Being your own boss is a great thing – especially if your job is an HGV driver. There are so many opportunities available to you, and more dreams to chase down the long tarmac road. But there is also a lot of admin and a long, long list of things you need to do to get your business up and running. If you’ve never run a business before, that can all seem a little daunting. But don’t worry, we have a list of things you need to do to get set up and start your very own business as a self-employed HGV driver.
No one can do everything in life – it’s just not possible. This means all of us have blank spots in our knowledge, things that we aren’t very good at or don’t even know we should be doing. For a business owner, that won’t cut it. So before you set out to start your business, take a step back and try to identify any gaps in your knowledge, and then go find professionals to help you fill them. This means your business will be stronger and perform better in the long term.
An accountant is an essential asset for any business, and having a good one in your corner can do wonders for your business. Not only do they make sure your annual accounts are filled in correctly and on time, but they can give you advice on structuring your business, tax breaks, expansible items and more – helping ensure your business is as profitable as it can be. So ask around and find an accountant who can support your business and leave you free to focus on your day job.
Before you start trading, you need to register your business with HMRC. That comes with a big decision – what type of business do you want to run? At the end of the day it comes down to two choices:
Sole Trader: A sole trader is essentially a self-employed person who is the only owner of their business. It’s the simplest type of business structure out there, and its often how small businesses start out. That’s one of the reasons it’s the most popular business structures out there too! It’s really easy to set up, but you will still need to register as a sole trader for tax purposes.
Limited Company: A limited company can run in a lot of similar ways to a sole trader, except the business has its own legal identity. This type of business structure separates the liability of the businesses from the individual business owner, shareholders and managing directors. You can run a limited company even if you are a one-man-band – it’s just a matter of structure.
Of course, like almost anything in life, there are pros and cons to each business structure, so it’s important to look carefully at the options before making your decision. If you’re not sure which will be right for you, you can always ask your accountant for help.
Going back to absolute basics – you need to get yourself a bank account. But your personal account won’t cut it here – you need a business-specific account. This keeps your business finances separate from your personal ones (which your accountant will tell you is a very good thing) and means you can take payments right away. So shop around, find a deal that makes sense for you and get that ball rolling.
As you will know from your HGV driver training, being a self-employed driver means you need to be able to organise yourself, and that includes providing any equipment you need. This includes everything from your own HGV (if that’s the business model you’re going for), to tech gadgets that keep you safe and communicate with customers, and even office supplies like printers, paper and in-trays. Make a list and get everything you need together, then organise it into a workflow system. This will help keep you organised and make sure things run smoothly going forward.
At The HGV Training Centre, our job is to empower you to follow your ambitions in HGV driving, whatever they may be. Our trainers are from a range of driving backgrounds, from employed to self-employed, business owners and more. They are all on hand to help and support you on your journey, and we encourage you to ask as many questions as you can. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with us today.
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