Tutoring/Working from Home(7 Posts)
I'm considering starting my own little business as an IT Trainer. I've not worked for many a year. I was under the impression that there wouldn't be a huge market for this sort of thing but having volunteered for a charity for a while I have discovered that there are many people who would like some help to improve their IT skills.
I was thinking of advertising on some local Facebook groups to see whether there is any interest in my area.
My question is, if this turns out to be viable, would I need to register a company for tax purposes. I see so many small businesses advertised on local Facebook pages but have no idea whether any of them pay tax.
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You wouldn't need to register as a company, you could register as a a sole trader. You still need to complete a tax return. Earning money and not declaring it to HMRC is fraudulent, even if it is not a lot of money!
You are allowed to offset various things (travel) against your earnings and if your profit is under the tax free earnings allowance you won't have to pay tax ( but may still have to pay National Insurance contributions).
When I registered with HMRC as a tutor (sole trader) they sent me a really useful book explaining everything. If you look at their sole trader pages online you would probably get lots of useful information.
Whilst the HMRC website and booklets are helpful, you have to appreciate that they're written with an HMRC bias, are often very superficial and their examples are usually extreme cases and don't really help with the "middle ground" which is where most people find themselves. I wouldn't go as far as to say they're deliberately biased to raise more tax, but I know some people would say that!
They certainly won't give any "tax planning" techniques or tips. And in some cases the "advice" they give is legally incorrect in their favour. For small, simple, businesses, this often doesn't matter as the tax at stake is often small (or zero) anyway. I regard them as the "starting point" for dealing with small business tax rather than the definitive answers.
I know this isn't the question you asked, but something jumped out at me from your OP - if you're offering IT training, is advertising on Facebook the right way to go? As in, surely you'd be after clients with a low level of computer literacy? Unless you're after clients who know the basics and can use a computer to some degree already? Just a thought.
Thanks Essentials, you are right. I had considered that but it would be one of several ways to find clients. I am currently volunteering as an IT Trainer for a charity and it is amazing how many people can use social media and basic email but want to/need to know more. I currently train in Microsoft Office but have been asked to help with LinkedIn. A colleague has helped one of her clients create business cards on Vista Print. I still need to think about my target market and whether I want to go local or Freelance in a company. Maybe a combination would also work.
I'm hoping that by using a couple of local Facebook groups that word of mouth will also help. There are a lot of people I know who may remember me if anyone should mention to them that they could do with some help. I'm also working on networking through new connections that I'm making while volunteering.
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