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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Contractor Perfection

Contractor Perfection

Your rate vs your value: It is more important that you deliver quality in an assignment, rather than focus on the quantity of assignments.

We all know the individual who is first into the work-place each morning, and the last to leave...but we don't really know what they actually contribute to the whole. Are they getting away with it - just because they're putting in the hours?

Good Job

Did the contractor do a good job? Without some sort of qualifying criteria how can that question be answered? Maybe the contractor did a satisfactory job compared to the other contractor on the same rate. Though compared to the higher rate of a contractor with specialist skills their contribution to the whole was not so satisfactory.

Most work-place judgements will be supported, consciously or otherwise, by the cost to the client. Clients don't expect to get the same effective input to the whole from one contractor on £10 an hour compared to another on £900 a day.

Buy Cheap Buy Twice

Price is incidental. Whatever a client has to pay a contractor to complete a specified task, they will always compare it to the 'perfect' result in their specification. They don't care (within reason) whether they have to pay £300 or £700 per day to hire a contractor to do a job - as long as the job is done correctly and within the allocated time.

If the less expensive contractor messes up the assignment, do you think it's any good them offering to do the next job for free? No! It's unlikely the client will ever want them on their premises again. And forget a meaningful reference.


Cheap can be a valid marketing strategy in an economic downturn - but cheap doesn't do any favours for the contractor who is capable. A lower priced contractor doesn't outshine a higher priced contractor in many areas.

Cheap might get you a lot of assignments but cheap won't get your limited company business into a position to pay-out dividends. Rate is a signalling mechanism, your rate signals to recruitment agents and clients that you are able.

Quantity or quality - it's your strategy.

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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.