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Where does a freelance personal trainer work?

  • 2 min read
  • Last updated 3 Jun 2023

As a freelance personal trainer, where you work is up to you. It’s one of the many advantages of working as a self-employed person. You can decide when you work, where you work and how much you charge per client. 

Most freelance personal trainers will either work at a gym, a shared fitness studio or they hire (or own) their own space. 

Why go freelance as a personal trainer?

As with many things, there are advantages and disadvantages to going freelance. On the one hand, the freedom allows you to be more in control of your working schedule and you can work anywhere around the world. Your rate of pay is also often higher so the income that you earn can be better. 

But the challenges are also important to bear in mind:

  • You’re in charge of making sure that you have enough clients to fuel your income
  • The hours that you work can be a lot longer
  • You have to pay for your equipment and tools
  • You do your marketing and promotion 

How do I pay tax?

When you’re a freelancer, you have to pay tax yourself instead of your employer looking after it for you from your salary payments. 

There are two types of tax that you have to pay:

  1. Income Tax – which is based on how much you earn
  2. National Insurance – which entitles you to state benefits such as the disability allowance

You have to pay both of these by 31st January via a tax return.

In order to pay a tax return, you have to let HMRC know that your income is untaxed. You do this by filling in your income information through what’s known as a Self Assessment. This has to be done by 5th October. 

How do expenses work?

When you are a self-employed personal trainer, you can reduce the tax you pay by deducting your business expenses from your income when you come to do your tax return.

Here are some examples of personal trainer expenses:

  • Work phone (or the portion of your phone bill that accounts for business expenses)
  • Fitness studio rent
  • Protein supplements that you sell to clients
  • Mileage
  • Marketing costs
  • Equipment
    • Boxing gloves
    • Skipping ropes
    • Weights
    • Etc.

Check out HMRC for more information on what you can expense and how.

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