Practical information & advice

Read our latest news posts about self-employment



Here you’ll find links to various parts of this site where we have information and useful resources relating to self-employment and running your own business.

I want to become self-employed or run my own business – what do I need to know?

Make sure you’ve got a business plan which sets out your strategy and objectives. Also give some thought to how you’ll set up your company (sole trader or limited company) and what insurances you’ll need. Useful links include:

I don’t want my name (and record) attached to my business – what can I do?

The easiest thing would be to change your name but consider the implications this would have on any qualifications or certificates you’ve gained in your original name and your bank account. Useful links include:



Here you’ll find some of the common advice we give on self-employment and running your own business. This is based on what we’ve learnt as a charity, as well as the real-life experiences of people with convictions.

  • Many people with criminal records opt for self-employment as a way of avoiding prejudice by employers. However, bear in mind that if you’re planning to be a sub-contractor, even on a self-employed basis, you might be required to disclose and/or do a criminal record check.


Frequently asked questions

Here you’ll find some specific questions that we regularly get about self-employment or running your own business and the answers we generally provide. More detailed FAQ’s may be included in the information pages above.

There are no restrictions to being self-employed with a criminal record (unless you are still on licence). There are lots of useful organisations that may be able to help you. You may also need to use the list of insurance companies and insurance guidance if you have unspent convictions. If you wish to become a Director, you need to make sure your conviction doesn’t disqualify you.
There are a number of templates that you can use. If you are currently claiming Jobseekers Allowance, you may be able to get some information or advice from the Jobcentre.


Here you’ll find links to useful organisations and websites related to self-employment or running your own business that we refer to in our information and advice. Contact details for some of the organisations listed below can be found here.


Read personal stories

The personal stories below have been posted on theRecord, our online magazine.


Discuss this with others

Read and share your experiences of this on our online forum.

Key sections include:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email