When you first move to become a contractor, the idea that you might be sitting there with nothing to do and no income is, quite frankly, terrifying. Of course, once you’ve been self-employed for a while, you’ll have word-of-mouth and referrals behind you, which will see offers of work coming directly to you. This blog, however, will give you some tips and ideas on how to find work as a new contractor, besides the more traditional job boards.
There are lots of apps out there that are useful to contractors and freelancers, helping you keep your workload, business admin and even mental health in check. However, the sheer number of them can be a little overwhelming so we’ve rounded up some of our favourites.
With all the political machinations currently taking place, it’s easy to forget that the new tax year begins today. As of midnight on 6th April a number of new policies took effect, including several that’ll have an impact on contractors and independent professionals. Although the most recent Budget still looms rather large in the proverbial rear-view mirror, these changes relate to the Budget that took place in July last year.
First and foremost, the tax rules surrounding dividends are now changing. The first £5,000 of dividend income earned by shareholders will be completely free of tax, with any amounts over that initial marker being taxed at 7.5% (for any income falling within the basic rate band). Beyond that, higher rate and additional rate earnings will also be subject to higher tax levels of 32.5% and 38.1% respectively. Although this will likely affect the take-home pay of many contractors, it could be by as little as 2% to 4% (see this article on ContractorUK for a more detailed breakdown).
Contractors and the self-employed have been in the news more than usual over the last year. Whether it was the Autumn Statement, the Draft Finance Bill, or last month’s Self-Employment Review, it’s fair to say that the importance of contractors to the British economy is firmly on the agenda.
Figures released last year indicated that the number of individuals entering the contractor community has grown dramatically over the last 8 years. There are now close to 2 million independent professionals working in the UK – an increase of over 35% since 2008.
More and more people working in what one might term ‘traditional’ employment are moving into the freelance and contracting sectors. As Julie Deane’s recent Self-Employment Review made clear, the number of people currently self-employed in the UK has reached unprecedented levels, not only making a crucial economic impact but also ensuring that the sustained growth of recent years continues on an upward trajectory. It’s true, in many ways, that there’s never been a better time to make the switch and plough your own furrow – leave the office, leave your routines, perhaps even leave your comfort zone. Contractors are well and truly making their own mark on the economic landscape. Read on below to see just a few of the reasons why you should consider following the self-employment path.
The beginning of the year can be a stressful time for everyone, with new resolutions to keep to, the return to work after Christmas excess, and the cold days of winter. For contractors, there’s also the added burden of the self-assessment deadline looming large at the end of January (the 31st to be exact). We can’t ever promise to make doing your tax returns any more fun (although we find a glass or two of wine tends to help), but we can give you some tips to help the process go more smoothly for this year and the years beyond. We know your time is at a premium so we’ll get on with our guide without any further fuss:
Make sure you submit your tax return on time
It might sound like a given, but you’d be surprised at the number of horror stories we’ve heard about contractors leaving things too late and not making the deadline (which, to remind you again, is 11:59pm on 31st January). If your tax return arrives after this point you’ll pick up a £100 fine. So check those internet connections, make sure you know where all your paperwork is, and give yourself more time than you think you’ll need.
Last week we took our first look at two of the reasons why you should renew your contractor insurance policy. This week we’re back with another three. You might not be sure that you want to renew, or you might be unaware of the benefits that come with renewing your policy, or you might not be sure if you should continue insuring with Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance. Let us explain.
When the time comes to renew your policy, we understand that you’ll often have questions. Sometimes our customers aren’t sure why they should renew, and aren’t aware of the many benefits of doing so. Over the next few posts we’ll share some of the key reasons for renewing your contractor insurance policy.
A little while ago we wrote about Professional Indemnity insurance – what it is, why you need it, and what a claim against you might look like. Today we’re presenting the second installment of the series and discussing Public Liability Insurance.
What is it?
This one is simple to explain, and a necessary part of any insurance package. Public liability insurance will cover you and your business for any inconvenience you may cause a customer or client. If damage is caused or goods are lost while work is being carried out then you’ll be covered.
One of the most common questions we get asked at Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance is ‘Why do I need insurance?’ Let us explain.
No matter your industry, if you work as an independent contractor you’re providing your client with your services or your professional advice. If, during the course of your work, you make a mistake or an error that has an effect on your client or their business then they are well within their rights to make a claim against you. Because of this you’ll need to have the relevant insurances. Having the right insurance in place when a costly claim is made can be the difference between keeping you in business and having to shut your business down, something that could have a negative impact if you want to work as a contractor again in the future.