Learn about self-employment

Many British Columbians forge their own path to employment. Find out more about entrepreneurial options.

Here are some of the ways you can be self-employed in B.C.:

Self-employment, services

Provide services on a solo basis, based on training, skills and experience (e.g., child care, plumbing, accounting, consulting)
Advantages: flexibility around the type and timing of work; reduced overhead if home-based
Disadvantages: continual need to find clients, long hours, administrative chores, financial investment, unreliable income, few or no benefits

Self-employment, products

Develop and market products on a solo basis
Advantages: apply creativity, flexibility around type and timing of work, reduced overhead if home-based
Disadvantages: need to market products effectively and keep up with evolving consumer demands, possible competition with lower-priced mass-produced items, unreliable income, few or no benefits

Self-employment, selling others’ products

Market products provided by another company, via direct marketing or franchise
Advantages: brand recognition, training and established formula, flexibility around timing of work, reduced overhead if home-based
Disadvantages: must conform to formula and policies, limited creativity, sometimes sizeable financial investment, unreliable income, few or no benefits

Talent pooling

Group with other self-employed people with common goals and different talents, to direct opportunities to each other or collaborate to provide services or products (e.g., writer, graphic designer and photographer)
Advantages: expands opportunities, can ease the time required to hunt for work, ability to focus on own specialty
Disadvantages: need good communication and teamwork skills, must contribute to client base, long hours, administrative chores, financial investment, unreliable income, few or no benefits

Consulting

Complete projects within specific time frames for a number of clients, either at once or successively
Advantages: use of expertise, variety, flexibility, independence
Disadvantages: continuing need to find the next project, long hours, administrative chores, unpredictable income, few or no benefits

Entrepreneurship

Owning a business that includes a partner and/or employees
Advantages: independence, control, adventure, flexibility, sense of achievement, increased income potential
Disadvantages: greater financial risk, sense of responsibility for employees’ livelihoods, lonely and stressful at times, administrative chores, longer hours, few or no benefits