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WORKING Self Employment

Self Employment

Self-employment is a good alternative to wage employment. Through self-employment you can utilize your professional skills that you otherwise found difficult to ‘sell’ in the labor market. Self-employment is very common in Canada. In fact, 14.7% of Canada’s labour force is self-employed. Self-employment is the fastest growing segment in the labor market amongst youths aged 19 to 34 years old.

Self-employment is more common among creative class professionals, such as:

  • Web-designers, computer and software consultants
  • Doctors, dentists, lawyers
  • Architects and accountants
  • Real estate agents
  • Artists, designers, photographers, writers
  • Music teachers, coaches, personal trainers
  • Writers, journalists and editors
  • Operators of home daycares

As a self-employed person you can be one of the following:

  • independent contractor (freelance)
  • business owner
  • salesperson working on commission
  • farmer or fisher

There are advantages and disadvantages to self-employment. You will have more flexibility in organizing your time and setting your performance goals and you will enjoy the full financial outcome of your work. However, you will also have less employment security and benefits and you will have to file your own taxes, as well as pay the payroll taxes for your employees, if you hire any.

To learn more about self-employment in Canada, visit the Settlement.org website. This site also covers the advantages and disadvantages of self-employment more thoroughly.

You may also need a professional license to independently practice certain occupations, such as ‘accountant’ or ‘real estate agent’, even though you may not need a license for the same occupation in case of being employed by another company.

To find out more on how to start a business in Ontario, visit our Starting a Business page.