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10 admin things 4 consultants

women consultants working

10 admin things 4 consultants

Here is a list of 10 admin things to think about when setting up as an independent or freelance consultant. I use it when running my webinar on Becoming a freelance consultant in international development and humanitarian aid. It might apply to other sectors, including the sustainability, social impact and education sectors.

10 admin things for new consultants

When taking our first steps into consulting, we tend to focus on finding work as financial security is often one of our key concern.

Establishing a sound administrative foundation is however a key requirement, not only to prevent any surprises from the tax office and protect ourselves, but also to be able to seize opportunities that might require the provision of some admin papers. And we don’t want to miss these opportunities just because our paper work is not in order, right?

Here is a list of 10 common things to think about when setting up as a freelance consultant. It is not exhaustive and is not tailored to any country in particular, so you might want to find out about any requirements or specificities applying to or relevant for your country context.

1. Administrative status and registration requirements, if any (self-employment vs establishing one’s own structure such as a limited company or other available status where you live)

2. VAT rules and VAT registration where necessary

3. Banking rules, bank accounts (and in which currency), bank services (foreign currency payment handling) and bank fees for self-employed, companies or other administrative structures

4. Tax rules that apply to your situation depending on where you live, where you pay your taxes, where your structure is based (if any), and your administrative status.

5. Bookkeeping, accounting and invoice requirements depending on your administrative status.

6. Record keeping requirements (receipts, etc.)

7. Insurances, particularly travel insurance if you travel for work, home insurance if you work from home, and professional indemnity insurance (personal and professional liability)

8. Pension rules and cover/plan

9. Templates for key documents such as invoice, CV, proposal, letterhead

10. Policies you might need to share with clients, such as Anti bribery and corruption policy, environment policy, safeguarding policy…