More and more of us are turning to self-employment as a result of the fragile economy. By the end of 2013, 4.3 million people were registered as self-employed – it’s said that this represents an increase of over 500,000 people working for themselves since the recession started in 2008. Unsurprisingly, the number of people working on an employed basis has fallen dramatically over this period. Whilst this number has started to rise again recently, it’s been argued that many of these positions involve under-employment, with controversial zero-hours contracts or low-paid part time jobs being used to demonstrate improvements in the job market.
Freedom and Independence
It’s also been suggested that self-employed people work more hours than employed individuals – although some of these hours may be unpaid as freelancers spend extensive periods of time seeking new clients. This could be the case due to various reasons – distractions at home or sheer passion and dedication to the cause. In any case, it makes perfect sense for people struggling to find work to set up their own businesses, with many people able to make a living with few more resources than a laptop and an internet connection.
Protect Your Ideas
The most common positions for those who work on a self-employed basis include taxi drivers and construction workers, although many people have started businesses in the PR and marketing field for instance. If you are thinking of setting up your own company, you may need to seek out expert legal advice in order to get off to the best start possible. If you have what you consider to be a potentially lucrative or highly-original idea you may find yourself putting a patent application together to prevent others from stealing it.
Benefit From Advice
If your new startup involves a brand name, logo or slogan, you’ll need to organise a trademark application to prevent others from trading on it.
A trademark attorney or patent attorney can offer you in-depth, accurate and up-to-date on all the legalities that you’ll need to know about if you are to succeed and protect your intellectual property.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Of all the UK’s workers, one in seven are now self-employed. Some say that there would be as many as three million people unemployed if the rise in self-employment had not occurred. Many commentators have said that the boom in self-employment is testament to the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit, whilst others claim that many freelance workers will only be in their position as the employed jobs market is still failing – with many newly self-employed workers still struggling to make ends meet.
Weighing Up the Pros and Cons
Nonetheless, becoming self-employed can be incredibly liberating, and when things are going well, the experience can be incredibly fulfilling. Despite problems with irregular income, no sick pay, long hours and having to sort out tax and national insurance yourself, many freelancers say that they would never go back to working on an employed basis due to the freedom involved. Self-employment can also allow us to use skills and talents that go unnoticed in many regular jobs. A legal professional can help you to set up your business, offer a “register trademark” facility and hopefully help you to hit the ground running from the onset.