The number of benefits is huge but we will try to sum up some of the main ones.
1. Firstly you can charge a much higher rate for doing the same work as a permanent employee. This is because the client will not have to pay tax on what they pay you as they would with a permanent member of staff - they save a great deal of money so you can charge a higher rate.
2. Not only can you charge a much higher rate but you pay less tax than if you were an employee doing the same job. You will take home between 80-85% of a contract value, an employee would take home 60-65%.
3. Control over the amount of work you undertake, the hours and days you work, where you work - if you want to work from home then you can, it's completely up-to-you, you're in control.
What are the disadvantages of going freelance?
There are a few disadvantages that you have to be aware of, but most freelance contractors would tell you these are far outweighed by the advantages:
1. If you are sick you will not receive sick pay like an employee - you can however take out specialist contractor income protection insurance that will pay a monthly salary if you fall ill - see the Extra Employee Benefits page for more information.
2. You do not receive paid holiday time off as you would if you were an employee. However your increased charge out rate as a contractor takes this into account so if you take 4 or 5 weeks off a year you will still earn much more than a full time employee doing the same job.
3. You will usually not receive a notice period like you would if you were an employee - most contracts have an end date, if however the client decides that the work is coming to an end or they no longer need you they can give you little or no notice - in reality this rarely happens and most contractors find their contracts are usually extended by the client for several more months than originally planned. It is also quite easy to pick up a new contract since you will have the contacts and know the recruiters that can put new contracts your way.