Step 1: In the beginning....
It is an exciting time in your life, you have decided that you are going to branch out on your own-be that as a vet, nurse, or that you have decided to diversify into becoming a freelance aerial acrobat with the Cirque du Soleil crew.
However, before that there is some serious adulting to do and many of you may decide to set up a limited company as a very efficient way of utilising your earnings.

When registering any limited company you need to just consider a few factors like what name you will give the company, where you want the companies registered address to be etc.
Whilst you can use specific terms in the title, like The Best Locum Ever Ltd, we tend to recommend using slightly more general terms like Superduper Veterinary Ltd or One Man No Hands Enterprises Ltd. This is so that should you choose to expand your services down the line, for instance, to buy a practice, set a new one up or even to start a property business with the profits generated, then your company name is not specific to one area and you would not have to set up a separate company for this.

In terms of choosing your address, some will choose their home address, but remember that this information will be in the public domain, so if you don't want the risk of that whacky client rocking up on your front doorstep at 11pm on a Friday night soaked through in the pouring rain because their dog has torn a nail, then consider having the company registered to a PO BOX or to your accountants business address.

Step 2: Taking the plunge
Once you have made your decisions, then you can go online to register for your company name. You can get an accountant to do this too, but that way costs more money and lets face it, most of us can operate a computer and type in a website by now.
So, let me recommend this one....
https://www.gov.uk/limited-company-formation
It will change your life. You will look at it and go, what? This makes no sense because it is totally out of your comfort zone, but then like a flash of momentary genius, your fingers will start typing and before you know it your company will be registered.
CONGRATULATIONS! You my friend are a director of a company and have just become a real life adult! Forget the transition from nappies to underwear, you have just nailed it!
Now, go crack open a drink to celebrate

Step 3: What next?
Ok, so because we are a very proud community, many of us will have used the term vet, vets, veterinary, RVN etc in our company title! No problem whatsoever, BUT the upon highs in the big posh organisations need to confirm that you are actually one of those so you will need to get special dispensation from the RCVS to do this: basically they will check your registration number and details and give you the OK or not (I am yet to hear of the later being the case-hell it seems even some non-veterinaries have slipped through the net over the years so as long as you have a certificate or a badge you will be laughing).
This may take up to a week or so, but feel free to badger the RCVS if you wish-heres an email address, go nuts...info@rcvs.org.uk

Once you have your certificate of incorporation of your company (which you can happily frame next to your 25m swimming one if you so wish), then you can go to the bank.
There are loads out there, some are better for businesses than others, but many will clamber over themselves to offer you a free business account (go for it, you can always change in 18-24 months when the free period comes to an end just like you would with your personal banking: or don't, like most of us do, and just complain about the fees-whatever makes you happy.

Step 4: Accountants
Don't get me wrong, you don't have to have an accountant -some of you are maths geniuses who can work out a dose of metacam by simply looking at a cat and guessing its weight like some kind of dosing Jedi-well done you!
But, you may not know all the loopholes of what you can claim back etc, this is where an accountant makes their money. It is like when we have some weird medical case and then all of a sudden we have that epiphany moment (normally involving dex) that fixes everything. A good accountant will work away to maximise every penny that you earn to keep it in your pocket: us saving money is in their interests!
The will also point out if you are really taking the mick with your expenses-that lovely spa trip for you and your partner is not a business expense, but staying in a nice hotel for some business meetings may well be though....
As a Simply Locums member you will have access to our partner accountants and they do a nice cheeky exclusive discount for our members, so by all means help us out by registering and we will help you out by hooking you up. If you want to chat to them, drop us a line at info@simplylocums.co.uk.

Step 4: Show me the money
OK, all done. Now wasn't that easy? You have your company, you have your bank account, you have your accountant.....GO FORTH AND PROSPER MY DEAR FRIENDS! 
The world is your oyster (or any other kind of shellfish that takes your fancy). 
You can invoice the practices and get paid for your efforts: amazing (Yes we do have a template for invoicing that you can use)! 
Imagine all the food you could put on your table! Heck, you can even finally afford to buy a table (definitely not a business expense if it is for your home). 

In all seriousness, if you need any help with anything more, like templates, advice or just a chat, then get in touch! 

It would be great to have you register at www.simplylocums.co.uk, and if there is anything you need then do just contact us