The vital steps to becoming an IT contractor

In a world filled to the brim with technology, IT contracting is becoming more and more important to businesses and for those with the right skills, life as a contractor can be very rewarding! It’s financially beneficial, and if you’ve ever wanted to be your own boss, now is your chance! But where do you start? From IT contractor insurance through to finding a job, there is so much to consider, and so we’ve pulled together some of the most vital steps you need to take to become a successful IT contractor to give you a bit of a head start!

Work out if it’s really the job for you

Becoming an IT contractor requires quite the level of dedication when it comes to taking the plunge, so you really need to ask yourself if this is really the job for you. You’ll need to be self-motivated and be willing to take risks, but most importantly you need to be ready to lose the safety net of a normal salaried job. You won’t have the perks of a regular pay check, but you will have more freedom as to when you work. You’ll have more control over your life and the work that you take on, and you can find yourself working in plenty of different environments and industries! So if that sounds like the job for you, then keep reading!

Do your research!

You might be thinking ‘Do my research? That’s what I’m doing now!’ and while you’d be correct, there’s more to it than that! As a very basic starting point, you’ll need to find out exactly what the market needs and where you fit into it. If you have a niche set of skills, find out whether there’s a market for them, and if there is, what the average charge is for such a service. This kind of information will be vital in setting up your prices and knowing where to aim your marketing. If you live in the countryside but the business is in the city, or vice versa, you may need to consider whether you can travel the distances for work.

Finding work and applying

When it comes to finding work, it’s important to realise that only around 20% of contractors will work directly for their end-clients, and the remainder will work through an agency. If you adamantly don’t want to go through an agency, you could use a contract job board, or apply directly to a recruitment agency, get recommendations or transfer from permanent to contract with your existing employer. Applying for work can be as simple as having an up to date CV. Informing potential employers of your relevant and current skill set will do your application wonders when it comes being chosen for an interview and for proving yourself at the interview too.

Deal with tax issues

Taxes. None of us are big fans of them, but unfortunately it’s something we all have to deal with. If you become a limited company, you’re likely to have an accountant who will take care of all of this for you, but it’s still important to have some kind of understanding on how things work. As a company director, you’ll need to register for self-assessment, as well as submit your tax return and pay any tax liabilities by the 31st of January each year. Your company will also have to pay Corporation Tax on any profits, and there’s even the chance you’ll pay taxes on salaries. Make sure you research what you could be liable to pay to save yourself getting into any unexpected and undeserved trouble!

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