- This is a contributed post
Working for yourself as a freelancer or owning your own business offers a degree of freedom that most people don’t have. But it also means that you are responsible for many things that most people don’t usually need to worry about. Uncertainty is always a factor when running your own business. If anything happens, you have nothing to fall back on.
Because of this, you need to be aware of how you can protect yourself, your business, and ultimately your future. You aren’t immune to the dangers of external events or unforeseen circumstances like a global pandemic. You also need to comply with local and international tax laws and shield yourself if you get sick or, in a worst-case scenario, are even taken to court.
Protect Yourself and Your Goods
As with life, business is unpredictable and as a business owner you need protection from all kinds of events. Acts of God, cyber-attacks and theft are all real dangers that face many business owners. Therefore, as a freelancer, you need to be aware that anything can befall you at any time. Investing in quality security systems, computer protection, and insurance are all necessary.
Should you craft items at your home, then they could be stolen. Modern CCTV and locking systems are relatively inexpensive and intelligent systems can be linked to your smartphone. Cars, vans, and trucks that you use for deliveries should also be adequately insured by companies like One Sure. In addition, client data is sensitive and can be stolen by hackers, so investing in anti-malware and a managed IT service adds a formidable layer of computer security.
Learn All About Taxes
No matter where you are located, you are subject to taxation. Therefore you must learn everything you can about local and international taxes that affect you personally and your business. Not paying taxes correctly or reporting false income can have severe consequences such as heavy fines and imprisonment – especially in the United States and the United Kingdom.
It’s also possible that you could end up being double-taxed if you aren’t careful. The ins and outs of this can be complex, but in a nutshell, you can be taxed twice if you are resident in two countries. So you should consider consulting a qualified accountant if you think you might be subject to double taxation.
Think About Your Future
As a self-employed freelancer or business owner, you don’t get to enjoy many of the same benefits that employees do. This includes holiday pay, sick pay and pension funds. You can pay into private pension accounts to help with some future planning but this might not be enough. Making intelligent investments will diversify your income and help in the long term.
For the short term, though, you cannot access holiday pay for time off as a self-employed business owner or a subcontractor with regular work. So you should aim to squirrel away some money that will cover your time off, such as a whole week’s steady income that can be used for your self-appointed vacation days. Promptly informing clients about the dates you won’t be available will also help avoid misunderstandings.
These are just three things to consider when starting a home business or becoming a freelancer.