Can you make it work as a freelance model? 

Can you make it work as a freelance model?  Alex Robertson January 23, 2024

As we look around the office, it’s a question we often ask of ourselves… Can I throw this all off and be a freelance model? 

 Many of those in the modelling world are attached to an agency and are paid through them. This makes it more likely that income is steady and that tax and national insurance will be deducted at source – but it also means that the agency has greater control over your ‘look’, your schedule, and the nature and frequency of the work you are offered. And, naturally, they take a cut of your earnings for that privilege. 

 So you may have reached a part of your career where you’d prefer to find your own niche, decide your own schedule and set your own fees (and not share them). 

 Before you jump, bear in mind that this can mean greater job insecurity, though more control, over what work you take – and it certainly means that you will have to find new ways to charge for your own earnings and you’ll have to make sure to manage those earnings, and your tax commitments, differently. 

 Just as importantly, before you make the move, take the time to consider whether you will have enough clients to maintain your income, to understand the costs you’ll incur (your travel, your portfolio, your ‘upkeep’ of your look), and your accounts. 

 And, as self-assessment deadlines loom, it’s a good time to remember that you’ll need to register as self-employed, or create your own company, that you’ll have to create a record of your income and your expenses, and that you’ll need to file a tax return. 

 This all means you have some decisions to make: 

  • What are the advantages to acting as a sole trader compared to creating a limited company 
  • What can you include as tax-deductible expenses – clothes? Travel? Gym membership? A portfolio and website?  

 If we can make a suggestion at this point – sometimes it’s worth delegating that kind of stuff to those who already know (you can find them just here) so that you can build your business, cultivate networks and increase your earnings – while we help you keep more of them.