Going self employed

speccy1

Guest
Anybody done this?

I was talking over a pint with a very loyal long suffering best friend of nearly 30 years who is about to be made redundant, and he asked me if I would be interested in joining forces with him and setting up a business partnership.

We are both good at the same things and went to college together to do a BTEC hnd in electronics/electrical engineering, so a business of electrician/gas fitting/boiler repairs (I work with gases in my job) would be the way to go.

I know we could work well together, and I totally hate my job - I`ve been there too long, and the people are just a shower of backstabbing nasty horrible evil b*stards, but it is a safe income and job.

Do I take the plunge? I do have a £600 a month mortgage to find before I even start:wacko::wacko:
 
Location
Essex
A partnership is not self-employed. One of you could be self-employed and employ the other one, or you could both be separately self-employed, but all your work and income would have to be kept separate.
Could you not keep your existing job and work for him weekends and evenings until he had established himself. After all he will have his redundancy pay to fall back on, you will have nothing.
 

bikingdad90

Veteran
Depends on your requirements and circumstances.

You can either go self employed as a sole trader or employed as a director of your company. You could also go into an limited liability partnership/unincorporated partnership but that is complicated.

Having your own business effects everything from tax, pension,national insurance and mortgages. There is so much to consider especially if you work on long term contracts as it is best to draft up service agreements clearly stating you are not an employee of the contract provider.

It becomes a minefield and I would recommend some sound legal advice before setting up in business.
 

screenman

Legendary Member
I have been self employed for 40 years can you sell and market yourself, as this is as important as having the technical skills if you want to make a good living.

You will not have one boss, in fact hopefully you will have many, but they will be known as customers
 

accountantpete

Legendary Member
Photo Winner
An awful lot of startups never make in past the first year.

Being in a partnership is not always easy either - factor in the stress and strains of business.

Ideally you should try to start on a part-time basis or get a large contract secured which will guarantee a certain amount of income.

See a local accountant - they will probably advise you to form a limited company - this is more tax efficient and also limits your liability - you don't want the creditors coming after your house!
 

BluesDave

Formerly known as DavidDecorator
I am self employed and my advice would be not to do it. The stress and insecurity of income is immense.
Secondly looking back now if I had had a secure job with a regular income again and knew what I know now I would never have become self employed. I'm now suffering from stress and depression because of it again and have to go back to the doctors for the first time in years. I got shingles around last Christmas because I was so run down by working all the hours possible just because the work was there.
I couldn't take any time off to recover because being self employed there's no sick pay or holiday pay or benefits of any kind.
In any job you have to take the rough with the smooth. My advice for what it's worth is do that and stick to your job like a limpet. If your self employment goes tits up you'll lose the home you've worked so hard to buy because self employed get no government aid. We are trapped in private renting forever because being self employed I can't get a mortgage and at 40 I'm too old to go back into another job.
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
I've worked with my business partner for the last thirty years. We are a two person limited company, not entirely different from self-employment really, except that I'm not entirely on my own for business and emotional support when we have had bad years. That's worth quite a lot, not that I thought of it when we started. You should realise that if you cut loose, all the things that you have taken for granted as an employee disappear in an instant.....no sick leave, no paid holidays, no pension contributions, etc etc. Oh yes, you have to buy your own coffee and envelopes too. You have to be quite tough and ride out the inevitable storms along the way. Overall, I would have been far better off financially if I had stayed as an employee but that's not the entire picture at all. We have had a lot of fun and we are free men. That's priceless. No regrets at all.
 

Dave the Smeghead

Über Member
Depending on where you live and the ratio of trades to the population.

One thing I do know at present is that it is becoming much harder to find even half reasonable engineers. We submit any applicants to a test which is stringent, and we are getting fewer and fewer people capable of passing it.

The key is what sort of business - business to business or business to people, residential or commercial or industrial, and how many contacts you have in each arena that you can leverage for work.

And probably lastly how long you can survive without earning anything. If you have enough money to survive for 6 months whilst building up the business then you can probably make a go of it. If you live hand to mouth then it probably isn't sustainable.

Some people I know have made a go of it, worked incredibly long and hard, and some succeed and some don't. Those that succeed can make a lot of money but it is usually at the expense of something else - health, family, marriage etc. Those that don't work equally as hard but something doesn't work out - cashflow is always a massive factor, and some lose everything - house, family and marriage etc.

Not wishing to put too much of a downer on it for some it works and can work big.
 
OP
speccy1

speccy1

Guest
There seems to be a general opinion here, to stay put!

Thanks guys, that has really helped to make my decision, as much as I hate my job there are a lot of perks
 
OP
speccy1

speccy1

Guest
My dad did it, who I have a great admiration for, at the same age as I am now, and his business thrived, trouble free until he retired at 64, as a car mechanic. He is of the "Fred Dibnah" breed of mechanics that would stop at nothing to make a living
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
I had a surprise heart operation three years ago. I came out of hospital, after a nine day stay, on Monday afternoon. Were were in the middle of a very big contract at the time. I phoned my partner and we both went to my office/workshop to pick up computers and assembly tools to bring back to my home on Tuesday. I was back at work in our front room on Wednesday morning. Needs must.

A few weeks later I met an acquaintance who had had the same operation. We compared surgical scars. He mentioned that he got three months off work on full pay.^_^
 
OP
speccy1

speccy1

Guest
I had a surprise heart operation three years ago. I came out of hospital, after a nine day stay, on Monday afternoon. Were were in the middle of a very big contract at the time. I phoned my partner and we both went to my office/workshop to pick up computers and assembly tools to bring back to my home on Tuesday. I was back at work in our front room on Wednesday morning. Needs must.

A few weeks later I met an acquaintance who had had the same operation. We compared surgical scars. He mentioned that he got three months off work on full pay.^_^
Six of one, half a dozen of the other eh??

Hope you are ok now:okay:
 
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