Portrait of happy senior male owner standing arms crossed against shelves

Before You Decide To Be Self-Employed: The Basics

If you’re tired of working for a company or organization then being self-employed may be the best alternative for you. Self-employment doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re your own boss, as there are different types of self-employment and some of them requires you to still work for a client and adhere to their requests and requirements. As such, the biggest distinction between being employed and self-employed is that you find your work or client, rather than have your employer find and assign a task or client to you.

Your Own Boss, Employee, Manager, Accountant

You are, in a way, both your own boss and employee. As such, you’d have more control of your time and resources depending on the type of work or clients you wish to take; you have the option to get more rigorous and time-consuming client/work, or a more laid back and in-your-own-time kind of job. You get paid directly by your customers or clients, instead of having your employer pay you your salary or bonuses, but that also means that you’re in charge of your own finances and follow self-employed tax regulations. Although, you can always get self-employed tax help if you prefer to have a professional assist you rather than spending time figuring out your taxes as you find and handle clients/workaround Utah.

Categories of Self-Employment

Freelancer. As a freelancer, you get to choose your own work assignments that fit your preferred work schedule. The trade-off between being a freelancer and a regular full-time employee is that you won’t have the same benefits as employees (such as health and retirement) or a steady paycheck as you’ll need to proactively find and finish assignments and client projects/requests to earn. But it also means that you can work as much as you can handle, increasing your earning potential.

Independent Contractor. As an independent contractor, you’ll be working with a company or client under the terms of a contract. The difference of an independent contractor and a regular employee is that contractors often work with companies and clients for a specific period or until a job is completed.

Temporary Worker. Temporary workers have more freedom than regular employees as they can work for a prescribed time and then move on to a different job. If you wish to be some sort of a nomad and “live off the road”, you can do temporary work around the places you go to or visit.

Independent Distributor. As an independent distributor, you partner with manufacturers or retailers and are given the rights and means to sell their products. These products range from essential oils and health supplements, to make up and clothing. Mary Kay and Avon are among the well-known companies that recruit and promote independent distributors. So if you’re good at marketing and selling products, this might just be the best option for you.

Independent Business Owner. Being an independent business owner is, in a way, the next step in being a freelancer; you’d have your own brand and privately-owned business (sole proprietorship) offering your services or products to clients. This means you’d have a larger “appearance”, and instead of working for yourself as a freelancer, you’d be working for a long-term and sustainable business that you put up yourself.


Business owner standing in front of her shop

Being self-employed has its own limitations, risks, and rewards. How you decide to be self-employed depends on your skills, the market, and mostly what you envision to do — as most people who opt to be self-employed want to earn their living doing what they prefer to do, providing products or services to the clients/customers that they want. So if you’re ready to take the step towards self-employment, think it over, and it’s a good idea to save up first before you hand in your resignation and start being your own boss.

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