Should you work for someone or be self employed?


Working for someone

working for someone or self-employedThe majority of British citizens are employees, meaning that they work for somebody else.

What are the benefits of working for someone?

Working for someone appeals to people because it allows individuals to control their working hours and income.

It alleviates the unpredictability of a changing income, and the pressure of working life is reduced. The jobs of employees often involve less responsibility, yet working for someone can still pay well.

What are the costs of being an employee?

Conversely, employees may find that they aren’t doing exactly what they want, and that they lack control over the tasks that they must complete in their role. The potential for very high financial gain is also limited and employees have to accept that they must take orders from someone more senior in the company or organisation. Employees do not routinely have their say about how the business they work for should be run.

Working for yourself

More than 3 million people in the UK are now in some way self-employed. Particularly during the 2008-2009 recession, people began to see self-employment as an alternative option to traditional employment.

What are the benefits of being self-employed?

‘Being your own boss’ can be far more rewarding than being employed in another person’s company, and many businesses flourish because the owners are passionate about turning their idea into a successful company. The prospective financial gains also serve as an attraction to those who are self-employed or wish to become so.

What are the costs of being self-employed?

cost self-employedThere is an obvious element of risk involved in setting up your own business and you are advised to think through your idea and write a thorough business plan before making the first steps toward becoming self-employed.

You are also responsible for providing accurate accounts for your company, see ‘Tax Return’. The government’s business website ( can offer helpful advice to anyone considering self-employment.

Updated on 12/6/2013:
How do I register as self-employed?

The process can be quite complicated, but there are services that can help you without needing to fill out countless application forms. For example with SelfReg you can get help to register as self-employed and they have experts who can explain the process for you, as well as answer any relevant questions you may have.