Business License for Freelance Web Designers?

Freelance Website Designer

October 20, 2019

The short answer to that question is no, you don’t need a business licence to work as a freelance web designer in the UK. There are, however, a number of other things you will need. Let’s have a look at them in a little more detail.

You Need Perspective

If you’re planning on leaving a paid job to start work as a freelancer, you need to change how you perceive work. Being a freelance web designer means taking on more responsibilities and commitments compared to being “employed” and will require you to focus on things like time management, accounting, and best work practices, amongst so many other things.

You Need to Choose a Business Model

One of the first major decisions you need to make as a freelance web designer is what type of business you are going to run, in particular are you going to run as a sole trader or as a limited company?

Sole traders are typically easier to run and require less paperwork but will leave you carrying all the financial risks of the business yourself.

Limited companies are more complicated beasts and require Directors to be appointed and for the company to be registered at Companies House. This model does, however, provide you with protection from any financial losses that may occur.

You Need to Register for Tax

Being a freelance web designer means taking over responsibility for paying taxes. This can’t be avoided and registering with the HMRC should be high up your list of priorities.

You Need to Get Business Insurance

If you’re running a freelancer web design business from home or a dedicated premises, business insurance will be essential to protect your assets. Regular home and contents insurance won’t generally cover business use, so getting a dedicated policy is essential.

Freelance Web Designer

By Tiago Lavis-Fernandes

Tiago is a Portuguese freelance web designer living and working in Manchester for over ten years. Fascinated by WordPress and the Divi Builder, he helps clients achieve success through UX/UI website design and search engine optimisation. If you're looking for someone to help with your online marketing, look no further.

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  1. Sarah Wright

    Thanks, this article was really informative! I’ve been thinking about getting started as a freelance web designer for some time now, but was unsure of the red tape involved. Luckily your article has answered the questions I had about this, so thanks again!

    • Freelance Web Designer

      It’s never too late! Good luck on your journey, Sarah. Here is a place where you can find thousands of jobs for web designers, I hope it helps. I’m here if you ever need some more advice.

  2. Evan Peterson

    A friend of mine has been thinking of going freelance for some time but I don’t think he’s aware of the culture shift this kind of work needs. Is there any place where he could start searching for freelance jobs? I’ll show him your article, thanks!

    • Freelance Web Designer

      Hi Evan, that’s great and I think everyone should at least give a try to the freelance world. Thanks for your comment!


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