The first steps into your freelancing career

Are you considering diving into becoming a self-employed person? There are countless opportunities: diversity of clients, optimal flexibility and independence. However, this freedom also comes with its own set of obligations. Before you go down this road, it is useful to be well informed. That's why we present you a guide with essential points to consider when starting your freelance adventure.


The step to Independence

The process starts with drawing up a business strategy. Define your customer base, revenue model and what sets you apart from others. Set clear objectives: where do you want to be within a year?

Also don't forget about some practical matters such as choosing a company name - check the 'Kamer van Koophandel' register - and the choice of a legal form are crucial. A sole proprietorship is often the starting point for freelancers because of its simplicity. Still, consider getting professional advice. As soon as you register with the 'Kamer van Koophandel', you officially start as an entrepreneur.


Tax for the Self-Employed

As a self-employed person, you will have to deal with specific tax rules. Do you benefit from tax benefits such as the self-employed person's and starter's deduction? Make sure you meet criteria such as annual work hours and having diverse clients.

To make sure that you are entitled to this deduction you must work at least 1225 hours per year for your own company. Working on your administration or your own website also count. According to the tax authorities, you need several clients to be an entrepreneur. This way you reduce payment and continuity risks. Also, Promote your company sufficiently. This can be done, for example, by being present on social media, or by setting up a website.


Finance, Pension and Insurance

The ins and outs of your administration, pension accrual and insurance are in your hands. Online tools can help, but you can also decide to keep track of everything yourself.

Regarding insurance, be aware that as a freelancer you are not automatically paid in case of illness. Think carefully about what you need, such as business liability insurance. Pension accrual is also a crucial point. You have various options, such as saving via the Fiscal Retirement Reserve or an annuity insurance policy.


Determining Your Price

Your hourly rate depends on several factors. Some of these factors are, the sector, type of customer, your service and your unique selling point (USP). You can determine the amount of your hourly rate in several ways. You can look at what your colleagues with the same skills charge, but also check what the average hourly rate is in your industry. Intermediary agencies such as JP Gray can support you in this. They have market information available that can help you determine your hourly rate.

Have you already done some assignments? Then you can, for example, choose to take an average of those assignments. Ultimately, it is your negotiation and sales skills that can make the difference.


In Search of the Ideal Assignment

The demand for good professionals is high. But also as freelancer you will have to actively look for an assignment. Your network is one of the most important factors in finding your first assignment. You can use your direct network, but you can also visit network meetings, for example. Think of workshops and events for entrepreneurs. You can also use coworking spaces. These are shared flexible workplaces where you often find different entrepreneurs. Here too you can build valuable contacts.


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