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…
Set yourself up with a Dedicated work space
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 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 on their website if you are setting yourself up as self-employed.
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 cover it 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 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.
Keep All Financial Records
When you run your own business you need to make sure that you’re on top of your accounts. Keep all paperwork, invoices and receipts – this will help you if you have to submit a VAT return or self-assessment.
If it becomes too time-consuming you may want to consider hiring an accountant.
Pay your tax
When you’re self-employed it’s up to you to pay income tax and national insurance contributions on your earnings. You will need to register with HMRC first, and they’ll let you know when you need to file your self-assessment tax return.
You may be confident in doing this yourself, or you may want an accountant to file the returns for you.
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’ve been thinking about working for yourself, I hope these pointers have helped. Good luck!
*This blog post contains a sponsored link, but all ideas and views are my own.