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Currently there seems to be somewhat of a shortage of jobs.  No matter your qualifications, it can be difficult to find that right opportunity for you and the competition for those positions is incredibly high.  More and more, people are turning to self-employment as a means of providing for themselves and there is no reason why you cannot do the same.  Best of all, why not start planning while you’re still in a job; companies have contingency plans in case things go wrong, so why shouldn’t you have one or two as well.  One great option is to take out an advert as a white van man.  People always need things moved around and simple work done on their homes.  The one downside is that you have to buy a van for this but that’s not a major problem now with the price of high quality second-hand vans having dropped to pretty affordable levels.  What do you need to look out for, then and how do you go about it?

That Winning Contingency Plan

As mentioned, companies have contingency plans, so get out and buy that van today so your contingency plan is in place, ensuring you ready to go should you encounter any difficulties.  By taking out advertisements in local newspapers and online, you can find some small orders to fulfil during your free time whilst still working your nine to five.  Not only does this build up your businesses profile before you need it, but you get the added benefit of extra cash now.  If that expenditure of £15-£20 thousand on that van seems too high for you, think about it as an investment.  You’re spending the money you would otherwise have put away for that summer holiday and in case you lost your job but you’re spending it on gaining yourself another job.  If you had to take out a loan to afford the van, then the work you complete in it during your spare time can payback your instalments without eating into your regular salary: you wouldn’t have that freedom if it was your only job.

Jumping Through Those Bureaucratic Hoops

One of the things that being self-employed does bring however, is the mass of paperwork for the tax authorities.  In the UK it’s relatively easy to start out self-employed; you just need to declare it.  If you want to have a company however, that is where it can get complicated.  There are a few different options for setting up business in the UK but the simplest and the one that fits the profile of the white van man with his Ford Transit or Nissan Primastar best is the Sole Trader.  This basically gives you the benefits of both being a company and being self-employed and its boundaries are such that as a white van man you’re not going to break them.  For looking up the information about this, the government’s own websites are a great one stop shop for business information.

The next thing you need to consider and the thing that gives the most people sleepless nights is your tax returns.  You don’t need to stress over it though, as it is actually rather simple.  All you need to do is make sure that you keep records of all your incomings and outgoings.  As a white van man, the fuel bill for your van is going to be included in this as well as any costs involved in the van.  On top of this, any necessary equipment can all be used as expenditure, so long as you have receipts for it all.  Whenever you complete a job too, make sure you invoice correctly and keep your records safe.  It’s also a good idea to keep an up to date spread sheet of all your comings and goings so that you can calculate your tax before the financial year is up.  That way you’re not going to get any nasty surprises.

All of this leaves you in the enviable situation of having your own company up and running and perhaps making you money already, while still being in gainful employment.  Perhaps, if you’re lucky and good at what you do, you will have the option to simply leave your old 9-5 and become full time self-employed.  The extra flexibility you have can really make your life more enjoyable.  There is a reason that so many people are turning to self-employment these days as the country loses trust in major companies to offer a quality of work that you want and need.  Buying a van such as the Nissan Primastar and setting up shop could well be the best decision you’ll ever make.

If like me you do decide to become self-employed, you’ll find some great deals as I did around the country for your business vehicle: try out the Nissan Primastar yourself and find that freedom and security that you need.