The Importance of Protecting yourself and your Business

By: Elisha Burberry

Many people in all kinds of jobs enjoy the benefits that come with them. From free dental and health care, to discounts on lots of services and a company pension, being employed by someone else can have its perks - and it's easy to take them for granted.

If you are self employed however, it's a very different story. If you are off sick or go on holiday, you won't be paid. The truth is, while self employment has lots of benefits and freedoms that don't come with a normal job working for another company, it also has its downsides.

That's why it's important to consider all the possible hazards that may occur when you are starting up your own business. Not only do you need to comply with all the mandatory legal requirements, such as declaring that you are starting a business, paying the right amount of tax and paying your own National Insurance contributions, you also need to make sure you have contingency plans in place that will protect you should something go wrong.

Insuring your business is one example. If you deal with customers - for example, if you own a shop - you need to ensure you are covered against any accidents or mishaps that may occur, either while someone is on your premises or after they have bought a product from you.

While insuring your business is a vital requirement, you might also like to think about insuring yourself. If you take time off sick while working for someone else, you will probably get sick pay, but if you were to contract a long term illness that would render you unable to work, it could potentially ruin you if you were self employed. If you bought some insurance that would pay out in the event of this happening, the money you would receive would make a huge difference to your life.

You should also consider what would happen in the event of your death. Even though no one likes to think about this, it's vital that the worst is accounted for. Life insurance cover will make sure that if you die, your surviving family will receive a payout that will help avoid any potential financial difficulties. When you are self employed your demise might also mean the demise of your business - which could be a great financial loss.

Whatever the size of your business and however well established it is, it's important to consider what kinds of protection you and your business need. It can be worthwhile to seek out the services of a business adviser, who can give you ideas on how to develop your business and protect what you have already built.

When we are healthy it's easy to assume we will always remain that way, but when we don't have the luxury of an employer who will provide sick pay when we get poorly, it's down to us to protect ourselves.

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