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2nd May 2024

Supplementing Your Income Safely: Keeping Your Side Hustle Legal

In the UK, nearly 50% of all workers have a side hustle going on. Honestly, this number doesn’t surprise us at all! Operating a side hustle is a good way to make money in your spare time, and you only have to put in half the work of your usual job. If you invest in a passive income source, apart from the initial effort, you might not have to do any extra work at all! 

But if you’re not careful, side hustles can quickly pitch into morally dubious (and even illegal) territory. You need to keep an eye on what you’re doing, what data you’re collecting, and how you’re using it. As such, here are three things to keep in mind about the law as you rake in your extra income. 

side hustle at a laptop on a desk

Look at Your Employment Contract

If you’re got a day job, are you selling a product or service that’s in the same industry as your current employer? If so, you should take another look at your employment contract. Is there anything outlined in it that states you can’t sell on the side? Always double check the small text to make sure you’re not at risk of losing your main income as you’re getting set up. 

Never Over Promise with a Product

If you want people to buy your product, whether it’s a book you’ve written, a course you’ve put together, or some earrings you craft in your spare time, it’s easy to over promise how amazing your item is. You’re super proud of what you’ve made, and you’re keen to bring in positive customer testimonials to prove the quality. It’s only natural to sing its praises! 

However, if you fall into this marketing trap, you could be accused of false advertising and require the services of a fraud solicitor. It’s rare, but it can happen. Similarly, you should always keep abreast of what the ASA has to say about the industry your side hustle is in, and what is and isn’t allowed on your website and social media. 

Follow GDPR

Understanding and following GDPR is an essential part of side hustling in the UK. Seeing as most side hustles are conducted online, make sure you’ve read through the laws before you do anything else. Most importantly, the policies around taking data should be carefully followed. 

For example, if you’ve got a website that uses cookies, there needs to be a notice and an option to decline them. Or if you’re taking client details, you need to let them know the reason why, how you plan to keep details safe, and how long they’re going to be stored for. The fines for not following these rules have the potential to ruin you financially. 

Got a side hustle? Then you need to know what’s OK and what isn’t! Of course, none of what we’ve written above counts as legal advice, but they can be used as general points of order if you’re worried about breaking the law. 

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