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Self-Employed as a Fitness Business and Managing Finances

Self-Employed as a Fitness Business and Managing Finances

So you have your qualifications and are heading out on your own and setting up as self-employed.

Here are some simple but effective ways to manage your finances:


Chances are you have already done this, particularly if you are a Personal Trainer, but still, it is amazing how little people know about what they can claim as expenses.  There are numerous benefits to doing to registering as self-employed and the way you do your taxes.

Here’s one HUGE one you may not have considered: ADVERTISING! (a.k.a. Marketing)

Did you know if registered as self-employed you can offset marketing expenses against your taxes? That’s right, so now when you were thinking;

  • Can I afford that membership? (Fitbook)
  • That great post idea I had, should I pay to push it on paid social media ads? (Facebook, Instagram)
  • Can I justify that equipment for the business? (t-shirts/cameras)

Well now if you budget correctly and keep those receipts you can offset such materials and costs as a marketing expense. 

But I don’t know the first thing about doing my taxes? How do I keep track?

If this is you and you aren’t sure how to handle your finance my advice is simple. Keep your receipts, track your payments and get an accountant! An accountant will take care of your taxes on your behalf; however, this is one cost that you will not be able to claim back for. So, you now have a much larger scope to push and advertise yourself as a fitness professional. 

However, there are many other things to consider. Will you need an office or workspace? (home gym) Will you be travelling to meet clients? Do you have branded clothing, and will you be selling this as merchandise? Do you have any staff or subcontract work? Do I wish to further increase my skill set with new or advanced training courses? 

A lot to take in. As a self-employed trainer, you can claim expenses against all of the above. So many self-employed, people are unaware of all this and end up paying way over the odds at the end of the tax year. Do not make this mistake and get savvy with your finances, this will go a long way in helping you stay on top of your expenditure and open more doors for you to advertise your business.

Below is a list of costs you can claim as allowable expenses:

  • Office costs, for example, phone bills or office stationery
  • Travel costs, fuel, parking, train tickets
  • Clothing expenses, uniforms, workwear
  • Staff costs, salaries or any subcontracted work
  • Things you sell, if you buy stock or materials to sell on
  • Financial costs, insurance and bank charges
  • Building premises, heating, lighting, business rates (also possible if working from home, you just need to find a reasonable way of dividing your costs)
  • Advertising/Marketing, website costs, membership subscriptions for marketing purposes
  • Training courses, relating to your business, claim back some of that advanced course you plan to do.

Keep track of all your expenditures with a simple expenditure excel spreadsheet. Incorporate your income so you can track and plan your finances going forward. This will help keep you ahead of the pack and enable you to better budget any further expenses. 


By Thomas Ryan