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Being Self-Employed | Information

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Self Employment

Many of the largest courier and logistics networks across the UK now regularly utilise self employed contractors (often referred to as owner drivers) to assist them in providing their service on a daily basis.

If you have only previously held an employed position within a company the prospect of moving to self employed may seem a little daunting. You will be solely responsible for managing your own time and workloads, as well as calculating and paying your own tax and national insurance payments (a process known as self assessment) but it needn’t be.

Becoming self employed can have many advantages; you become the owner of your own small business, you may only be operating as a sole trader to begin with but there are no limits to how far you may be able to take your business. This guide is designed to assist you by answering some frequently asked questions and providing some steps you may wish to take before you begin providing services to One Motion along with some useful links containing further information.

If you are moving from an employed position and have never previously registered as self employed, HMRC require you to register as self employed. You may wish to operate as a sole trader or a limited company. This decision is entirely up to you, registering as a limited company can be more complicated to set up and there are some costs involved. More information on registering as a limted company and its impact on your business can be found here: startupdonut.co.uk/set-up-a-business/setting-up-a-limited-company

If you choose to register as a sole trader this is a very simple process that can be done at no cost online at: gov.uk/log-in-file-self-assessment-tax-return/register-if-youre-self-employed
You will be given a unique taxpayer reference (UTR) and also be automatically enrolled for self assessment.

You do not have to register as self employed immediately or before you begin working for yourself, but HMRC require you to register before the 5th of October in your business’s second tax year (each tax year runs from 5th April-5th April). So for example, if your first day working for yourself was the 12th May 2017, you would need to ensure you register as self employed before 5th October 2018.

Once you begin trading it is important that you keep an accurate record of your business accounts (money earned & money spent). If you are operating as a sole trader you may wish to do this yourself or employ the services of a bookkeeper or accountant to assist you. If you are trading as a limited company you will need the assistance of an accountant.

Regardless of how your business trades you will be required to complete a tax return each year and pay HMRC any tax due, this is called self assessment and further information on this can be found in the self assessment section of this website.

You may need to or choose to register your business to pay value added tax (VAT). Further information on this and how it may effect your business can be found in the VAT section of this website.

As a self employed person you have a duty of care to ensure that your working environment meets health and safety requirements. Further information about these requirements is available from the local health and safety executive or environmental health department.
If you wish to employ additional personnel to provide a service either alongside you or in your absence you will be responsible for paying their wages, tax and national insurance contributions where relevant. You will also have to meet the government’s requirements for employment law, health and safety regulations and employers liability insurance.
Further information on all aspects of self employment can be found at the following links:

Citizens Advice | Self Employment

Gov.uk | Working for Yourself