It can be hard to make the decision to leave work and set up your own business.  It is a big risk, you are leaving your stable job with a fixed salary each month, a pension plan, private healthcare, to then go to a job where you do not know if you will get paid every month. Do not worry, setting up your own business is a good idea and here are 5 ways you can start.

1. Register Yourself as Self Employed

Visit HMRC and fill out the necessary paper work.  You will need to register as self employed. You will then be asked to complete the form and include your name and address, national insurance number what type of work you do, the date you started work. You will also need to put down the address of your client.

2. National Insurance

If you are self employed you will pay what the UK Government calls Class 2 National Insurance contributions.  It is not much at all, about £2.65 a week. If you are earning less than £5,595 per year then you may not have to pay any National Insurance.  However, if your business is doing well, you will have to pay Class 4 National Insurance contributions which is based on your profits for that year.  You will pay 9% on annually profits between £7,605 and £42,475 and then 2% on profits above that.

3. Tax

If you have a turn over of less than £75,000 per year, you will not have to be registered for VAT. You will therefore need to complete a tax return form.  If you do not want to complete one yourself, you can speak to an accountant and they will do one for you for £300 plus VAT. Just remember to put aside a certain amount for tax each month to pay the UK Government at the end of the year.

4. Finding an Office

There are many places to rent an office. However it is more economical to rent a desk, or hot desking as it has become known is very popular. The business services offer different rates, dependent on the package.  You can choose to rent a desk every day for the full month or for a few days per month.  Some business centres include the use of a meeting room in your  fee which can be handy if you want to invite clients round.  You will also get a business address, chose telephone numbers.

5. Business Cards

If you do not have a big budget, you need to at least design and order business cards.  Business card printing does not have to be expensive. Many companies offer competitive rates, some are £75 for 500 business cards.  You may think you do not need that many to begin with but you will be surprised by how fast you use them at networking events and trade shows.

When setting up your business, you may come across problems that you have not foreseen. There are many companies in the UK such as Business Link that can give you free advice. Once you have made the decision to set up your own business,  keep your cool and be confident. Problems will always get worked out in the end.  Just make sure you have a little bit of money set aside for contingencies.