The ultimate business checklist for freelance writers

Whether you’re finally taking the plunge into the world of freelance writing or are a seasoned independent pro, the way you set up – and maintain – your business can have a real impact on the fruits of your labor.

From your business structure to business partners, liabilities, and more, there’s a lot to consider (and reconsider as the media landscape continues to change). Make sure your bases are covered with this comprehensive checklist of all things business that freelance writers would do well to evaluate.

Business partners

· Who do you want/need to engage to help set your business up? (accountant, lawyer, etc.)

· Who do you want/need to engage for support on an ongoing basis?

Business structure

· Is a sole proprietorship, LLC or S Corp the best structure for you?

· What paperwork needs to be filed?


· What business risks and liabilities should you be mindful of?

· How much professional liability insurance do you need? (Freelance writer insurance covers claims of alleged libel, slander, defamation, copyright infringement and errors & omissions)


· What type of contracts do you need to protect yourself/your business?

· What type of protections should you ensure are in your contracts? (You’ll want to review this one periodically.)


· Will you open a dedicated bank account for your business?

· Will you use a separate credit card for your business?


· Is an hourly rate or flat project fee preferable (in instances where there is flexibility)?

· How will you make sure you’re priced competitively?

Time & Project Tracking

· How will you track, log, and forecast your time/projects?

· Do you need to invest in a time-tracking system?

Payroll & Accounting

· How will you track expenses?

· How and when will you invoice clients?

· What payment terms will you establish?

· How will you pay yourself? (Do you need a payroll provider?)

· How will you file business taxes?

· Are you taking advantage of all appropriate business deductions?

· What software do you need (if any)?

Data Security

· How will you ensure sensitive business and client data stays secure?

Dinghy and NSM Insurance Group are proud to offer professional liability insurance crafted exclusively for freelance writers, we’re here to help ensure you and your business are protected from all sorts of liabilities – without breaking the bank – and, most importantly, provide peace of mind. Give us a shout at and let us know how we can help.

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