It’s a common occurrence in the industry for HGV drivers to go freelance. To some, the financial benefits can be significant compared to those who stay on the traditional PAYE scheme – not to mention the other potential benefits such as securing longer working contracts and dictating your own holiday time.
Employ themselves work with self employed drivers to fill their vacancies on a regular basis – proof of just how widely this practice is accepted.
If you’re thinking of becoming a self employed HGV driver, here’s 5 simple steps you need to take to get the ball rolling…
1 – Find an accountant
Going it alone means sorting out your own income tax and other necessary business expenditure – and this is where you must appoint a qualified accountant with experience and a good reputation.
You will already be aware, or not, of drivers who are self employed so ask them about their accountant to see whether they could work on your behalf. Tackling your own self assessment, invoicing and tax arrangements can be a tricky process – get an accountant to make it easier for you and make sure you meet them on regular occasions to keep up-to-date with income.
Don’t be put off by this additional work appointing an accountant though – you could stand to earn an extra £1 per hour by taking this route.
2 – Register your business
A task that your accountant may be able to help you with, but setting up your own limited company is now much easier now the government have introduced an online company registration tool.
To register your business, it costs £15 and you will need to be clear on what the company name, address and directors are. You must also give details on shareholders and share capital on the form which should take around 15-30 minutes. Once submitted, it takes 24 hours for your requested to be processed.
3 – Open a business bank account
Again, this is a job your accountant may be able to help you with. Once confirmation of your new business has been accepted, you can use your company registration number to open a new bank accountant.
There are plenty of bank products on the market – it is a case of shopping around with your accountant to find the best one for you or simply sticking with your current personal account provider.
4 – Get organised
Now your finances are in order, it’s time to get the rest of your new company ready and that means getting organised. Invest in stationary and folders to keep track of the work you do as well as any invoices and communication between clients.
Also look at a technological upgrade. Whether it’s a brand new sat nav to find your way to new destinations, or a new mobile phone to handle client requests – keep on top of the admin of running your own company as easy as possible.
5 – Find and promote your new company
Due to a severe shortage in HGV drivers in the UK anyway, you’re sure to find work in whatever capacity you desire. It is still important to promote your new company driver status so that you:
- Get paid correctly by your previous agencies to the correct bank account
- Get known by new companies as a self employed driver ready to work
Both will stand you in good stead to keep your finances ticking over.
Photo Credit: 401k via Flickr