A guide to going self-employed

Going self-employed can be both an exciting and lucrative move, with some of the benefits including setting your own work schedule and being able to scale your business. You can create what the perfect job looks like to you.
However, it’s also a challenge that comes with responsibilities – you will be in charge of your own destiny and that takes courage, determination and a particular mindset. You’ll have to take on multiple roles to ensure you are adhering with self-employment regulations and you may find this overwhelming at times.

It is your responsibility to ensure you research your options to make sure you are making the right decision for you.

We have put together a handy guide of things you will need to consider before going self-employed.

It’s on you.
Until you scale your business, (if that is the intention) then everything is on you and you will be working alone. From customer service to finances, there will be a lot to keep on top of.
Joining local networking groups for business owners is a good way to connect with likeminded individuals and gain that support you may feel is lacking. It’s also a great way to market yourself.

It may not be flexible in the short term.
Being self-employed is a great way to create a better work life balance as you can pick and choose what you do. However, with the loss of a regular pay day, it may be that you need to take on as much work as possible at first to establish the business in order to give you a flexible future. You may also find yourself tackling admin and customer service in between your working hours.

There are financial responsibilities.
Registering as self-employed means you will have an obligation to complete a self assessment tax return each year. This is to declare your income and pay the correct amount of tax owed. When you are self-employed, you are able to claim for certain expenditures which will alter your tax bill, so always get some advice from an accountant about how that works. Remember, an accountant is your business partner and will want to help you pay less tax.

You’ll have to keep accurate and up to date records of receipts and invoices too. Your accountant can advise you on what the best software to use for this is – HMRC will be implementing Making Tax Digital soon which means you will have to use approved software such as Xero to complete your assessments.

As your tax doesn’t get paid as you earn, you must also remember to put money aside so you are prepared for the tax bill!

Depending on your earnings threshold, you may also need to consider being VAT registered.

You’ll need to broaden your skills.
When you are self-employed you will have to undertake admin, market yourself, pitch for work and more.
Linked in offer some brilliant training videos across lots of different topics, including communication skills, which can be helpful for business owners.

You will have different rights.
Being self-employed means you wont have the same rights as employees. That includes no sick or holiday pay, and losing employer pension contributions.

Don’t forget insurance!
You’ll need to get business insurance for added protection. Whether someone injures themselves at your workplace, or you flood a customers property – you need to get covered.

Use professionals.
Setting up solo can be daunting and there is a lot to remember. By hiring a professional accountant or bookkeeper, you can relax in the knowledge that all of your finances are being looked after, and you can concentrate on growing your business.

Does this article resonate? Are you thinking of going self employed? Did you find this blog helpful? We would love to hear from you.

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