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How to become a self-employed carer

Updated: Apr 29

You have a genuine interest in caring for others. You want to enjoy the freedom of setting your own hours and choosing your own clients. You are, of course, looking to become a self-employed carer. With a growing elderly population in the UK, live in care jobs are in high demand. Now is a great time to start a career in care. Here are 9 steps to get you started:

1) Get qualified

There is no legal requirement for carer training. However, there are care certificates, diplomas and NVQs you can attain which will help generate trust between you and your potential clients by showcasing your commitment to the job and your expertise.

2) Register with the HMRC

Self employed carer jobs require that you declare yourself as self-employed to the HMRC. You’ll then be able to make your tax payments through your Self-Assessment Tax Return.

3) Write a business plan

It is good practice to write out a business plan, which clearly details your goals. For example, what kind of clients do you want? How much do you hope to earn?

4) Draw up contracts

You need to create contracts which both you and your clients will sign, clearly defining the service you will provide, including hours, pay, responsibilities and cancellation of services.

In addition to your contracts, you will need to have clearly documented procedures in place for complaints, risk assessments, duty of care and safeguarding.

5) Get your DBS check

Providing elderly care requires that you get an enhanced DBS check (formerly referred to as a CRB check).

6) Get insurance

You are legally required to have public liability insurance but should also consider getting business equipment insurance.

7) Set your rate

Research what the going rates are for self-employed carers in your area and factor in costs such as travel, care equipment and holiday and/or sick leave.

8) Get clients

Now you’ll need to market yourself and your elderly care services. Invest in online and offline marketing. E.g. register with care.com, post on social media, put up posters in local libraries or community centres.

9) Interview your potential clients

Meeting potential clients is a great way for both you and them to decide if your services would be a good fit. They’ll have lots of questions but make sure you also ask them questions about their expectations and needs.

Follow these 9 steps and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful self-employed carer. For greater support and longevity in your carer career, you may also want to consider registering with Patricia White's, the UK’s longest running introductory live-in care agency.

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