Scaling up not an aim for majority of freelancers in 2018.

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While there will no doubt be a group of the 2million independent workers who harbour ambition to grow their business in the future, new research suggests that the vast majority of freelancers are fully focused on success as a one-person company in 2018 and beyond. 

As many as 7 in 10 freelancers and contractors do not intend to scale up their operations in the next twelve months at least, tax specialist Qdos Contractor has revealed.

Just 25% of the 640 freelancers surveyed intend to grow their business this year, and take the first steps in transforming from a one-person enterprise into a business with the capacity to outsource work and stability to employ people.

Commenting on these statistics, Seb Maley, Qdos Contractor CEO, believes independent working is a career choice that in many cases is misunderstood.

“There is a misconception that in time many freelancers and contractors intend to grow their business into large companies. This simply isn’t true, and is reflected by the vast majority of independent workers who plan to continue working as one person enterprises in 2018 and onwards.”


The remaining 5% of freelancers surveyed indicated they have other plans for the year ahead, which include going employed and for some, even retirement. When asked at the age they plan to stop working, almost half (48%) hope to retire between 61 and 71 – close to the age at which workers can begin receiving their state pension, at 66.

Refreshingly, over a third (35%) of freelancers and contractors hope to retire and close down their business between 51 and 60 – suggesting that a healthy number of independent workers across the UK are benefitting from working self-employed and have the financial freedom to stop working earlier on in life.

10% of freelancers expect to be able to afford to retire over the age of 71, 6% between the ages of 41 and 50, while just 1% are confident they can stop working before they reach 40 - but then again, that's no real surprise. 

“That almost half of independent workers hope to retire close to the average UK retirement age suggests that freelancing and contracting is a sustainable career choice,” commented Mr Maley.

“Despite the challenges of working without employer’s pension contribution, freelancers can in many cases command day rates to retire at a similar age to employees,” he added.

Do you intend to scale your business or even retire in 2018? Join the conversation…

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