How to Start an Electrical Business


Have you always wanted to set up shop as an electrician? If so, you’ll find that you’re joining 259,000 electricians and electrical fitters in the UK.

In fact, by the end of 2019, electrician was predicted to be the most in-demand career. There’s a shortage at the moment and this provides an opportunity for people like you who want to train up in the profession.

This can be a diverse role that allows you to work with everything from large scale corporations to a row of houses, and giving you the chance to make properties safe. Should this sound like the perfect role for you, read on to find out how to set up your self-employed electrician business.


Get qualified

You’ll need the right qualifications before you can jump in and set up on your own. In the UK, electricians must have a minimum of a level three electrical or electro-technical qualification. This must be awarded by the EAL or City and Guilds as these are recognised in the industry. The tutors that train you should be fully qualified, too.

One way into the profession is through an apprenticeship. This will give you a level three qualification and open the door to further training and credentials.

If you’ve changed career to reach this point, you might be in a good position to take shorted courses. For example, if you’re making the move over from being a gas installer, you will have a lot of the knowledge banked and transferrable skills that you can bring to the role.


Train up

Spend time learning from experienced electricians. This will give you a chance to put your education into practice and provide you with on-the-job understanding of the different aspects of the role.

Ask questions, jump at opportunities to try wiring or other tasks for yourself, and allow the more experienced electricians to guide you. They have the know-how to show you where you excel and where there’s room for improvement.

Additionally, this is a good time to build your toolkit. Invest in quality tools such as screwdrivers at this stage to help you get jobs done. Again, get recommendations from more experienced electricians here.


Think about the legal side

Once you’re trained up and you feel ready to set up on your own, you’ll need to think about the legalities of working as a self-employed electrician. You’ll probably be classed as a sole trader, but you might want to set up as a limited company instead.

Speak to HMRC and set up as a self-employed person. It’s worth noting here that this means you’ll be responsible for filing your annual Self Assessment tax return, so you’ll need to keep track of your payments and receipts. You can hire an accountant to do this for you if that’s easier.


Get insured

Due to the nature of the work an electrician does, insurance is essential. Accidents can happen, no matter how long you’ve been working in the industry for, so it’s important that you’re covered if something goes wrong.

You’ll need public liability insurance, which protects you against claims that might be made against you due to injuries. You might also want to take out employers’ liability insurance, which you’ll need if you have staff.

All you need from there is to find clients. Spread the word, get referrals, and make sure people know about your business. You’ll be booked up in no time!