Self-employment has become increasingly popular. It may have increased due to the ability to start a business from home and platforms such as eBay, Facebook and Instagram making it easier to sell to a wider audience.

Self-employment can present a number of advantages, including being able to work towards something you have a passion for, flexible working and providing an extra source of income. Equally, you may be required to work long hours and have to work in isolation, which may not be for everyone. Being self-employed will require the individual to have a number of skills and qualities, for example being able to negotiate, multi-tasking and working well under pressure. It is worth conducting research, talking to existing business owners and reading articles to identify if self-employment is for you. So, what are the other benefits?

Being your own boss

This will allow you to make decisions which can benefit the business for example, deciding who you want to work with i.e. staff or other businesses, operating in your preferred location and setting your work schedule to increase the time spent doing things you enjoy. However, if you want to trade as a sole trader, you must register with HM Revenue and Customs. 

You are also required to complete a self-assessment on an annual basis. This is a breakdown of your income and expenditure for the tax year. The current tax year is 6 April 2017 and ends on the 5th April 2018. A self-assessment will need to completed and submitted to HMRC by 31 October 2018 on paper or 31 January 2019, if done online. This will allow HMRC to calculate how much tax you may have to pay.

Choose your working hours

This can provide you with the freedom and flexibility to choose the hours you want to work, for example you may work better in the morning, night or in intervals. Equally, you will be able to work around any commitments you may have such as childcare or family. You are able to set your own deadlines, choose projects to work on and have control over your day.

Job satisfaction

Working in an area of interest and turning it into a business can provide a great sense of job satisfaction and increased income. It is often said that if you do something you enjoy, it will never seem like work. Most importantly, you will be working towards something you have a passion for and providing a service or product which could solve a problem or improve someone’s life.

Earning potential

Running a business or working for yourself should provide you with the extra incentive to work harder, as the harder you work the more money you can potentially earn. If you are a freelancer, you will need to find the perfect balance and not over-charging your clients or under-pricing yourself. If you are unsure how much to charge conduct research and speak to companies to understand how much they are willing to pay for your services.