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Starting a clothing alteration business - what do I need to do??

(3 Posts)
ninipops Mon 07-Oct-13 13:49:42

I am nearing the end of mat leave and starting a career break and need to bring some money in a way that fits round 3 small DC's. So I have the sewing skills, the machines, the room and some childcare in place. I will spend a few days flyering my local area and put up notices in shops etc but when it comes to all the official stuff - tax - etc I have no idea.

I won't be earning anywhere near the tax free allowance and I don't get any tax credits etc as DH is a higher rate tax payer.

What do I need to do to be above board?

sinclair Sat 19-Oct-13 18:21:49

Hi Ninipops I am a curtain maker so similar skills, and I set up my business to give me flexible working when my kids were in primary.

I would say first that you need to get your price right - people expect alterations to be quick (it's just an inch off the hem etc) but often they can be fiddlier than starting from scratch. I timed myself making up curtains and blinds etc and then priced according to what I wanted to earn per hour as it were, so I would start there. Maybe check where people are getting alterations done in your area now and what prices are like - and then how you can differentiate what you are offering - delivery/collection maybe.

My business comes from word of mouth and the playground is a good starting point - people get three pairs of school trousers shortened etc - so I would start there, flyers in book bags maybe.

On tax, you need to register as self employed if you aren't already, I think you have three months from when you start working to do that, and you have to fill in a self assessment tax form - keep every receipt as you can set all your costs - a new iron, an element of your mortgage etc - against your takings. I get an accountant to do that but plenty of people do it themselves. You also need to pay NI but the tax people will send you an invoice for that.

hope this helps = and bumps you for someone more knowledgeable on tax issue!

ninipops Mon 21-Oct-13 10:57:53

Thanks sinclair - this all helps. I think I am pretty set with regard to prices etc - have done a canvas of local providers an the internet. The flyers in bookbags is a good idea though will have to remember that!

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