Finance for Freelancers (13-14 Mar)


Whether you’re starting out as a crew member, above-the-line talent or a creative entrepreneur with an eye on starting your own company this expert-led two-day workshop will give you all the key information you need about how to navigate the business side of being freelance.

Run by BECTU and Northern Film & Media, this two-day workshop will take you through how to put yourself on a secure financial footing leaving you free to concentrate on the work you love.

Topic addressed will include:

  • Registering as a sole trader versus setting up a company: the pros and cons, and which is right for you?
  • Different kinds of incorporations (e.g. Ltd companies versus partnerships versus CICs)
  • Business planning (market research, competitor analysis, cash-flow forecasting, writing a business plan, etc).
  • Assessing the viability of a business proposal
  • Tax and the creative industry professional. We will look at issues such as tax codes, how to keep books, how to do returns, relations with HMRC, National Insurance and VAT
  • Insurance
  • Assets: who owns them – you or the business? And what are the practical implications?
  • Setting price points: “How much should I charge?”
  • Contracts and how to write them
  • Understanding budgets
  • Paying yourself a dividend
  • Start-up costs: how to work out how much capital you’re realistically going to need

Delegates will also receive ready-made downloadable spreadsheets and templates, with access to follow-up support through David Thomas Media.

When: Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th March, 10.00am – 5.00pm (registration from 10am for a 10.15am start).

Where: BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Level 3 Meeting Room), Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA. Click here for travel and parking information.

Cost: Thanks to the support of the European Regional Development Fund places on this course are available to eligible North East creative industry professionals at the heavily subsidised rate of just £50. Full priced tickets are available to other delegates at the following rates: BECTU members, £75; Associates of BECTU, £85; and Non Members, £95.

Eligibility criteria for subsidised tickets: to qualify for a £50 ticket you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be resident in the North East of England (Country Durham, Northumberland, Tees Valley and Tyne & Wear)
  • Work the Creative Industries, paid or unpaid, for an average of at least 21 hours per week. Following the definition used by the Department of Culture Media and Sport, the following count as creative industries: film, television, digital media, arts, animation, radio, music, fashion, design, publishing, advertising, cultural businesses and marketing communications. Please note that for our purposes performance (e.g. acting and or work as an extra) does not fall within the creative industries.

To book please click here  

Tea and coffee will be provided during breaks, but delegates must get or bring their own lunch. There are a range of cafes and food outlets within easy walking distance of the venue.


About the Class Leader

David Thomas is a highly experienced broadcaster, trainer and manager, with a special interest in communication and organisational skills.

He has trained freelancers and other creative people at the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, as well as the entertainment and theatre unions BECTU, Equity, NUJ and the Musician’s Union. He has also been involved in radio and online production for 30 years, mostly with the BBC World Service and local radio.

David has a reputation for reliability and sharp strategic thinking and is an excellent communicator. He has a keen interest in personal development and professional motivation of others, honed through years as a team leader and trainer.

David is a member of the Radio Academy and the BFI. He is also an Affiliate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

For more on David and his work please click here.



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