Self-Employment - Starting a Limited Company
When I was told by a recruiter that I would need my own limited company to join as a contractor at their company I immediately wrote the opportunity off.
"I have to start my own company? I think not."
But then I started looking into it and, surprisingly, it started to look like a very viable option.
Starting your own company sounds a lot more impactful than it really is.
Essentially, anyone can start a limited company. All you need is an internet connection and 3 hours.
Many companies hiring contractors now require you to have your own limited company to run your services through and it's becoming more and more common for contractors (and others) to take this option for it's tax benefits. It also sounds pretty official being the director of a legitimate company.
- The Fun Stuff: Come up with a catchy, easy to remember company name that indicates what you do. Make sure you also know... well, what you plan to do. Be specific because in the next step you will need to register the company and in doing so, inform Companies House what your company's business is. Start thinking about what skills you want to apply to your business, where you think it fits in the market and what you want to get out of it.
- Registering Your Company: I used QuickFormations but there are plenty of options out there. With the basic option it cost me £10 and basic was all I needed.
- Liability Insurance: Many of your clients may require you to have liability insurance on your company and you may opt to have insurance for any sickness coverage or product insurance if you are selling goods. I used Qdos insurance for liability insurance only and it serves me well at around £30 a month.
- Accounting: This was the scariest thing for me about starting my own company. I'm terrible with numbers. Accounting makes no sense to me. But I don't want to be spending hundreds on an accountant. At first I thought I could do it alone but the more I looked into it the more I realised it wasn't worth the risk nor the time it would take for me to figure it all out so I eventually settled on Crunch an online tool and accountant consultancy service.
- Website & Social Media: My first move after registering my company was to register the web domain in your URL bar right now. I didn't want to chance someone grabbing it after the fact. This domain costs around £20 a year which is pocket change when I think about it now. The next move was snapping up and potential social media handles and starting to plan my online presence (blog included). I use Squarespace for the wesbite and find it incredibly easy to manipulate for my needs.
- Marketing Materials: I love Moo for business cards and flyers. They have all kinds of tools and options that make designing your materials easy. You don't need to be a creative genius to have great looking promotional material (although you might want help for your logo).
Of course, there's a lot that goes into a company but there's a lot that comes out too. The excitement of building a company and product you 100% believe in and leading yourself down a road that puts you where you want to be with almost complete control is a fantastic temptation. And with the gig economy only growing I'm sure there will be more and more of us taking the jump into the Directorship of our own entrepreneurial ships.