Running a Business

Can you freelance and be employed at the same time?

Clever Accounts

The short answer is yes. For some, juggling between full-time employment and freelancing is a sensible employment structure while they're taking their first steps as self-employed. It can provide a sensible financial base and sense of security until you manage to build your client portfolio and cash flow.
In this article, we'll look at some of the personal and business aspects to consider.

Full-Time Employment

As an employee, you will be part of the organization's payroll list and receive a monthly salary along with any statutory employment benefits like an employee pension and paid sick leave.

Umbrella Company

If you are a freelancer who's been offered an Inside IR35 contract, being employed under an Umbrella Company might be a suitable solution for you. The same basic employment rights should be available to you and Umbrella Company will act as your employer, providing your pay and statutory employment benefits, whilst enabling you to switch from contract to contract.

Juggling employment & freelancing

One aspect you will have to take into account when being employed and freelancing at the same time is time management and ensuring that you don’t violate any contractual agreements with your clients or employer.
Depending on the level of income you're generating, you may also need to employ an accountant to help you manage your taxes and stay compliant.

One clear advantage of the above structure is the potential increase in income along with some career growth opportunities. That said, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

First steps to help you prepare for going freelance

  • Build a LinkedIn profile to showcase your skills and experience.
  • Do extensive research about the common rates in your field of industry, whether it's within the UK or internationally.
  • Start networking and build relationships with other freelancers in your industry.
  • Look around you. Many freelancers will get their first job referral via friends, acquaintances or previous colleagues.
  • You can also look for freelance job opportunities on freelance platforms and job boards.
  • Think about your business structure. Initially, and while your income is relatively low, operating as a sole trader might be a more sensible option for you but as your sources of revenue grow, you may need to consider incorporating your business as a limited company and take advantage of the tax advantages normally available to incorporated limited companies.

In conclusion

Building a freelance career takes time and effort, it’s rarely the easy option. Though it has the potential to offer great financial and lifestyle benefits, we always recommend advising with our team of accounting specialists before making any long-term decisions which could affect your finances.

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