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The Pros and Cons of Self-Employment

September 2019

There are lots of benefits associated with being self-employed; you can be your own boss, choose when and where you work and do what you love for a living – doesn’t sound too bad, does it? However, with these benefits come some inevitable drawbacks.

Self-employed Person Working From Coffee Shop

In this blog, we’ll weigh up the pros and cons of being self-employed. If you’re thinking about making the jump into the self-employed lifestyle, we hope this article will help you make the right choice.


Work when you want

Being able to choose your own hours is an attractive benefit for many who choose to become self-employed and it’s easy to see why. How many times have you woken up for work and thought you could use an extra hour in bed? Or wanted to finish early on a particular day? When you are self-employed, this level of flexibility is possible.

Work where you want

Most modern, small businesses can be run with nothing more than a smartphone, computer and a stable internet connection. This means that most of the time you can work wherever you like – from your bedroom, from a coffee shop or even beside the beach! Now that’s freedom!

Even if your business does require an office or shop, at least you can choose its location.

Work with who you want

 Another undeniable perk of being self-employed is being able to choose who you associate with. You are not forced to work with clients and co-workers that you aren’t comfortable with. You have full control over who you work with.

Take control of your income

When you’re self-employed, you can choose how much or how little you earn. If you want to increase your own level of income, you can do so by working more; with self-employment, there is more of a direct correlation between your effort and your income.

Do what you love

No longer will you have to worry about being given tasks that make you feel demotivated and undervalued, you can do the things you do best and are most passionate about.


Self-employed life isn’t always going to be smooth sailing though, there are some cons…

Irregular pay

This is a big one. Your income may fluctuate considerably – there may be times where you are very busy with clients and others where you have none or very little. This can present a problem when paying bills or when obtaining a mortgage.

Responsible for tax and bookkeeping

If you are self-employed, you will be responsible for reporting your income to HMRC via a self-assessment tax return. You will also need to keep accurate records and do your own bookkeeping.

These administrative tasks can be time-consuming and stressful if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fortunately, you can appoint an accountant (such as we) to handle all these tasks for you.

No annual leave or sick pay

 If you’re too sick to work, you will no longer be able to rely on still getting paid. You also aren’t eligible for things like annual leave.

Not working means not earning

You may find you enjoy your time off less when you’re thinking “this time could be spent earning”. You may also feel that you’re never really off the clock or find you’re working more hours than you did as an employee.

It can get lonely

It can get lonely when you’re self-employed, you may find you miss teamwork and the company get-togethers that so frequently happen when employed at a company.


Self-employed life isn’t easy, but many who choose to go self-employed never look back. Deciding whether the self-employed lifestyle is for you is a case of weighing up how much you value the above points.

If you’re thinking about going self-employed but don’t know where to start, please get in touch. We work with many self-employed individuals and know what it takes to succeed.

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