There are a lot of benefits to freelancing – you can work where you want to, and you are not restricted to the typical working day. However, working for yourself does have certain legal issues that need to be addressed, and you should be aware of this before you start.
Get it in writing
Technically, any agreement where you agree to do work in exchange for money is a contract, whether it was a verbal or written agreement. That being said, it is recommended that you get an email confirming what needs to be done and any terms to avoid issues later on. Ideally, whoever you work with should offer a written contract with clear terms and conditions.
How much credit is a freelancer entitled to? Mainly, it depends on what a freelancer includes in their contract. If you agree to a “writer for hire” contract, effectively you are allowing your work to be used without credit. It can be a difficult balance, as successful projects can result in securing future work, but this does depend on what you can negotiate.
It can also depend on the kind of work you are doing- for example, if you were hired to be part of creative idea creation (e.g. brainstorming sessions), it is unlikely you could claim credit for a finished product.
Solo or company
Depending on what kind of industry you are going into, it may be more appropriate to work as a sole trader or a limited company. In a lot of cases, the best way to start is by operating as a sole trader with the option of becoming a limited company later as your business grows.
If you previously worked as part of a company, you might also be part of an official body. However, if you have left the company, you may be required to re-register. You should check this with the organisation you registered with before you start working on a freelance basis.
If you work with clients, then it is advisable to have some form of cover. While you may have home insurance, this will not always be sufficient cover, so you should check this with your insurer before you begin work.
How you handle data is something that is crucial, both to your business and to your clients. As well as offering reassurance for your clients, proper handling can prevent you from getting a massive fine due to breaching the rules on data handling. Make sure you check this and get a proper GDPR policy in place in order to prevent future issues.
We can help
When looking to go into freelancing, it can be overwhelming at first. This is why it is worth discussing any issues with a legal representative who can help you through contracts and other situations where you could benefit from legal advice. For more information, please contact Larcomes today, and we will be happy to put you in touch with an experienced business law specialist.