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How to become a registered self-employed personal carer?

A home care resident is reading a book with nursing staff.

Become a self-employed caregiver

Being a self-employed carer is a very rewarding career path and the most empowering thing you can do. It is your chance to make a huge difference in the lives of people who need care and improve the quality of life.
Making the decision to become a self-employed carer means having more control over your work schedule as well as your workload. Unlike with an agency, you’re free to set your rates, choose clients, and fit hours around your life. Having more control over your working hours is more appealing in a demanding industry like healthcare.
If you choose to be a self-employed caregiver, it is important to understand that you will be running your own business, which means you will have additional responsibilities along with the normal caregiver duties.
Here are some steps to take to become a self-employed caregiver:

Get yourself the right qualification

If you are a brand-new carer, before you take on the responsibility to look after someone, ensure you are capable and possess the right skills. Now, while there is no legal requirement to have a qualification as a personal care assistant, it is better to get trained. This will only help you enhance your skills and provide better healthcare services, giving you the upper hand among other private personal assistants.
There are various health and social care courses now available, and having qualifications can really help you generate business. Aside from having the right knowledge, you also need to be able to deal with clients in a calm and caring way.
An enhanced DBS certificate is another way to show potential employers that you do not have a criminal record and are not prohibited from working with children or vulnerable adults.

Keep track of your daily activities

Being a self-employed caregiver entails additional responsibilities along with those of a caregiver. As a beginner, you should be familiar with bookkeeping and the process because you may not be able to hire an accountant. You can learn about bookkeeping by reading, watching videos, and keeping your accounts up-to-date.

Legal formalities and company structure

It is preferable to seek professional advice before you begin. You will have to decide whether your structure will be a limited company or a sole proprietorship. To put it succinctly, being a sole trader means you'll be a one-man show. A limited company allows you to hire additional caregivers, bookkeepers, and other staff.
If you intend to operate as a limited company, you must be CQC-registered, which includes the inspections, legal requirements for training, reporting, and care managers that come with being an agency. If you are unsure about the future of your business, it is best to start as a sole trader.

Client contracts

You must also prepare a contract for your client outlining the services you provide and the fees associated with them. It is preferable to have your legal counsel draught a contract that can later be customised for each client. This will give you and your client a better understanding of the situation and conditions
Some examples of contract clauses include:
1. Hours of service and tasks to undertake
2. Mode of payment
3. Leave
4. Notice period

Is VAT registration necessary?

Unlike CQC-registered care services, which are VAT-exempt, non-registered services, such as those provided by self-employed carers, are subject to 20% VAT. However, the mandatory VAT registration threshold is set at £85,000 in turnover, so unless you work with some exceptionally high-end clients, you probably won't have to worry about it.

Tax filing

As a self-employed carer, you will be required to file self-assessment tax returns with the government once a year and twice in subsequent years (if required).
A self-employed caregiver can list certain costs as business expenses to lower the bill amount. These include fuel, electronic devices, and other materials that are solely used for business purposes, among other things.
You can ask a professional accountant for help with your self-assessment if you require.

Open a business bank account

While opening a business bank account is not required, it will save you a lot of time when determining business expenses in a given fiscal year. This will assist you in filing your tax returns.

Insure yourself 

Being insured will help if you accidentally break your client's personal property, or if the client is injured or dies in your care, their family could take legal action against you. For example, you spotted an issue but took a long time to refer the client to a doctor.
In some cases, if your client faces any financial losses due to your service, insurance can help. For example, if your client required new specialised medical equipment, you could measure it and their family could pay for installation. However, on arrival, it became unusable because of errors in your measurements.
In all the above cases, it is always advisable to have caregiver insurance. Several providers offer specialised caregiver insurance; however, the terms and conditions will specify various requirements for you to remain insured. For instance, you might have a suitable care certificate and have received training for the job. So, it is better to get trained before working for a client who has specific needs, or to choose services in which you are trained.
Carers Insurance will assist in the payment of court fees and compensation in these three areas of your work, potentially saving your company from bankruptcy if something goes wrong.

Automobile insurance

If you plan to use your personal vehicle to transport your client to run errands, you must notify your insurer that you will be using your vehicle for business purposes. Failure to do so may result in them not paying out if you are involved in an accident. Business insurance is rarely more than a few pounds per year; check with your car insurer for more information.

Automobile insurance

If you plan to use your personal vehicle to transport your client to run errands, you must notify your insurer that you will be using your vehicle for business purposes. Failure to do so may result in them not paying out if you are involved in an accident. Business insurance is rarely more than a few pounds per year; check with your car insurer for more information.

Sourcing clients

One of the most important aspects of being a self-employed healthcare provider is sourcing your work. You can always use an introductory service to help you match with a private client. This would also help you find a select number of clients who would otherwise be difficult to find.

Set your working hours and pay rates

As a self-employed caregiver, you have more freedom to choose your working schedule, but sticking to a schedule is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance and staying organised as a professional. Determine how many hours you will work and your hourly rate.
You must set a rate that is both reasonable for you and competitive in the market. In the case of a care agency, they determine the rates by looking at your skills or providing training, and they also take on the responsibilities of their caregivers. However, as a self-employed caregiver, you must evaluate your skills, qualifications, and experience before setting a pay rate.
After you've worked on these points, you can begin looking for clients who require your care services. If you are a new caregiver, it is best to start with a care agency to learn more about the profession.
Nurses Group is regarded as one of the best care agencies in the UK. Caregivers who want to help people who are less fortunate can find many opportunities with us. Join us if you are looking for more opportunities as a caregiver or if you want to make caring a career.

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