Guidance for Freelancers | Joining your Students' Union Team


If you are looking to join the Students’ Union as part of the Creative Support Team or undertake a paid live lab then this guide will help you navigate what you need to do as a self-employed freelancer. Please note that this information and links were last updated on 18/11/2021. This guidance was accurate as of this date, but we recommend always taking professional advice before proceeding in self-employment.  


Being self-employed means that you get paid in a different way and are subject to a different arrangement when it comes to paying tax and National Insurance. A further explanation of what it means to be self-employed can be viewed here.  


If you agree to taking on contract work for the Students’ Union as a freelancer, you will need to follow the steps below to ensure that you are operating in line with HMRC requirements. Please note this guide assumes that you are earning as an individual and are not intending to set up or are already operating a limited company or partnership.  

  1. Create an invoice template and issue an invoice for any contract work that you carry out. There are lots of downloadable templates online, or you can use this template here.

  1. Keep accurate records of spending and payments so you are ready to report your earnings to the HMRC. This website provides some basic templates and guidance to help you with bookkeeping.   

  2. Register for self-assessment with the HMRC to report your earnings and to calculate how much tax and National Insurance you will be liable to pay. This Self Assessment Tax calculator is very helpful for budgeting so that you can set money aside and don’t get hit by an unexpected bill!  

  1. Check whether you need to register as a Sole Trader 

If you are a Tier 4/Student visa holder you can only work on a temporary contract in line with your Visa requirements. Unfortunately, the law prevents you from being self-employed or setting up a business. Please contact the Employability and HR Team if you are a Tier 4 student to find out what opportunities may be available to you. 


Other Guides and Resources 

Registering for HMRC Online Services: 


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