How do I register for the Construction Industry Scheme as a contractor?

(2 minutes to read)

If you are a contractor in the construction industry, then you may find that you need to register for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

Designed to deter fraud and tax evasion within the construction sector, the CIS is a tax deduction scheme affecting both contractors and subcontractors working in the industry.

To read more about CIS, visit our Construction Industry Scheme page.

Do I need to register for CIS?

If your business deals with construction work for buildings in any way, including site preparation, decorating and refurbishment, you may find that you need to register for CIS.

You could be considered either a mainstream contractor, which means you’re a construction firm that pays subcontractors for construction work (you might be a builder, labour agency or property developer for example); or a ‘deemed’ contractor.

A ‘deemed’ contractor is if your company doesn’t do construction work, but you have spent more than £3m on construction in the 12 months since you made your first payment.

You would be exempt from the scheme and therefore wouldn’t need to register if your work is paid by a charity or trust, a governing body or head teacher of a maintained school (on behalf of the local education authority), or on the subcontractor’s own property and it’s worth less than £1,000 (excluding materials).

Another reason why you might be exempt from registering for CIS is if you carry out certain construction work, such as carpet fitting, delivering materials and architecture and surveying.

How do I register for CIS?

If you do fit the criteria for registering for CIS as a contractor then you’ll need to register yourself as an employer with HMRC.

You’ll need to complete this process before the first payday, but you can’t register more than two months before you start paying subcontractors – it’s worth noting that it can take up to 15 working days to get your employer PAYE reference number.

Once you have registered, you’ll have certain responsibilities as a contractor, such as filing monthly returns and ensuring you make the correct tax deductions for each subcontractor.

For more information on this, read our What are my responsibilities as a contractor? page.

We hope you found this page useful. If you have any further questions on CIS or anything else, our team of experts are available to answer any queries, so give us a call on 01442 795 100 or email

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Why Dolan Accountancy?

With over 25 years experience in contractor accountancy helping thousands of contractors, freelancers and the self employed, Dolan Accountancy has the specialist skills, reputation and credibility you can trust. Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT per month. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost. We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours.
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With IR35 Legislation changes we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella.
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams.
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – The founder behind the multi award winning FreeAgent platform was one of Simon’s first clients, therefore it only seems fitting that we offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge.
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year.
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status.
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative.
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795100 or email or