How to Set Up a Small Business While Working On the Side

April 26 2016, 0 Comments

For certain individuals working in full time employment, it gets to a point when they realise that they want to get away from working for someone else for the rest of their lives. This decision usually occurs because they want to pursue a different career path or they’ve realised that what they’re doing for someone else, they could do doing it for themselves - keeping all of the profits. It’s at this point that they decide that starting a small business is the solution to their problems.

Starting a new business is a daunting task for anybody. The pressure to make a success of your start up is all on your shoulders and when you’re working a full time job on top of this, that weight becomes even greater.

In 2014, the Office for National Statistics revealed that over 350,000 people have a self-employed job on the side, proving that it is more than possible to juggle both. If you get it right first time, you might even be able to turn that small business into your full time employment!

If this is the route that you have decided to take, then we wish you the best of luck and to help you get started, we’ve listed some things you need to consider during this decision.

Employment Contract

Remember to thoroughly check your current employment contract before even starting a small business on the side. Sometimes there may be clauses built into your agreement that states you’re unable to work additional jobs, start your own business or there even could be non-compete terms.

You need to ensure that you raise any concerns with your HR to make sure that you’re not in breach of your contract. Breaking your terms could lead to the loss of your job. If you’re reliant on the income from that position to support your side business, this could be highly detrimental to your efforts.

Be Financially Aware 

Whichever business route you decide to take (sole trader/limited company), you need to ensure you let HMRC know. You are legally required to make HMRC aware when you start earning any additional income. If you fail to do so, it could have massive consequences for you and you could face financial penalties and more serious punishment. You will need to file your self assessment form and guarantee you’re paying the correct tax on all of the money you earn.

Who Should You Inform?

There are two sides to this that you need to consider. Your boss and your fellow employees.

To begin with, it is always beneficial if you inform your boss about your new start up, in an open and honest conversation. They will be able to understand your situation and work with you in order to support your new operation. Hopefully giving you a more flexible working arrangement that better suits the needs of your new business.

On the opposite side of the spectrum we have your work colleagues. In a perfect world, people would support all of your endeavours but unfortunately this is not the case. Be careful with who you tell as it could cause issues within your job. Jealously can cause people to attempt to influence managements point of view and it could create a bad working environment for you if they choose to perceive you as uninterested or thinking you’re too good for the job.


Choosing this career path is without a doubt a challenging one. Balancing two jobs at the same time whilst trying to have a social/family life is tough. It’s all about finding that perfect work/life balance. High levels of stress and exhaustion will cause a negative effect to your private life and your jobs.

Being organised is the way to cure this problem. If you create a plan, timetable and structure you will run efficiently and your productivity levels will increase. Set targets for yourself in order to hit goals and stick to your timetable to ensure you’re making time for yourself. You can take advantage of applications that will save you time and proficiently organise your workload - checklists, invoicing, emailing or accounting software for your books.