A freelancer in today’s job market is no longer a rare thing. More and more people are becoming self-employed and self-reliant. Unfortunately, for many of these workers, it’s not until they get into the business that they realise they need to create their own safety net to make sure nothing goes wrong.
When you work as a freelancer, you don’t have access to one-on-one HR and benefits. Instead, you are responsible for protecting yourself with insurance, contracts, and even your own retirement savings programme like a freelancer’s pension scheme.
Here are five ways to protect yourself as a freelancer.
Register Your Business
The best way to protect yourself from any legal issues that may be a result of disputes during transactions is to have correctly registered your business. Being properly registered means that there will be legalities in place to cover your business should you ever need them.
Conduct Extensive Client Research
As a freelancer, to protect yourself and make the right decision about your work, you need to conduct extensive client research as quickly as possible. This means doing all the homework relating to that client before you accept a job offer from them.
When you do this work, you will get a sense of whether or not this is really a great client, or if it is better to move on and look for another one.
Incorporate Upfront Billing into Your Dealings
Incorporating upfront invoicing is one of many business strategies freelancers should adopt. If your services are expensive, like Apps development services, then you will want to get paid for them upfront for several reasons. Mainly, this protects you from being stiffed by an irresponsible client who does not pay your bill after receiving all the promised services.
Protect Yourself with the Right Insurance
Insurance will cover the financial consequences if one of your clients decides to sue you for not creating their desired results or if they suffer a loss as a result of your advice or service. The best way to do this is to invest in professional indemnity insurance which can cover you for a wide range of things, and prevent you from being out of pocket if a claim should arise.
Never Agree to Work on a Project Without Contract
What if the project scope changes and you’re no longer interested in working? Without a contract, you’ll have to work without getting paid much until the end of the project. The contract is important because it protects you from being exploited at a negotiation.
If you agree to work before receiving a contract, that puts you as the freelancer in a potentially risky situation. Having a contract in place for every project that you undertake protects both your intellectual property and financial interests.
A self-employed status also means that you are the one responsible for both profit and loss in your company. Not protecting yourself may lead to penalties, fees, and other costs, so ensure your business is financially protected.