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Freelancer vs Business Owner: An In-Depth 11-Point Comparison

Прочети на Български ==> Read in English (US)

After we compared the difference between freelancing and an office job, it is time to jump in and make a similar comparison with having your own business.

Both freelancing and running a business are very similar in many ways. They both provide freedom to a certain extent and flexibility depending on work availability and urgency.

freelancer vs business owner

Learning about your options is imperative before deciding which way to go. Do you want more independence or to have your days off according to your needs?

Let's explore Freelancing vs. Owning a Business.

Comparison No. 1
Level of Independence

The freelancer has satisfactory independence about when to work, the job-related decisions, and fixing any issues on their side. They are independent of having a preset location and can provide their services online.

The business owner is tied to his work. Every decision gets approved by him, and it takes a lot of effort and communication to be independent about the work hours.

You are fully independent about your salary as it will be paid based on your growth as a company. You will stick to the routines you set for your business, and clients can help you improve your methods by providing their feedback.

Comparison No. 2
Time Off and Vacations

I know many businessmen, and they all find it hard to relax. They always think about their businesses.

They might worry about motivating their workers, expanding their reach, or communicating an important goal. It's understandable because a business is like a "child". You create it, and it is initially tiny.

Then it starts growing, and you see the progress daily and monthly. Having this in front of your eyes, it is hard to take a break.

Even if you want to relax and enjoy a holiday, you likely bring your work everywhere. A business is part of your life. You can't ignore it and live as if it doesn't exist.

Freelancing is about finishing a job before a set deadline. Once you are done for the day, you can forget about the project until the next morning.

You take breaks whenever you need time off. It can be a more extended holiday or a staycation, according to your preferences. You don't need to worry about work or deadlines during that time, as you will have them all set.

Comparison No. 3
Opportunities to Grow

When you are a freelancer, you can grow in your field. But if you become too good, customers will inevitably return and become loyal.

Once you establish your skills and expertise, you will have repetitive tasks from the same or different clients. Doing the same things over and over again can limit your opportunities to grow.

As a business owner, the growth in different areas is unlimited. You can develop and sell a service or a product. Then you can expand your skills in becoming better at promoting it.

You can grow in making your product even better and learn how to effectively communicate with various people to help you expand your reach.

Comparison No. 4
Personal life

Working on your terms with clients will let you make a schedule that fits your and your family's needs. The business you are helping out belongs to the owner. You don't need to worry about other aspects of its existence.

Your job is to complete your assignments before the deadline expires, and then you are free to go and enjoy time with your closest ones.

It is more engaging when you own the company that you work for. All the responsibility for reaching the goals and making a profit is yours. It can be hard to pay enough attention to kids and your partner when you are busy and focused on developing your business.

Comparison No. 5
Financial Situation

People who offer their services per piece can achieve significant results once they are known and recommended by returning clients. Their finances depend on their ability to meet high-quality and timely delivery.

There is a set amount and limit on your earnings. You choose your rates, but you can increase them up to a limit set by the average price for your service on the market.

For example, if you are doing data entry, and the average is roughly $20 per hour, you can charge $23. Your rate will depend on your experience and confidence in the job. However, you should still set it at less than $30 to expand your base and have more customers. 

When you have your own brand, there is no set limit on your salary. As you become more and more popular, your profit will increase. You are paid for your results, and the hourly rate is measured by your company's popularity and positive reviews. 

Comparison No. 6
Who sets the rules?

The rules are in the hands of your clients when you work per completed task. They provide specific instructions, and you must adjust your work to their business requirements.

You can create projects and showcase your work samples on some freelancing platforms. What you transform your experience into is dependent on the customer's needs.

In a business environment, the rules are set by the managers and the owners. As you possess the business, it's up to you to follow a specific direction.

It's a sense of power that comes from controlling the entire organization. Of course, you still have to adapt and cooperate with other businesses, but the feeling is different as you have the same structure as the people you work with (a registered company). 

Comparison No. 7
Keeping Deadlines

Deadlines are stringent for remote workers. Your reputation will only improve if you meet deadlines regularly and have a valid reason for failing.

It is stressful to have a specific term, and even if there is plenty of time to fulfill your tasks, it feels psychologically demanding.

As the owner of a company, the deadlines are vague. You can grow quickly or slowly, based on your tempo.

You can also work more when you are most productive, then choose to slow down when feeling overwhelmed.

As long as you keep going, the pace can fluctuate. If you are passionate about your business goals, you will want to speed things up, even if your capacity for handling all tasks is limited.

Comparison No. 8
Risk Involved

While both freelancing and having a business involve risk, it appears differently. The risk of being left without a job when a project ends is real for remote workers.

The pace the world is changing is faster, and projects are created and disappear when a better opportunity pops up. Since you work for clients, you depend on them for your salary.

Business owners create their opportunities, and the person who provides their salary is themselves. The risk is related to bankruptcy, investing in a non-profitable venture, and losing money.

Comparison No. 9
Legal differences

The laws vary from country to country, but generally, freelancers can provide their services without registration. They can choose to register, but it is ultimately their choice to do it or not.

Companies must be registered by law, and all documentation should be presented to calculate the owed taxes. For larger organizations, hiring an accountant is a must.

Not only accounting would help manage your income and expenses. It is also legally compulsory for certain types of businesses, depending on their size and profit. 

Comparison No. 10
Confidence in Communication

Confidence is a vital skill for freelancers as they usually use it to their advantage when negotiating with their customers. Your belief in yourself might suffer if you receive negative remarks about your work.

As your career is devoted to customer gratification, it might be hard to establish at first if your experience in the field is scarce.

Company owners are very confident and relaxed about their communication with people. Running a business teaches you how to talk with others and help them and yourself grow.

Comparison No. 11
Who do you work with?

Freelancing allows you to choose your projects from the variety on the market. The situation is slightly different if you work in a team with other freelancers.

In a company providing individual contracts to its contributors, you don't get to choose the team you collaborate with. It's the decision of the organization to select the best fit based on qualification criteria.

If you have a conflict with any of your teammates, it gets resolved by notifying the appropriate department within the company structure. It can take time to investigate and resolve the issue.

If you are running your own business, you choose who you work with. Small business owners can interact with people who inspire and help them grow.

If a particular business partner fails to perform up to your standards, you can negotiate and make a switch. If a client creates more trouble than profit, you can disengage or handle the situation as you wish.

a comparison between a freelancer and business model


Regardless of your chosen path, consider your character traits and what would make you more fulfilled. Both undertakings are initially complicated, but with time you learn how to operate them smoothly.

I have tried both ways in the past. Currently, I juggle freelancing projects with making business and raising my child.

It is overpowering but rewarding at the same time to know you are creating a life of value for yourself and your family.

Working online is the future, regardless of the form it takes. We should learn to conform to the new work circumstances to become successful and content.


  1. I have never really looked into the difference between freelancing and running a business. I definitely fall into the newbie freelancer category, though I've called it a freelance copywriting business. Thanks for sharing!

  2. As someone who has been looking into freelance writing I really appreciate this post! Very insightful.

  3. Great post idea. I've never thought about it.

  4. Good point. I am a freelancer and entrepreneur. I love this set-up than being an employee

  5. this is a lovely post. very informative. thanks


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