At some point, most people have thought about what life would look like if they were self-employed. We dream up images of working whatever hours we like, spending more time with the family and keeping all of the profit for ourselves but really, is it that simple? This post is designed to highlight some of the things we usually don’t think about when we consider becoming self-employed.
Before getting into the points below, it should be made clear that this list is just a little of what should be thought about if you’re considering becoming self-employed in the UK. Before making such a huge step you should make sure to research using the official government website. Now let’s get into it!
It may surprise you to find out that the UK government tries their best to support self-employed workers, primarily through the introduction of subsidies and benefits. There are a lot of different benefits you can apply for from HM Revenue and Customs but there are a few which should be at the forefront of your mind if you’re becoming self-employed.
Most of the government’s self-employment subsidies are focused around supporting those who are working for themselves but not earning enough to live. The primary examples of this are Universal Credit and Job Seeker’s Allowance, which both support those who are struggling to make enough money – you do have to meet the requirements to receive this monetary support though.
These self-employment benefits are most useful if you’re just getting your business off the ground and need something small to keep you going, so don’t plan your transition with these in mind, especially as you might be rejected upon your application.
Tax is generally quite a complicated field filled with little details that people tend to forget. Fortunately, if you’re employed by another business, most of your tax is dealt with by your employer or automatically through other systems but on the other hand, if you’re self-employed then all the tax paperwork falls on your shoulders.
It would take many thousands of words to work through every possible tax situation you could go through under UK law, which is exactly why the government created their own self-employment tax guide to walk you through the process and what you will need to do.
If at any point you’re unsure of what you should be doing, the best idea is to get a professional to work with you (though we all know that lawyer or accountant fees can be really expensive). If this isn’t an option for you, then research is always the best option and anyway, if you make a mistake HMRC will usually let you know.
Do You Need Office Space?
Finally, when looking into becoming self-employed, you must think about what you will actually need to run your business. The first two questions should always be: “Do I have the equipment I need?” and then “Do I have the space I need?” If the answer is no to either of these questions, then you will need to investigate them before transitioning to self-employment.
Whilst your equipment needs will vary from business to business, office space is a standard that most self-employed individuals need at some point. You can’t be expected to buy an office outright though, so how do most small businesses afford their offices? They rent. Rentable offices vary greatly in both location, design and price. Multi-office buildings like this office space in Leeds are commonplace but you can often find self-contained offices too, it all depends on your needs and desires. Set a budget and do your research and you should easily be able to find an office that works for you.
If you keep these three points in mind before becoming self-employed, you will be much more prepared for the transition but as mentioned earlier, don’t make the final step until you’re 100% ready!
Take your time and it’ll all work out. Hope this helped!
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