Sole Traders: We want to hear from you!

Hey everyone! :wave:

Around 25% of the people who’ve joined the waitlist so far are sole traders of all kinds. Some are working on a passion project they hope to grow in the evenings after the day job, others have been in business for over 20 years and have a loyal customer base.

This week, if you’re a sole trader, or have been one in the past, we’d love to hear from you!

What’s your business?

What do you love about being a sole trader? What do you find stressful about being self-employed?

Do you have plans to grow into a limited company someday, or does being a sole trader suit you? How come?

Do you use any apps or software to get your day-to-day work done? What do you love about them? What don’t you?

What inspired you to start your business in the first place?

Looking forward to having a chat :blush:

1 Like

I’m technically a sole trader. I’m also a full time student.

It’s mostly a hobby, but I do have some contracted hours. It’s mostly on and off bespoke work, and sales of pre made software.

The tax paperwork is confusing and annoying. I use FreeAgent :slight_smile:

Maybe in the far future I’ll make my own company, but I’m happy as is for now :slight_smile:


Happy to chat over DM if you want, Jack.

I’m a self employed carpenter and have been for over ten years. I love the freedom it brings, but with this we lose out on other perks of being employed (sick pay, holiday pay).

I have zero plans to grow into a limited company, being self employed suits me better.

I don’t use any apps day to day but for my accounting I use Microsoft Money, usually at the end of the month.


Outside of my main job (employed), I have a couple of side projects and do some freelance work - and for these purposes I am a sole trader.

My focus is on website and web application development, hosting and software-as-a-service.

I like that it’s the simplest “company” structure that doesn’t involve a lot of admin, reporting and accounting overheads. When I started, I had no idea how good or how bad my ventures were going to be, or how long I would be doing it for. I just knew I had to do it the right way, and sole trader seemed like the best option. If the time comes where it grows to be more than a side project and takes over my income as an employee, I might consider other options.

My work is pretty straightforward so only have a few essential services. I use Pandle for accounting and Starling Bank for banking. For project-level things I mostly use Trello. None of these cost me anything, which is great.

I didn’t originally set out to ‘start a business’, I just needed a way to legitimately carry out small ad-hoc jobs for a close network of people, and it grew from there.


My partner runs his business as a sole trader. We are currently banking with Metro but would really like to switch as there is no branch near our new property. Having looked around at various other ‘new’ online banks including Monzo, Starling and Tide we are looking at Lloyd’s currently as none of these ‘new banks’ can issue more than one card for this type of accounts and need you to be setup as a limited company or LLP. Please can you allow multiple cards to be issued for sole trader accounts or at very least allow informal partnerships that do not need to be registered with companies house? Forgot to add please enable direct feeds with Xero!

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I´m a sole trader, and am always looking at how to keep expenses down. I accept payments via PayPal, as it is cheaper, than having the funds transferred directly to my bank. However, the banks now want to charge me for transferring funds from PayPal into my own account, as well as receiving payments directly into my account. This is getting rediculous. Are other people suffering the same fate. Being a sole trader, should be better than being employed and paying PAYE, as a lot of the expenses we have to pay, can be submitted as business expenses, and therefore reducing your tax liability.

Like many of you, my work is seasonal, so I have times when there is a gap, which is why I try and be available when others take their holidays. This can be an inconvenience, but when payments arrive, it makes it all worth it.

I would like to open a business account with Monzo, but try before I buy, by having my old business account open just in case I am not happy, although from what I see, I shouldn’t have to worry.

Hope to hear more soon,

Bye for now.


I know I’m late to this but:

I am a soul trader in the live events industry. Been self-employed for 3 years now. Using Freeagent to sort out invoices etc. as well as having an accountant to help sort out my tax return.

Been looking at coconut for awhile now and they are getting better but really waiting for your business account as i think it will fit better into my life. Currently have a current account, that I have hacked some IFTTT stuff into to help with expenses etc. as well as a joint account for my house stuff.

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Also late to the party, but count me in.

I spent 10 years working as a sole trader, doing marketing and copywriting. I’m going back to it in a few months. In between, I’ve been taking a break to work in a fast food restaurant. I’ve also qualified as a teaching assistant in the meantime, but won’t be going down that route purely because I’ve discovered that it is not going to be family-friendly enough as a job.

And that’s what I love about being a sole trader, to answer your second question. I love that it’s flexible. It suits my family. I started years before I started a family, but my motivation was that I was planning for family life and I wanted to be around for every moment of my baby’s first few years. I was able to do that.

Things I found stressful, to answer your third question, were:

  • Clients that thought they knew better than me because of something they read on the internet, and would make me change things to suit that thing they’d read on the internet. Or clients that were very specific about the (terrible) way they wanted things done, and required me to go against my professional experience.

  • Chasing overdue invoices, trying to get people to pay.

  • That I got wrapped up in the ‘feast and famine’ situation. When I was in ‘feast’, I would spend every spare moment trying to maximise my earnings to cover the ‘famine’. When I was in famine, I’d be constantly trying to get more work to earn what I usually earned. At first it wasn’t like that, but as I built my client base larger and larger and became more and more popular, there was this temptation to earn as much as possible whilst the going was good - and when my daughter was about to start preschool I realised that I couldn’t handle that stress - being constantly switched on and thinking about how to earn as much as possible - and I decided to pack it all in and use my new free time, whilst my daughter was in childcare, to go for an easier job.

I’ve been working in a fast food restaurant for two years and it’s genuinely been the best job I’ve ever had, but won’t work for me again once my daughter starts school, so I’m going back to self-employment but using the lessons learned previously to stop it from taking over my life. I will be strictly working a set number of hours each day, only when my daughter is in school, and I now know from my fast food experience that I can survive fine on minimum wage. Savings are pitiful, but I have been able to buy everything I’ve needed over the past two years and with plenty of money spare, which I’ve impressed myself with.