Can I be employed and self-employed at the same time?

In case you didn’t know, someone can be employed and self-employed in different positions simultaneously. While this may be time-consuming and present a wide range of challenges, it is indeed possible, and there are several ways to go about it. Two-fifths of UK residents have a business on the side, which is an encouraging figure if you’re considering going down that route.

Being employed and self-employed at the same time

A significant number of people in the UK and across the world manage full-time jobs and businesses simultaneously. It’s a trend that has become more prevalent while people seek new ways of diversifying their income streams. Learning about running a business, such as knowing the advantages of a cash flow forecast, helps their efforts, though this must be done in their spare time.

Anyone wishing to go down this path should go over their current employment contract very carefully. Across the many different types of employee contracts, some have clauses that state you are not permitted to start a business while working for your current employer. These clauses aim to avoid conflicts of interest and the possibility of your business becoming one of your employers’ competitors.

In most cases, employers don’t like the notion of an employee starting a business in case their work performance suffers due to exhaustion. There is also the chance of employees stealing customers for their new companies and utilising company secrets to get an edge.

Steps you should take if you want to start a side-business

Talk to HR

If you’re unsure whether you can legally start your enterprise under your current employment contract, speak to the head of your HR department within the parameters of a confidential conversation. They will advise you on what you can and cannot do under your current contract.

Be honest

When starting a business while you’re employed, it’s always a good idea to be honest with your employer, even if there’s no legal requirement for you to do so stated in your contract. Starting such a dialogue is always best, rather than your boss hearing the news through the grapevine. In some situations, they may offer you advice and guidance that could assist the growth of your business.

Seeking part-time employment

If you have your own business but decide you want to be employed to enhance your income, you must disclose this during your interview and when you submit your CV. Furthermore, if your business takes up lots of your time, you may need to consider seeking part-employment with flexible hours.

Final thoughts

Since so many individuals need supplemental income, owning a business while being employed has become the norm. This has resulted in employers and co-workers being more accepting of these situations.

Crucially, it is a legal requirement for you to inform the HMRC when you start generating income from your business. By doing so, you will process your Self-Assessment and other kinds of taxes correctly. Regardless of how much of a hobby you believe your business is, you could end up in legal hot water if you fail to have it registered.

Contact Harper James Solicitors, the best startup lawyers in the UK, for all your legal questions.


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