Can you be self-employed?

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You are self-employed if you:

  • work alone as a worker or contractor (freelancer)
  • own a business and control your own hours of work
  • are a business partner or co-adventurer

Consider the advantages and disadvantages


  1. You are your own boss. You choose how to work when to work.
  2. You decide on all matters concerning your business.
  3. Better work/life balance because you set your own hours.
  4. You have control of your earnings/profits.


  1. More responsibility. For example:
    • filing taxes
    • keeping records
    • making business plans and strategies
  2. No paid holidays or sick days. No health insurance.
  3. It can get lonely. No daily interaction with co-workers.

You can add more advantages and disadvantages to this list. This will help you make a good decision.

Learn all that you can

Preparation and training are important. Learn about rules and regulations, taxation matters, supports and financing, and the situation of the industry you will work in. For example, do you know how you will get customers? Do you have plans about marketing or networking? Join free trainings and get coaching from:

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Community Resources

The YMCA YWCA Self-Employment Program provides business coaching during the planning, launch and operations stage. You’ll receive support in drafting your business plan and the actual launching of your business.

Are you a young person who wants to get into business? Learn about the Youth Entrepreneurship Program at the YMCA-YWCA.

There are many programs in Manitoba that provide training and support to new entrepreneurs. Read Supports for entrepreneurs in Manitoba.

Read: Employment Insurance special benefits for self-employed people.

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