Are you thinking of setting up on your own? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to go freelance and take your skills to your own cherry-picked clients. Or maybe you’ve had a business idea bubbling away and now you want to test the waters and see if it’ll work.
You would be in good company if you do swap to self-employment. Across a variety of industries, from editorial and finance to IT and marketing, more and more women are opting to take charge and be their own boss.
Before you join them and abandon the 9 to 5, there is some admin to do to get yourself all set up as a self-employed woman in business. Here is a checklist to make sure you’re covering every detail.
Unless you are going to be a freelance accountant, tax can be a complicated part of the self-employment process. However, registering with HMRC as self-employed before you start earning anything is important. Every self-employed person must complete a self-assessment tax return. This accounts for the tax from your earnings and you need to file this annually or you could be fined.
You may need to pay National Insurance contributions, too. Get in touch with HMRC as soon as you’ve made the decision to go self-employed to find out what you need to pay and when by.
Keep everything. If you are going freelance or contracting, you’ll need to make sure you can track invoices and payments, plus you’ll need your own ledger to keep up with who owes you and when they’ve paid up.
Should you be setting up your own business, you might need to go a step further and invest in bookkeeping software. This will keep track of every ingoing and outgoing expense and can automatically generate invoices and payment reminders.
Most businesses need a reliable parcel delivery system, especially if you’re launching an ecommerce site or you’re sending products out to clients. Select a courier that delivers the best service for you and, as with a lot of things when you’re setting up your own company, this could involve some trial and error.
If you need to send in bulk, a company like National Pallets could make the shipping process smoother, while if you are sending the odd item, you may need a company that allows sporadic deliveries.
And There’s More…
Don’t forget to name your company. You don’t necessarily have to come up with a trading name if you’re a contractor, but if you’re setting up your own business you might need to think carefully before going for a ‘Limited’ option as you will need to register to do this.
Also, make sure you’re insured. Business insurance could be essential to protect you and anyone you hire in the future. The insurance you take out depends on your business, so research before committing.
There is a lot to think about before you go it alone. Are you ready to be a lady boss?