Why the new year is the perfect time to pursue your freelance career

New Year Freelancing

New year, new you – isn’t that what most people say? Whether it’s starting a new healthy eating regime, taking up an exercise class or looking for the next big job opportunity, the new year is the perfect time. You’re revived after your Christmas break and ready to tackle anything.

We don’t suggest leaving your job immediately. If you think it’s something you want to do, research into the idea properly. How feasible is it? What steps can you take in the first month of 2018 to get you where you want to be.

Making it your ‘New Year’s resolution’ will help you figure out if working for yourself as a freelancer is the right fit for you.

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How to enjoy time off at Christmas as a contractor or freelancer

Time Off at Christmas

The freelance sector is booming. As of January this year, according to the Professional Contractors Group, in the UK alone there are over 1 million freelancers. This number has grown over the last 10 years by 14% – and there are no signs of it slowing down.

So, although freelancing offers the modern worker all kinds of flexibility, there are many downsides, too. One of the main downsides is taking worry-free time off – particularly around the festive season.

If this sounds like a predicament you’re currently facing, take a look at some of our tips below. Hopefully, you’ll manage to take at least a few days off over Christmas this year.

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Contractor Insurance Checklist: Does your policy include Employers’ Liability cover?

Employers' Liability Cover

At Kingsbridge, all of our contractor insurance policies include Employers’ Liability insurance cover as standard, but this is not the case across the contractor insurance industry. Many insurers miss it off completely or make it an optional extra, causing many contractors to assume they don’t need it.

And we can see why you may think that. After all, you may well fit into the exemption category (you employ only yourself and own at least 50% of your share capital) as do many contractors. But this is not always the case and just because you are exempt now it doesn’t mean you will be a few months or years down the line.

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Contractor Insurance Checklist: Are you really covered?

Contractor Insurance Checklist

The Contractor Insurance Checklist is our new blog series that will act as your guide to everything contractor insurance. Not only will it go into what the different aspects of contractor insurance are but, more importantly, they will explain why you need them and what could happen to you if you don’t have them.

Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll be running articles on various factors of contractor insurance so you can go through the parts you need to in an easily digestible format — after all, we know most contractors are too busy to be rummaging through huge, long guides.

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What is IR35?

What is IR35?

IR35 is something that often comes up in discussions about contractor accounts and taxation. But what exactly is it and what does it mean for you? This article aims to give a straightforward definition of what IR35 is and what it’s designed to achieve.

A simple definition of IR35

IR35 is a part of the 2000 Finance Act that’s designed to prevent tax avoidance in certain circumstances. Specifically, it relates to people who perform the same functions as a business’s employees, but pay less tax by operating as self-employed contractors through a limited company.

So, if you left your job and then went back to the same company the following week and performed the exact same role but as a self-employed contractor via an intermediary limited company, IR35 legislates that you would pay more-or-less the same tax and NICs as regular employees of the business.

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Public liability and professional indemnity insurance: what’s the difference?

PI vs. PL

At Kingsbridge, we regularly get asked what the difference is between public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. A lot of people think they’re the same thing and wonder why both are included in our combined contractor insurance policy. The fact is, they’re different things and, as a contractor, you will more than likely need both. We’ve written this article to clearly lay out what the differences are.

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Budget 2016 Analysis: ‘A Budget That Backs Small Business’

Budget 2016

George Osborne’s latest Budget as Chancellor passed today as expected, with no real surprises. There was good news for the self-employed, but the spectre of a clampdown on the use of Personal Service Companies (PSCs) by public sector employees still looms like a heavy cloud.

As we’ve mentioned on these pages before, Osborne’s tightening of the vice on the so-called ‘Paxman tax’ comes predominantly as a result of public outcry at perceived tax evasion by celebrities and sports stars. However, such measures will also impact those contractors working in the public sector, meaning that from April 2017 they will now face investigation from their clients and agencies to confirm whether they are ‘true contractors’ or simply a ‘disguised employee’. If the client or agency believes that the contractor in question is a disguised employee, it will be required to deduct tax at source from all payments made.

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The Self-Assessment Deadline – Tips For Contractors

Self-Assessment Deadline

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.

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Why Do Contractors Need Insurance?

Oil and Gas Contractor

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.

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