So you’ve decided to take the plunge and go freelance. You’re loving the fact that you can call the shots on your own life, but not enjoying the uncertainty of where your next pay check is coming from. Is there a middle way? We explore your options.
A “Secure” Full Time Job
No job is truly secure. Being in the employment of someone else might have the illusion of security, but in actual fact, it’s not really any more secure than a freelance job. Being a freelancer might mean that you have to work harder to make sure that you have work, but that’s how every business functions.
Before you go freelance, you have to work hard at your full time job and your freelance work to make sure that you have a head start when you finally fly free in the realms of self employment.
There are a few skills that you may need to master before you go freelance, such as being able to sell and market yourself and your work, and managing your money and tax. It is this that many freelancers forget about it – the work does not simply land in your lap, and the paperwork that you have to do afterwards can be almost mind boggling in some cases. Of course, you can outsource these jobs to people who really know what they are doing, leaving you with the bit you love – the work itself!
An Umbrella Company
However, if you’d rather do the work that you want than have to be your own accountant, an umbrella company can help.
An umbrella company will essentially act as your employer when it comes to tax and salary. Essentially, they will take your timesheet, issue an invoice to the client or employer; they will then give you your money minus any tax or NI, which is paid on your behalf to the relevant places.
They will usually also charge a fee. You should scrutinise the umbrella company that you’re looking at carefully before you go with them, as the fees may vary and change. Make sure you know all the details, as well as fully understanding how much they will charge you. Get a good one and they’ll offer relief from the bureaucracy and red tape of running your own business as a freelancer.