A Guide on how to set up as a Self-Employed PA
If you are looking to become a self-employed Personal Assistant (PA), there are a number of things that might be helpful to do. These include:
- Checking what a self-employed status really means, what your responsibilities will include and how this might affect the way you work
- Thinking about your ‘business plan’, in terms of who you are looking to be a PA for, what level of resources that people might have to contract with you (e.g. from their Local Authority, ILF Scotland, from benefits or funding the full cost of their support themselves)
- Thinking about the local level of need
- Being aware of local understanding and approaches to self-employed PAs, whether this will support your role or work against it
- What additional sources of information and support are available to you on an on-going basis (e.g. with business development)
At some point you need to decide if being self-employed is the right status for you.
Working out if you are self-employed or not
There are two areas to consider when trying to work out whether you would be self-employed or not. These relate to:
- Employment status for tax purposes and
- Employment status for work purposes
HMRC have outlined certain questions to help you decide if you are self-employed for tax purposes. If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, you are likely to be self-employed:
- Can the PA hire someone to do the work for them, or take on helpers at their expense?
- Can the PA decide where to provide the support needed, when to work, how to work and what to do?
- Can the PA make a loss as well as a profit?
- Does the PA agree to do a job for a fixed price regardless of how long the job may take?
If you cannot answer yes to any of the questions above, you are still likely to be self-employed if most of your answers to the following questions are yes:
- Does the PA risk their own money?
- Does the PA provide the main items of equipment (not the tools that many employees provide for themselves) needed to do the job?
- Does the PA regularly work for a number of different people and require business set up in order to do so?
- Does the PA have to correct unsatisfactory work in their own time and at their own expense?
Working for yourself
If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a sole trader. This means you’re self-employed – even if you haven’t yet told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) yet.
Things you need to do to set up as a Self-employed PA:
- Register with HMRC as self-employed on the HMRC website
- You will then receive your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) as a self-employed worker
- You need to develop your business plan
- Secure the Insurances that you need, such as:
- Professional indemnity
- Public and product liability
- Contents and stock
- Business interruption
- Cyber cover
- Legal expenses
- Create the contracts and relevant paperwork for your role as a PA. This might include entering into a contractor/consultancy agreement with your client i.e the person you provide care to
Consider that all relevant legal responsibilities are covered, such as:
- Health and safety
- Risk assessments
- First Aid
- Marketing and promoting your business (e.g. through leaflets, cards website etc)
- Feedback from customers and review your business plan
Take a look at the article, “Self-Employed PAs” and the other resources below.