Thinking about becoming self employed but not sure where to start?
Leaving the NHS or an independent organisation to become a self employed nurse can be daunting. However, becoming a self employed nurse can let you specialise in areas you enjoy and to make the most of your particular talents.
Keep reading for vital information you’ll need to know if you’re thinking of becoming self employed.
Choosing to become self employed
The Royal College of Nursing suggests that you will need the following experience, skills and professional qualifications to become a self employed nurse:
• Continuing education relevant to your specialist area of practice
• 3-5 years nursing experience
• Knowledge of legal, insurance and tax matters
• Competence in time management, negotiation, marketing, public relations and accounting skills
It is also important that you nothing that could compromise your ongoing professional qualification. Luckily today there are many online college classes and courses that can be taken to go towards your continuing education. The RCN suggests that you keep the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Code of Conduct in your mind at all times and that the work you do is within your level of competence.
What type of business do you want to establish?
One of your first decisions will be to work out exactly what type of business you want to set up. To do this, there are lots of factors that you should consider, including:
• Is there a market for these services?
• Who will your customers be?
• Are you providing services that are necessary in your local area?
• Who is your competition?
You will also have to decide on the type of business that you set up. Many self employed nurses start as a ‘sole trader’ where your main obligation is to send an annual Self Assessment tax return to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Don’t forget the finances
While you may be excited about setting up your own business and spending your time doing a job that you enjoy, being self employed also involves much more than just your day to day profession. You have to consider marketing your business as well as dealing with all the financial obligations that you will have.
Firstly, you will have to submit your own Self Assessment tax return every year. This means that you will have to keep invoices for work that you have done as well as receipts for expenses that you have incurred as part of your work. You also have to register as self employed and start paying National Insurance contributions.
Many people choose to employ an accountant to help them with their tax affairs and there will be lots of qualified accountants in your area with experience of looking after newly self employed people.
You will also have to consider opening a business bank account to handle the income and expenses from your self employment.
Finally, you may have to consider insurance for your business. This can range from insurance for expensive equipment that you may use as part of your work to ‘public liability insurance’ to protect yourself against claims for damage to property or people arising from the operation of your business.