Employment Status

Are you a contractor? If you work for someone else, it is important to know whether you are working for that person in an employed capacity or in a self-employed capacity as an independent contractor.

Your employment status will determine the charge to tax on income from your employment or self-employment. It will also determine the class of NICs, which are to be paid.

Umbrella Companies employ you for tax purposes and complete central returns for all their contractors. It's less hassle and more flexible for you but take home pay is typically less than that the limited company option.

The best option for you depends on your plans, 'one off' contract or 'contractor for life'? [Read More...]

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Landing Your First Contract Role IT Contractor

Getting A Contract

First off, you need to know which companies are looking for contractors. Instead of getting the phone book out and start calling around, the best way to get a contract is to find a specialist recruitment agency that deals with contractors.

Professional Relationships

There are thousands of recruitment agencies that deal with contract positions. Placing contractors is a good money-earner, and recruitment agents are always on the look-out for contractors.

Trouble is, there are so many people who want to be a contractor that you need to be able to show that you have suitable skills that are in demand. A recruitment agent gets through hundreds of CVs every month.

  • A recruitment agent will look for even the smallest reason to dismiss your CV and move onto the next candidate, they are only looking for the best.
  • The first step in getting your first contract is to have a decent CV.
  • Remember - your CV is designed to get you an interview with the recruitment agent - NOT a job.

Your Shop Window

Reversion your CV for each and every role. Send off a 'master' CV to a dozen or so recruitment agencies, you should expect to receive at least a couple of calls. If you don't hear back from the recruitment agent within a couple of days contact them directly.

  1. See if they have any constructive comments on how you can improve your CV and increase your interview chances.
  2. If your CV has been carefully crafted and if you've targeted the right recruitment agencies in your particular field of expertise it won't be long before the interview process starts. Interviews are another area which you may need coaching with, especially if it's your first time or you haven't been interviewed for a number of years.
  3. You are showcasing yourself and you want to make sure you don't let yourself down.

Interview Techniques

The interview process will usually follow the same pattern:

  1. Send in your CV
  2. Secure an interview with a recruitment agent(s)
  3. Get put forward for an interview(s) with a client
  4. Negotiate the terms

Securing your first contract is always the most stressful. Once you have been through the process once, and understand first-hand what is required, subsequent interviews will be less fraught and you will feel more relaxed.

  • Always stay focused on your objective, tell the truth about your abilities, expect to have some set-backs but don't let your determination waver. Welcome to the world of contracting!

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HMRC Compliance

It's the basics... Compliance with Tax, VAT, PAYE and fiscal arrangements is mandatory for contractors regardless of whether you use an umbrella company or your own limited company.

Incredible then that there are still rogue umbrella companies and limited company accountants who expose their contractors to fraud. Umbrella Compare provides THE solution, we thoroughly vet all umbrella companies and limited company accountants that we list [Read more...].

Umbrella Compare provides a holistic overview of contracting with the aim of helping new and old contractors find the right payroll solutions. Contracting should be about focusing on the contract, not payroll, accounting, HMRC and bureaucracy.