We often get asked, “How can I work as a freelancer in the UK? Working as a freelancer is akin to owning your own business and fortunately, The United Kingdom government encourages and even supports self-employment. The record shows that by May 2020, there were 4.75 million self-employed people (14.4% of all people in employment). In the United Kingdom, a freelancer can fall into one or more of the following categories:
- A sole trader
- The director of a limited company
- An umbrella company worker
- A part-time employee
- A contractor
- A consultant
- Any number of sector-specific titles.
According to Gov.gov.uk, If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a sole trader. This means you’re self-employed – even if you haven’t yet told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
It continues that, “You’re probably self-employed if you:
- run your business for yourself and take responsibility for its success or failure
- have several customers at the same time
- can decide how, where and when you do your work
- can hire other people at your own expense to help you or to do the work for you
- provide the main items of equipment to do your work
- are responsible for finishing any unsatisfactory work in your own time
- charge an agreed fixed price for your work
- sell goods or services to make a profit.”
Starting a business in the United Kingdom can be complex and even more complicated if you are from outside of the European Union, working as a freelancer can exciting, but it also entails determination and hard work. Although freelancing is a popular style of working, the term does not exist for tax purposes. Instead, you are classified as a sole trader, a partner in a business, or by trading through a limited company. As a freelancer or self-employed professional, you pay income tax after deducting allowable business expenses. You’ll need to file a self-assessment tax return online by 31 October of the following year. HMRC will then send you a bill.
Working as a freelancer could be self-fulfilling, but the idea of the relaxing life of a freelancer is a myth. Not only do they have to do the job they’re trained in, but they also have to learn how to do all the other essentials – and find the time to do them all, of course. If you’re taking the plunge and going freelance, there are a few important steps you can, and in some cases should take to make the transition smooth and official.
- You must decide how you are going to work, that is, either as a person or company.
- You have to decide on a name for your business and probably build a website for your business.
- Register with HMRC as self-employed.
- Decide whether to work remotely or locally.
- Make sure you are ready with the right material or equipment for your service.
- Make sure your finances are in order.
- Take out service insurance.
- Start offering your service on platforms like Uktat.com.