In order to become freelance do you have to set yourself up as a business or anything? Or can you work as a contractor without having your own business? This is not something I've looked for online yet so there might be a handy forum post about it that I should look at.
In 2005 I started out just doing the job, seeing if I could land projects. I had minimal gear and no industry experience so I didn't become an LLC or do the whole s-corp thing until several years later. Setting up your business in the legal sense becomes more important when or if:
- you own a house
- you have a good deal of personal assets
- you have a family
- you're making a certain amount of cash (for example I've heard making about 70-80K or more is when an s-corp set up could work well for you)
- if you have customers/clients coming to your place of business you could need insurance to cover for accidents. I teach piano and saxophone lessons on the side (only two days a week) but since the students come to my place of business, I signed up for insurance to cover me and my business if someone tripped and broke an arm, etc.
Most folks seem to try it out first especially since the entry doesn't require that much (i.e. a computer, some sound hardware and software, etc). If things go well, they continue to grow their business. If not, they go into a different industry. Keep in mind, I'm not a lawyer so please seek professional advice before starting your own business. I'm just sharing what's happened and worked out for me.