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From sole trader to employer: the basics

You’ve taken the leap and launched your business. Whether it started as a side project and grew, or you committed 110pc from the beginning, you may reach a point where you realise that there’s suddenly a bit too much work for just one person alone.

Hiring employees is a big step for a small business. Transitioning from self-employed to employer comes with some seemingly complex steps, but with a little guidance it should be fairly painless.

Before tackling the registration changes, it’s important to consider which role should be filled first in order to maximise business operations.


An extra set of hands

As your company gains more customers and generating more turnover, you may notice that one of the main sources of stress comes from the day-to-day details. The small things that are crucial yet seemingly trivial when your mind is on an upcoming meeting for a potential client or ensuring that your products are completed for that big order.

In this scenario, filling that admin position might be the best bet to increase your productivity by allowing you to focus on the bigger picture, rather than the small details like answering phone calls and ordering more print paper.

If you run a specialised business, it might also make sense to bring in someone with a certain amount of expertise, or to provide a bit more variety or a new approach to your product or service.

Full-time, part-time, and fixed-term employees

Hiring on your first employee is a big step and can result in meaningful rewards and development for your business.

If you don’t want to dive right in or don’t quite have the resources yet to support a full-time employee (but need someone steadier than a freelancer or independent contractor), you can also consider part-time employees, or fixed-term employees.

What you’re required to provide to your new employee is the following:

  • A contract signed by both you and the employer indicating the employment agreement
  • Paid holiday (based on the minimum requirements)
  • National Insurance included in the payslip
  • Paid sick leave
  • Paid leave for maternity, paternity, adoption

As soon as you plan to hire an employee, there are a few steps you need to take to prepare and ensure that you meet the requirements set out by the government.

These include:

  • Registering as an employer with HMRC in order to participate in payroll, tax, and NI
  • Sign up for employer’s liability insurance
  • Provide at least the minimum wage
  • Ensure that the working hours are within the national requirements
  • Make adjustments based on any special needs for your employee
  • Ensure you can offer a safe and healthy working environment

For more details on the requirements and about the necessary registration, visit GOV.UK’s site dedicated to types of employee contracts and your responsibilities as an employer.

Full-time, part-time, and fixed-term employees are all entitled to the same rights and treatment.

Debitoor and employees

Debitoor offers a range of useful functions for a business with one to many employees. You can easily record the salary of your employee as an expense, and can list it under the ‘Employee Salary’ category.

You can also invite your employees to collaborate on your Debitoor account and help out with invoicing, expenses, accounting and more, or limit their access to only certain areas of your account. It’s up to you!

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Debitoor is now SumUp!

The Debitoor application has been shut down, but if you're searching for an all-in-one invoicing software, SumUp has everything you need. SumUp is more than just invoicing software. We offer a range of integrated tools to help you run your business easily and efficiently. Open a Business Account with a free Mastercard, set up an online store, accept a variety of in-person and remote payments and much more. Start streamlining your invoices, payments and accounts today!

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