Freelancing as a FT student in the UK
Thread poster: Deschant

Local time: 06:30
Sep 28, 2006

Dear all,

I've been navigating the forum to see if this topic had already been covered - I found lots of useful information but nothing specific to my question. Please excuse me if it has already been posted before.

In some weeks I will move to the UK tu study a full-time PhD. However I don't want to give up freelance translation and I would like to freelance for no more than 15-20 hours per week (the maximum of work permitted for FT students is 20 hours per week).

I've found out that:

-I must register as self-employed within 3 months of the commencement of my activity.

-I don't have to register for VAT unless I earn more than 60,000 (?) £ per year (which is highly unlikely).

Can you think of anything else? Any help will be much appreciated.


Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:30
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
National Insurance Sep 28, 2006

Hi Eva,

Depending on how much you think you will be working and how much money you will be making, it may be of interest for you to apply for a certificate of low earnings which means you are not eligible to pay class 2 (self-employed) National Insurance Contributions. I think the limit is around 5000GBP per annum.

You should be able to find more information here -

Good luck!



Mirela Fletcher  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:30
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Claiming expenses Oct 23, 2006

Hi Eva,
I think Becky's advice is not to be ignored. I benefited from this scheme and you may too, considering that your main occupation is research and you may not be willing or available to work all through the year. However, if you think that your annual income from your freelance work will be just above £5000, bare in mind that you can claim expeses for the business. Allowable expenses vary, but are approximately 1/3 of your bills and rent (if the business is run from home). I suggest you think about this carefully, prepare some spreadsheets and discuss them on your registration with the Inland Revenue officer. You can either register over the phone or in their office. I do recommend though you visit them so you can show your provisional spreadsheets. Once set, there will be nothing else to do but enjoy the benefits of freelance work. Inland Revenue people ( ops, now they have a new name - Revenue and Customs, I think ) are usually very helpful and can advice you even on presenting and preparing your accounts. This reminds me that professional fees are also deductableicon_smile.gif I hope all this is new and useful information to you.
Good luck.


Local time: 06:30
Thank you (from rainy Surrey!) Oct 23, 2006

Many thanks to both, this is really interesting stuff. I have been in England for only 10 days now but this week I will talk to the Inland Revenue office.


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