How to set rates for a virtual assistant business

Virtual assistant rates are calculated depending on your skills, experience, needs and availability. 

When you first set up a virtual assistant business, you need to decide how much you will be charging for services.  If you are already set up as a virtual assistant, you may want to consider re-assessing your pricing. 

There is no set fee that you should be charging or no right or wrong amount. However, there is an amount that you can charge based on your skills, experience, needs, and availability that will ensure you are getting your potential worth as a virtual assistant. 

Whether you are charging per hour, per project or using retainer packages, you will still need to work out what your hourly rate should be to use as a guide for pricing projects and retainer packages. 

Use the information below to decide how much you should charge for your virtual assistant services.

Download the free Virtual Assistant Management Pack which includes an editable price list and other useful virtual assistant forms and templates.

Hourly rate 

Pros and cons 

There are pros and cons to charging a rate per hour. One of the pros is that you can pretty much ensure you will make a particular amount of money for the amount of time spent working. 


One of the cons about an hourly rate is that you literally have set the maximum amount of money you can make. Whereas if you charge per project, you can end up making more money than you would per hour. Sometimes you may want to stick to per hour pricing, especially if you know that you could lose out per project as you may not be sure how long the project will take you. 


Per hour is the fee that you will charge your customer for every hour of service. Be careful when setting up your hourly rate. You could end up charging less for complicated tasks that your customers are willing to pay more for. 

To prevent this, rather than having just one hourly rate across the board for all of your services, you could have a different hourly rate for more complex services. For example, you may choose to charge £25 for general administration work and £50 for SEO services. 

You will need to factor in tax when determining your rate. Depending on your business structure, whether you are a ltd company or self-employed, you may be paying a slightly different amount of income tax. It would be best if you made an allowance for this when working out your rates. 

You also need to factor in your personal financial needs. How much money will you need to continue to be able to pay your bills? 

Factoring all this in as well as your considering your availability will help to determine what is the correct rate you should be charging. 

Gross income needed, divided by billable hours per month divided by hourly rate. 

A good way to work out your rate is to calculate how much you need to live on and how much you want to earn in your virtual assistant business. 

Then calculate what it would take to earn that, ensure it is realistic and set that as your rate. 

When calculating your hourly rate, you need to ensure that the amount you charge is an amount that you are happy to receive.

The fee will need to have tax calculated. 


Per project  

For this method, you charge a total amount to cover the whole project. You will need to factor in the length of the project and the cost of any other resources you may need to complete the project. 


Retainer Packages 

This is a recurring package – your client receives a set amount of hours of work for a set fee each month. It is up to you to allow those hours to roll over and continue into the next month or if they need to be used within the same month.  Setting a policy that the hours must be used within that month helps you predict your income and will help to prevent overbooking yourself. 


These are a few of the different things you need to consider when setting your rates as a virtual assistant. 

Whatever you decide, ensure that you are being paid your worth. 

Don’t forget to set up payment policies for your virtual assistant business. You can find out more information about setting policies as a virtual assistant here

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