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General Chat Thread, Becoming Self employed in General; ...
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    Newton's Avatar
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    Becoming Self employed

    Hi, its looking like the writings on the wall for me, with the council (with the cuts in general, cut in pay and now reduced mileage, mean im going to loose £80 a month), A couple of schools I go to have asked if I would consider going freelance, the timing seams right and Im very tempted, but have no idea what Im doing.

    I cant work out what to charge the schools for
    I.e on site support at x per hour
    or 10 hours at x
    what about remote/telephone support??
    supplying equipment/and consumables?

    What do others do< any advice??

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    Work out how much money you need to live, how much you want to save, how much you need to spend on taxes and to cover the period you are not working (holidays etc.) Then multiply it by 4, then keep increasing it until someone says no. I would bill per hour of your time with a minimum callout fee.

    eg. You want £20 / hour net, charge £80. If that works for you charge the next customer £100 or £120.

    The truth is the more you charge the more they will think you are worth the money. If you charge £10 / hour they will waste your time. If you charge £250 you must be an expert. Have at look at the charging schemes for plumbers to see how this works.

    http://www.pimlicoplumbers.com/company-charges
    Last edited by somabc; 12th March 2011 at 02:24 PM.

  3. Thanks to somabc from:

    Newton (12th March 2011)

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    Consultancy is where the money is in IT at the mo, looking down the barrels of the consultancy shotgun as we speak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newton View Post
    any advice??
    Nothing from experience as yet, but from last time I looked at this, one option might be to use an umbrella company - a company that will, technically, be your employer and handle the admin (PAYE, etc) for you, for a percentage of your earnings. Some umbrella companies might even act as a job broker, helping you find work, but obviously that would be something you'd need to investigate before you sign up with anyone.

    For the full self-employed "consultant" route, get an accountant with expertise in IR35 tax legislation. This is a set of laws introduced to stop people avoiding tax by simply declaring themselves self-employed but still working for the same company they used to on a daily basis - if you're legitimatly self-employed it's just more admin to go through, and probably best handled by someone who deals with that sort of thing the whole time, so get yourself a good accountant.

    Note that "becoming" a consultant seems mainly to require having the cheek to call yourself "a consultant" and charge a heafty hourly fee (£100+). Also, when starting out, charging £100 an hour is not the same as actually being paid that money - some customers can be slow paying up. Don't let unpaid fees rise beyond what can be dealt with via small-claims court - having to hire lawyers to recover unpaid fees is just bound to be more palavar than it's worth.
    Last edited by dhicks; 12th March 2011 at 11:08 PM.

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Go and chat to your local Business Link - they are usually quite helpful (not for pricing - but on how to set up & stay legal.

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    hello, you might want to google for an umbrella company.

    They do all youer paperwork / tax / invoicing / contracts ect, you simply submit time sheets and expense claims, very handy :-)

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    Have to agree with Andydis, if you are contracting for the first time, an umbrella company is a wise move. The alternative is to go the Limited Company route but there is a lot more involved with little additional reward.

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    Newton's Avatar
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    Thank you to everyone whos replied, the umbrella company sounds interesting not something Ive herd of before.

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