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, many 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 to register the web design company 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. You can’t avoid this, and registering with the HMRC should be high up your list of priorities.
You Need to Get Business Insurance
If you’re running a freelance web design business from home or 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 critical.