How To Be Self Employed

Setting up as a self employed business is a difficult decision. There are so many aspects to consider including finding customers, insuring your business and looking after your admin and tax affairs.
So, that’s why we’ve put together this great guide. Keep reading for three great tips on how to be self employed.

Registering as self employed

When you set up your own business, one of the first things that you must do is to formally register as self-employed.

It’s a legal requirement that you tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that you’re going self-employed. You can do this by calling HMRC’s Newly Self-employed Helpline, online through HMRCs secure service or by post by completing HMRC’s form CWF1: ‘Becoming self-employed and being registered for National Insurance contributions and/or tax’.

If you don’t register straight away you may face a penalty.

When you register as self employed HMRC will then automatically register you for Self Assessment, meaning that you will have to submit your own tax return every year. You will also have to arrange to pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions (unless you expect your self employed income to be very low in which case there is an exception).


A big part of your time will be spent promoting your business and attracting new clients and customers. To do this, you should have a marketing strategy in place.
There are lots of ways you can market your business, including:
• Via word of mouth – referrals from friends, family and existing clients are a great way to get business without spending a fortune on advertising
• Website – A good quality website is crucial in the modern age. You may sell your goods or services through the site or use it to tell potential clients about the benefits of your business
• Social media – Promoting your business through websites such as Twitter or Facebook can be a good way to gain customers
• Advertising – You may choose to advertise your business in a local magazine or newspaper

Looking after your finances

One of the most important issues when you consider ‘how to be self employed’ is how to look after your finances.

As a business owner you will be responsible for ensuring you pay taxes which may include income tax, VAT and corporation tax, depending on the size of your business. As we saw above, you also have to pay your own National Insurance contributions.

Many small business owners hire a local accountant to look after their financial affairs for them. This ensures that all income is declared and that any taxes due are paid in full. To do this, you normally need to be organised and to keep receipts, invoices and other documents which show your businesses’ income and outgoings.

You may also have to open a business bank account, insure your new business and set up a payroll system if you plan to employ staff.

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