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Becoming self-employed as an IT consultant – the most important points

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Enthusiasm for technical solutions, ability to relate to people and provide them with the solution to their problem: this is what characterizes an IT consultant. Your clients, but also the activities and teams you work with change with each new project. The topics required are varied, and a specialization is probably worth considering. Network specialists are often not suited to SAP and others focus on integrating cloud offerings. But of course there is always a holistic approach to IT consulting, for example when it comes to a company's underlying IT architecture.

Our advice
IT liability

A little negligence, misinformation or bad planning – this can lead to large claims for damages, which in the worst case can lead your company to insolvency. Protect yourself with cyber liability insurance. Typical risks you can cover with cyber liability insurance:

  • programming error
  • missed deadlines
  • copyright infringement
  • loss of customer data

Play it safe now and take out IT liability insurance!

On Hiscox's IT liability

Step 1 Ways to Become an IT Consultant: You should be able to

As an IT consultant, you need IT knowledge and knowledge of business administration is also essential, because you advise companies on their business processes, so you should know what you are talking about. In principle, IT consultants are also directly employed in companies, so you should know why you want to be self-employed.

Because it's not just about moving safely in the development environments of SAP, for example: you also understand the business processes mapped there and can also work your way into your customers and their business processes.

Suitable individuals in preparation as an IT consultant

  • corporate information technology
  • informatics
  • engineering
  • gladly with knowledge of business administration

Certifications as a sign of quality

The term “IT consultant” is not a protected professional title. Therefore, an IT consultant should be able to demonstrate his knowledge in the form of certifications. If you want to work with SAP, then you should also have attended advanced system training and courses and be able to demonstrate them.

Most importantly: experience in companies

Whether you are a graduate or have changed careers: a company will always look at your CV and references in order to evaluate you. So that this does not stand in your way, especially at the start of your company, you should continue your path early with relevant internships or working student positions.

Qualifications: Investment in the future

There are a number of specializations that allow you to establish yourself in the market in a special way. Both as a data scientist who gains knowledge from data to derive action proposals for management. Or as a data engineer who collects, processes and controls business-relevant data. You can also complete a large number of these master classes without prior study if you wish Data scientist even from home.

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How much does a computer consultant earn?

The earning potential is especially good because the demand for IT experts is high. How high your salary is depends on your qualifications, professional experience and of course which companies you recommend.

Experience annual gross salary
Junior IT consultant From 40,000 to 60,000 euros
Experienced IT consultant From 60,000 to 98,000 euros
Senior IT consultant From 74,000 to 105,000 euros
Source: alphajump.de © academics

Freelance IT consultants can charge between $90 and $100 per hour, depending on the focus of their work.

Do you want to negotiate the best possible compensation? Then look here: Tariff negotiations for freelancers and self-employed workers: the six golden rules

Step 2 Getting Started as an IT Consultant: Practical Steps

As an IT consultant, you practice a so-called catalog work. Although this activity is not directly included in the official catalog of freelancers, the desired freelancer status is obtained if the following two requirements are met:

  • First, you must be qualified as an independent IT consultant in the form of a scientific, technical education or practical engineering job.
  • Secondly, you should provide your services personally and self-sufficiently and not engage in any other commercial activity.
  • Finally, the tax office will also check individually whether you can be considered a freelancer. You should take care of this yourself: Make an application to the tax inspection authority immediately after the foundation and ask for written confirmation of your status. Failure to do so later risks high trade tax claims.

This is how registering as a freelancer works

You register as a freelancer with your local tax office – in writing or electronically via the ELSTER portal. Then you will have one Tax ID code assigned. After that, the tax service decides on yours Recognition as a freelancer.

A notification: You should not accept the refusal of your status as a freelance IT consultant by the tax authorities and take legal action if necessary.

IT Consultants: Benefits of Freelancer Status

  • It is not necessary to register a company
  • Save trade tax
  • Entry in the commercial register does not apply if a company is not founded
  • There's no need to do double-entry bookkeeping or create annual reports
  • It is not necessary to publish profit and loss information
  • A tax return to the tax office is sufficient
  • There is no obligation to be a member of the IHK or the HWK, therefore there are no fees for the respective room

Step 3 to become an IT consultant: important formalities and safeguards

As an IT consultant, you don't have to pay attention to many formalities, besides the Registration with the tax officeTHE Clarification of your freelancer status and the question of how you organize companies you want (as a company, as a sole proprietorship or as a freelancer) – these are mainly the classic questions of any company. What's the right thing business account, what insurance you should conclude, how and with whom you want to work together and of course create topics such as accounting, taxes and invoices.

