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Self employment

On Universal Credit, there is some marked differences when you are self employed as opposed to employed through regular employment. Some of them make it difficult as a UC claimant if you do not have a regular, steady income. 

We would advise anyone who is not already claiming UC and is self employed or planning to become self employed to get advice specific to your circumstances. 

If you are already claiming UC and plan to become self employed, it is important you understand the impact this could have on your claim. 

The information we have can help you understand: 

  • What counts as self employment earnings

  • The gainfully self employed test

  • Minimum Income Floor (MIF)

  • Change of circumstances regarding self employment

What counts as self employment?

Most people will know already if they should be treated as self-employed.

On UC you are considered self-employed if you are carrying on a trade, profession or vocation which
is not employed earnings. You are self-employed if you run your own business, whether this is sole-
trader, partnership or limited company.

You are also considered self-employed if you position like a sole trader or owner. For this reason,
most directors are considered self-employed by UC even if they do not file self-assessment tax
return and/or you are an employee of your company.


You may need to provide UC with more information on the set up of the company and your position to establish if you should be considered as self-employed.

You can be both self employed and employed for UC purposes (and it is an option under work and earnings).

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