Qualifying as Self-Employed – 21/06/2021

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As an individual working in the Entertainment Sector, knowing your tax obligations and when these begin to effect you can be a daunting and difficult task – understanding the criteria for qualifying as self-employed and what the next steps are if you do is imperative.

You are probably self-employed if you:

  • Run your business for yourself and take responsibility for its success/failure
  • Have several customers at the same time
  • Can decide how, where and when you do your work
  • Can hire other people at your own expense to help you or to do the work for you
  • Provide the main items of equipment to do your work
  • Are responsible for finishing any unsatisfactory work in your own time
  • Charge an agreed fixed price for your work
  • Sell goods or services to make a profit

You can be both employed and self-employed at the same time, for example if you work for an employer during the day and run your own business in the evenings.

Once you have established whether you are self-employed you may need to set up as a sole trader, become a partner in a business partnership or set up your own limited company.

You need to set up as a sole trader if any of the following apply:

  • You earned more than £1,000 from self-employment between 06 April 2020 and 05 April 2021
  • You need to prove your self-employed
  • You want to make voluntary Class 2 NI payments to help you qualify for benefits

To set up as a sole trader, you will need to register for Self-Assessment.



The Entertainment Sector can be a confusing area of work – especially if it is your full-time career. Knowing how to take control of your time and money while still adhering to HMRC rules can be a tedious task.

Our Director Andrea L Richards has written an E-Book on the most common mistakes made by Entertainers and expert advice on how to avoid and overcome them. 

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