When entering the world of freelancing, it’s important to make sure you keep you and your business protected as best you can – especially as you get your business up and running. From insurance and savings, to getting a tax advisor or support from a business association, like an FSB legal protection scheme, there are different things to think about when it comes to staying protected as a freelancer. With this in mind, here are some tips that should help.
Protecting yourself with insurance
Insurance is essential in freelancing to protect you and the type of work you do. If you make and sell craft kits for children, for instance, you should probably have product liability insurance, in case a customer makes a claim against you that your products are not safe. If you provide a service for clients, like web design or copywriting, then you should think about covering yourself with professional indemnity insurance. This would help protect you if a client made a claim about your work, like copyright infringement. It’s also wise to look into insurance to protect you if your fall ill or suffer an injury, which results in you being unable to work for a long time. There are many types of business insurance available, so it’s worth doing your research to see which is right for you.
Having savings in the bank
Freelancing can be a great way to provide you with a nice, comfortable, steady income. But getting to this point can take time. It’s worth also pointing out that incoming work can come in peaks and troughs, with a lot of dry spells along the way. So it’s important to have a good amount of money saved that can help support you as you set up and get your business up and running. Around six months of savings is a good amount to go on to keep yourself protected, as you build up your contacts and aim to give yourself a good name in your industry. It’s also a good idea to speak to a bank about setting up a business bank account, which you can use specifically for your freelancing savings and income. This can help you keep on top of your finances, while keeping the money associated with your business separate from that of your personal spending.
Assessing your health and safety
Something many freelancers might not think of to stay protected is keeping themselves safe, especially when working from home. However, accidents do happen in the home, so it’s wise to think about the health and safety of the environment you work in. This includes carrying out a risk assessment by listing the potential hazards in your workspace and looking at ways to prevent them. For example, there might be a piece of loose carpet in your home office, which you could tape down to stop you from tripping over it. Or there could be a shelf above your desk that’s piled dangerously high with book and files, which you could move or rearrange to stop heavy items from falling off. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of your risk assessments and review them whenever you make changes to your workspace.
Getting advice and support
Another good way to protect yourself when freelancing is to have an advisor or accountant to help you with your finances. As a freelancer, you’ll need to take control of all paperwork related to your finances, including doing your own taxes. So it’s a good idea to have a qualified professional do them for you – especially if you don’t feel so confident about doing your taxes yourself. It’s also worth looking into finding a financial advisor or business support scheme, which can help give you good advice about protecting yourself, like how to handle your finances better. Perhaps you know a friend that works in finance, or is just good with figures, who can help too. When it comes to keeping yourself protected as a freelancer, it’s important to know that, just because you’re going it alone in running your business, doesn’t mean you need to do other things on your own too.