Running your yoga business

Becoming a Sole Trader

Sole trader is the name given to the person who owns the business and is entitled to keep all the profits of the business, (and also responsible for any losses). This will be appropriate for most people. You’ll need to get professional advice if you think you want to set up as a company, it’s a bit more complicated.

  • You’ll find most information about how to set up as a sole trader here.
  • You’ll need to register for Self Assessment, (SA), Tax Returns, (to report on your income, expenditure and profit). Do that here.
  • You’ll need to keep records of all income and expenditure: The information about that is here.
  • You’ll have to submit a tax return using the information from your record keeping, (usually just the final totals of income, expenditure and profit or loss). To do this online you’ll need a Government Gateway or GOV.UK password and your Unique Taxpayer Reference, (UTR), which you’ll receive as part of registering for SA Tax Returns.
  • This link will help you to work out when you need to do your first tax return if you are not sure.

Getting Insurance

We are accredited by Yoga Alliance Professionals which means that you can apply to become a member and then be insured with the Yoga Alliance Professionals. (unfortunately they won’t insure children’s yoga teachers without a 200 hour adult teaching qualification). The membership includes teaching insurance arranged through Balens. They offer trainee membership while you’re completing your 200 hour course and full teaching insurance after qualifying.

There are other insurance companies of course, and ones that will insure you as just a children’s yoga teacher. We recommend, for their reasonable rates, BGI and DSC Strand.

Disclosure Barring Service, (DBS), Certificate

If you’re working with children or vulnerable adults, you’ll need an Enhanced DBS certificate. This is to prove that you do not have a criminal conviction which would mean you should not work with these people, (not all criminal convictions mean this). You can’t apply directly yourself. An institution, (such as a school), applies to check if you are okay to teach for them. If you only ever intend to be independent, (eg. simply hiring a hall to teach, or freelance at a yoga studio), you’ll need to ask an umbrella body/agency to apply for you. You can search for umbrella bodies here. But it is probably quicker just to use one of these two recommended by lots of children’s yoga teachers because of their reasonable rates and efficiency: Lloyd Education and DBS Services. Alternatively, a school that you intend to teach at may be willing to apply for you, (you are likely to need to pay the fee which will probably be pretty much the same as the above mentioned agencies).

It is important to note that DBS certificates are not automatically portable between people that hire you. Officially, each individual institution is supposed to apply for separate DBS certificates, (even though some don’t understand this and will accept the certificate you have from somewhere else). However, it is now possible to make them portable by signing up to the DBS Update Service. This can be done here. Please note that you need to do this very soon after receiving your certificate, within a fortnight! You pay an annual fee for this service, but it’s worth it, (currently only £13 a year), because it means each institution can check quickly online that you don’t have any current convictions without having to apply for separate certificates.

First Aid

To train as a First Aider, (it is strongly recommended to do this, and essential with some insurers), you can use one of the main companies, like St John’s Ambulance or Red Cross. Or The British Wheel of Yoga runs local courses which are usually very reasonably priced and themed to be relevant for yoga teaching, and you’ll still receive the nationally recognised Emergency First Aid at Work qualification. Some local yoga studios may also offer courses, it’s always worth asking.


For those teachers working with children or vulnerable adults, safeguarding training is necessary. You can this online, although as with many courses it is better to find an in-person trading course. Your local safeguarding children’s board, (LSCB), may offer a free link to online training, or here is a link to the NSPCC web page