Registering for data protection

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) are the UK’s data protection regulators and manage all our data protection activities. Businesses processing personal information or using surveillance cameras are likely to need to register and pay an annual fee.

The ICO help protect information and uphold data privacy rights for people living in the UK. They enforce the Data Protection Act (DPA) and the UK’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It’s their goal to ensure that all businesses in the UK, including limited companies, freelancers and sole traders, adhere to the legislation and protect sensitive personal data they may hold.

The ICO describe themselves as “The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.”

The deadline for registration or notifying the ICO of an exemption is 27th March

Do I need to register my company with the ICO?

Organisations that process personal data or that use CCTV for security purposes will need to register and pay an annual fee to the ICO.

The simplest way to find out if you need to register is to use the ICO’s ‘Registration self-assessment‘ tool. It takes less than a minute to complete.

I don’t need to register, what now?

You’ll need your company name and Companies House company registration number that you can find online here. With these in hand, you can then complete an online form to let the ICO know that you don’t need to register.

Don’t forget, if your circumstances change such that you are handling personal data, you’ll need to register with the ICO and comply with the appropriate legislation.

How do I register with the ICO?

You register with the ICO for data protection by completing their online form and paying the annual fee (currently £40 for small businesses).

To find out more about what businesses need to do stay compliant with data protection legislation, the ICO have resources for small businesses that can be found in their hub.

If you need to register and pay the data protection fee, and do not, by law the ICO can issue a fine up to £4,000.