If you are an individual – not a one-person company, not a partnership, not an HMRC-registered sole trader, not self-employed, not VAT-registered – and you want to register in Britain with Amazon as a seller, whether "individual" or "professional", what tax information do you need to supply to Amazon? Will it be OK just to give them your National Insurance number?

The particular case is of someone who plans to print up 500 issues of a book and then try to sell them, either filling orders himself or using "fulfilment by Amazon". (Perhaps there are different answers for these two cases.)

Please assume there is no intent to evade tax (he will declare all income to the HMRC), to deceive anyone in any way, or to obscure his identity from Amazon (he will prove it with a passport or whatever is required).

The question boils down to whether an individual can act in this fashion, both under Amazon's rules and procedures and without breaching any British tax law or rules, in order to create an income for himself as an individual (not as any kind of state-registered business), or would this be impossible because of Amazon's rules, the state's position (statutory or policy), or both?

Thanks in advance for help with this.

1 Answer 1


This isn't a 100% certain answer as I've never tried doing this, but:

And registering as a sole trader is essentially just registering for self-assessment which you might have to do for other reasons anyway, and you won't get any official number as a result of it. You would get a VAT registration number if you register for that.

So unless Amazon want to exclude sole traders who aren't registered for VAT from being sellers, it seems unlikely you'll need to give them any information other than your NI number.

not self-employed

I think as soon as you are making money from this you count as self-employed, regardless of how much of your time you are spending on it or what other income you have. But it doesn't really mean anything in itself, as above you can be self-employed without having to explicitly tell anyone.

  • Many thanks for your help. I think there is still some more that I need to know, though. According to this thread on Amazon's sellers' forum, as soon as a seller lists an item as "new", Amazon tells them they should change their registration away from being an "individual seller". (Not that I know what this entails.) Are you sure that when a person registers for self-assessment the HMRC doesn't always send them a UTR number? (I am very new to all of this.)
    – ool
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 13:24
  • I think the NI number is the way you identify yourself publicly, the UTR is just between you and HMRC. Not 100% sure though. Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 13:57

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