This sounds liberating. However, I know that isn't going to make you as free as it sounds. Au contraire, mon amie! For me being a freelance or a selfempoyed it's not the most appealing situation. It might be influenced by the fact that being a selfemployed in Spain is an awful situation where normally is not economically worthy but it's a way of ending up having a pension once you retired. (I know, depressing) However, here in the UK things seems a bit better and obviouly is the fastest way of working as a photographer.
My first step would be a study of the aerea where I live. See which are the different art aereas where photography might be used and which ones are the ones that suits me the most. For example: here in England, I've noticed that having studio pictures with you family is more common than in Spain, wheather there, it's more common to invest money on religeous events such as weddings, beutisims and communions. In Bristol it'll be easer to be photographing musicians wheather in Bath is supper easy to find small business that want to have nice pictures for their social media. But what is the panorama in Inverness?
Once I've found the photogeraphic enviroment where I want to start, I'll check the helps from the government in order to start my business, as I'll probably have to rent a studio or create one. I see this idea working as I'm always going to be a multidisciplinar photographer, I'll do fashion, portraits, weddings, still life, etc, as a way of earning money and on the side, on my free time, I'll develop my own projects. An operator is a must for me. Math are not a highlighted aspects of my personality and I'll probably have to be focused on so many things that I just rader give money to someone else to be in charged of this and I can mind the rest of the things.
Now, if I want to start my own business I will straig go for a Limited Company. I'm lucky that my parents can support me if I need it but now my decissions also affects someone else and starting a life with someone and putting that on risk becaming a Sole Trader is too selfish. Nobody guarantees you that the company is going to be successful and is better to be ahead of what it might happen. Creating a parnership has similar reasons why not to. There's always going to be one person inchared of different aspects and I wouldn't create a partnership with the first person that I cross with in the street, so this means that this person will be a friend or a partner. Mixing friendship or any other type of relationship and money (earning money for a living) is not a good combo if you want to keep them close as money is a virus. Then, limited companies brings you the opportunity of creating your business and not risking your house or your car (if you haven't buy it with your company).
About copyright matters, I'm glad that is so similar to the laws that we have in Spain. After bad experiences, I always put my copyright on the metadata of the pictures that I export but also the pictures that I take as I have set my copyright sign on my camera for it to added to the metadata of the picture straight away. I also, for the protection of all the members of the project and myself, I always work with contracts being signed where it's shown which kind of pictures are going to be taken, for which project and how are they going to be used. It's much more comfortable and saver for everyone and a bit more work from me but I send less energy in creating the document than argueen with the people to tag me in social media or reminding them that they have to ask me for permition to do whatever thing with the content I've created.