It’s important to firstly recognise that income and tax laws will vary in each country when it comes to contract or locum work. We’ve compiled a list of 8 things to tick off when starting out as a locum. For more information contact your accountant who will be able to guide you through the process.
- Researching the laws that govern locum work in your country – Obviously, working as a locum in each country may have certain differences you need to be aware of. Our recommendation would be to check with your professional body to see what these my be in the country you work.
- Setting up the appropriate working structure – There are a number of different tax structure available across the globe and its important to work with your accountant on the most suitable set up for you. Depending on how things work in your country it my be beneficial to work through a company, a trust, as a sole trader or other strucutre available to you.
- Understanding what ongoing tax obligations you have – It is very important that you know when and how to make tax payments. Often this will vary from country to country so we also recommend discussing this with your accountant.
- Understanding ongoing retirement obligations (EG Superannuation, 401K) you have – In some countries these obligations are mandatory and you will be required to make regular payments. Another question for your accountant.
- Having systems in place to be paid on time – Certainly one of the most important things to think about. Getting paid on time! We recommend firstly, understanding how you will be paid by the companies you will be providing work to. There are a number of cloud based accounting solutions that will allow you to invoice directly. That being said there may be other methods you will need to employ between organisations.
- Plan for leave and other entitlements – Remember you will be paying and organising for these yourself. This means planning out and saving for annual leave and sick leave. Which leads us to the next point.
- Develop a budget for your business – Its important to understand not only the revenue you have coming in but what additional expenses you will incur as a locum. Generally this shouldn’t be high but keep in mind professional registrations, insurances etc which you may have had paid for by your employer previously will now be your responsibility.
- Cover your backside – Insurance is your best risk mitigation strategy and fail safe in case something goes wrong. There are a number of insurances to indemnify yourself against potential issues in practice but other insurances like personal injury insurance that will help you keep income if you are injured.