Self-employment as a contractor can seem like an easy way to keep your costs down: low overheads, no wage bill, perhaps a home office to save on commuting costs. However, the reality is that even experienced contractors can get caught out by all sorts of unexpected expenses. Here’s our list of the top unanticipated spends that contractors and freelancers face – and some tips on how to prepare for them.
For any contractor who has previously been in traditional employment, you probably didn’t think that much about what would happen if you got injured at work. Or, if you did, you’d have found that your employer would have significant responsibilities towards you in the event of an accident in the workplace. As a bare minimum employees are guaranteed £92.05 per week Statutory Sick Pay, payable for up to 28 weeks, if they are too ill to work. Many employment contracts offer enhanced sickness benefits on top of this. And, of course, while at work, your employer is liable for your safety, so if they have been negligent you may be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation against them. Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit also exists to support those employees who become ill or are disabled because of an accident or disease at work.
It’s January, so the heating’s cranked up full blast and you’re having to work with the lights on. Most contractors and freelancers are aware that they can deduct expenses for running a home office from the profits of their business, but what exactly are allowable costs? This blog gives a quick rundown of the main things to consider and how to work out the numbers ahead of filling in your self-assessment return.
Exactly what you can claim depends on your business, your bills and how much and how often you work from home. We’d always recommend sitting down with a qualified accountant to help you crunch these numbers. But here’s an idea of some of the expenses that you might be incurring in the course of running a home office.
Kingsbridge had an interesting and very jolly new client call up this week, looking for cover for his present manufacturing and delivery business based in the Arctic Circle. The client works on a contract basis for approximately 75 million parents across the world. The majority of his deliveries are scheduled for December 25th, so this is an extremely busy time of the year for him. He asked us to quickly assess his insurance needs – here are our recommendations.
This client is world-renowned and his reputation is first class. However, with over 600 million presents to deliver, there is always a chance that an unforeseen error might mean a child receives the wrong present on Christmas morning. We advised that he protect himself with a sufficient level of professional indemnity insurance to cover damages arising from such an incident.
The kids are now well and truly back to school and most contractors and freelancers can breathe a collective sigh of relief at no longer having to remove Lego from their laptop every morning. But have you thought about going back to school yourself?
Not in the literal sense, of course – we’re not suggesting you head back to Mr Jones’s Year 11 maths class to refresh yourself on sine and cosine. Rather, have you thought about continuing your education and expanding your range of skills to improve your prospects as a contractor?
You may want to improve your knowledge of Excel, better your digital photography skills or even learn basic bookkeeping so you can manage your accounts more efficiently. You might even fancy starting that Masters or PhD to really make yourself an expert in your field. Whatever you want to do, there’s lots of choice out there.
If you haven’t, now is the ideal time to start thinking about it. One of the first things you need to consider (besides what you want to study) is what type of learning suits you best. Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of the two main options.
July 2018 is proving to be an epic month for sport. The British Grand Prix has sped past, Wimbledon has been served up, the Tour de France is kicking into gear, The Open will soon be teeing off and the Hockey Women’s World Cup is set to flick away. Oh, and there’s been some football on too but we’ve not heard much about that…
All this athleticism has got us thinking about notions of sportsmanship and what that means for contractors and freelancers in their professional lives.
When you only have to answer to yourself, it’s easy to slip into an unproductive rut. Some days, Homes Under the Hammer is just too tempting. Others, you just can’t settle until the room has been dusted.
At Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance, we’ve spent years chatting to contractors and freelancers and productivity is often an issue that comes up. We’d like to share some of the advice we’ve picked up during that time and share it with you so you can be the most productive you’ve ever been.
In our experience working with contractors and freelancers, many use the start of the new tax year to set goals for themselves and their business. These goals vary, from a desire to make a certain amount of money, to a wish to meet a certain number of new clients, to a commitment to networking, or even something as simple as updating their website.
This means that the end of the tax year is the perfect time to assess your goals and reflect on what you’ve achieved.
The team at Kingsbridge will bring a whole new meaning to phrase ‘dirty weekend’ when they take on the South West Half Tough Mudder on 18th August 2018. Our Partnership and Marketing team will be donning their running gear, head bands and that trademark ‘can do’ attitude as they take on 5 miles of filthy terrain and 13 obstacles that include mud-kissing, climbing Everest and even a Shawshank tunnelling experience.