Are you thinking of taking the bold step in to freelancing? Because of its many advantages, the number of people leaving full-time employment to hop on the contracting bandwagon is growing at a staggering rate in the UK.
Freelancers make up about 5-6% of the entire UK workforce, with a 12% increase recorded from 2008. Bringing the total number in July 2012 to 1.56 million according to Labour Force Survey data.
The term ‘freelancer’ is now being used as a title for a wide variety of different workers including contractors and business owners without any employees across a huge range of industries.
Economic problems have been cited as a major driving force for people opting to work for themselves over recent years, or being forced to do so due to redundancy and lack of employment opportunities.
Take a look at the advantages associated with being self-employed and see if you might be tempted by the prospect:
Money is the motivator for many things, and the financial benefits of contracting can be a main factor whatever industry you might specialise in. The average skilled contractor rate per hour can be double that of a full-time employee. You are a specialist in your field so you are being paid accordingly and are hired as and when a business requires your specific skills.
Overall, though certain skills may be in more demand than others, becoming a contractor through a limited company is the most tax efficient way to make your money. Simply by increasing the amount of money you take home and reducing the tax burden on your finances. For example, you can claim certain expenses and allowances through your business such as fuel and accommodation.
As a freelancer, you are in effect your own boss and therefore have the freedom to choose who you work with, the hours you work and how much you want to charge for your services. Many people find this a great advantage when it comes to personal responsibilities like children. And others benefit from the variation and excitement that flexibility in the workplace can offer.
Most contractors enjoy the luxury of being able to choose when and how long they take their holidays. But it’s useful to bear in mind that extended holidays might detriment your business structure. It’s worth assigning yourself an average amount of holiday time because maintaining constant contact with your clients is an important part of a freelancer’s job.
Development in your Career
If you have been feeling held back in your previous job, going solo can give you a great opportunity to take your career to a new and different level.
It’s a great way to gain valuable skills and insight within your chosen career. There is fantastic scope to expand your knowledge and build a knock-out CV and you’ll gain some excellent experience about different working environments and styles.
Making these choices will no doubt shape the very direction your work life will grow in forever. So even though the decision to become a freelancer is a tough one, it might just be the best decision you will ever make.
Bio: This post was provided by Nixon Williams contractor accountants, specialists in account based knowledge within a wide range of different sectors.
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