General informationYour career path

Working for yourself

Have you ever dreamt about being your own boss?

Research shows that the flexibility and independence of working for yourself brings more job satisfaction when compared to those employed by others. Its not all about sleeping in late and long lunches though. The same research shows that you are likely to work harder as you try to ensure you make enough money to keep you afloat! You won’t have the safety net of paid holidays, pensions or sickness pay that employees typically have and there won’t be anyone else cracking the whip.

So if you have the drive and energy to take that next step, you’ll find there are many ways you can work for yourself…

You can:

Set up as a sole trader (freelance). It  is the simplest way to start up,  as you have no employees and the greatest flexibility. You can still pay freelancers/contractors at busy times to do jobs for you or to do the things you haven’t got skills for.

You can work within a partnership in which, typically,  two people share business risk, costs and profits between them.

You can form a Limited Company. It has more obligations in terms of tax and reporting but it offers greater protection. This should prevent you from losing personal assets outside the company. Accountants and solicitors offer specialist advice on the pros and cons.

Start up a Social Enterprise. These have been predicted to become popular in the coming years to compensate for reduced funding in the public sector. They have a social mission, aiming to benefit a section of society or society as a whole. They typically reinvest their profits into the enterprise although there is a lot of flexibility in how this works. Social Enterprise Uk has more information on how to start up.

The HMRC has a leaflet that explains your responsibilities regarding taxation, VAT, record keeping and employing others.