The Freelance Checklist: 25 questions to answer before you start your freelance career

freelance checklist

Every time someone gets in touch about what they need to prepare to go freelance, I typically find myself telling them the same things over and over, in order to lay the foundation for a solid freelance consulting career. So, I’ve created a freelance checklist.

This list covers the top 25 things you should consider when it comes to going freelance. It uses a simple script to tally everything you check off. Once you’ve completed it, it will give you a score out of 25 possible points at the bottom of the page.

I’ve put together the questions based on what people normally ask me, but it is an un-ordered list. I’ll put it into a more logical order later, grouped by areas of running a freelance business.

There’s one thing I want to reiterate before you embark on your freelance checklist journey: you don’t have to have all of these in place before you begin and these points are best thought about as incrementally beneficial. The big mistake people tend to make is that they find a checklist, they go through every thing on it, they read each one line-by-line and say “Oh no! I’m missing one thing – now I can’t go freelance and everything is ruined!”. That’s not really the way to think about it.

If you can get everything on this list, that’s great! If you can only get most, that’s okay too. You want to make you’re as ready to go freelance as possible. But in general, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to do all these things. That said, try your best!

Oh, and don’t forget to read my series of interviews on how others went freelance to get more of an idea about what it feels like, the risks and rewards of becoming a freelance consultant.

The 2014 Freelance Checklist

Check off items as you go along.
Feel free to keep this page open so that you can refer back to it.
These all might not apply to your situation.

[frontend-checklist name=”Freelance Checklist”]


That last item is particularly important – if you’re not passionate, hard-working or excited about the work you do, then you’ll find freelancing very hard.

Here’s some more advice from other freelancers on Twitter on what should be added to the freelance checklist:

As I said at the beginning of this checklist, you don’t have to have absolutely everything in place before you go freelance, but this freelance checklist will help you have most of your things in order before you do make the switch to go freelance.

What else would you add to the freelance checklist? If you’ve gone freelance, did you have a checklist? How ready were you?


Enjoy this post? Sign up for my free newsletter to get the newest articles delivered straight to your inbox:



3 thoughts on “The Freelance Checklist: 25 questions to answer before you start your freelance career”

  1. Can I also add – you need to have something to do in the times when it is quiet (which it almost certainly will be at times to start with). Sitting in front of your laptop willing the work to come in won’t do you any good. One of the benefits of being freelance is having more flexibility, so when it’s quiet do something else that you love (walk the dog, go swimming, have a bath with a glass of wine) and give yourself the permission to do that in the middle of the day.

  2. Hi Ben

    I’ve just bought your e-book as I’m about to set up as a freelance comms consultant. I’m finding it very useful so far and I wanted to read your freelance checklist. However, the link doesn’t seem to be live on this page. Please could you email me the link when you have a moment? Thanks for taking the time to help with this request and for putting this book for other budding freelancers! Best wishes, Fabian


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.