Monday, February 28, 2011

Anita Inc.

As with my previous job, my current employment is as a contractor. And since it seems that this will be the state of affairs for an indefinite amount of time, I now find myself in the position of registering as a business and trying to quickly figure out all that this entails.

As a long-time freelancer, I am used to being self-employed. But this is the first time that I’ll be a formalized business where I have to do such things as charge HST on my invoices.

There are many people, of whom my husband is certainly one, who would not like to live with the uncertainty of being self-employed or being one’s own business. I admit that the lack of reliable income can be challenging – and this is where it really helps to have a partner with a fixed income. I am also lucky enough to get to take advantage of his benefits package.

But I love the flexibility of being self-employed. I like being able to juggle multiple contracts, even if it means that at times I feel pulled in all directions. I like that my hours aren't always the same, day in, day out. A 15-hour work day may be followed by a 3-hour day, or by a day of just hanging out with my daughter.

Of course, as I move on to this next step of setting up my own business, there are some details to work out and many things I need to learn. I hope to get in to our local entrepreneurship centre and get advice on some of the legal and accounting details.

I wonder about such things as my lack of a fixed physical place of work. Since my office became my daughter’s bedroom, I do my work on the living room couch, at the kitchen table, at the desk in the basement, at the cafĂ© and at the office. Do I have to keep track of how long I’m at each place? Does it matter? What about my transportation there and back? What about work I do outside the ‘office’ – like attending a Standing Committee hearing or a community forum? All these details to figure out.

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