If you live in the UK and are in the building trade, there’s nothing stopping you setting up as self-employed and work for subcontractors. You will make a lot more money by approaching your trade in a self-employed manner and in this short article, we outline what you need to do if you want to freelance your building skills.
Register as self-employed
Whether you’re a bricklayer, plasterer, chippie or electrician, simply go to the UK government website and register yourself as self-employed. You will need to hire a bookkeeper to record all of your transactions and purchases and with online van subscriptions, you can acquire a new work van, which is an essential requirement. You should have all your own tools and you might qualify for some financial support from the government if you are lacking essential tools to carry out your work.
Online construction forums
When looking for work, you should register with some of the many builder forums, where contractors source tradespeople for up-and-coming contracts. If you have all the right documentation, you’ll be hired for sure; just remember to keep all receipts and record all payments made to you by the contractor.
Your reputation is everything
Of course, as a qualified tradesperson, you would have very high standards and the best marketing involves completing contracts without incident, always turning out top-notch work. If you earn a reputation as a tradesperson who is reliable and produces quality work, you will never be out of work, unless out of choice.
Of course, you do need to have your trade papers if you wish to advertise your services and most UK colleges offer online courses in all building trades, which might take 2-3 years, but is well worth it. The other thing you will need is some public liability insurance, which contractors usually ask for; this covers you if a person is injured, or if property is damaged.
The government pension is minimal, therefore, you need to start a private pension, which you can do if you search online. The online broker can ensure that your future is secure, by putting away a percentage of your earnings, plus you can take out health insurance that will pay you when you are too sick to work.
Don’t forget taxation
When you are directly employed, your employer deducts your tax and national insurance in advance, whereas, the self-employed must pay their own tax and national insurance contributions. Of course, you can claim many expenses when filling in your income tax returns and that means hiring a chartered accountant, which you should do at the very outset.