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Corrosive Shame
Therapy for Life
Considering the future
I'm considering the idea of going self-employed - and contracting out. I'm reasonably sure I can find work to keep me above the breadline (if not actually rich) - but I need to read around the subject.

Can anyone make any suggestions as to books, websites etc?

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

12 lies or Lie to me
nortysarah From: nortysarah Date: July 16th, 2003 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I used to be and got quite a lot of useful info about paying yourself and tax etc from the tax office. They were really helpful actually.
deeteeuk From: deeteeuk Date: July 16th, 2003 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
As stated above, the tax people are now really helpful about setting yourself up in business. If you do want any help with VAT, I used to work in the registration department of the VAT office, and I'd be happy to assist with the forms and anything you may be able to claim back.
From: ikkleblacktruck Date: July 16th, 2003 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I would greatly recommend against it, it is nothing but stress and hassle and the rewards are no longer worth it.
kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: July 16th, 2003 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)


You're always so cheery!

Actually I plan first of all to sort out "work" at least for 12 months before chucking the job in.

But still - point noted.
winterdrake From: winterdrake Date: July 16th, 2003 08:26 am (UTC) (Link)


A fair point on the stress levels involved in working for yourself, but I find that the benefits hugely outweigh the disadvantages (although admittedly the business I'm trying to run would be greatly improved by actually doing something as controversial as making money...). The advice about making very, very sure there is a market out there is extemely sound, sa is the idea of continuing work while you get yourself sorted out. Other people to talk to for advice would include your bank (most have good start-up options for businesses these days). One thing, though; IMHO you should always, but always, set yourself up as a limited company rather than as a sole trader or a partnership (in case you're not sure, this basically refers to different types of business). The logic here is that, should things not work out and your business go broke, in a sole trader or partnership agreement the trader or partners concerned are personally liable for the whole of the debt. In a limited company, the company is liable (not the directors, which would be you). It is possible to set up a limited company with only one director, but the exact mechanics of this escape me; if you're interested, I can dig them out.
sixtine From: sixtine Date: July 16th, 2003 10:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm

Limited companies need two people. One director and one company secretary. They both have distinct and clear legal obligations.
From: ikkleblacktruck Date: July 16th, 2003 10:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm

They also get to pay corporation tax and company NI on top of normal tax and NI. Contracting requires extreme flexibility, total mobility, the ability to work away for long periods without seeing anyone you know and nerves of steel at the end when you're up for renewal or a new one, not to mention a large surplus you can live on when you fail to get a new one straight away, which always happens because contract agents want you yesterday when you were already working, and don't have anything when you need it.

mimeticgel was an IT contractor for 8 years and it was hell. If you don't want to pay someone extra, you'll be doing the books yourself, and that's as much fun as pulling your own teeth.

I really mean it - don't do it.
winterdrake From: winterdrake Date: July 17th, 2003 09:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm

Yes, but the secretary doesn't have to be on the board of the company, and it's easy enough to co-opt a friend, relative or partner for the work required.
dreamfire From: dreamfire Date: July 16th, 2003 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I *think* the specifics of your experience will make contracting a somewhat different ball game for you... but how long it will last will depend on how long the education sector remains fascinated with tech I guess. if you can guarantee enough to pay the mortgage then why not give it a go - not a lot to lose
kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: July 16th, 2003 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes - I'm pretty sure this is true. I need to make some phone calls and lay some groundwork - and see how the "day job" is over the next month or two rather than make any snap decisions.

And the "fascination with tech" or at least the funding is guaranteed for the next 2.5 years at least - and the world will be a different place by that time.
barrettyman From: barrettyman Date: July 22nd, 2003 09:51 am (UTC) (Link)


Geoff still has a ltd company and once offered me the possibility of being self employed through his company.
barrettyman From: barrettyman Date: July 23rd, 2003 09:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Slightly more helpfully

It would be wise to get yourself intimately involved in one of the big DfES projects and possibly how they relate to standards. Mike Collet, Robin Green, Kevin Riley Simulacra and friends make a very nice living on the back of government projects they're largely not quaalified to commment on. Many use the standards orgs as a way of touting for business, they get on as committee secretataries hear of lots of new projects coming up and so on. You could easily leaverage the work you did in Becta into consulting for LSC/DfES/BSI et al.
12 lies or Lie to me