Tips for becoming self-employed

Are you thinking of becoming a self-employed Accountant or Bookkeeper?images (3)

First of all, lets look at the good points and the bad points of working from home.

Good Points

Working for yourself is not for everyone but if you believe that the pro’s out weigh the cons then give it a go!!  Work on your business idea and website before you leave your day job.  This may help you decide if it is something you can do full time.

Once you have decided that this is the right career path for yourself then the next steps are a must!!

  1. Decide on what services you will be offering – Remember that if you are MIP then you will only be able to offer the service in which your MIP licence has been granted.
  2. Decide on a name – Will you be A Bloggs Accounting Services.  Remember this will need to be clear in order for clients to remember and network your brand.
  3. Register with HMRC for Money Laundering – This only applies is you are not a MIP with the AAT.  Once you become a MIP, then the AAT becomes your money laundering regulator.
  4. Register with HMRC for Self Assessment –  You will be required to do this within 3 months of starting your own business and must annually submit your return before the 31st January each year if registered online.
  5. Register for the Data Protection Act – The current cost of this is £35 per year
  6. Purchase Professional Indemnity Insurance – This is not a legal requirement by more of an advisory.  It protects you against claims from your clients.  Average yearly costs of this is anywhere from £80 -£250.
  7. Public Liability Insurance – If you have a home office and clients come to your work place, this may seen not necessary but if they happen to trip for say, over a cable, then this insurance will cover you if they make a claim.
  8. Registering as an Agent – Some clients will want you to act on their behalf to speak to HMRC or submit their returns without them being around.  This facility allows you to act legally on their behalf with the HMRC.

It is worth noting at this point, that students are able to become self-employed bookkeepers or accountants with out completing their AAT.  They must not, however, say they are AAT qualified. There is a serious consequence if any student is found to be doing so.  As to what services you provide, well that all depends on what your experience is and how confident you are undertaking those tasks.  The reality is that sole traders do not need to be signed off by a qualified accountant.

Start-up Costs :- Whilst working from home doing clients accountants may seem fairly low cost, there are some factors to consider in respect to start-up costs.

  • A computer
  • Backup system
  • Bookkeeping Software (Have a look at our IT Support section for details on Accounting software)
  • Stationery
  • Postage Costs
  • Marketing costs
  • Website/Email
  • Additional Business Line

Once these steps have been completed then you need to find some clients.

Have a look at few suggestions on how to acquire some clients.

There are many resources available to help your transition to becoming your own boss.