If you want to give people in need the care and dignity they deserve, start a career as a self-employed carer. You can help with personal care, prepare food and provide a comfortable living environment for people.

Alongside the rewarding work, you control what you do when you’re self-employed. Unlike with an agency, you’re free to set your rates, choose clients and fit hours around your life.

This guide discusses how to become a self-employed carer, which includes:

  • Get yourself qualified
  • Register your business
  • Find your clients
  • Insure yourself
  • Manage your finances

Learn how to become a self-employed carer through these steps

Get yourself qualified

Before you take on the responsibility to look after someone, ensure you’re capable and possess relevant skills. When it comes to becoming a self-employed carer, you aren’t legally required to have any qualifications.

Though not essential, qualifications might be helpful to develop the abilities you need to provide a good service. There are plenty of health and social care courses that your local college will likely offer for face-to-face education.

Alternatively, online courses are available at:

  • The Open University
  • Open Study College
  • Distance Learning Centre

Aside from the medical side, there are two main aspects you need to be a great carer:

  • Calm — keep a level head in difficult situations, and make sure you can continue to provide care.
  • Empathetic — relate to the people you work with on a human level, even if they have different backgrounds to your own.

Register your business

Alongside the vital and rewarding work, you’re setting up a business. You must register yourself as self-employed with HMRC through the UK Government portal.

When you register, you’re responsible for your income tax Self Assessments. It’s essential to look at your costs and earnings to file these at the end of the tax year.

Your Self-Assessments can be time-consuming, especially if you need to look through stacks of paperwork for a year of work. But there is a tool that can make it easier.

Countingup is a business account with built-in accounting software. It includes a tax estimates feature that’ll alert you on how much to set aside each month through your phone.

Find your clients

An obvious essential for how to become a self-employed carer is people to care for, but finding clients could be more complicated. You’ll compete with care agencies that are already established.

Research care providers in your area. Try to find out:

  • What services do they offer?
  • What prices do they charge?
  • What do clients like about the service?
  • Where do they market themselves?

With insight into your competitors, decide on a plan to attract more clients. Perhaps you can offer a better service at a reduced rate which goes further on the aspects people like. For example, communication with family members.

Your clients will need to be local, so take that approach to your advertising. For example, that could mean you hand out flyers in a supermarket or get advertising on the local radio.

Facebook is a great platform, its groups and pages for your area could be perfect for you to share your details. Another idea could be to put vinyl stickers on your car, so as you travel to each client you can advertise for the next.

Insure yourself

Protect yourself when learning how to become a self-employed carer. With the right insurance cover, you can prepare against legal problems

Countingup’s insurance partner, Superscript, offers Carers Insurance that provides three types of cover in one.

Medical malpractice

Many of your clients are likely to be vulnerable and could require you to carry out medical tasks. Those may include administering medication or changing equipment.

If someone is injured or dies in your care, their family could take legal action against you for your practices. For example, you could spot an issue and take too long to refer the client to a doctor.

Professional indemnity

When someone faces a financial loss due to your services, they could take action against you. That could be the client or their family.

If your client needs new specialist medical equipment, you could measure them, and their family could pay to have it installed. But for example, it could arrive and be unusable because of errors in your measurements.

Public liability

Working closely with the public can mean plenty of opportunities for accidents. Someone could face an injury or damage to their property from something you do.

That covers the things that aren’t medical-related, like if you put a client into a hot bath that scolds them. Or if you cook them a meal and cause a fire in their home.

Carers Insurance will help pay the court fees and compensation across those three areas of your work, saving your business from bankruptcy if something goes wrong.

Manage your finances

A successful business needs to be well-managed and able to make a profit. Without more money that comes in than out, you could find it difficult to pay yourself and reinvest in the search for new clients.

One of your highest costs is likely to be travel, and you could become heavily reliant on your car to take you from one client to the next. That does mean that you need to pay road tax and car insurance.

But one day-to-day cost you are likely to deal with is fuel. Additionally, you might buy lunch on the go, and paper receipts from both can pile up.

Any expense you have is essential to add to your accounts because you can use them when you calculate your taxes.

Care about receipts with Countingup

To make your paper billings work in harmony with your digital accounts, Countingup’s got you covered. A business account with built-in accounting software can make the best use of your mobile.

Use your phone’s camera to scan the paper billings with its receipt capture feature. They are added straight alongside the rest of your costs within the app. It’s seamless and straightforward.

Get started for free.