According to a new survey, conducted by cloud accounting software provider FreeAgent and reported by City A.M., two out of three UK employees plan to start their own business at some point – a 10 per cent increase on last year. One out of every ten employees surveyed by FreeAgent said they were planning to launch a business this year, while a fifth of respondents hoped to become their own boss within the next few years.
18-34 year-olds were revealed as the most eager to launch a business, with 80 per cent in that age group saying they hoped to start a business. Among 35–54-year-olds, this fell to 60 per cent, while 33 per cent of respondents aged 55 or over said they wanted to start a business.
Motivations for wanting to start a business were shown to have changed since last year. The most common reasons cited last year were choosing their own work (41 per cent) and earning more money (36 per cent). However, in this year’s survey, improving their work-life balance was the most common motivation (47 per cent). Choosing their own work was again widely cited (40 per cent), but just 27 per cent of respondents named making more money as their motivation, making it the 7th most popular reason.
Despite widespread plans to start a business, 90 per cent of employees polled admitted to having concerns. Over half (51 per cent) were concerned about dealing with their own tax, 32 per cent named IR35 and GDPR as concerns, 29 per cent named business finances as a major worry and 27 per cent were worried about a lack of government support for small businesses and freelancers.
A significant finding was the fact that, although most employees said they wanted to start a business, 82 per cent were not aware of Making Tax Digital (MTD), which comes into force in 2024. Under MTD, self-employed people who earn more than £10,000 will be required to digitally manage their finances and submit tax returns.
Regarding COVID-19, half of respondents said they had pushed back business plans due to the pandemic. However, 27 per cent had moved their plans forward as a result of COVID, while 24 per cent had not changed their plans. Finally, 40 per cent said they had been put off starting a business due to Brexit, while 27 per cent did not agree that Brexit had discouraged them and 34 per cent said they neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement.
Author: Steven English