Welcome to the Professional Practice portal. Here you will find helpful advice
on tips to help you on your way as a student and professional illustrator.
TAX & NATIONAL INSURANCE
The fact is no matter what type of illustrator you are you will need a web presence to showcase your work and possibly yourself
as an artist. It's simple really, your web presence doesn't need to be all wistles and bells, at it's most simple you will need a small
portfolio of work which is quick to load a format that is easy to navigate and your contact details.
This is the bit where many new illustrators start bighting their nails and get a little bit nervous. My advice would be if you don’t feel that spreadsheets and balance sheets are your strength then leave it to somebody who loves that kind of stuff.
Most illustrators have accountants so its good to ask fellow artists, friends or family who might know a cheap and reliable accountant you can send your accounts to. If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a sole trade - even if you haven’t yet told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
You must register and follow the rules for self-employed tax and National Insurance. What counts as self-employed Sole traders and partners are classed as self-employed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This includes selling goods or services (‘trading’), unless you’re just selling a few unwanted items occasionally. Running a business You’re probably self-employed if you: run your business for yourself and take responsibility for its success or failure have several customers at the same time can decide how, where and when you do your work can hire other people at your own expense to help you or to do the work for you provide the main items of equipment to do your work are responsible for finishing any unsatisfactory work in your own time charge an agreed fixed price for your work sell goods or services to make a profit (including through websites & apps)
Many of these also apply if you own a limited company but you’re not classed as self-employed by HMRC. Instead you’re both an owner and employee of your company. You can be both employed and self-employed at the same time, eg if you work for an employer during the day and run your own business in the evenings. Use HMRC’s online employment staus indicator or contact HMRC for advice if you’re still not sure what your employment status is. Selling goods or services You could be classed as a trader if you sell goods or services.
If you’re trading, you’re self-employed. What counts as trading You’re likely to be trading if you: sell regularly to make a profit make items to sell for profi sell online, at car boot sales or through classified adverts on a regular basis earn commission from selling goods for other people are paid for a service you provide What doesn’t count as trading You’re probably not trading if you sell some unwanted items occasionally or you don’t plan to make a profit.
You can’t use any losses you make as part of a hobby to reduce your tax bill. What you need to do To become a sole trader, you’ll need to: Register yourself as self employed with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to make sure you pay the correct Income Tax and National Insurance Keep records of your business income and outgoings pay your tax each year, usually in 2 payments on the 31st of January & July- use HMRC’s online calculator to help you budget for this
There we go. That wasn't so bad was it?
If you have any problems with understanding tax then you really need to get an acountant. If you are happy to do your own tax returns yourself. Go ahead its not so difficult.
My experience is that that if you need to contact and talk with somebody at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) then they are a frendly helpful bunch of people.
To make this all work its important to keep good records of what you earn, invoices, studio rent, bills etc.
Straight after each job you will have to submit an invoice directly to the client or your agent. In the case of the client it might be as simple as emailing the art director themselves but it could be that they give you an email address to their accounts
Either way getting paid can at times be a bit slow so be patient. On average its about 2 months before you will see your money, so its always good to be displined and invoice straight away.
Click on the link and you will find an invoice template in word you can download. On this template in red ink you will find explainations of what each item means. You can remove these and add in your own information.