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The right business forms for IT consultants

A very important question that every self-employed person asks himself at the beginning of the startup is what type of company is best suited. This also applies to freelancers and should be closely related to the business plan. If you intend to produce and sell products such as books, DVDs or the like, then this is a different business case than if you focus solely on consulting services.

Legal form and freelancer – With company registration

You are establishing a company with a legal form (UG Limited Liability, GmbHassociation company, public company, GbR etc.), the registration of a company cannot be avoided. This can also apply to freelancers if you want to sell your products.

IT liability insurance

For an IT consultant, the ultimate goal is obviously risk minimization. Liability for IT insurance lies in professional liability insurance, which is specifically aimed at self-employed IT professionals and their risks. Whether an IT company or an IT freelancer: IT liability protection protects you if the damage is caused to third parties for whom you are responsible. Cyber ​​liability insurance is a combined insurance that covers property damage, personal injury and consequential damages. In other words, it combines financial liability protection with corporate liability.

Personalize your insurance coverage

Professional and corporate liability, cyber risks and data: with the Hiscox premium calculator you can precisely analyze your insurance needs and calculate the premium. So you only pay for what you really need.

disability insurance

Disability insurance is mandatory for the self-employed. Think about the monthly financial resources you will need when you are unable to work. Try to get the best insurance coverage here. Seek advice from an independent insurance broker as they can compare the benefits of different companies.

The 4 most important commercial insurances for IT freelancers and how to choose the right one

The right company account for IT consultants

We recommend starting with one separate corporate account start. This saves a lot of time (and money) later in bookkeeping. A detailed overview of the right company account can be found here: Company Account Comparison 2023: These accounts are suitable for founders and startups

This is our recommendation First digital business account (Deutsche Bank) from 0 euros. Free trial now!

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Writing an invoice as an IT consultant

This is simply part of being self-employed: no money with no bill. So that you have as little effort as possible, use a good one invoice templateor a reliable billing programAs SevDesk. If you too X invoices you want to ask, use online tools like Lexoffice OR Zervant. You can find out what information you need to provide on your invoice in our summary: successfully create an invoice.

Organize accounting and tax returns

Here, too, you can save effort, time and money. Accounting programs with which you can create your own invoices and do most of your bookkeeping yourself are definitely worth it. We've tested a few – here's ours Choosing the 7 best accounting tools.

Especially as an IT freelancer, traveling is often part of the consulting business. One own Business Credit Card (to clearly separate business and private costs) ensures a faster overview in subsequent accounting. A electronic booklet can relieve you from the tedious task of recording business and private trips (popular apps are for example VIMCAR or RHYTHM).

The TF Mastercard Gold (0 euro fee) has established itself as a corporate credit card for freelancers. Especially useful now, with the “30 euro credit to start” campaign.

Phase 4: Acquisition and marketing for IT consultants

But how do you reach your customers?

External Appearance: Uniform profiles as an IT consultant

Prepare well for a cold call: Is there anything that makes you special and sets you apart from your competitors? Then it becomes the center of the s dinner. Plan out your core services and make sure you present them consistently across all channels, such as on LinkedIn and Xing.

Business cards they are still useful for projects with companies, in large meetings at the beginning of the project or at networking events. For example, you can get a logo or fancy fonts from 99Designs. The business cards themselves, for example moo or we put pressure.

One own website he is the first figurehead and shows professionalism. But most IT staff never get their website done – too many orders, too many requests, and customer projects always come first. Building kits now offer great solutions: Chic templates with the most important information, done! >> Great Web kit comparison 2023.

Register on freelance platforms and project portals

There are many freelance platforms where vacancies are posted, such as Freelancer Map, Fiverr, At a distance, OR UpWork. In addition to social networks such as LinkedIn, the Freelance platforms Computer science students can be a good way to introduce yourself and apply for a project. Some of these portals are completely free, while others charge a fee for certain services.

We have an overview of the most well-known portals for you here: The 16 Best Job Portals for Freelancers: An Overview of the Best Project Exchanges (2023)

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