As I’ve blogged about before, my ultimate career goal is to work for myself. It hasn’t happened yet, and probably won’t for a while, though I do quite a lot of freelance work now so am on my way!
But there are also some quite important things you may not have thought about…
1. Set yourself up with a dedicated workspace
Having a dedicated workspace is important as it helps you to concentrate on your work without distractions of household chores or daytime TV.
However, another important aspect is that if you have an area of your home that is just used for work, you’ll be able to claim back a portion of your household bills as business running costs – for example gas, electricity, telephone and broadband.
It may also be worth looking at a mains gas supplier who looks after businesses to see if they can do you a better deal than your usual home gas supplier.
Gov.uk has lots of handy advice for small business owners on their website if you are setting yourself up as self-employed.
2. Take out insurance
Depending on the type of business you’re running, you may need to take out business insurance.
If you have stock you may want to take out extra insurance to ensure it is covered or check if it can be covered under your current home insurance.
If your business involves giving professional advice to clients you may want to consider taking out Professional Indemnity Insurance. This will cover you for any claims made against you by dissatisfied clients.
If you’re going to have clients visiting you at home, then you may need Public Liability Insurance. This covers you if someone harms themselves on your premises – e.g. tripping over your doorstep.
Whichever type of insurance you need it’s always a good idea to do your research and compare business insurance to make sure you get the right policy at the best price.
3. Keep all financial records
When you run your own business you need to make sure that you’re on top of your accounts. Keep hold of all paperwork, invoices and receipts – this will help you if you have to submit a VAT return or self-assessment.
It’s a good idea to scan in receipts so that you have an easily accessible digital copy of everything.
4. Pay your tax
When you’re self-employed it’s up to you to pay income tax and national insurance contributions on your earnings. If you’re thinking of becoming self-employed you will need to register with HMRC first. They’ll let you know when you need to file your first self-assessment tax return.
You may be confident doing this yourself, or you may want an accountant to file the returns for you to ensure you don’t make any mistakes.
5. Register for VAT
Your business only needs to be VAT registered when you have an annual turnover of £83,000 or more, so if you are just doing some freelance work here and there it’s probably not something you need to worry about. However, if you are doing business on a larger scale then you’ll need to contact HMRC.
If you want to be your own boss and have been thinking about working for yourself, I hope these pointers have helped.
If you’re currently running your own business, do you have any other tips to share? Feel free to leave your tips in the comments section below!
*This blog post contains a sponsored link, but all ideas and views are my own.