How to set up as a freelancer...temporarily? (UK)

Hi Guys

I graduated in 2012, since then I have had an internship and some sporadic freelance work. So far the freelance work has been unpaid, as I approached companies to ask if they had any work experience etc. Now, however I have got some paid freelance work.

I am hoping to gain some more freelance work whilst I continue forward to my main goal of full time employment. Not wanting to commit, well, tax fraud or whatever, I need to set up as a freelancer to make the process more official.

My question is how do I set up as a freelancer? My A-Level business studies knowledge says I need to become a sole trader. Is there anyone is who has been in this situation? What did you do? As my main aim is to go into full time employment, could this “company” run in the background and be used when needed, or If I set up as a sole trader will be it something I have to shut down once I gain employment?

Thanks for the help,


You have to ring HRMC to register as self employed and set up your national insurance donations. It was a worryingly brief phone call when I registered and they don’t seem to be very good/organised so just keep a record of when you rang up. I was going to do my own tax returns but I’ve been freelancing for about four months now so I’m getting an accountant as they will probably save me more then I will pay them. Keep all your receipts for everything and you’ll be surprised by how much stuff you can claim back for.
The website is here Working for yourself - GOV.UK
The helpline details are here Self-employed: National Insurance - GOV.UK
Ignore the bit about the workshop to help you get everything sorted they have been conveniently scrapped by the government.
I hope that helps.

Thanks Rukka, thats really helpful cheers!