The thought of self-employment can be alluring – being your own boss, flexible hours, creative freedom – but in reality, the decision is much more complex. As an employee, you may take for granted the tasks that are handled by your employer, such as setting the daily schedule, collecting taxes, and providing benefits. Even office supplies, equipment, and access to clients are likely in place before an employee starts her/his position. A self-employed individual must handle all that on their own.
This is not to say that self-employment is out of reach, but being prepared to make the switch is an absolute necessity. If you are interested in taking that leap, then the following resources will help you on your way!
Perhaps the most significant difference between traditional employment and self-employment is with taxes and the IRS. The ‘when’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ of taxes are very different for individuals and businesses – far too different to cover in detail here – but these tools are a great start:
State & Local Resources
Luckily, you are not on your own when it comes to planning your small business. Iowa has several Small Business Development Centers located throughout the state. The services are free and designed to help small business owners with a number of topics:
In addition to the IRS, and Iowa’s Small Business Development Centers, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach can also assist with your self-employment plan. Our Community and Economic Development Specialists have several programs focused on small businesses, and designated Human Sciences, Family Wellbeing Specialists can help with creating a household budget – note: this is step #1 in the “Starting a Business in Iowa Checklist”!