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Starting Out as a Self-employed HGV Driver

Being your own boss is the dream for many people across the UK. Being able to set your own hours, choose your own customers and do things exactly the way you want to – the concept offers a lot of perks. As an HGV driver, you have the opportunity to grab all of these benefits and more. But where do you start? What do you need to do to get yourself set up as an HGV driver? Well, we have a few tips for you today.

Know Your Limits

Everyone has their skills and strengths – and their weaknesses as well. That’s just a factor of life, but it’s something business owners have to work around. The way they do this is to identify where their weak spots are, and then seek help from other people in those areas. This could be something as simple as some extra training, or even outsourcing that part of their business. So, sit down and work out what your blank spots are, and get yourself some support.

Get a Good Accountant

A good accountant is essential to every business. Even if you fancy yourself as a bit of a numbers person, an accountant can bring a lot of value to your business. Not only do they help you ensure your accounts are done correctly and on time, but they can tell you a lot about your business, help you run more efficiently and save you money in a lot of creative ways. And most importantly, they take a task off your plate and let you focus on running your business.

Register Your Business

Before you do any actual business, you need to make sure you’re registered with HMRC. This means making a critical decision – what business structure will you have? Generally, there are 2 to choose from:

Sole Trader: A sole trader is essentially a self-employed person who is the only owner of their business. It’s the simplest type of business structure out there, and it’s often how small businesses start out. That’s one of the reasons it’s the most popular business structures out there too! It’s really easy to set up, but you will still need to register as a sole trader for tax purposes.

Limited Company: A limited company can run in a lot of similar ways to a sole trader, except the business has its own legal identity. This type of business structure separates the liability of the businesses from the individual business owner, shareholders and managing directors. You can run a limited company even if you are a one-man band – it’s just a matter of structure.

Of course, like almost anything in life, there are pros and cons to each business structure, so it’s important to look carefully at the options before making your decision. If you’re not sure which will be right for you, you can always ask your accountant for help.

Open a Bank Account

If you want to actually take payment for anything you do, you need a business bank account. This is an easy one to achieve – once you’ve registered your business go and chat to your local banks, work out what deal suits your needs best, and get the ball rolling. Depending on the deal and the bank it can take a week or two to get this set up, so it’s a good idea to do it sooner rather than later, so you’re not missing out on sales.

Get Yourself Organised

Now that all of the big set up bits are done, it’s time to look at the little things. During your HGV driver training, you will have discovered that there is a lot of paperwork, admin and equipment involved in being a driver – and there is even more involved in being a business owner. Everything from your vehicle to your office printer needs to be researched, bought and set up, so write yourself a master list and start working through it. If you can, try to set up a workflow system as you go so that you can stay organised moving forward.

At The LGV Training Centre, we pride ourselves on helping aspiring drivers achieve their goals – whether that’s finding gainful employment with a firm or setting up on their own. Our trainers are on hand to answer any of your questions and support you through the process of setting up your own HGV business. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with us today.

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