Freelancers are a particularly vulnerable group of people as we don’t have job security or employment rights. We are often prevented from getting sick pay, holiday pay or any protection at all when something goes wrong.
A worker on their own booking themselves to clients is more susceptible to being taken advantage of than one who is part of a larger team in an office. Here I’m going to run through some ideas that can help you protect yourself and your business as a freelancer.
Always have a contract
There are a lot of things that you should consider doing to increase your chances of not getting burned by potential employers. One of the most underrated but most important things to consider is creating a contract.
Nowadays, as a freelancer, if you break the rules, quit your job, or take extra jobs for pay, you could get into serious trouble. Before you get started, you’ll want to have a contract ready that spells out all the conditions under which your freelance activities can be tolerated.
As a freelancer, there are many things that you do not control. There are things that companies can do to harm your reputation and even damage your income. So it is important to be aware of the risks faced by freelancers.
Also, ensure you get professional indemnity insurance so you can protect yourself when things go wrong. Freelancing is a lot of fun, and it provides you with numerous business opportunities, but one mistake can ruin your reputation and leave you penniless.
Use a freelancing platform
Of the many aspects involved in freelancing, one of the most important is the use of a freelancing platform that offers protection for both yourself and your client.
The key to be successful in this business is finding quality clients with trustable reputation and mutual benefits. Freelancing platforms serve as intermediaries between clients and freelancers.
They collect funds and ensure that payments are made to the professionals (freelancers) according to terms agreed upon in a contract, thereby protecting them from scams.
Consider forming a business entity
Forming a business entity creates a wall between you and your liability. You are viewed by the law as a separate corporate entity instead of an individual. So if someone is suing you, they cannot go after your personal assets.
Furthermore, you can write off many business expenses that would not be considered tax deductions if you were to be taxed as an individual.
Document every submitted work
Failing to protect yourself as a freelancer could cost you thousands of pounds in lost income. This is why it’s important to protect yourself and make sure that all your submitted projects are well documented, both electronically and by hand, if possible, regularly.
This way, if any issues arise with the payment details for your submitted work, they can be rectified in a timely fashion and won’t be held against you.
Freedom of choice, flexibility and the ability to arrange your schedule around your own obligations all these qualities can make freelancing a dream come true.
However, with this comes the risk that your work, income and livelihood can be taken away from you without a moment’s notice. Therefore, it becomes paramount to protect yourself as much as you can.