If you are earning money and haven't registered then see Step Seven: Registration.
A number of recent arts graduates may be surviving on a mixture of welfare benefits and part-time work, and stepping into official 'trading status' can be a big step.
Remember: it is perfectly legal to be an 'employee' of an organisation or company (e.g. having a part or full-time job working in a shop or restaurant) and be self-employed at the same time. However, it is wise to read your employment contracts that there are no restrictions on running a business outside contracted hours.
Many creative people who trade also rely on another source of income from employment. It is useful to have a part-time job during the first years of trading for increased financial support whilst establishing a practice or creative business.
From the moment you decide set up a business or become self-employed, it can be a good idea to allow some time before commencing; this is called the 'pre-start-up' period and could last between 8 and 12 months. This time can be used to undertake research and attend business courses. Registering as self-employed is relatively straight forward, though you need to fully understand the process, see Step Seven: Registration.