Business License for Freelance Web Designers?

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.

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!

    • Jake Coulter

      I agree, this is a really good article! I only wish I’d found it when I got started, as it would have saved me from making some silly mistakes.

    • Dan Williams

      I really enjoyed this article too. I found it helped quite a bit and saved me having to scour the internet for answers to my questions.

    • Freelance Web Designer

      It’s never too late! Good luck on your journey, Sarah. I’m here if you ever need some more advice.

  2. 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!

  3. Elise Morrison

    Very useful, thank you so much!



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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. This website is run by Tiago Lavis-Fernandes and not associated, or act on behalf of Elegant Themes. Divi is a registered trademark of Elegant Themes, inc.

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