or gain a Unique Taxpayer Reference Number (UTR)? Contact our dedicated company formations team now for expert assistance.