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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member inggy's Avatar
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    starting as a freelance designer

    HI I wanted to know if anyone could advise me on any legal issuse I have to cover when working for myself from home do I need some sort of insurance incase I do some damage to someones equipment or become ill and can not complete work my self?
    Any advice on working from home as a web/graphic designer would be great
    inggy

  2. #2
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    Regardless of what industry you choose to start your business in, you should get yourself a good accountant. They are well placed to guide you through the proper procedures for setting up and operating a small business based upon your particular requirements and circumstances.

  3. #3
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    Possible insurance required:

    1. Professional indemnity - this protects you from negligence lawsuits from your clients

    2. Public liability - if clients visit you at your home, you should have this in case they injure themselves (e.g. slip on your stairs etc). I believe this also covers you if you visit them and break their computer or similar (not entirely sure about that though)

    3. Contents & buildings insurance w/accidental damage - in case you get burgled or set your house on fire etc

    4. Self employment insurance, key person insurance, etc - covers you in case you are unable to work.

    As someone mentioned, get an accountant to advise on expenses and general tax issues

  4. #4
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    And a good attorney.

    I'll provide other suggestions in this post (or a subsequent one) later, when I have some free time.

  5. #5
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Oh, and never, EVER, work without a contract.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    Oh, and never, EVER, work without a contract.
    Also, use the power of Skype to call your clients at home. That quickly avoids the "blocked on msn at the time of payment" situation.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict FizixRichard's Avatar
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    As others have said but additionally:

    1. Have your "base contracts" looked over by an attorney. Meaning, the documents you base your contracts off should be checked over to make sure you are covering yourself. It's beneficial to have every contract and document checked over but for a startup that would be too expensive.

    2. Befriend your competition, this was invaluable to me when I was freelance. You never know when you might need backup on a project or need advice when you first start.

    I remember one project I had, something broke and I had no idea how to fix it. Forums yielded no results. I was lucky enough to be on friendly terms with a competing freelancer who sat up until the early hours with me making sure said project got done.


    3. Learn marketing and how to run a business, properly. Not only for your own company but for your clients. If you know how to make something that will enhance their ROI, drive more sales etc. then you will be far more successful.

    - leads into


    4. These days "looks pretty", "web standards compliant" and "adheres to the latest dev trends" don't mean that much to most companies and clients outside of the development world. They are interested in business solutions that drive sales and such. I've found focusing more on the marketing side of things and looking at how I can enhance the companies image, brand and help them make more money has lead to much greater success. Basically business and then technology.

  8. #8
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inggy
    Any advice on working from home as a web/graphic designer would be great
    The advice you're getting here is great. I'd add only one thing: patience, and lots of it.

    Every so often I go through my contact book and weed out names, and marvel at the number of folks who aren't in business anymore. Most are freelancers that I've met over the years, sometimes worked with, who for one reason or other didn't make it. Some screwed up big at some point and got scared off. Others went back to corporate life and regular paychecks. Still others were forced back into the regular life due to changing life circumstances.

    The common trend I've seen over the years, though, has been The Dream. You know The Dream. The Dream says that you'll work from home, not have to take orders from morons, and go hit the beach (or bookstore or Starbucks or whatever) whenever you want. That you'll live the free life, make decent money and impress friends to boot. The Dream seems to break more freelancers than any other factor.

    The Dream is real. It is. But you've got a long haul before you reach it - probably at least two years. Two years of scraping by, sleepless nights, bad days, terrible months, lousy projects, worse clients, and a lot of hopeless despair, punctuated by the occasional good day. If you can survive all that, learn from it all, and claw your way through, you'll start catching sight of The Dream.. but you have to get out of the woods first. There's no shortcut to The Dream. We all did this.

    If you're expecting to find The Dream a week after quitting your job, or even a month or year, you're deluded. If you can get past The Dream, hunker down and deal with two years of hand-to-hand combat under grueling conditions, you've got a chance.

    So be patient. Live by your wits, work hard, make good friends (important!!), cover yourself, and grab opportunity when it comes by. The rest is paperwork.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Member inggy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the advice from all of you who have posted here it has given me plenty to think about I am getting advice from a business start up fund who may give me a grant but they are were not helpful on the actual requirments for a design business.
    this is great.
    inggy

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by inggy
    Thanks for the advice from all of you who have posted here it has given me plenty to think about I am getting advice from a business start up fund who may give me a grant but they are were not helpful on the actual requirments for a design business.
    this is great.
    inggy
    cool

    well good luck anyway


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