Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thinking about becoming a freelancer?

Some of you designers out there might be wondering if you will have a job next year... or next week. So perhaps you are thinking "WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?"

Well, you have a marketable talent and skill, so you are probably thinking about going freelance.


For the next couple of blogs I'm going to discuss the Business of Freelance.

What to do and how to do it.

The first thing that you have to do is register your name or business. This is not a "I'll make a few bucks on the side" type of thing. 

IF you are going to do it you will need to do it right.

You will get a tax ID number for your business. And you will need to collect sales tax from some of your clients.... we'll go into that later.

You will also have to get some kind of health insurance... we'll get into that later too.

You will have to get an accountant that will alert you to when your sales tax is due and take care of the tax forms.... or you can do that yourself. I don't.  I like running my sales, which income was taxable and which as not, then getting a form to sign. Simple and easy. 

There are several benefits of having your own freelance business:
1- You are not at the mercy of the company for your lively hood.
2- You can earn more money. (The first month I went freelance, I earned a lot more than I did as a salaried designer... and I was making good money, but I saw the potential to earn more)
3- You can take as many vacations as you want, when you want.
4- It's a great lifestyle... I loved being able to see my kids in their school shows during the day.
5- You can write off a portion of your house or apartment and lots of other things related to your business.
6- You can work your own hours... as long as you always meet your deadlines. My work day starts at 10am. I either sleep 'till 9 or I get up early and swim. Either way, after my coffee and newspaper, I'm ready to work at 10am. I will work in the evenings late, but that's my choice and my style.

There are some negatives too... I'll get to that later.

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