Top five cities to be self-employed in the UK

18th August 2017 | News

The five best places in the UK to work for yourself have been revealed in The Definitive Study of the Self-Employed, commissioned by accounting software specialist Intuit QuickBooks.

Southampton took top spot after it was ranked highest after 5,010 UK self-employed workers nationwide were asked about their working hours, financial status, life satisfaction, holiday sacrificed, loans taken out to cover expenses and mean income.

The study found that the average annual earnings of self-employed workers in Southampton is £39,024 –  significantly higher than the UK average of £32,623.

Not only do the self-employed earn more in Southampton, at 26 hours per week, the city’s self-employed also work two hours less per week than the average self-employed worker.

When asked to define their top benefits for being self-employed workers in Southampton, the highest rated was control over their own schedule at 79%, followed by more flexibility to work on their own terms (69%) and being their own boss (68%).

Despite the high cost of living and house prices in south east England, London and Brighton joined Southampton in the top five. These cities boast the highest self-employed earnings in the UK, apart from Liverpool where the self-employed rake in £46,886.

However, the ranking shows that average income doesn’t necessarily mean life satisfaction. In Sheffield, the fifth best place to be self-employed, workers claim to have the highest life satisfaction in work when compared to full-time employment (85%), despite having the third lowest mean income at £24,791.

In Edinburgh, respondents reported the highest satisfaction with having more freedom (26%), and were the most likely to state being their own boss as a benefit (75%).

Dominic Allon, Vice President and Managing Director of Intuit Europe, said: “There’s a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit across the breadth of the UK and we shouldn’t be held back by where we live.

"While the advantages of working for yourself have become clear, to truly achieve the life satisfaction and financial security that will reduce stress and define self-employed success, the self-employed must ensure their finances are airtight.

“Individuals must embrace technology, which has made the operations side of working for yourself faster, cheaper and easier, and in turn, boosted innovation and productivity.”

Top five cities to be self-employed as ranked by these latest findings are:

1. Southampton
• Average annual earnings of £39,024
• 26 hours worked per week
• 83% said their life satisfaction is the same or better than being a salaried worker
• 71% said their financial status is the same or better than being a salaried worker

2. London
• Average annual earnings of £35,779
• 27 hours worked per week
• 84% said their life satisfaction is the same or better than being a salaried worker
• 66% said their financial status is the same or better than being a salaried worker

3. Edinburgh
• Average annual earnings of £35,285
• 28 hours worked per week
• 84% said their life satisfaction is the same or better than being a salaried worker
• 70% said their financial status is the same or better than being a salaried worker

4. Brighton
• Average annual earnings of £35,589
• 27 hours worked per week
• 81% said their life satisfaction is the same or better than being a salaried worker
• 65% said their financial status is the same or better than being a salaried worker

5. Sheffield
• Average annual earnings of £24,791
• 27 hours worked per week
• 85% said their life satisfaction is the same or better than being a salaried worker
• 70% said their financial status is the same or better than being a salaried worker

Intuit Quickbooks is partnered with TaxAssist Accountants to help customers manage their finances. Back in February, it revealed that the UK’s self-employed are happier than salaried workers, too.

Are you self-employed or thinking about becoming so? Give TaxAssist Accountants a call and find out how we can help you. Call on 0800 0523 555 or use our online contact form.