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The grass is greener, they often say, on the other side. In terms of making a living for yourself, that ‘other side’ can seem like an alien dimension – although self-employment figures are skyrocketing thanks to cheap technology and a flexible work culture, actually readying for the Great Unknown can intimidate even the hardiest proto-entrepreneur.
So, ask the question: are you truly capable of doing this? And, if you’re not, what can you do to safely relish the satisfaction of being your own boss? Let Bright Ideas light the way, and consider the following points before you make the switch…
As children of the digital revolution, we’re always promised things will be made simpler, more convenient, or downright illuminating compared to what we have in the present moment. It’s probably good to take these claims with a pinch of salt, but when the internet wrecking ball comes to demolish an outdated system, it can be quite a thrill, particularly when it can enliven something as mundane as filing tax returns.
Bright Ideas is well-versed in saving money for contractors and freelancers new to the game, yet it’s a sad truth that even veteran business owners can get expense claims muddled when HMRC comes calling.
It’s true that the digital age is moving faster than anyone thought possible. No matter what work you do, you’ll have encountered a need for foresight and efficiency when running your business, which, more often than not, means staying ahead of the technological curve.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll have already seen our advice for getting your RTI submissions up to scratch. HMRC takes the accuracy of PAYE schemes very seriously; real time information (RTI) submissions are an important step in securing yourself against penalties and scrutiny from the taxman. However, this can be difficult for limited company owners who use traditional bookkeeping methods.
Our go-to accounts software, FreeAgent, is designed to keep you in the know, wherever you are, about your payroll information. If HMRC comes knocking at your door, so to speak, you’ll need an accurate picture of your finances – here’s how FreeAgent does just that:
Becoming a contractor doesn’t mean you’re a lone wolf in business. With the right insurance and legal protection, you can pursue your career with confidence, knowing that you’re protected against mishaps, disputes and even physical injury, and making your work legal in the eyes of the law.
However, it’s important to understand what protection you must gather as a contractor; failing to do so will open you up to all sorts of questions regarding the status of what you do, and leave you vulnerable to problems further down the line. With this in mind, let’s explore the insurance and legal protection available to you as a contractor:
Contracting is growing in popularity for professionals looking to become more autonomous. However, to succeed as a contractor, it’s vital to stay on the ball. Having a set workload over a period of months or weeks does wonders for your sense of security, but it can be worrying to immediately follow it up with new business, especially since clients tend to select contractors very quickly.
To help you source further contracts, so that you’re never out of work, here are a few pointers to bolster your job hunt:
Seeing a steady stream of income sprout from your hard work is a beautiful feeling. Freelancers and contractors may feel they can finally rest at ease once they’re able to sustain a living. However – the taxman will be very interested in what you’ve managed to earn, and you need to be proactive about managing your finances to keep him happy.
There are a few simple ways to avoid tax problems when the time comes to cough up. Let’s run through them, to help you prepare for those all-important HMRC deadlines: