Thursday, 6 December 2012

if (Self-employed = good) ? Sole Trader First : Private Ltd Company;

Being self-employed is a rollercoaster.

I strapped into the fairground ride as a sole trader about 7 months ago during which time it feels like I nearly spilled out of my seat a couple of times.  There have been times during a quiet period that I wasn't sure if I was being dragged up the slope ready for the next wild ride or genuinely stuck at low-point.

When I first went self-employed I looked into the options (e.g. Ltd. LLP) and decided on sole-trading because there is little reporting and easy accounting.  One of the biggest drawbacks for me was that I wouldn't own a company, be a Director or have a cool name to trade under - pure ego strokes.

I think I made the right choice.  It's given me time to get used to being self-employed and build up some contacts and a much better idea of what I want to do, what customers want me to do and what I should charge them.  It has allowed me a bit of latitude to choose the particular fairground ride I want to spend my time riding.  Actually I'm not sure it's a choice.  I've done some very exciting things this year that wouldn't be possible as 'a worker-bee employee' and have worked on some great projects with some amazing people.

Being self-employed has taught me so much about my value, my earning potential and most importantly my talents.  The little bit of nowse I've developed means I feel more confident about being self-employed and am prepared to stick it out during the slow-lows waiting for the inevitable heart-shaking, nerve-jangling, adrenaline pumping corkscrews.  It's a scary rollcoaster but at least they are always in amusement parks.

I'm even thinking about stepping up and 'incorporating' a company - despite the forms and responsibilities.  I think I can make a go of this and my earnings may be enough to justify it from a tax point of view.  I have also thought up a really sexy-cool name for this possible company which in itself is reason enough to form up.  In reality I think that's quite a big reason to create a Ltd. Company.  A really popular post I found has good convo about Ltd vs Sole Trader.  In reality I think it's more about ego than anything else.  It's be cool to be a Director.  I might even get headed note paper and an accountant.


  1. Very nice post Matt. I've been starting to think about the same sorts of things. Look forward to catching up when I'm back in the country (not long now).

    1. Cheers Nick, looking forward to catching up too - just don't show me *all* of your holiday photos :)

  2. Is it that same 'cool' name you told me the other day?
    Interesting post. I've often thought about this myself, but never had the nerve to jump from the worker-bee ship. One day, you never know though, I may be calling for some advice. Although not for company name suggestions. Good luck!

    1. I wish I'd started to do this kind of thing while I was still in the big ship. It would have been a much nicer transition if I'd known there was something else I could do. Just because you're still employed doesn't mean you can't start preparing for self-employment.